This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In Alaska

•In 1936, the old log Custom House and Post Office at Sitka, a relic of Russian days, was destroyed by fire.

•In 1937, a major fire in Douglas destroyed the school, the post office, City Hall, and the fire hall.

•In 1939, the first regular mail to Anchorage was delivered by a special train from Seward. It was delivered to Seward from Seattle by the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer.

•In 1985, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner surrendered its distinction as "Alaska's Widest Newspaper" by changing to the standard 16-inch-wide format, from a previous width of 17 inches.

In the nation

•In 1822, Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.

•In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio.

•In 1861, President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, an assassination plot having been foiled in Baltimore.

•In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

•In 1905, the first Rotary Club service organization was founded in Chicago by Paul Harris.

•In 1945, during World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised the American flag.

•In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark for the first time. Administration officials said President Clinton would review dozens of affirmative action programs. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Haiti to help prepare for peaceful elections.

•In 2000, Carlos Santana won eight Grammy awards, including album of the year for "Supernatural," tying the record set by Michael Jackson in 1983 for most trophies in one night.

•In 2004, the Army canceled its Comanche helicopter program after sinking $6.9 billion into it over 21 years. Education Secretary Rod Paige likened the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union, to a "terrorist organization" during a private White House meeting with governors. (Paige later called it a poor choice of words, but stood by his claim the NEA was using "obstructionist scare tactics" in its fight over the nation's education law.)

In the world

•In 1847, U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.

•In 1981, an attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (The attempt collapsed 18 hours later.)

•In 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they had succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly." (Dolly was later put down after a short life marred by premature aging and disease.)

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