This Day in History

Posted: Monday, December 19, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1960, a fire destroyed the Lowe Trading Post in Dillingham, with damages estimated at $200,000.

• In 1949, fire destroyed the Father Duncan Memorial Church in Metlakatla. It was one of the largest churches in Alaska.

• In 1973, a federal district judge released $130 million, the first cash payment under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, and ordered hearings on creating a 13th regional Native corporation.

In the nation

• In 1732, Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac."

• In 1776, Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay.

• In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pa.

• In 1957, Meredith Willson's musical play "The Music Man" opened on Broadway.

• In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.

• In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States.

• In 1984, a fire at the Wilberg Mine near Orangeville, Utah, killed 27 people.

• In 1985, in Minneapolis, Mary Lund became the first woman to receive a Jarvik VII artificial heart. Lund received a human heart transplant 45 days later. She died in October 1986.

• In 1995, the Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate, turning fears to cheers on Wall Street a day after the biggest one-day stock plunge in four years. A gunman opened fire inside a Bronx, N.Y., shoe store, killing five people.

• In 1998, President Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice. He was later acquitted by the Senate.

• In 2000, President-elect Bush met with President Clinton in Washington.

In the world

• In 1843, "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.

• In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corporation began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.

• In 1995, Yigal Amir, the confessed assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, went on trial.

• In 2000, the U.N. Security Council voted to impose broad sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed "terrorist" training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.

• In 2004, in Iraq, car bombs tore through a Najaf funeral procession and Karbala's main bus station, killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 120 in the two Shiite holy cities. In Baghdad, three Iraqi election officials were killed execution-style by insurgents.

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