This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2002

In Alaska

• In 1902, the Kotzebue Post Office was established with Dana H. Thomas as postmaster.

• In 1925, the Cape Spencer Light Station was commissioned by the U.S. Lighthouse Service.

• In 1939, Seldovia began using water from its own city water system. The project was handled by a New Deal federal agency.

• In 1964, the state commissioner of public works announced plans to build a new international terminal at Anchorage International Airport.

• In 1979, the Beaufort Sea Oil & Gas Lease Sale brought $1 billion, of which $456 million went to the state of Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state.

• In 1872, America's first black governor took office as Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became acting governor of Louisiana.

• In 1928, police in Buenos Aires thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover.

• In 1961, a U.S. aircraft carrier carrying Army helicopters arrived in Saigon - the first direct American military support for South Vietnam's battle against Communist guerrillas.

• In 1991, a jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., acquitted William Kennedy Smith of sexual assault and battery, rejecting the allegations of Patricia Bowman.

• In 1992, President-elect Clinton tapped Robert Reich to be labor secretary and Donna Shalala to be secretary of health and human services. A severe storm pounded the upper Atlantic coast with snow, rain and high winds.

• In 1997, Henry Cisneros, President Clinton's first housing secretary, was indicted on charges of conspiracy, obstructing justice and making false statements about payments to his former mistress. (Cisneros, who later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, was pardoned by President Clinton.)

• In 2001, in the first criminal indictment stemming from Sept. 11, federal prosecutors charged Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, with conspiring to murder thousands in the suicide hijackings.

In the world

• In 1792, France's King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.)

• In 1936, Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.

• In 1937, Italy withdrew from the League of Nations.

• In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.

• In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

• In 1981, the U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body.

• In 1997, More than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth's greenhouse gases. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams became the first political ally of the IRA to meet a British leader in 76 years as he conferred with Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.

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