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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). Gov. Jay Hammond declared the flood-plagued Willow Creek area a disaster area.
In the nation
In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.
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 1945, the Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1, 1946.
In 1946, the Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, had a preview showing for charity at New York's Globe Theatre, a day before its "official" world premiere.
In 1996, President Clinton selected Federico Pena for energy secretary, Rodney Slater for transportation secretary, Andrew Cuomo for housing secretary and Alexis Herman for labor secretary. A judge in Orange County, Calif., gave O.J. Simpson full custody of his young children.
In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples.
In 2001, Microsoft admitted its new Windows XP operating system software was vulnerable to hacking.
In 2005, New York City transit workers began a strike that shut down subways and buses for three days. A federal judge ruled that "intelligent design" could not be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district.
In the world
In 1987, more than 4,300 people were killed when the Dona Paz, a Philippine passenger ship, collided with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island.
In 1989, the United States launched Operation Just Cause, sending troops into Panama to topple the government of General Manuel Noriega.
In 2001, Argentine President Fernando de la Rua resigned, hours after his economy minister, following two days of anti-government unrest that left about two dozen people dead and more than 200 injured. The U.N. Security Council authorized a multinational force for Afghanistan.