This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2003

In Alaska

•In 1912, the steamer Portland, the gold ship that started the Klondike Gold Rush, was wrecked at Katalla.

• In 1952, the Juneau Memorial Library was dedicated.

In the nation

• In 1815, American suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, N.Y.

• In 1920, baseball got its first "czar" as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected commissioner of the American and National leagues.

• In 1929, Grace Kelly - future movie star and Princess of Monaco - was born in Philadelphia.

• In 1977, the city of New Orleans elected its first black mayor, Ernest "Dutch" Morial.

• In 1998, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley filed a $433 million lawsuit against the firearms industry, declaring that it had created a public nuisance by flooding the streets with weapons deliberately marketed to criminals.

• In 2001, an American Airlines Airbus A300-600, en route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Dominican Republic, crashed 103 seconds after takeoff, killing 265 people.

• In 2002, former FBI Director William Webster resigned under pressure as head of a special accounting oversight board created by Congress to rebuild public confidence shaken by a cascade of business scandals.

In the world

• In 1927, Josef Stalin became the undisputed ruler of the Soviet Union as Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

• In 1942, the World War II naval Battle of Guadalcanal began.

• In 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

• In 1982, Yuri V. Andropov was elected to succeed the late Leonid I. Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee.

• In 1990, Japanese Emperor Akihito formally assumed the Chrysanthemum Throne.

• In 2002, in an audiotaped message, a voice purported to be that of Osama bin Laden praised terrorist strikes in Bali and Moscow and threatened Western nations over any attack on Iraq.

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