This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1914, the post office of Akutan was established with Hugh McGlasham Sr. as postmaster.

• In 1926, the post office of Port Alexander, on Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska, was established with Dorothy M. Stoddard as postmaster.

• In 1962, drilling began on an exploratory offshore Richfield oil well connected to shore by a 2,300-foot causeway in Wide Bay, 150 miles west of Kodiak - a first in Alaska oil exploration.

In the nation

• In 1769, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.

• In 1862, Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

• In 1928, George Gershwin's musical work "An American in Paris" had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.

• In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation in July 1979.

• In 1994, an American Eagle commuter plane carrying 20 people crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15.

• In 1996, President Clinton nominated Bill Daley to be commerce secretary and Bill Richardson to be United Nations ambassador.

• In 2001, President Bush served formal notice that the United States was pulling out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.

• In 2005, Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, whose supporters argued he had redeemed himself inside prison, was executed in California for killing four people in robberies. American Red Cross President Marsha Evans announced her resignation.

In the world

• In 1942, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted present-day New Zealand.

• In 1918, President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.

• In 1944, during World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack that claimed more than 130 lives.

• In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)

• In 1996, trade ministers from 28 countries meeting in Singapore endorsed a U.S.-crafted trade pact to abolish import duties on computers, software and other high-tech products.

• In 2001, the Pentagon publicly released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded his "most optimistic" expectations. Five suspected Islamic militants killed nine people in an attack on India's parliament before being killed themselves.

• In 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.

• In 2005, Iraqis living abroad began voting in the country's parliamentary elections.

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