This Day in History

Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2007

In Alaska, in the Nation and the World

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In Alaska

• In 1946, the Auke Bay post office north of Juneau officially opened for business.

• In 1964, nine employees of the Alaska Communication System were awarded the "Declaration of Exceptional Service" by the secretary of the Air Force.

In the nation

• In 1783, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and retired to his home at Mount Vernon, Va.

• In 1823, the poem "Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas" was published anonymously in the Troy (New York) Sentinel; the verse, more popularly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," was later widely attributed to Clement C. Moore.

• In 1947, scientists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey demonstrated their just-invented point-contact transistor, which paved the way to a new era of miniaturized electronics.

• In 1986, the experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completed the first nonstop, non-refueled, round-the-world flight as it landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

• In 1987, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of President Ford in 1975, escaped from the Alderson Federal Prison for Women in West Virginia. (She was recaptured two days later.)

• In 1997, a jury in Denver convicted Terry Nichols of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing, declining to find him guilty of murder.

• In 2002, Senate Republicans unanimously elected Bill Frist to succeed Trent Lott as their leader in the next Congress.

• In 2006, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger broke his leg while skiing with his family in Sun Valley, Idaho.

In the world

• In 1893, the Engelbert Humperdinck opera "Haensel und Gretel" was first performed, in Weimar, Germany.

• In 1941, during World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.

• In 1948, former Japanese Premier Hideki Tojo and six other Japanese war leaders were executed in Tokyo.

• In 1967, President Johnson, on his way home from a visit to Southeast Asia, held an unprecedented meeting with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican.

• In 1968, 82 crew members of the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North Korea, 11 months after they had been captured.

• In 1997, Woody Allen married Soon-Yi Previn in a small ceremony in Venice, Italy.

• In 2002, a passenger plane crashed in central Iran during a flight from Turkey, killing 45 people, mostly from Ukraine.

• In 2006, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment; Iran immediately rejected the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held the first Israeli-Palestinian summit in 22 months.

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