This Day in History

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1922, a serious fire broke out in the Evans Jones coal mine in the Matanuska Valley.

• In 1941, work was started on the railroad tunnel to connect Portage and Whittier.

• In 1959, authorization for night take-offs and landings at the Juneau International Airport was given by the Federal Aviation Administration.

• In 1961, RCA formally took over operation of the White Alice network, a radio relay communications system of 33 sites along Alaska's coastline.

• In 1964, Anchorage's first bank robber entered the FBI files as a "husky, raunchy-looking man" who stole $6,000 from the National Bank of Alaska's Fifth Avenue branch.

• In 1969, Bethel voted to close down its only liquor store.

• In 1977, a fire at the North Pole Refinery caused damage that took one month to repair.

In the nation

• In 1794, the United States and Britain signed Jay's Treaty, which resolved issues left over from the Revolutionary War.

• In 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

• In 1919, the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 55-39, short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.

• In 1959, Ford Motor Co. announced it was halting production of the unpopular Edsel.

• In 1984, some 500 people died in a firestorm set off by a series of explosions at a petroleum storage plant on the edge of Mexico City.

• In 1997, Iowa seamstress Bobbi McCaughey gave birth to septuplets, four boys and three girls.

• In 2002, the Senate voted 90-9 to approve creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

In the world

• In 1942, during World War II, Russian forces launched their winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front.

• In 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made the second manned landing on the moon.

• In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel.

• In 1985, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met for the first time as they began their summit in Geneva.

• In 1997, the space shuttle Columbia zoomed into orbit on a two-week science mission.

• In 2002, an oil tanker carrying 20 million gallons of fuel oil broke in two and sank in the Atlantic Ocean off northwest Spain. U.N. weapons inspectors wrapped up a two-day visit to Iraq. Singer Michael Jackson made a public appearance at his Berlin hotel, briefly holding his youngest child, Prince Michael II, over a fourth-floor balcony rail in front of dozens of fans below.

• In 2006, British authorities said they were investigating the apparent poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who had been critical of the Russian government (Litvinenko died in London four days later of polonium poisoning).

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