This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1878, Richard E. Hardcastle, legislator and longtime Ketchikan businessman, was born in New Jersey.

• In 1879, World War I flying ace Colonel "Billy" Mitchell, who established telegraph posts in Alaska in the early 1900s, was born in Nice, France. Mount Billy Mitchell, near Valdez, was named after the famous brigadier general of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

• In 1935, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks Library was formally dedicated in its new location, the library and gymnasium building.

• In 1964, an Alaska State Trooper helicopter lost 600 pounds of radio gear south of Anchorage. A 330-watt repeater fell 2,000 feet into deep snow.

• In 1969, Keith Miller took office as the third governor of Alaska, succeeding Walter Hickel, who took the position of U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

• In 1980, the city of Anchorage filed suit in federal court claiming the Census bureau under-counted the city's population, and sought to have the bureau change its count.

In the nation

• In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.

• In 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.

• In 1851, the first American Young Men's Christian Association was organized, in Boston.

• In 1890, the Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as some 300 Sioux Indians were killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.

• In 1913, the first movie serial, "The Adventures of Kathlyn," premiered in Chicago.

• In 1975, a bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.

• In 2000, President-elect Bush filled four more Cabinet slots, tapping Rod Paige to be secretary of education, Gale Norton to be secretary of the interior, Anthony J. Principi to return as secretary to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson to be secretary of health and human services.

In the world

• In 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in England.

• In 1934, Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

• In 1940, during World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.

• In 1989, playwright Vaclav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia by the country's Federal Assembly, becoming the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.

• In 1995, Japan's finance minister Masayoshi Takemura announced the resignation of the deputy finance minister Kyosuke Shinozawa over several scandals, including the ministry's cover-up of trading losses at Daiwa Bank's New York office.

• In 2004, President Bush assembled a four-nation coalition to organize humanitarian relief for Asia and made clear the United States would help bankroll long-term rebuilding in the region leveled by a massive earthquake and tsunamis. Militants launched coordinated car bombings and battle security forces in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; at least 10 militants were killed in the attack. The U.S. military killed 25 insurgents as they attacked a U.S. outpost in Mosul, Iraq.

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