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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, electors chose John Adams to be the second president of the United States.
In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the U.S.
In 1907, the first Christmas Seals to help the fight against tuberculosis were sold, in Wilmington, Del. (Some sources say Dec. 9.)
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 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.
In 1972, America's last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral.