This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1901, the post office of Chignik was opened with Joseph Hume as postmaster.

• In 1909, the Bering Sea National Wildlife Refuge was established.

• In 1923, the 1400-foot Tanana steel bridge was completed on the Alaska Railroad.

• In 1923, Pres. Warren Harding established the National Petroleum Reserve on the North Slope.

• In 1975, Gilbert Zemansky, a sanitary engineer for the Department of Environmental Conservation, was fired for reporting sewage discharge problems at pipeline camps to the press.

• In 1987, Gov. Steve Cowper ordered the state to pull out of land-trade negotiations relating to possible oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Range.

• In 1988, a joint study by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the Alaska Railroad reported that there was no connection between moose deaths and train speed.

In the nation

• In 1801, the District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

• In 1922, the Supreme Court, in Leser v. Garnett, unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed the right of women to vote.

• In 1939, the Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.

• In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.

• In 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets 3-2 at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)

• In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)

• In 1979, Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to win their party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)

• In 1991, President George H.W. Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight.

• In 1997, a jury in Fayetteville, N.C., convicted former Army paratrooper James N. Burmeister of murdering a black couple so he could get a skinhead tattoo. (He was later sentenced to life in prison.) Divorce became legal in Ireland. Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect.

• In 2002, U.S. officials announced a $5 million reward for information in the kidnap-murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. At the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Irish rockers U2 won four prizes, including record of the year for "Walk On"; album of the year went to the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, while Alicia Keys won five Grammys, including song of the year for "Fallin."

In the world

• In 1933, Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, was gutted by fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, used the fire as justification for suspending civil liberties.

• In 2002, a mob of Muslims set fire to a train carrying hundreds of Hindu nationalists in Godhra, India; some 60 people died.

• In 2006, "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown was accused in Britain's High Court of taking material for his blockbuster conspiracy thriller from a 1982 book about the Holy Grail. (The court ruled in favor of Brown's publisher, Random House, the actual target of the breach-of-copyright lawsuit.)

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