This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1913, the weekly newspaper The Commoner was established in Valdez by John W. Frame.

• In 1960, over Governor William Egan's veto, the Alaska State Legislature passed a bill allowing games of chance to be operated by civic, religious and service organizations. This bill legalized the Nenana Ice Classic, which began in 1917.

• In 1969, the University of Alaska fired rockets with barium payloads into the atmosphere, brightening Alaskan skies during March, to study "solar-terrestrial relationships."

In the nation

• In 1782, the Gnadenhutten massacre took place as some 90 Indians were slain by militiamen in Ohio in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians.

• In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) rammed and sank the USS Cumberland and inflicted heavy damage on the USS Congress, both frigates, off Newport News, Va.

• In 1917, the U.S. Senate voted to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

• In 1997, President Clinton, in keeping with his push for private businesses and churches to hire off welfare rolls, ordered federal agencies to do the same.

• In 2002, Kmart Corp. announced the closing of 284 stores and elimination of 22,000 jobs. The U.S. Senate passed a bill cutting taxes and extending unemployment benefits.

• In 2006, six months after Hurricane Katrina, President Bush got a close-up look at the remaining mountains of debris, abandoned homes and boarded-up businesses in New Orleans. The Hornets played their first game at The New Orleans Arena since Katrina; they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-107. NFL owners agreed to the players' union proposal, extending the collective bargaining agreement for six years.

In the world

• In 1702, England's Queen Anne ascended the throne upon the death of King William III.

• In 1854, U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry made his second landing in Japan; within a month, he concluded a treaty with the Japanese.

• In 1917, Russia's "February Revolution" (so called because of the Old Style calendar being used by Russians at the time) began with rioting and strikes in Petrograd.

• In 1965, the United States landed its first combat troops in South Vietnam, about 3,500 Marines sent to defend the U.S. air base at Da Nang.

• In 2006, Iran threatened the United States with "harm and pain" if the U.S. tried to use the U.N. Security Council to punish Tehran for its suspect nuclear program.

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