This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2006

In Alaska

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• In 1935, the Juneau City Council voted to change the name of Lower Front Street to South Franklin Street.

• In 1937, Hazen Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established.

• In 1959, six Alaska students were named to participate in a White House Conference on Children and Youth, held in March 1960. More than 7,000 people were expected to attend.

• In 1989, Mount Redoubt, 115 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted for the first time in 23 years, spewing dust seven miles high.

In the nation

• In 1819, Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state.

• In 1986, the experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California on the first nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world.

• In 1996, a freighter lost power on the Mississippi River and barreled into the Riverwalk complex in New Orleans; miraculously, no one was killed. Teamsters President Ron Carey won election to a second term (however, the results were later overturned and Carey barred from a rerun vote by a court-appointed monitor who ruled that Carey had used union money for his campaign).

• In 2001, George O'Leary resigned as Notre Dame football coach five days after being hired, admitting he'd lied about his academic and athletic background.

• In 2005, President Bush defended his decision to wage the Iraq war, even as he acknowledged that "much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong." The House voted 251-174 to renew the USA Patriot Act.

In the world

• In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his group became the first men to reach the South Pole, beating out an expedition led by Robert F. Scott.

• In 1939, the Soviet Union was dropped from the League of Nations.

• In 1946, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish U.N. headquarters in New York.

• In 1962, the U.S. space probe Mariner 2 approached Venus, transmitting information about the planet.

• In 1975, six South Moluccan extremists surrendered after holding 23 hostages for 12 days on a train near the Dutch town of Beilen.

• In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights, which it had seized from Syria in 1967.

• In 1995, Presidents Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia signed the Bosnian peace treaty in Paris.

• In 2001, hundreds of U.S. Marines occupied the Kandahar airport, carefully picking through unexploded weaponry and debris left by the Taliban as the U.S. military relocated its main base in southern Afghanistan.

• In 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated his anti-Israeli rhetoric, calling the Holocaust a "myth" used by Europeans to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world.

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