This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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 1864, during the Civil War, the Union ship USS Housatonic was rammed and sunk in Charleston Harbor, S.C., by the Confederate hand-cranked submarine HL Hunley, which also sank.

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

• In 1897, the forerunner of the National Parent Teachers Association, the National Congress of Mothers, convened its first meeting, in Washington.

• In 1933, Newsweek was first published by Thomas J.C. Martyn under the title "News-Week."

• In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Wesberry v. Sanders, ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be roughly equal in population.

• In 1998, President Clinton, preparing Americans for possible air strikes against Iraq, said military force is never the first answer "but sometimes it's the only answer."

• In 2003, 21 people were killed in a stampede at the crowded E2 nightclub in Chicago. European Union leaders declared their solidarity with the United States, warning Saddam Hussein that Iraq faced one "last chance" to disarm peacefully but calling war a last resort.

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