This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, November 08, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1929, Alaska pioneer aviator Ben Eielson and his mechanic Earl Borland, were reported lost in Siberia on a flight from Teller, to salvage furs from an ice-bound ship. Their bodies were finally discovered in mid-February the next year.

• In 1939, for the first time, three women appeared as a team on KFAR-AM, Fairbanks' weekly radio quiz, "On The Spot."

• In 1940, a Pan American DC3 left Seattle for Juneau, taking over the route from the "flying boats."

• In 1959, the seven residents of Chicken offered their community as an alternative to Palmer as a new location for Alaska's capital, saying, "Each session would have to start in October before the road closed" and that the peace and quiet in Chicken would offer ample time for contemplation without interruption.

• In 1979, a Japanese factory-fishing ship went aground near the village of St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands, spilling over one hundred thousand gallons of diesel fuel.

• In 1979, Sohio-BP Alaska and ARCO withdrew their support for the Petroleum Club of Anchorage (a group of oil executives) over its refusal to allow women members.

• In 1979, several Phantom F-4E fighter jets roared into the sky from Elmendorf Air Force Base when a computer mistake caused a six-minute nationwide missile defense alert false alarm.

In the nation

• In 1872, fire destroyed nearly a thousand buildings in Boston.

• In 1935, United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization.

• In 1965, the great Northeast blackout occurred as a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours left 30 million people in seven states and two Canadian provinces without electricity.

• In 1967, a Saturn 5 rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

• In 1995, in a pair of telephone interviews, O.J. Simpson told Associated Press reporter Linda Deutsch that people have supported rather than shunned him since his acquittal, and that he has learned that fame and wealth are illusions. Said Simpson: "The only thing that endures is character."

• In 2000, George W. Bush's lead over Al Gore in all-or-nothing Florida slipped beneath 300 votes in a suspense-filled recount, as Democrats threw the presidential election to the courts, claiming "an injustice unparalleled in our history."

• In 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans resigned; they were the first members of the Cabinet to leave as President Bush headed from re-election into his second term.

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