This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 08, 2005

In Alaska

• 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 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 1987, President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

• In 1993, President Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect at the start of 1994.

• In 1995, in New York, an arsonist killed seven workers and himself at a Harlem clothing store that had been the target of a racially charged lease dispute. Four months after the death of founder Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead announced it was breaking up after 30 years of making music.

• In 2000, a divided Florida Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered an immediate hand count of about 45,000 disputed ballots and put Democrat Al Gore within 154 votes of George W. Bush.

• In 2004, the Senate completed congressional approval of the biggest overhaul of U.S. intelligence in a half century, voting 89-2 to send the measure to President Bush. Disgruntled U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld during a question-and-answer session in Kuwait about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment. Treasury Secretary John Snow accepted President Bush's offer to remain in the Cabinet.

In the world

• In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her own conception.

• In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the Communists pressed their attacks.

• In 1987, the "intefadeh" (Arabic for uprising) by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories began.


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