This Day in History

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In Alaska

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

In the nation

• In 1799, 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, President Wilson issued a proclamation authorizing the government to take over operation of the nation's railroads.

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

• In 1947, heavy snow blanketed the Northeast, burying New York City under 26.4 inches of snow in 16 hours; the severe weather was blamed for some 80 deaths.

• In 1996, 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colo. (To date, the slaying remains unsolved, despite a widely publicized "confession" by John Mark Karr.)

• In 2002, it was announced that West Virginia resident Jack Whittaker had won the $314.9 million Powerball lottery jackpot, at that time a record prize.

In the world

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

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

• In 1957, the Ingmar Bergman film "Wild Strawberries," starring Victor Sjostrom, opened in Sweden.

• In 1967, "Magical Mystery Tour," The Beatles' critically drubbed one-hour special, aired on BBC-1 television.

• In 1997, badly battered South Korean financial markets surged after the International Monetary Fund and the Group of Seven countries agreed on a total of $10 billion in emergency loans to Seoul.

• In 2002, Israeli soldiers killed seven Palestinians in West Bank raids and reimposed a curfew on Bethlehem after briefly withdrawing over Christmas.

• 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.

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