Return to homeAlaska Historical Society: http://www.alaskahistoricalsociety.org/
Alaska Newspapers: http://www.alaska.net/~aknewspr/ Alaska has 226 Indian tribes.
(SFEC, 7/18/99, Par p.7)
Athabaska Indians are native to Alaska.
The Yup’ic are native to southwestern Alaska.
(AM, 7/97, p.72)
The city of Nome was named for a misspelling of a nearby cape on a
map, which was referred to as "no name." Nome was founded as a
result of a gold strike on nearby Seward Peninsula.
State Motto: "North to the Future."
State flower: the Forget-Me-Not.
State bird: Willow Ptarmigan
State fossil: Wooly Mammoth
State mineral: Gold
State gem: Jade.
State tree: Sitka Spruce
State sport: Dog Mushing 100Mil BC Land masses
collided about this time and created Alaska.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A2)
70Mil BC In 2005 a Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks
student found a track from a three-toed dinosaur believed to be
about 70 million years old in Denali National Park, the first
evidence that the animals roamed there.
69Mil BC A plant-eating duck-billed dinosaur
roamed northern Alaska about this time. Fossils of the hadrosaur
were reported as a new species in 2015.
(SFC, 9/23/15, p.A8)
20000BC Some scientists believe that ancient
people from Siberia crossed the Bering land bridge to Alaska about
this time and began their southward migration into the Americas. In
2001 skull measurements indicated that members of the Jomon-Ainu of
Japan made the first crossings.
(SFC, 5/23/98, p.A13)(SFC, 7/31/01, p.A4)
16000BC The west coast of North America
deglaciated by this time allowing people, who had crossed the Bering
Strait land bridge, to move south.
(SFC, 4/4/08, p.A4)
12000BC The last ice age ended about this time
flooding the land bridge between Alaska and Siberia.
(SFC, 4/4/08, p.A4)
c12000BC The Broken Mammoth settlement in central
Alaska dated to this time.
(SFC, 7/25/03, p.A1)
9500BC In 2011 scientists identified the cremated
bones, dating to about this time, of a 3-year-old child buried in
the Tanana lowlands of central Alaska.
(SFC, 2/25/11, p.A8)
1728 Vitus Bering (47), Danish
explorer, discovered the Bering Strait between Asia and North
(PCh, 1992, p.286)
1741 Jul 15, George Steller, an
observer with Vitus Bering (1680-1741), claimed to see the American
mainland (Alaska). Bering, a Danish-born mariner, was on an
exploratory mission on behalf of Russia.
(WSJ, 9/12/00, p.A24)(SFEC, 3/23/97, p.T5)(ON,
1741 Jul 16, Vitus Bering
(1680-1741) first sighted Mt. St. Elias, the second highest peak in
Alaska at 18,008 feet.
(AAM, 3/96, p.84)(WUD, 1994 p.140)
1741 Dec 8, Vitus Bering,
Danish-born explorer and commander in the Russian navy, died on an
island off the Kamchatka Peninsula, later named Bering Island.
(ON, 2/06, p.4)
1778 Aug 9, Captain Cook
reached Cape Prince of Wales in the Bering straits.
1778 Oct 3, Capt. Cook anchored
1780 A Japanese whaling ship
ran aground near the western end of the Aleutian Islands. Rats from
the ship reached the nearest island giving it the name Rat Island.
The incident introduced the non-native Norway rat, also known as the
brown rat, to Alaska. The rats terrorized all but the largest birds
on the island. In the Fall of 2008 poison was dropped onto the
island from helicopter-hoisted buckets for a week and a half. By mid
2009 there were no signs of living rats and some birds had returned.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.43)(Reuters, 6/12/09)
1784 Aug 14, The 1st Russian
settlement in Alaska was established on Kodiak Island. Grigori
Shelekhov, a Russian fur trader, founded Three Saints Bay.
1796 An Aleutian island named
Bogoslof first appeared after an underwater eruption. Its base lay
5,500 down on the floor of the Bering Sea. By 2017 it measured 169
acres with a peak at 490 feet.
(SFC, 2/7/17, p.A6)
1799 Sitka, Alaska, was founded
by Alexander Baranof of the Russian American Company.
