This Day in History

Posted: Friday, December 05, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1905, Roald Amundsen, traveling through the Northwest Passage, reached Eagle from Herschel Island. He left his ship, the Gjoa, in frozen ice and sledded to Eagle to telegraph his crossing.

• In 1914, the Juneau Public Library opened with 1,000 volumes.

• In 1966, Walter J. Hickel took office as the second governor of the State of Alaska.

• In 1970, William A. Egan took office as the fourth governor of the State of Alaska, after having been the first.

In the nation

• In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

• In 1782, the first U.S.-native president, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, N.Y.

• In 1792, George Washington was re-elected president; John Adams was re-elected vice president.

• In 1831, former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

• In 1848, President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming that gold had been discovered in California.

• In 1901, movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago.

• In 1933, national Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.

• In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO under its first president, George Meany.

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