This Day in History

Posted: Monday, December 26, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1839, Charles John Seghers, who became the Catholic Bishop of Vancouver Island, was born in Belgium.

• In 1935, William Monroe, Klondike gold rusher and builder of a railroad from Nome to Anvil Creek, died at the age of 94. (He was also the founder of the city of Monrovia, Calif.)

• In 1967, 157 technicians and clerks went on strike at the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Center site at Clear. (The center remained in operation.)

In the nation

• In 1799, former President George Washington was eulogized by Col. Henry Lee as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

• In 1917, during World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation's railroads.

• In 1944, in the World War II Battle of the Bulge, the embattled U.S. 101st Airborne Division was relieved by units of the 4th Armored Division.

• In 2000, Michael McDermott, an employee at an Internet firm in Wakefield, Mass., shot and killed seven co-workers. (McDermott was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.)

In the world

• In 1776, the British suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War.

• In 1941, Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.

• In 1975, the Soviet Union inaugurated the world's first supersonic transport service with a flight of its Tupolev-144 airliner from Moscow to Alma-Ata.

• In 1980, Iranian television footage was broadcast in the United States, showing a dozen of the American hostages sending messages to their families.

• In 1995, Israel turned dozens of West Bank villages over to the Palestinian Authority in a smooth transfer of power.

• In 2003, an earthquake struck the historic Iranian city of Bam, killing at least 26,000 people.

• In 2004, more than 200,000 people, mostly in southern Asia, were killed by a tsunami triggered by the world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years beneath the Indian Ocean. An unmanned cargo ship docked at the international space station, ending a shortage that forced astronauts to ration supplies.

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