This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1922, the Ready Bullion Mine on Douglas Island was permanently shut down.

• In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law, creating 13 regional Native corporations in Alaska.

• In 1973, plans to add 31.5 million acres of Alaska land to the National Wildlife Refuge System were submitted by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton under provision D-2 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

In the nation

• In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

• In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect.

• In 1915, President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.

• In 1944, in a pair of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also said undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.

• In 1971, the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced in Chicago the founding of Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity).

• In 1972, the United States began its heaviest bombing of North Vietnam at that time during the Vietnam War. (The bombardment ended 12 days later.)

• In 1995, the Dow industrials dropped 101.52 points, its biggest one-day loss in four years amid investor worries over the budget stalemate between Congress and President Clinton. A powerful fertilizer bomb was found outside an Internal Revenue Service office in Reno, Nev., but it fizzled before its lit fuse could do much damage.

• In 2000, the Electoral College cast its ballots, with President-elect Bush receiving the expected 271; Al Gore, however, received 266, one fewer than expected, because of a District of Columbia Democrat who left her ballot blank to protest the district's lack of representation in Congress.

In the world

• In 1892, Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.

• In 1940, Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (Operation Barbarossa was launched in June 1941.)

• In 1956, Japan was admitted to the United Nations.

• In 1969, Britain's Parliament abolished the death penalty for murder.

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