This Day in History

Posted: Friday, December 05, 2008

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

In Alaska

• In 1905, Roald Amundsen, en route 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 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 James K. 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 1998, James P. Hoffa claimed the Teamsters presidency after challenger Tom Leedham conceded defeat in the union's presidential election.

• In 2003, the two makers of flu shots in the United States, Chiron and Aventis Pasteur, announced they had run out of vaccine and would not be able to meet a surge in demand. A federal judge in Utah threw out the case against two civic leaders accused of bribery in their efforts to bring the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City.

• In 2007, a teenage gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb., killing six store employees and two customers; Robert A. Hawkins, 19, then took his own life. President George W. Bush, trying to keep pressure on Iran, called on Tehran to "come clean" about the scope of its nuclear activities or else face diplomatic isolation.

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 2003, a suicide bombing on a commuter train in southern Russia killed 44 people, two days before the nation's parliamentary elections. Six children were killed during an assault by U.S. forces on a compound in eastern Afghanistan.



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