This Day in History

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1904, the first winter mail from Fairbanks arrived at Valdez over a trail.

• In 1928, the Juneau High School building was dedicated. It later became Capital Elementary School.

• In 1973, construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline was authorized by President Richard Nixon.

• In 1979, the first auction of barley harvested at Delta Junction (part of the "Barley Project") lasted 15 minutes with 140 tons going for $20,800. Anchorage developers with European financing announced plans to build a 400-room hotel, a 120,000 square-foot office building, and 129 condominiums on the site of the former Alaska-Juneau Gold Mill. Plans were scrapped for the hotel, but plans are being made to re-open the mine itself.

In the nation

• In 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state of the union.

• In 1959, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The Sound of Music" opened on Broadway.

• In 1966, Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard was acquitted in his second trial of charges he'd murdered his pregnant wife, Marilyn, in 1954.

• In 1973, Skylab 4, carrying a crew of three astronauts, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an 84-day mission.

• In 1982, an agreement was announced in the 57th day of a strike by National Football League players.

• In 1997, China's most prominent pro-democracy campaigner, Wei Jingsheng, arrived in the United States after being released from a prison where he'd spent nearly 18 years.

• In 2006, Democrats embraced Nancy Pelosi as the first woman House speaker in history, but then selected Steny Hoyer as majority leader against her wishes. Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana won the AL Cy Young Award.

In the world

• In 1776, British troops captured Fort Washington in New York during the American Revolution.

• In 1885, Canadian rebel leader Louis Riel was executed for high treason.

• In 1917, Georges Clemenceau again became prime minister of France.

• In 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations.

• In 2002, in an open letter to the Iraqi Parliament, President Saddam Hussein said he had no choice but to accept a tough, new U.N. weapons inspection resolution because the United States and Israel had shown their "claws and teeth" and declared unilateral war on the Iraqi people.

• In 2006, African, Arab, European and U.N. leaders agreed in principle to a joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force for Sudan's Darfur region. Gunmen abducted a private security team of four Americans and an Austrian in southern Iraq.

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