In 1728, Captain James Cook was born. Cook was an early explorer for whom Cook Inlet near Anchorage was named.
In 1892, The post office in Ketchikan was established with George W. Clark as postmaster.
In 1895, The S.S. Willapa sailed from Seattle to begin Alaska Steamship Company service to Alaska.
In 1909, James Wickersham was seated as the third delegate in the U.S. Congress from Alaska.
In 1939, The Territorial Senate killed a bill appropriating $14,000 to subsidize radio stations in the Territory of Alaska to "disseminate facts and information."
In 1960, A demonstration run of three "Iron Dogs" - gas powered ski-equipped sleds - began in Bethel enroute to Fairbanks.
In the nation
In 1789, the Constitution of the United States went into effect as the first Federal Congress met in New York. (The lawmakers then adjourned for lack of a quorum.)
In 1791, Vermont became the 14th state.
In 1793, George Washington was sworn in for a second term as president of the United States.
In 1837, the Illinois state legislature granted a city charter to Chicago.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president.
In 1893, Grover Cleveland was inaugurated for his second, non-consecutive term as president.
In 1902, the American Automobile Association was founded in Chicago.
In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated president, pledging to lead the country out of the Great Depression. (The start of FDR's first administration brought with it the first woman to serve in the Cabinet: Labor Secretary Frances Perkins.)
In 1952, actors Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married in San Fernando Valley, Calif.
In 1981, a jury in Salt Lake City convicted Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed racist, of violating the civil rights of two black men who were shot to death.
In 1993, Authorities announced the arrest of Mohammad Salameh, a suspect in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. (Salameh was later convicted of playing a key role in the attack.)
In 1998, The Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment at work can be illegal even when the offender and victim are of the same gender.
In the world
In 1193, Saladin, the Muslim warrior who opposed the Crusades, died.
In 2002, Seven American soldiers were killed, 11 wounded, in Afghanistan at the outset of Operation Anaconda against remnant Taliban and al-Qaida forces. European Union's 15 members ratified the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, but did not set pollutant-emission levels to meet the accord's targets.