This Day in History

Posted: Friday, November 07, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1880, Richard Harris and Joe Juneau filled their canoe with quartz rock, records and laws, and left for Sitka to report to the backer of their prospecting expedition.

• In 1881, Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Styles opened a Presbyterian mission school in Hoonah.

• In 1922, Eben Hobson, a Native leader, was born.

• In 1938, construction began on the breakwater for Juneau's long-awaited boat harbor.

• In 1940, while the temperature was 15 degrees below zero, a fire destroyed the entire town of McCarthy, except for one establishment - Jack O'Neill's General Store.

In the nation

• In 1893, the state of Colorado granted its women the right to vote.

• In 1916, Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress.

• In 1940, the middle section of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state collapsed during a windstorm.

• In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in office, defeating Thomas E. Dewey.

• In 1962, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt died in New York City. Richard M. Nixon, having lost California's gubernatorial race, held what he called his "last press conference," telling reporters, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore."

• In 1963, the all-star Cinerama comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" had its world premiere in Hollywood.

• In 1973, Congress overrode President Nixon's veto of the War Powers Act, which limits a chief executive's power to wage war without congressional approval.

• In 1989, L. Douglas Wilder won the governor's race in Virginia, becoming the first elected black governor in U.S. history; David N. Dinkins was elected New York City's first black mayor.

• In 1993, President Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," assailed labor leaders who opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, accusing them of using "naked pressure" to try to kill the pact.

• In 1998, John Glenn returned to Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery, visibly weak but elated after a nine-day mission.

• In 2002, in his first news conference since the midterm elections, President Bush, charting an agenda for the new Republican Congress, said that homeland security came first and that an economic-recovery plan with new tax cuts would wait until the next year. Dick Gephardt stepped down as House Democratic leader in the wake of his party's election losses.

In the world

• In 1917, Russia's Bolshevik Revolution took place as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky.

• In 1992, former Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek, whose failed attempt to loosen the Communist grip on his country became known as the "Prague Spring," died at age 70.

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