This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1939, Ernest Gruening took office as the 13th territorial governor of Alaska, appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

• In 1960, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Fred Seaton established three national wildlife reserves in Alaska: The Arctic National Wildlife Range (9 million acres in the extreme northeastern corner of Alaska), the Izembek National Wildlife Range (415,000 acres on the north side of the Alaska Peninsula), and the Kuskoquim National Wildlife Range (1.8 million acres on the Yukon-Kuskoquim Delta).

• In 1973, the state ferry Le Conte was officially launched.

• In 1979, R. Buckminster Fuller, 84, spoke at the Alaska State Legislature's Future Frontiers Conference in Anchorage.

• In 1982, Bill Sheffield took office as the sixth governor of Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1790, Congress moved to Philadelphia from New York.

• In 1907, the worst mining disaster in U.S. history occurred as 362 men and boys died in a coal mine explosion in Monongah, W.Va.

• In 1947, Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Truman.

• In 1957, AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. (The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987, but disaffiliated themselves from the AFL-CIO in 2005.) America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed as Vanguard TV3 rose only about four feet off a Cape Canaveral launch pad before crashing back down and exploding.

• In 1973, House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.

• In 2002, President Bush pushed Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and economic adviser Larry Lindsey from their jobs in a Cabinet shake-up. Actress Winona Ryder was sentenced to community service as part of a probationary term for stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, Calif.

• In 2006, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group concluded that President Bush's war policies had failed in almost every regard, and said the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating." The Senate voted to confirm Robert Gates as defense secretary. Searchers found the body of San Francisco resident James Kim in the Oregon mountains, two days after his wife and two daughters were rescued from their car (Kim had set out on foot to find help for his family).

In the world

• In 1917, some 2,000 people died when an explosives-laden French cargo ship collided with a Norwegian vessel at the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, setting off a blast that devastated the city.

• In 1921, British and Irish representatives signed a treaty in London providing for creation of an Irish Free State a year later on the same date.

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