This Day in History

Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1969, a massive rockslide buried Ketchikan's new Lake Silvis hydroelectric plant.

• In 1980, three top Alaska military commanders and the State Department of Natural Resources signed an agreement giving the state and the public far greater control over military use of state land.

In the nation

• In 1925, the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville's famed home of country music, made its radio debut on station WSM.

• In 1942, nearly 500 people died in a fire that destroyed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston.

• In 1975, President Ford nominated Federal Judge John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by William O. Douglas.

• In 1995, President Clinton continued to press his case for sending 20,000 U.S. ground troops to Bosnia. President Clinton signed a $6 billion road bill that ended the federal 55 mph speed limit.

• In 2000, George W. Bush's lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to bring "legal finality" to the presidential election by ending any further ballot recounts; Al Gore's team countered that the nation's highest court should not interfere in Florida's recount dispute.

• In 2004, NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol was injured, his son, Teddy, among three people killed, in a plane crash outside Montrose, Colo.

In the world

• In 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.

• In 1919, American-born Lady Astor was elected the first female member of the British Parliament.

• In 1943, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin met in Tehran during World War II.

• In 1958, the African nation of Chad became an autonomous republic within the French community.

• In 1964, the United States launched the space probe Mariner IV on a course to Mars.

• In 1979, an Air New Zealand DC-10 en route to the South Pole crashed into a mountain in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.

• In 1985, the Irish Senate approved the Anglo-Irish accord concerning Northern Ireland.

• In 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister of Britain during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who conferred the premiership on John Major.

• In 2004, Iraq's most feared terror group claimed responsibility for slaughtering members of the Iraqi security forces in Mosul, where dozens of bodies had been found. A gas explosion in a central Chinese coal mine killed 166 people.

Boy hit by car suffers concussion

JUNEAU - A 17-year-old boy suffered minor injuries and a concussion Sunday afternoon after darting in front of a Honda Element traveling 40 miles per hour on Mendenhall Loop Road.

Witnesses told police the boy ran directly in front of the car, and the 57-year-old driver had no time to stop.

The boy escaped serious injury and was held overnight for observations at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

"It was very lucky," officer Kim Horn said.

The car was traveling south on Mendehall Loop Road toward Mendenhall Boulevard just after 1 p.m. The boy ran into the road before the car began to slow for the intersection.

The Honda sustained $4,000 in damage to the windshield, hood and roof and was towed from the scene.

"No citations were issued; the pedestrian was at fault," Horn said.

Firefighters' raises linked to drug tests

KETCHIKAN - A proposed contract offering firefighters consecutive annual raises depends on whether the city and the 15-member union can agree on a random drug-testing policy.

The two-year agreement approved unanimously by the Ketchikan City Council offers a 3 percent raise in 2006 and a 3-percent raise in 2007.

The second raise would be awarded if the city and firefighters agree on a drug policy that includes random testing, the Ketchikan Daily News said.

Estimated cost of the new contract is $103,000.

Tracy Mettler, union secretary-treasurer, said the proposed contract goes next to firefighters for approval.

UAF touts petroleum engineering program

FAIRBANKS - Seeking to snag its share of students nationwide interested in petroleum engineering, the University of Alaska Anchorage has hired a recruitment coordinator and two part-time telemarketers to help double enrollment.

Shirish Patil, a UAF associate professor of petroleum engineering, said more than half of the field's engineers today are over 50. "Most of them are expected to retire in the next 15 years," Patil told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Sunday's editions.

Expanded production and increased exploration driven by high oil prices have combined to increase demand for petroleum engineers, whose starting pay typically ranges between $50,000 and $60,000.

Demand for petroleum engineers in Alaska could increase if the state succeeds in developing a North Slope natural gas line. Starting wage for the engineers in Alaska is $65,000 to $75,000.

Daredevil feline gets a home in Maine

WENATCHEE, Wash. - Bridget the bridge-jumping cat used up several of her nine lives in a 70-foot leap into the Columbia River earlier this month, but her adventures weren't over: She just completed a cross-country flight to her new home in Maine.

Bridget was driven to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday to catch a flight home with April Newman of Thorndike, Maine, who'd flown out to fetch her on Thursday.

"She made it just fine," said Karen Headlee, director of operations for the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, where the cat had been lodged since its rescue. The shelter received $100 in donations to help pay for the cross-country trip.

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