This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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 1954, Wein Alaska Airways protested the planned closure of U.S. Customs stations at Eagle and Fort Yukon, citing adverse impact on tourist flights. (Planes from Canada would have to check in at Fairbanks before travelling to any Alaska village and before leaving Alaska.)

• In 1980, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Senate version of the Alaska D-2 Lands Bill.

In the nation

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

• In 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, en route from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to the Dominican Republic, crashed after takeoff, killing 265 people.

• In 1998, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley filed a $433 million dollar lawsuit against the firearms industry, declaring that it had created a public nuisance by flooding the streets with weapons deliberately marketed to criminals. (A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2000; an appeals court ruled in 2002 that the city of Chicago could proceed; but the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit in 2004.)

• In 2003, President Bush and his top foreign advisers reviewed new strategies to speed the transfer of political power in Iraq.

• In 2004, a jury in Redwood City, Calif., convicted Scott Peterson of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay. (Peterson, who maintains his innocence, was later sentenced to death.)

• In 2007, the Dow Jones industrial average closed below 13,000 for first time since August 2007. Ryan Braun won the NL Rookie of the Year award in one of the closest votes, while Dustin Pedroia ran away with the AL honor.

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. (The Allies ended up winning a major victory over the Japanese.)

• 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 1996, a Saudi Boeing 747 jetliner collided shortly after takeoff from New Delhi, India, with a Kazak Ilyushin-76 cargo plane, killing 349 people.

• In 2003, a suicide truck bomber attacked the headquarters of Italy's paramilitary police in Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing more than 30 people. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat swore in a new Palestinian Cabinet.

• In 2007, Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was placed under house arrest for the second time in four days ahead of a planned march to protest emergency rule.

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