This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1871, Walter Mendenhall, for whom the Mendenhall Glacier was named, was born.

• In 1899, the first passenger train reached White Pass in Canada's Yukon Territory.

• In 1907, the Pioneers of Alaska was organized at Nome, which became Igloo No. 1.

• In 1941, the filling of West Willoughby Avenue with waste rock from the Alaska Juneau mine began.

In the nation

• In 1792, President Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office.

• In 1809, the Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government is greater than that of any individual state.

• In 1839, Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.

• In 1933, the House of Representatives completed congressional action on an amendment to repeal Prohibition.

• In 1962, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, flying aboard "Friendship 7."

• In 1965, the "Ranger 8" spacecraft crashed on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.

• In 1981, the space shuttle "Columbia" cleared the final major hurdle to its launch as it fired its engines in a 20-second test.

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