This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1906, the first message was sent over telegraph cable between Juneau and Wrangell.

• In 1939, buffalo in the Big Delta were reported to be "raiding" an airfield at night and destroying freight in the process. The animals were under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Game Commission.

• In 1964, a fire in Juneau destroyed the Salvation Army Store and the Harbor Leather Co.

• In 1973, the U.S. Army at Fort Wainwright agreed to sell electricity to the Golden Valley Electrical Association.

• In 1978, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued temporary regulations permitting subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping in 14 of the 15 national monuments created by President Jimmy Carter earlier in the month.

• In 1979, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld the ritual of potlatch when it reversed the conviction of a man who transported a moose out of season to a traditional funeral potlatch in Minto, northwest of Fairbanks.

In the nation

• In 1620, Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass.

• In 1914, the first feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance," was released.

• In 1942, the Supreme Court ruled all states had to recognize divorces granted in Nevada.

• In 1968, Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.

• In 1978, police in Des Plaines, Ill., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of murdering.

• In 1995, the House approved sweeping welfare reform that President Clinton said he would veto. (He later signed a revamped version.)

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