This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1939, an earthslide caused by heavy rains forced the Alaska-Juneau mine in Juneau to halt operations for nearly 20 hours until repairs were made.

• In 1942, the Whittier-Portage tunnel was holed through, making the port accessible to Anchorage.

In the nation

• In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

• In 1925, Robert F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass.

• In 1967, the census clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million.

• In 1993, the U.S. Senate ended a filibuster against the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, and passed it by a 63-36 vote. The Senate also approved legislation 61-38 implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

• In 1998, 46 states embraced a $206 billion settlement with cigarette makers over health costs for treating sick smokers.

In the world

• In 1910, revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero.

• In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Marines began landing on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands, encountering fierce resistance from Japanese forces but emerging victorious three days later.

• In 1945, 24 Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

• In 1947, Britain's future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, in a ceremony broadcast worldwide from Westminster Abbey.

• In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain's Gen. Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday.

• In 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to address Israel's parliament.

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