This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 02, 2004

In Alaska

• In 1863, Prince Dimitri Maksoutoff became the last Alaska chief manager of the Russian American Company.

• In 1903, the B.M. Behrends Mercantile Company was incorporated in Juneau.

• In 1959, Phil Holdsworth, then commissioner of natural resources, said, "We'll flood the Bureau of Land Management with applications in the next six months." The state increased the pace of acquiring the 104 million acres granted by the Statehood Act.

• In 1974, Jay S. Hammond took office as the fifth governor of Alaska. He was later elected to a second term.

• In 1980, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.

In the nation

• In 1823, President Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.

• In 1859, militant abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on Harper's Ferry the previous October.

• In 1939, New York's La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed at one minute past midnight.

• In 1942, a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated for the first time, at the University of Chicago.

• In 1954, the Senate voted to condemn Wisconsin Republican Joseph R. McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."

• In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency began operating under director William Ruckelshaus.

• In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.

• In 1994, the government agreed not to seek a recall of allegedly fire-prone General Motors pickup trucks, striking a deal with GM under which the automaker would spend more than 51 million dollars on safety and research. Reputed "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss was convicted in Los Angeles of three counts of pandering.

• In 1999, relative calm took over in Seattle, where a meeting of the World Trade Organization was greeted earlier with sometimes violent demonstrations. All six Republican presidential hopefuls, including Texas Gov. George W. Bush, debated in Manchester, N.H.

• In 2001, in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection.

• In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that after knocking, police don't have to wait longer than 20 seconds before breaking into the home of a drug suspect. Authorities in Ohio announced that they had linked 12 shootings along a five-mile stretch of interstate around Columbus, including one that killed a woman and another that broke a window at an elementary school. A suspect was arrested the following March.

In the world

• In 1804, Napoleon was crowned emperor of France.

• In 1980, four American churchwomen were raped, murdered and buried outside San Salvador, El Salvador. Five national guardsmen were convicted in the killings.

• In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin.

• In 1999, in Northern Ireland, a power-sharing Cabinet of Protestants and Catholics sat down together for the first time.

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