This Day in History

Posted: Friday, December 15, 2006

In Alaska

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• 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, radio-telephone service on a commercial basis 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 announced it had selected Echo Cove in Berners 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 1938, groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington.

• In 1939, the motion picture "Gone With the Wind" had its world premiere in Atlanta.

• In 1996, Boeing Co. announced plans to pay $13.3 billion to acquire rival aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corp.

• In 2001, with a crash and a large dust cloud, a 50-foot tall section of steel - the last standing piece of the World Trade Center's facade - was brought down in New York. Evander Holyfield was denied a fifth heavyweight championship when his third fight against John Ruiz was called a draw after 12 rounds in Mashantucket, Conn.

In the world

• In 1944, a single-engine plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller, who was a major in the U.S. Army Air Forces, disappeared over the English Channel while en route to Paris. During World War II, American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines.

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

• In 1964, Canada's House of Commons approved dropping the "Red Ensign" flag in favor of a new design.

• In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6-A and Gemini 7, maneuvered to within 10 feet of each other while in orbit.

• In 1979, the deposed Shah of Iran left the United States for Panama, the same day the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Iran should release all its American hostages.

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