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In 1741, Vitus Bering, early Russian explorer, died on Bering Island after his ship was cast ashore following his second voyage to Alaska.
In 1900, the steamer City of Topeka was wrecked on Sullivan Island near Haines, but was later salvaged.
In 1967, Atlantic Richfield's discovery well struck oil and natural gas in Prudhoe Bay.
In 1978, the Fairbanks City Council voted to do away with the small zoo at Alaskaland.
In 1979, "Star Trek - The Motion Picture" premiered in Alaska in Anchorage area theaters.
In the nation
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the reconstruction of the South.
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1914, "Watch Your Step," the first musical revue to feature a score composed entirely by Irving Berlin, opened in New York.
In 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In 1980, rock star John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect at the start of 1994.
In 1994, in Los Angeles, 12 alternate jurors were chosen for the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
In 1999, a jury in Memphis, Tenn., hearing a lawsuit filed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s family found that the civil rights leader had been the victim of a vast murder conspiracy, not a lone assassin. A Russian diplomat was ordered to leave the U.S. after he was allegedly caught gathering information from the State Department with an eavesdropping device.
In 2003, President Bush signed a $400 billion Medicare overhaul bill that included a prescription drug plan for the elderly. Congress approved legislation to stem the flood of unwanted junk e-mail known as "spam." U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow, R-S.D., resigned after being convicted in the traffic death of a motorcyclist, Randy Scott.
In the world
In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.
In 1978, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80.