1807 Aug 11, The Eclipse, a
Yankee fur trading vessel, sank in the Shumagin Islands, south of
the Alaska Peninsula. It is the oldest known American shipwreck in
Alaska and as of 2007 had not been found.
1820 Sep 4, Czar Alexander
declared that Russian influence in North America extended as far
south as Oregon and closed Alaskan waters to foreigners.
1825 Feb 22, Russia and Britain
established the Alaska/Canada boundary.
1844 The Cathedral of St.
Michael the Archangel was built in Sitka, Alaska. It was destroyed
by fire in 1966 and painstakingly rebuilt.
(AH, 6/07, p.69)
1856 In Alaska the Russian
occupants of the Batzulnetas outpost were massacred by natives.
(AH, 6/07, p.69)
1864 Herbert Liebes opened a
fur salon which grew to become H. Liebes & Company. Liebes ran
sailing schooners from Alaska to SF with cargoes of furs.
(SFC, 6/29/04, p.B6)
1865 Jun, The Confederate ship
Shenandoah under Capt. James Waddell attacked Yankee whalers off the
coast of Alaska firing the last shots of the US Civil War. From 1864
to 1865 the Shenandoah captured, sank or ransomed 38 Union ships,
mostly whalers, in the Indian, Pacific and Arctic oceans.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Shenandoah)(SFC, 8/4/18, p.C4)
1865 Nov 6, The Confederate
ship Shenandoah under Capt. James Waddell surrendered in Liverpool,
England, after attacking Yankee commercial shipping off the coast of
Alaska. It had sunk of captured 38 vessels, mostly New Bedford
whaleships. The surrender of the Shenandoah was the last act of the
US Civil War.
1865 US Coast Guard services
began in Alaska when the cutter Shubrick led a 6 vessel expedition
coastwise to Bering Straits.
1867 Mar 30, US Secretary of
State William H. Seward signed an agreement with Russia’s Baron
Edouard de Stoeckl to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2
million, two cents an acre, a deal roundly ridiculed as "Seward's
Folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar
(AP, 3/30/97)(HN, 3/30/01)(Reuters, 5/24/11)
1867 Apr 9, The treaty
authorizing the purchase was ratified. Alaska became a state in
1959.The per-acre purchase price for Alaska paid by the U.S. to
Russia in 1867 was two cents. Through the negotiations of Secretary
of State William H. Seward the purchase of the 591,000 square miles
(more than 375 million acres) of Russian America territory cost $7.2
1867 Jun 20, Pres. Andrew
Johnson announced the purchase of Alaska.
1867 Aug 12, The 1st US
official, a coast guardsmen, arrived in Sitka, Alaska.
1867 Oct 9, The Russians
formally transferred Alaska to the US. The U.S. had bought Alaska
for $7.2 million in gold.
1867 Oct 18, The United States
took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
1867 Massachusetts Senator
Charles Sumner popularized the name Alaska for the territory that
had been known as Russian America in a famous Senate speech
supporting the treaty to purchase Russian America.
1868 Jul 15, The Torrent sank
in Alaska’s Cook Inlet after tidal currents, among the world's most
powerful, rammed it into a reef south of the Kenai Peninsula. About
130 Army soldiers had come north on the Torrent to build the first
US military fort in south-central Alaska. About 20 sailors and 15 of
the soldiers wives and children were also on board. All 155 people
on board survived. Remnants of the wreckage were found in 2007.
1868 Riggs National Bank
supplied the $7.2 million in gold bullion for the purchase of
(WSJ, 4/7/04, p.A1)
1869 Gustave Niebaum and others
in San Francisco incorporated the Alaska Commercial Company with
offices at Sansome and Halleck. Its plan was to consolidate Alaskan
fur-trading and natural resources operations under a single
(SFEM, 10/31/99, p.26)
1870 The US government granted
exclusive rights for fur-trading and natural resource operations in
Alaska to the Alaska Commercial Company in SF.
(SFEM, 10/31/99, p.26)
1871 A whaling fleet of 32
ships was abandoned off Icy Cape in the Chukchi Sea. Seven other
vessels escaped with all the crew members saved. In 1998 an attempt
was made to locate the shipwreck site.
