This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2005

In Alaska

In 1914, seven of the eight members of the Territorial Senate were hanged in effigy at Cordova because of their vote supporting a railroad from Seward.

In 1935, the new building of the Alaska Pioneers' Home at Sitka was dedicated.

In 1936, World War I flying ace Colonel "Billy" Mitchell, who established telegraph posts in Alaska in the early 1900s, died in New York City. Mount Billy Mitchell, near Valdez, was named after the famous brigadier general of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

In 1959, a belligerent moose disrupted Anchorage's Fur Rendezvous.

In 1975, George Attla won his fifth Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Sled Dog Race.

In the nation

In 1801, the House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president; Burr became vice president.

In 1817, a street in Baltimore became the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.

In 1865, Columbia, S.C., burned as the Confederates evacuated and Union forces moved in. (It's not known which side set the blaze.)

In 1897, the forerunner of the National PTA, the National Congress of Mothers, was founded in Washington.

In 1933, Newsweek was first published.

In 1964, the Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.

In 1972, President Nixon departed on his historic trip to China.

In 1985, Murray P. Haydon became the third person to receive a permanent artificial heart as doctors at Humana Hospital Audubon in Louisville, Ky., implanted the device. (Haydon lived 488 days with the heart.)

In 1992, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison (he was beaten to death in prison in November 1994).

In 1995, Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings (he was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison).

In 2000, a House panel said in a report that the program to inoculate all 2.4 million American military personnel against anthrax was based on "a paucity of science" and should be suspended; the Pentagon defended the program and vowed to continue the inoculations.

In 2004, John Kerry won the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary, with John Edwards placing second and Howard Dean coming in a distant third. Cingular Wireless agreed to pay nearly $41 billion in cash to buy AT&T Wireless Services.

In the world

In 1904, Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly" was poorly received at its world premiere at La Scala in Milan, Italy.

In 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

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