This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1906, Frank H. Waskey was seated as the first delegate in the U.S House of Representatives from Alaska. He had, however, no voting power in Congress.

• In 1954, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced $3 to 5 million worth of improvements for the airport at Naknek.

• In 1955, the first record of Alaska's first recording company began national distribution with the release of "Down Hill Drag" by the Polar Recording Company.

In the nation

• In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

• In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States by the Electoral College.

• In 1925, "Concerto in F," by George Gershwin, had its world premiere at New York's Carnegie Hall, with Gershwin himself at the piano.

• In 1947, the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire" opened on Broadway.

• In 1953, the musical "Kismet" opened on Broadway.

• In 1960, the musical "Camelot" opened on Broadway.

• In 1964, police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.

• In 1979, 11 people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.

• In 1996, the Justice Department barred 16 Japanese army veterans suspected of World War II atrocities from entering the United States. A judge in Hawaii ruled that the state had to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, prompting an appeal.

• In 2001, President Bush's homeland security chief, Tom Ridge, asked Americans to return to a high state of alert, citing threats of more terrorist attacks. Enron took steps to bolster its weak financial footing following its historic bankruptcy filing, arranging $1.5 billion in financing and slashing 4,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its work force.

In the world

• In 1967, surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart.

• In 1984, thousands of people died after a cloud of methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.

• In 1991, radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who'd been held captive nearly five years.

• In 1996, four people were killed in a subway bombing in southern Paris.

• In 2001, in the wake of bombings that killed 26 Israelis, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared war on terror.

• In 2005, economic officials from the world's richest countries resumed their pressure on China to adopt a more flexible exchange rate as they concluded a meeting in London. Insurgents killed 19 Iraqi soldiers in a coordinated ambush northeast of Baghdad.

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