(SFC, 7/24/98, p.A3)
1880 Juneau, Alaska, was born
when prospectors hit a mother lode on Gastineau Channel. Juneau was
settled soon after a gold strike nearby by Richard Harris and Joe
(SFEC, 2/6/00, p.T10)(HNQ, 2/6/00)
1880 A US census found 435
non-native residents in Alaska.
(Econ, 8/26/06, p.27)
1882-1884 Norwegian adventurer Johan Adrian
Jacobsen collected some 200 Chugach items from graves in caves on
Chenega Island, Alaska, for Germany's Royal Museum of Ethnology. In
2018 a Berlin museum returned ancient wooden masks, an idol and
other spiritually significant artifacts plundered from graves to
1884 May 17, Alaska became a US
territory. US Congress did not provide for an Alaskan government
until this year. Administration of the territory was done in
succession by the War Department, the Treasury and the Navy.
(SFEM, 10/31/99, p.26)(MC, 5/17/02)
1887 In Alaska William Moore, a
former steamboat captain, homesteaded 160 acres with his son in a
settlement he called Mooresville, where the Taiya River meets the
Skagway. He anticipated a gold rush that arrived in 1897. His
settlement was overrun and became Skagway.
(SSFC, 9/18/05, p.E13)
1890 Israel C. Russell,
sponsored by the National Geographic Society, returned from an
expedition to Mt. St. Elias with fossil bearing rocks.
(NG, 12/97, p.1)
1892 A Marine Corp. barracks
was established in Sitka, Alaska.
1894 The Cape Fox Tlingit
Indians moved to Saxman after smallpox reduced their population from
some 1000 to 200.
(WSJ, 8/31/01, p.W13)
1895 Captain Michael A. Healy
(b.1839) was stripped of his command in the US Revenue Cutter
Service and his position with the Arctic Patrol, in which he served
for 21 years. During his service he ferried reindeer across the
Bering Strait to Alaska provide a food source for the Inuit.
(SFC, 4/15/05, p.E15)
1896 Aug, 16, A white man from
California named George Carmack, a fellow not employed at anything
in particular, was hiking around northwest Canada’s Yukon River area
with his two Indian brothers-in-law "Skookum Jim" Mason and "Tagish
Charley." The three found gold on Rabbit Creek, a stream that feeds
the Yukon River near Dawson, Alaska.
(CFA, '96, p.88)(HN,
1897 Jul 15, The gold-laden
ship Excelsior from Alaska landed in San Francisco. Seattle mayor
W.D. Wood was visiting and immediately resigned his job, hired a
ship, and organized an expedition from SF to the Yukon territory.
(WSJ, 7/17/97, p.A20)
1897 Jul 17, The Steamer
Portland arrived into Seattle from Alaska with 68 prospectors
carrying more than a ton of gold. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
announced that men with gold from Alaska were landing. This
unleashed the Klondike gold rush and tens of thousands headed for
the Yukon. The Klondike gold rush gave America and Canada a
psychological boost in getting the economy moving again after
suffering through the terrible depression that followed the 1893
(CFA, ‘96, p.88)(Hem., 7/95, p.79)(CFA, ‘96,
p.89)(WSJ, 5/1/97, p.A16)(WSJ, 7/17/97, p.A20)
1897 Sep, Eight whaling ships
with 273 men became trapped in ice off Point Barrow in an early
freeze. Lt. David Henry Jarvis of the Revenue Cutter Service, the
forerunner of the US Coast Guard, led a 1500-mile expedition
overland from Nelson Island Point Barrow with a herd of reindeer to
the stranded men.
(ON, 1/01, p.1)
1897-1902 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition was
made to study the biological and cultural connections between
peoples on each side of the Bering Strait. It was one of the first
instances where a camera was used in such a study.
(WSJ, 12/30/97, p.A8)
1898 Mar 26, Lt. David Henry
Jarvis of the Revenue Cutter Service reached Point Franklin, after a
1500-hundred mile trek, with a herd of reindeer to rescue 273
iced-in whalers stranded here and at Point Barrow.
