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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 1777, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter.
In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pa.
In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States.
In 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
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 1996, the television industry unveiled a plan to rate programs using tags such as "TV-G," "TV-Y" and "TV-M." The school board of Oakland, Calif., voted to recognize Black English, also known as "Ebonics," in a decision that set off a firestorm of controversy (the board later modified its stance).
In 2001, the fires that had burned beneath the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City for the previous three months were declared extinguished except for a few scattered hot spots.
In 2005, a Chalk's Ocean Airways seaplane crashed off Miami Beach, Fla., killing 18 passengers and both pilots. President Bush forcefully defended a domestic spying program as an effective tool in disrupting terrorists and insisted it was not an abuse of Americans' civil liberties. A video posted by an extremist group on a Web site purportedly showed the killing of American contractor Ronald Allen Schulz. Southern California running back Reggie Bush was named The Associated Press Player of the Year.
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 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.
In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
In 1986, the Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.
In 2001, Argentina's president, Fernando de la Rua, decreed a state of siege as his country's economic crisis triggered violence.
In 2005, Afghanistan's first democratically elected parliament in more than three decades convened.