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In 1826, John H. Kinkead, the first governor of the Alaska territory, was born in Pennsylvania.
In 1910, the steamship Olympia was permanently stranded on Bligh Reef near Valdez.
In 1951, the Anchorage International Airport officially opened.
In 1979, the Alaska Supreme Court held an emergency session to hear arguments from the village of Kaktovik and environmentalists against allowing the Beaufort Sea oil and gas lease sale. The court unanimously agreed to permit the lease sale.
In the nation
In 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state.
In 1869, women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping to mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
In 1931, Jane Addams became a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American woman so honored.
In 1950, Ralph J. Bunche was presented the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award.
In 1967, singer Otis Redding died in the crash of his private plane in Wisconsin.
In 1987, violinist Jascha Heifetz died in Los Angeles at age 86.
In 1992, President-elect Clinton announced his first Cabinet selections, including Lloyd Bentsen to be treasury secretary and Leon Panetta to be budget director. Oregon Sen. Bob Packwood apologized for what he called his "unwelcome and offensive" actions toward women, but refused to resign.
In 1997, the Supreme Court narrowed double-jeopardy protections for people who face civil fines and criminal prosecution for the same conduct, ruling that three Oklahoma men could be prosecuted in a bank failure case even though they'd already paid civil fines for their actions.
In 2001, President Bush told reporters a videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader talked happily about the Sept. 11 attacks "just reminded me of what a murderer he is." Federal authorities charged Golden State Transportation, a Los Angeles-based bus company, with illegally transporting thousands of undocumented aliens from staging areas near the U.S.-Mexico border.
In the world
In 1898, a treaty was signed in Paris officially ending the Spanish-American War.
In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
In 1962, "Lawrence of Arabia," David Lean's epic film starring Peter O'Toole as British officer T.E. Lawrence, had its royal gala premiere in London.
In 1964, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize during ceremonies in Oslo, Norway.