This Day in History

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1905, the Daily Miner began publication in Ketchikan, absorbing the existing Ketchikan Mining Journal.

• In 1907, Richard Harris, one of the founders of Juneau, was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Juneau.

• In 1954, the Alaska Railroad asked for bids from private operators to lease its stern-wheel riverboat Nenana, which was operating on the Tanana and Yukon rivers. Three Eskimos and nine dogs were en route from Selawik to Nome with 800 reindeer to establish a new herd.

In the nation

• In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Andrew Jackson.

• In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

• In 1917, the New York Evening Mail published "A Neglected Anniversary," a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken supposedly recounting the history of bathtubs in America. (For example, Mencken "claimed" the first American bathtub made its debut in the Cincinnati home of grain dealer Adam Thompson on Dec. 20, 1842, and that the first White House bathtub was installed in 1851 at the order of President Millard Fillmore.)

• In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

• In 1982, Nevell Johnson Jr., a black man, was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade, setting off three days of race-related disturbances that left another man dead.

• In 1987, the bodies of 14 relatives of Ronald Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, Ark., following a shooting rampage by Simmons in Russellville that claimed two other lives. (Simmons was later executed.)

• In 2006, President George W. Bush worked nearly three hours at his Texas ranch to design a new U.S. policy in Iraq. Saddam Hussein's lawyer made a last-ditch effort to impede his client's execution.

In the world

• In 1897, the play "Cyrano de Bergerac," by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris.

• In 1973, Alexander Solzhenitsyn published "Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison system.

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