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In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Alaska's graduated excise tax on canned salmon.
In 1931, 20 tons of dynamite was set off at the Alaska-Juneau gold mine to bring down an estimated 750,000 tons of rock.
In 1979, state and federal judges refused to cancel the planned Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sale scheduled for Dec. 11.
In the nation
In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1796, voters chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.
In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.
In 1941, Japanese forces attacked American and British territories and possessions in the Pacific, including the home base of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
In 1963, during the Army-Navy game, videotaped instant replay was used for the first time in a live sports telecast as CBS rebroadcast a one-yard touchdown run by Army quarterback Rollie Stichweh. (Navy beat Army, 21-15.)
In 1972, America's last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger and the two pilots, causing the plane to crash.
In 1996, the space shuttle Columbia landed at the Kennedy Space Center, ending a nearly 18-day mission marred by a jammed hatch that prevented two planned spacewalks.
In 2001, Americans held services on the 60th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 5.7 percent in November, the highest in six years.
In 2005, federal air marshals shot and killed an airline passenger at Miami International Airport after he falsely claimed to have a bomb.
In the world
In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.
In 1972, Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant who was then shot dead by her bodyguards.
In 1983, in Madrid, Spain, an Aviaco DC-9 collided on a runway with an Iberia Air Lines Boeing 727 that was accelerating for takeoff, killing all 42 people aboard the DC-9 and 51 aboard the Iberia jet.
In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25,000.
In 2001, Taliban forces abandoned their last bastion in Afghanistan, fleeing the southern city of Kandahar. The space shuttle Endeavour docked with the international space station, delivering a new three-member crew to relieve a crew in place since August.