This Day in History

Posted: Monday, December 15, 2003

In Alaska

• In 1881, the U.S. Navy left the Military Post of Rockwell (so named for the post commander) after having been "the law" since it was established in May 1881. The location became the city of Juneau later that year, after having been both Harrisburgh and Rockwell.

• In 1939, commercial radio-telephone service was inaugurated between Ketchikan and the Lower 48.

• In 1964, a five-cent U.S. commemorative postage stamp honoring amateur radio had its official first day at Anchorage post offices.

• In 1969, U.S. Plywood Champion Papers, Inc. announced it had selected Echo Cove in Berner's Bay, near Juneau, as the site of its $100 million wood products complex. It was never built.

In the nation

• In 1791, the Bill of Rights went into effect following ratification by Virginia.

• In 1890, Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, S.D., during a fracas with Indian police.

• In 1893, Anton Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E-minor, Opus 95, "From the New World," was performed during a "public rehearsal" at New York's Carnegie Hall (the official world premiere was the next day).

• In 1938, groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington, D.C.

• In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, "Gemini Six" and "Gemini Seven," maneuvered to within ten feet of each other while in orbit.

• In 1978, President Carter announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China on New Year's Day and sever official relations with Taiwan.

• In 1993, Defense Secretary Les Aspin announced his resignation, citing "personal reasons."

In the world

• In 1916, the French defeated the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun.

• In 1944, a single-engine plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel while en route to Paris.

• In 1961, former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court.

• In 1991, at least 464 people were left dead or missing when an Egyptian-registered ferry sank in the Red Sea.

• In 1993, in Geneva, 117 countries completed the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, agreeing on a reform package intended to kick-start the global economy.

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