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In 1871, a 32-ship whaling fleet from New England was abandoned at Wainwright Inlet when ice cut it off from open water. The 1,200 crewmembers used whale boats to reach safety at Icy Cape. No lives were lost.
In 1884, Alaska's first governor, John Kinkead, appointed by President Chester Arthur, arrived in Sitka to take up his duties. The first meeting of the Presbytery of Alaska was held in Wrangell.
In the nation
In 1814, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write his poem "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing how Fort McHenry in Maryland had endured British bombardment during the War of 1812.
In 1847, U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott took control of Mexico City.
In 1948, a groundbreaking ceremony took place in New York at the site of the United Nations' world headquarters.
In 1997, at the 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, "Law and Order" won best drama series while "Frasier" again won best comedy series.
In 2002, President Bush said the United States was willing to take on Iraq alone if the United Nations failed to "show some backbone" by confronting Saddam Hussein.
In 2006, an outbreak of E. coli illnesses in 26 states was traced to bagged spinach.
In the world
In 1812, the Russians set fire to Moscow in the face of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte's troops.
In 1959, the Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.
In 1964, Pope Paul VI opened the third session of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, also known as Vatican II. (The session closed two months later.)
In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.
In 1982, Lebanon's president-elect, Bashir Gemayel, was killed by a bomb.
In 1997, overcoming fears of violence, Bosnians flooded polling stations to vote in local elections.
In 2006, three men became the first rabbis ordained in Germany since World War II.
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