This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1948, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis arrived in Juneau to take up permanent station.

• In 1964, 1 million acres of North Slope land were leased for oil and gas development for $5.6 million. Gov. William Egan expressed his disappointment over the amount paid for the leases. Anchorage police began rounding up loose dogs. This unprecedented action followed a flurry of dog bite incidents and reports of dogs roaming the city in packs.

In the nation

• In 1907, Christmas seals went on sale for the first time at the Wilmington, Del., post office; proceeds went to fight tuberculosis.

• In 1958, the anti-Communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.

• In 1993, the Air Force destroyed the first of 500 "Minuteman Two" missile silos marked for elimination under an arms control treaty. Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour completed repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope.

• In 1995, Congressman Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., was chosen the new head of the NAACP.

• In 1998, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee drew up four articles of impeachment against President Clinton, all stemming from his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and long campaign to cover it up.

• In 2002, President Bush tapped railroad executive John W. Snow to be his new Treasury Secretary, three days after firing Paul O'Neill. United Airlines filed the biggest bankruptcy in aviation history after losing $4 billion in the previous two years. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott apologized for remarks he'd made praising the 1948 presidential run of then-segregationist Strom Thurmond, saying, "A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past."

In the world

• In 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London.

• In 1854, Alfred Lord Tennyson's famous poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," was published in England.

• In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II.

• In 1941, China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

• In 1965, Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

• In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa won Poland's presidential runoff by a landslide.

• In 1992, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. The couple's divorce became final Aug. 28, 1996.

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