This Day in History

Posted: Monday, December 04, 2006

In Alaska

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• 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 Company for a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to a Southcentral port.

• In 1978, Jay Hammond was sworn in for his second term as governor of Alaska.

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 1978, San Francisco got its first female mayor as City Supervisor Dianne Feinstein was named to replace the assassinated George Moscone.

• In 1986, both houses of Congress moved to establish special committees to conduct their own investigations of the Iran-Contra affair.

• In 1991, Patricia Bowman testified at William Kennedy Smith's trial in West Palm Beach, Fla., that Smith had raped her the previous Easter weekend. (Smith was acquitted.)

• In 1996, the Mars Pathfinder lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and began speeding toward Mars on a 310 million-mile odyssey. (It arrived on Mars in July 1997.)

• 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 2005, members of the former Sept. 11 commission said the U.S. was at great risk for more terrorist attacks because Congress and the White House had failed to enact several strong security measures. Show business legends Robert Redford, Tina Turner, Tony Bennett, Julie Harris and ballerina Suzanne Farrell headlined the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. Croatia won its first Davis Cup title.

In the world

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

• In 1965, the United States launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.

• In 1991, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, the longest held of the Western hostages in Lebanon, was released after nearly seven years in captivity. The original Pan American World Airways ceased operations.

• 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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