This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1948, 100 sets of "squeezers," dice rigged to favor certain combinations, were seized in a gambling raid near Ladd Field in Fairbanks.

• In 1954, in an unusual sighting, a large school of albacore tuna, typically a warm water fish, were seen 80 miles southwest of Yakutat. A special fishing period on the Nushagak River was approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to provide for needy residents.

• In 1959, the cornerstone was laid for the first academic building of Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage. The building is now Alaska Pacific University.

In the nation

• In 1862, Congress authorized the Medal of Honor.

• In 1948, the Democratic National Convention opened in Philadelphia.

• In 1977, President Jimmy Carter defended Supreme Court decisions limiting government payments for poor women's abortions, saying, "There are many things in life that are not fair."

• In 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale announced he had chosen U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York to be his running-mate; Ferraro was the first woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket.

• In 2002, the Senate adopted a ban on personal loans from companies to their top officials, a practice that had benefited executives from Enron to WorldCom.

In the world

• In 1543, England's King Henry VIII married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr.

• In 1690, forces led by William of Orange defeated the army of James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

• In 1812, U.S. forces led by Gen. William Hull entered Canada during the War of 1812 against Britain. (However, Hull retreated shortly thereafter to Detroit.)

• In 1993, some 200 people were killed when an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.8 struck northern Japan and triggered a tsunami.

• In 1997, in Copenhagen, the last stop of an eight-day European tour, President Bill Clinton said political divisions in Europe were closing. In Spain, kidnapped Basque politician Miguel Angel Blanco was found mortally wounded shortly after a deadline set by his militant Basque captors.

• In 2002, the U.N. Security Council agreed to exempt U.S. peacekeepers from war crimes prosecution for a year, ending a threat to U.N. peacekeeping operations.

• In 2006, Hezbollah guerrillas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others in a cross-border raid; Israel sent ground troops into Lebanon in response. World powers agreed to send Iran before the U.N. Security Council for possible punishment, saying Tehran had given no sign it would bargain in earnest over its disputed nuclear program.

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