This Day in History

Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1889, Adolph H. Ziegler, Alaska lawyer and legislator, was born in Maryland.

• In 1920, the famed mail steamer Dora was wrecked near Hardy Bay, Vancouver Island.

• In 1979, two days of snow and ice caused 200 traffic accidents in Anchorage (mostly fender benders).

• In 1979, Gov. Jay Hammond declared the flood-plagued Willow Creek area a disaster area.

In the nation

• In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.

• In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union.

• In 1864, Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Ga., as Union Gen. William T. Sherman continued his "March to the Sea."

• In 1879, Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.

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