This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1894, Louis L. Williams took office as the U.S. marshal for Alaska.

• 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 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 George Washington signed an act creating the U.S. Post Office.

• In 1809, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Peters, 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 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded "idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, insane persons" from being admitted to the United States.

• In 1987, a bomb blamed on the Unabomber exploded behind a computer store in Salt Lake City, seriously injuring store owner Gary Wright.

• In 1997, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a speedup in the redesign of the rudder controls on Boeing 737s, citing potential problems suspected in a pair of deadly crashes.

• In 2003, fire broke out during a rock concert at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., killing 100 people and injuring about 200 others.

• In 2002, at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Jim Shea won the men's skeleton race, finishing the two runs at Utah Olympic Park in one minute, 41.96 seconds. (The victory was the culmination of an emotional two months for Shea, whose 91-year-old grandfather, Olympic gold medal speedskater Jack Shea, died four weeks earlier.) American speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno won the 1,500 meters after South Korean Kim Dong-sung, who had crossed the finish line ahead of him, was disqualified.

• In 2006, President George Bush, visiting Milwaukee, outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.

In the world

• In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers in a series of attacks that became known as "Big Week."

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