This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2003

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 the PWA, a New Deal 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 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

• 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 1993, President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, said the nation had to fight "violence with values," and praised radio stations that refused to play songs advocating violent crime or showing contempt for women.

• In 1998, Majority Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pushed through three articles of impeachment against President Clinton, over Democratic objections. The Mars Climate Orbiter blasted off on a nine-month journey to the red planet (however, the probe disappeared in September 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values).

In the world

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

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

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