This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1915, the ore reduction mills of the Alaska Gastineau Mining Company at Thane, near Juneau, started operating.

• In 1968, the tanker Rebecca was seized by State Troopers north of Kenai for pumping ballast that led to a 200-300 yard oil slick. Prosecutors later learned how ineffective Alaska's oil laws really were.

• In 1985, unidentified amber lights appeared in the western sky above Anchorage at about 9 p.m. Spectators and officials could not explain the source of the lights.

In the nation

• In 1803, Congress voted to accept Ohio's borders and constitution.

• In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested in Alabama. He was subsequently tried for treason and acquitted.

• In 1846, the Texas state government was formally installed in Austin.

• In 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph.

• In 1881, Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

• In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans, as well as Japanese nationals living in the United States.

• In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved a treaty outlawing genocide, 37 years after the pact had first been submitted for ratification.

• In 1994, with Bosnian Serbs facing a NATO deadline to withdraw heavy weapons encircling Sarajevo or face air strikes, President Clinton delivered an address from the Oval Office reaffirming the ultimatum.

• In 1999, President Clinton posthumously pardoned Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point, whose military career had been tarnished by a racially motivated discharge.

• In 2003, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt announced his second candidacy for president with a pledge to repeal most of President Bush's tax cuts.

In the world

• In 1942, about 150 Japanese warplanes attacked the Australian city of Darwin.

• In 1945, during World War II, some 30,000 U.S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima, where they began a month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.

• In 1963, the Soviet Union informed President Kennedy it would withdraw "several thousand" of an estimated 17,000 Soviet troops in Cuba.

• In 1997, Deng Xiaoping, the last of China's major Communist revolutionaries, died.

• In 2003, an Iranian military plane carrying 275 members of the elite Revolutionary Guard crashed in southeastern Iran, killing all on board.

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