This Day in History

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2006

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 starting at Seward.

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

• In 1936, World War I flying ace Col. "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 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 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

• 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 1986, Johnson and Johnson, maker of Tylenol, announced it would no longer sell over-the-counter medications in capsule form, following the death of a woman who had taken a cyanide-laced capsule.

• 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 1996, world chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue," winning a six-game match in Philadelphia (Kasparov had lost the first game, won the second, fifth and sixth games and earned draws in the third and fourth).

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