This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1909, W.D. Wheeler of Fairbanks narrowly escaped death when an 18-pound crowbar fell from a second-story window in a government warehouse.

• In 1943, a fire in downtown Fairbanks caused more than $50,000 in damage.

• In 1954, a spokesman from Standard Oil Co. told an All-Alaska Chamber of Commerce meeting that Alaska's oil development prospects were very good.

In the nation

• In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

• In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between lower Manhattan and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.

• In 1937, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, formed exclusively for radio broadcasting, made its debut.

• In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.

• In 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public city and state buses.

• In 1974, Karen Silkwood, a technician and union activist at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron plutonium plant near Crescent, Okla., died in a car crash while on her way to meet a reporter.

• In 1977, Al Capp's comic strip "Li'l Abner" appeared in newspapers for the last time.

• In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

• In 1997, a stage musical adaptation of the Disney film "The Lion King" opened on Broadway.

In the world

• In 1775, during the American Revolution, the Continental Army captured Montreal.

• In 1971, the U.S. space probe Mariner 9 went into orbit around Mars.

• In 1985, some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a gigantic mudslide buried the city.

• In 2002, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a compromise sex abuse policy after the Vatican demanded they make changes to balance fairness to priests with compassion for victims.

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