This Day in History

Posted: Friday, December 12, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1914, Moore's Dock at Skagway, a landmark, was destroyed by fire.

• In 1932, the Alaska non-resident troll fisherman's license tax of $250 was declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court.

• In 1940, the War Department General Order No. 9 named the military reservation Fort Richardson and the airfield Elmendorf Air Force Base.

• In 1957, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis returned to Juneau after her complete circuit of the North American continent.

• In 1979, the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline flow was cut nearly 80 percent as a strong storm kept tankers from entering the Port of Valdez. The storm eased the next day, allowing tanker traffic to resume.

• In 1979, the international conservation group Greenpeace joined the opposition to aerial wolf hunting in Alaska.

In the nation

• In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

• In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.

• In 1897, "The Katzenjammer Kids," the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its debut in the New York Journal.

• In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb.

• In 1947, the United Mine Workers union withdrew from the American Federation of Labor.

• In 1975, Sara Jane Moore pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to kill President Ford in San Francisco the previous September.

• In 1998, the House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment, this one accusing President Clinton of abuse of power. President Clinton began a three-day visit to the Middle East aimed at rescuing the Wye River peace accords.

• In 2000, a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election, transforming George W. Bush into the president-elect.

• In 2003, President Bush publicly rebuked Senate Republican leader Trent Lott for his statement that appeared to embrace half-century-old segregationist politics, calling it "offensive" and "wrong."

In the world

• In 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized and paid $2.2 million in reparations.)

• In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from Britain.

• In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.

• In 1993, in Russian parliamentary elections, ultranationalist parties gained strong support, causing concern among foreign governments. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chief Yasser Arafat failed to resolve disputes over a plan to start withdrawing Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and Jericho before a deadline.

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