This Day in History

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2004

In Alaska

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

• 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 gold mine began.

• In 1969, Sen. R.R. Blodgett, D-Teller, introduced a bill to appropriate $300,000 for a feasibility study of a road from Anchorage to Nome.

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 1895, abolitionist Frederick Douglass died in Washington, D.C.

• 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 Seven.

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

• In 1971, the National Emergency Warning Center in Colorado erroneously ordered U.S. radio and TV stations off the air.

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

• In 1999, movie reviewer Gene Siskel died outside Chicago.

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