This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, December 04, 2002

In Alaska

• In 1912, the 100-stamp mill at the Perseverance Mine in the Silver Bow Basin was destroyed by fire.

• In 1932, the main school building at Fairbanks was destroyed by fire.

• In 1934, Cordova was struck by gale-force winds that did $100,000 damage in two days.

• In 1939, radio-telephone rates were reduced between Alaska and the United States. The new Seattle-Juneau rate was $6 for the first three minutes, down from $9.

• In 1972, plans were unveiled in Anchorage by the El Paso Natural Gas Co. for a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to a Southcentral port.

In the nation

• In 1783, Gen. George Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

• In 1816, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.

• In 1875, William Marcy Tweed, the "boss" of New York City's Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.

• In 1918, President Wilson set sail for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference.

• In 1945, the Senate approved U.S. participation in the United Nations.

• In 1997, The National Basketball Association suspended all-star Latrell Sprewell of the Golden State Warriors for one year for choking and threatening to kill his coach, P.J. Carlesimo, three days earlier. (An arbitrator later reduced the suspension and reinstated Sprewell to the Warriors, which had terminated his contract.)

• In 2001, The Olympic flame began a 46-state, two-month journey from Atlanta, host city of the 1996 Summer Games, to the opening ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

In the world

• In 1942, U.S. bombers struck the Italian mainland for the first time in World War II.

• In 1977, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Empire, crowned himself emperor in a ceremony believed to have cost more than $100 million. (Bokassa was deposed in 1979; he died in November 1996 at age 75.)

• In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest-held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity.

• In 1992, President George H.W. Bush ordered American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for millions who were starving.

• In 2001, stepping up reprisals for suicide bombings by Palestinian militants, Israel unleashed air strikes; three missiles hit near Yasser Arafat's office as the Palestinian leader worked inside. The United States froze the financial assets of organizations allegedly linked to Hamas, the group that claimed responsibility for recent deadly suicide attacks in Israel.

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