(ON, 1/01, p.1)
1898 May, Construction began on
the White Pass & Yukon railroad. It was led by Big Mike Heney, a
Canadian Railway contractor, and Sir Thomas Tancred, who represented
the British financiers.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T3)
1898 The Klondike gold rush was
in full swing. Gold was found on the Naotuk River in what later
became the Gates of the Arctic National Park.
(SFEC,11/16/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 2/6/00, p.T6)
1899 The White Pass & Yukon
railroad, which led to the goldfields, was completed.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.T4)
1899 Edward H. Harriman,
chairman of the Union Pacific RR, led a survey expedition along the
Alaska coast with 126 passengers aboard a luxury steamer. The
2-month, 9,000 mile journey from Seattle to Siberia included a stop
at Cape Fox where the visitors gathered up items from what looked
like an abandoned Tlingit Indian settlement. Much of the plunder was
returned in 2001.
(WSJ, 8/31/01, p.W13)
1900 The 110-mile White Pass
& Yukon narrow-gauge railroad from Skagway to Whitehorse, the
Alaska-British Columbia border, was completed.
(SFEC,11/16/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T3)
1900 Clarence Warner and
"Tarantula Jack" Smith staked a claim for copper. They later sold it
to Stephen Birch, who found financial backing for a company that
eventually became Kennecott Copper.
(AH, 10/01, HT p.30)
1901 E.T. Barnette opened a
trading post on the Chena River. A town formed that came to be
called Chenoa City and was later renamed Fairbanks.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T7)
1902 Felix Pedro, an Italian
miner, discovered gold northeast of Chenoa City. Miners surged in
from the Fortymile and Klondike goldfields.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T7)
1903 Jan 24, U.S. Secretary of
State John Hay and British Ambassador Herbert created a joint
commission to establish the Alaskan border.
1903 Oct 20, A joint commission
ruled in favor of the United States in a boundary dispute between
the District of Alaska and Canada.
1906 Sep 7-1906 Sep 19, Dr.
Frederick Cook (1865-1940) and Ed Barrill explored the foothills of
Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Cook soon claimed to have taken a picture of
his companion, Edward Barrill, from the summit of Mt. McKinley. In
1909 his book “To the Top of the Continent" was published. In 1923
Cook was convicted of mail fraud for selling worthless oil stocks to
unsuspecting investors. In 1998 it was reported that the photo was a
fake, and that the 2 men never reached the summit.
(SFC, 11/27/98, p.A3)(ON, 3/06, p.6)
1906 The capital was moved from
Sitka to Juneau.
(SFEC, 11/7/99, Z1 p.2)
1906 The Alaska Packers Assoc.
bought the square-rigged Balclutha ship and renamed it Star of
Alaska. It carried workers to the Chignick Cannery and transported
them back after the salmon season.
1906 A fire burned down most of
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T7)
1907 Sep 10, Alaska’s Tongass
National Forest, the largest US National Forest, was established as
part of the National Forest System in a presidential proclamation
made by Theodore Roosevelt. In 1908 it was joined with the Alexander
Archipelago Forest Reserve, established in 1902.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, Z1
1909 Jan 18, Robert Stroud
(1890-1963), who later gained fame as the Birdman of Alcatraz,
killed a bartender in Alaska. Barman F. K. "Charlie" Von Dahmer had
viciously raped and beat his friend, Kitty O’Brien (36), a
prostitute and dance-hall entertainer. Stroud later knifed a fellow
prisoner and was transferred to Leavenworth prison where he murdered
a guard in the prison dining hall.
(SSFC, 4/15/12, DB
1909 California became its own
Jesuit province becoming fully independent from Turin. The Province
boundaries expanded to encompass all of the Pacific Northwest and
1910 Apr 3, Alaska's Mt.
McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, was climbed.
1911 Jun 4, Gold was discovered
in Alaska's Indian Creek.
1912 Jun 6, In Alaska the
Novarupta volcano began erupting 6 miles from Mount Katmai. When the
eruption stopped on June 9th, the ash cloud had spread across
southern Alaska. This was later recognized as the most powerful
volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Crops withered across Canada
and the US that summer under skies shrouded with volcanic ash.
