This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2006

In Alaska

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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.

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