In Alaska, in the Nation and the World
In 1911, a fire destroyed a dozen buildings in the business district of Douglas.
In 1959, the Air Force launched an investigation into reports of the Explorer satellite exploding over Alaska.
In 1969, the University of Alaska received a $10,000 grant to collect and analyze Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut languages.
In 1975, work began on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
In the nation
In 1862, during the Civil War, the ironclads Monitor and Virginia (formerly Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads, Va.
In 1907, Indiana's General Assembly passed America's first involuntary sterilization law, one aimed at "confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles, and rapists" in state custody.
In 1916, Mexican raiders under the command of Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans.
In 1933, Congress, called into special session by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, began its "hundred days" of enacting New Deal legislation.
In 1954, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy's anti-Communism campaign on "See It Now."
In 1977, about a dozen armed Hanafi Muslims invaded three buildings in Washington, D.C., killing one person and taking more than 130 hostages. (The siege ended two days later.)
In 1983, Margaret Heckler was sworn in as secretary of Health and Human Services, the same day Anne M. Burford resigned as head of the embattled Environmental Protection Agency.
In 1998, in a case pitting former high school sweethearts against each other, Brian Peterson pleaded guilty in Wilmington, Del., to manslaughter in the death of his newborn son in a Newark motel and agreed to testify against the mother, Amy Grossberg. (A month later, Grossberg also pleaded guilty to manslaughter; she ended up serving nearly two years of a two-and-a-half year sentence; Peterson served one-and-a-half years of a two-year sentence.)
In 2003, the film musical "Chicago" tap-danced away with a haul of movie honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, including best ensemble cast and the lead-actress prize for star Renee Zellweger.
In 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller acknowledged the FBI improperly used the Patriot Act to secretly pry out personal information about Americans; they apologized and vowed to prevent further illegal intrusions.
In the world
In 1796, the future emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, married Josephine de Beauharnais. (The couple divorced in 1809.)
In 1932, Eamon de Valera was elected the head of government of the Irish Free State.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Japan, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.
In 2003, Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a seat in the Turkish parliament, clearing way for him to become prime minister.