This Day in History

Posted: Monday, June 12, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1949, the new Juneau Airport Terminal, the first municipally owned airport terminal in Alaska, was dedicated. The building contained Alaska Coastal Airlines, Pan American Airways, Pacific Northern Airlines, and U.S. Customs, as well as three phone booths, a taxi cab office and a nursery (considered a novel feature).

• In 1954, Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor, chairman of the board of the National Geographic Society, stopped in Juneau on his first Alaska tour.

• In 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower visited Alaska during a stopover in Anchorage enroute to Japan.

• In 1969, five people were dumped in the water when their 18-foot outboard collided with a whale north of Juneau. The whale escaped unharmed.

• In 1970, the Anchorage Daily Times ran an editorial discussing the anti-pollution frenzy of many ecology-action groups, labeling it "the fad of ecology."

In the nation

• In 1665, England installed a municipal government in New York, formerly the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.

• In 1776, Virginia's colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights.

• In 1838, the Iowa Territory was organized.

• In 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, N.Y.

• In 1963, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, Miss.; he was 37. (In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of murdering Evers and sentenced to life in prison; he died in 2001.)

• In 1967, the Supreme Court struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriages.

• In 1971, Tricia Nixon and Edward F. Cox were married in the White House Rose Garden.

• In 1978, David Berkowitz was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for each of the six "Son of Sam" .44-caliber killings that had terrified New Yorkers.

• In 1981, Major League Baseball players began a 49-day strike over the issue of free-agent compensation. (The season did not resume until Aug. 10)

• In 1996, a panel of federal judges in Philadelphia blocked a law against indecency on the Internet, saying the 1996 Communications Decency Act would unlawfully chill adults' free-speech rights. Senate Republicans overwhelmingly chose Trent Lott to succeed Bob Dole as majority leader.

• In 2001, a federal court in New York sentenced Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali, a Saudi Arabian follower of Osama bin Laden, to life in prison without parole for his role in the deadly bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

• In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney, reacting to a growing chorus of calls to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, told Fox News Channel there were no plans to do so. At the LPGA Championship, Annika Sorenstam closed with a 1-over 73 for a three-shot victory over Michelle Wie, who shot a 69 to finish second.

In the world

• In 1949, Philippine nationalists declared independence from Spain.

• In 1987, President Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

• In 2001, President Bush arrived in Madrid, Spain, on his first official trip to Europe.

• In 2005, American-educated professor and women's rights activist Massouma al-Mubarak was named Kuwait's first female Cabinet minister.

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