This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2002

In Alaska

• In 1919, the trading store of the Sons of Norway in Petersburg was destroyed by fire.

• In 1939, every house in Barrow was quarantined due to a measles epidemic.

• In 1939, the population of Juneau was reported at 5,748. (In 1930, it was 4,043.)

• In 1944, the first serious wreck on the Alaska Railroad occurred 45 miles from Fairbanks and sent 11 to the hospital.

• In 1939, 15 cows arrived in Anchorage by air. They were the first of 45 cows being brought in by the Matanuska Valley Cooperative Association.

In the Nation

• In 1775, a Continental naval fleet was organized in the rebellious American colonies.

• In 1807, Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.

• In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Lincoln: "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

• In 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe reportedly replied "Nuts!" when the Germans demanded that the Americans surrender.

• In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.

• In 1992, President-elect Clinton chose Warren Christopher to be his secretary of state, and tapped Les Aspin as defense secretary.

• In 1997, actress Hunter Tylo, whose pregnancy got her fired from steamy TV soap "Melrose Place," was awarded $4.9 million by jurors for wrongful termination.

In the World

• In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was vindicated eventually.)

• In 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with President Roosevelt.

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