This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1948, a pilotless plane took off from Nome, heading for Siberia. It disappeared en route to St. Lawrence Island after several unsuccessful attempts were made to shoot it down.

• In 1959, Gov. Bill Egan was released from a Seattle hospital following gallbladder surgery.

• In 1969, Arctic explorer Bernt Balchin predicted that the Arctic ice pack was thinning and may become open sea by the end of the century.

• In 1988, the Alaska House of Representatives approved the $75.2 million jobs bill, including funds for construction, repair and maintenance projects around the state.

In the nation

• In 1779, American forces led by George Rogers Clark routed the British from Fort Sackville in the Revolutionary War Battle of Vincennes in Indiana.

• In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt patented his revolver.

• In 1901, U.S. Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.

• In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Philander Chase Knox.

• In 1957, the Supreme Court, in Butler v. Michigan, overturned a Michigan statute making it a misdemeanor to sell books containing obscene language that would tend to corrupt "the morals of youth."

• In 1964, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, Fla.

• In 1997, a jury in Media, Pa., convicted multimillionaire John E. du Pont of third-degree murder, deciding he was mentally ill when he killed world-class wrestler David Schultz. (Du Pont is serving a 13- to 30-year sentence.)

• In 2002, former NBA star Jayson Williams was charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Costas "Gus" Christofi, a limousine driver at Williams' estate in Alexandria Township, N.J. (A jury convicted Williams in 2004 of trying to cover up the slaying; it acquitted Williams of aggravated manslaughter but deadlocked on a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter.)

In the world

• In 1308, Edward II was crowned King of England.

• In 1948, Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.

• In 1986, President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.

• In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

• In 1997, China's elite bid a final farewell to Deng Xiaoping, the country's last great revolutionary leader.

• In 2006, in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner in the central African country's first multiparty election in 25 years. Apolo Anton Ohno upset favored South Korean Ahn Hyun-soo to win the gold in the 500-meter short track speedskating event at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

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