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This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1905, Roald Amundsen, en route through the Northwest Passage, reached Eagle from Herschel Island. He left his ship, the Gjoa, in 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 Alaska.

• In 1970, William A. Egan took office again as the fourth governor 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 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 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.

• In 1994, Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.

• In 1996, President Clinton announced the foreign policy team for his second term, including Madeleine Albright as the first female secretary of state; William Cohen as defense secretary; and Anthony Lake as CIA director.

• In 2001, escaped convict Clayton Lee Waagner, suspected of mailing anthrax hoax letters to abortion clinics, was captured near Cincinnati. The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off under heavy protection on a flight to deliver a new crew to the international space station.

• In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied that the United States engaged in torture or lesser forms of cruel treatment against terror suspects. ABC News named Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff co-anchors of "World News Tonight," replacing the late Peter Jennings.

In the world

• In 1932, German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa, making it possible for him to travel to the United States.

• In 2001, Afghan leaders signed a pact in Koenigswinter, Germany, to create an interim government. Three Green Berets and six Afghan allies were killed by an errant U.S. bomb in Afghanistan. New Zealand yachtsman Peter Blake, two-time winner of the America's Cup, was slain by Brazilian pirates on the Amazon River.



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