(http://geology.com/novarupta/)(Hem, 4/96, p.78)
1912 Aug 24, By an act of
Congress, Alaska was given a territorial legislature of two houses.
1913 Jun, Rev. Hudson Stuck led
a team in the 1st ascent to the summit of Mt. McKinley, Alaska.
1915 Jun 27, In Fort Yukon,
Alaska, a state record 100° F (38° C) was recorded.
1916 Fairbanks, Alaska, caught
fire. The town's bacon supply was burned as fuel to keep the steam
powered water pump running. The event was later covered by Margaret
Murie (d.2003) in her 1962 autobiography "Two in the Far North."
(SFC, 10/24/03, p.A16)
1917 In Alaska the territorial
Legislature created the Univ. of Alaska in Fairbanks and specified
that it include a museum. In 1978 the state Legislature paid for a
building designed to hold exhibits. In 1980 a
39,000-square-foot space opened as the Univ. of Alaska Museum of the
(SSFC, 5/6/07, p.G7)
1917 Denali National Park in
Alaska was established. It covered 9,300 square miles. Denali was
the native name for Mt. McKinley.
(SFEC, 2/9/97, p.T6)(SSFC, 3/28/04, p.D9)
1918 Oct 25, The Canadian
steamship Princess Sophia foundered off the coast of Alaska;
some 350 people perished.
1918 The flu epidemic began at
Fort Riley, Kansas, in March where 48 men died. 72 of 80 residents
at Brevig Mission, Alaska died from the flu in a 5 day period. In
1997 Dr. Johan Hultin recovered tissue in Brevig Mission with frozen
virus and submitted it for gene sequencing.
(WSJ, 2/9/98, p.A16)(HNPD, 7/21/98)(SFC, 2/26/01,
p.A9)(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.A1)(SFCM, 2/17/02, p.8)
1920s In 1989 Tooru Joe
Kanazawa (d.2002 at 95) authored "Sushi and Sourdough," a glimpse
into the world of Japanese immigrants in Alaska’s salmon canneries
in the 1920s.
(SFC, 10/22/02, p.A16)
1922 Feb 6, The Washington
Disarmament Conference came to an end with signature of final treaty
forbidding fortification of the Aleutian Islands for 14 years.
1923 Jul 15, President Warren
G. Harding tapped the golden spike of the $60 million Alaskan
Railway at Nenana.
(SSFC, 2/3/02, p.C9)
1923 Aug 2, President Warren G.
Harding died suddenly of an embolism in San Francisco on August 2,
1923, during a return trip form Alaska. Born November 2, 1865, in
Corsica, Ohio, Harding was elected the 29th U.S. president in 1920.
1923 US Pres. Warren Harding
authorized a 22-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve as an
emergency oil supply for the US Navy near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. In
2015 ConocoPhillips became the first company to draw from the
(Econ, 12/11/04, p.28)(SFC, 3/4/16, p.A9)
1924 Margaret Murie (b.1902)
became the 1st woman to graduate from the Univ. of Alaska.
(SFC, 10/24/03, p.A16)
c1924 The railroad made it to
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T7)
1925 Jan 27, Anchorage, Alaska,
delivered a diphtheria antitoxin to Nenana. Dr. Curtis Welch in Nome
had begun diagnosing cases of diphtheria. An emergency delivery of
serum against the disease was arranged by dogsled. 20 mushers rushed
the serum 674 miles from Nenana to Nome in 5 days. The last leg of
the journey was run by Gunnar Kaasen (1882-1964) and his lead dog
Balto (d.1933). An animated film on Balto was made in 1995 by
Stephen Spielberg. The longest segment of the journey, 260 miles,
was run by Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Togo. The events were
later described by Bill Sherwonit in his book: "Iditarod: the Great
Race to Nome."
(SFC, 3/16/98, p.A3)(ON, 11/06, p.1)
1925 Feb 27, Glacier Bay
National Monument was dedicated in Alaska.
1935 The Federal Emergency
Relief Administration created an experimental farming community
known as the Matanuska Valley Colony as part of the New Deal
resettlement plan. Palmer, Alaska, was founded during the Great
Depression, when 203 Midwestern farm families were relocated here
and given 40-acre tracts as part of the Matanuska Colony Project.
