This Day in History

Posted: Monday, December 12, 2005

In Alaska

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

• In 1932, the Alaska nonresident 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 1925, the first motel - the Motel Inn - opened in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

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

• In 1995, by three votes, the Senate killed a constitutional amendment that would have given Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against Old Glory.

• 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. The Marine Corps grounded all eight of its high-tech MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft following a fiery crash in North Carolina that killed four Marines. General Motors announced it would phase out its Oldsmobile division.

In the world

• In 1913, authorities in Florence, Italy, announced that the Mona Lisa, stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911, had been recovered.

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