1935 Aug 15, Humorist Will
Rogers (55), American comedian and "cowboy philosopher," and
aviation pioneer Wiley Post (36) were killed when their airplane
crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska. Rogers once said: "Even if you're
on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
(AP, 8/15/97)(HN, 8/15/98)(MC, 8/15/02)
1936 Mar 26, Mary Joyce ended a
1,000 mile trip by dog in Alaska.
1939 Augie Hiebert went to
Alaska to help build the first radio station in Fairbanks.
(WSJ, 9/22/07, p.A8)
1941 The Alaska Territorial
Guard was formed.
1942 Mar 9, Construction of the
Alaska Highway began.
1942 Jun 6, Japanese troops
landed on Kiska, Aleutians.
1942 Jun 7, The Japanese
invaded Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands.
1942 Sep 16, The Japanese base
at Kiska in the Aleutian Islands was raided by American bombers.
1942 Oct 29, The Alaska highway
was completed. [see Nov 21]
1942 Nov 21, The
Alaska-Canadian Highway across Canada was formally opened.
(HFA, '96, p.42)(AP, 11/21/97)
1943 May 11, During World War
II, American forces landed on Japanese-held Attu island in the
Aleutians; the Americans took the island 19 days later.
1943 Aug 15, Allies landed on
Kiska in the Aleutians.
1946 Apr 1, Two large
earthquakes shook the Scotch Cap Lighthouse on Unimak Island,
Alaska. A resulting tsunami washed away the lighthouse. The Aleutian
Islands earthquake also triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami that killed
165 people and caused over $26 million in damages. Tidal waves
struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths. 91
people were killed in Hilo.
(AP, 4/1/98)(Ind, 6/8/02, 5A)(SSFC, 8/25/02,
p.C14)(SFC, 4/1/09, p.D8)
1946 Universal Services was
formed in 1946 to provide catering and other support services for
the civilian workforce rebuilding defense bases in Alaska. Extensive
work was then developed with the oil industry that was expanding its
exploration activity in Alaska. As the search for energy moved to
other parts of the world, Universal followed. Operations were
established in the Gulf of Mexico (1955), South America (1957),
North Sea (1964), Africa (1960s), Middle East and Far East.
Additional work was developed with the mining and construction
1948 Mar 12, In Alaska 24
merchant marines and six crewmen were flying from China to New York
City, when their DC-4 slammed into Mount Sanford killing all 30.
Pilots Kevin McGregor and Marc Millican discovered some mummified
remains in 1999 while recovering artifacts to identify the wreckage
they had found two years earlier.
1949 The Alaska travel guide
“The Milepost" was 1st published as a 72-page guide named after the
Alaska Highway mile markers. The 2005 edition was nearly 800 pages
and included coverage of Canada’s Yukon and western Northwest
(SSFC, 4/3/05, p.E4)
1950s-1960s The Fort Greely base was used for
biological and chemical weapons testing. The site also housed a
nuclear reactor later entombed in a sarcophagus.
(SFC, 11/3/01, p.C3)
1952 Sep 7, The 369-foot
passenger liner Princess Kathleen, launched in 1924, ran aground and
sank near Juneau, Alaska. There was no loss of life.
1952 Nov 22, A US military
plane crashed near Anchorage, Alaska. All 52 crew members were
believed killed. Wreckage was spotted on a melting glacier in 2012.
By 2014 the remains of 17 were recovered and identified. The remains
of 35 others were not yet recovered.
(SFC, 6/19/14, p.A10)
1953 Augie Hiebert (1916-2007)
opened Alaska’s first television station in Anchorage.
(WSJ, 9/22/07, p.A8)
1954 Feb 5, A US Air Force C-47
enroute from Fairbanks to Anchorage crashed on Kesugi Ridge near
Byers Lake in Alaska. 10 people were killed and 6 survived.
1954 The Alaska town of North
Pole began Operation Santa, a volunteer program to respond to
children’s letters sent to Santa Claus. The US Postal Service
dropped the program in 2009.
(SFC, 11/20/09, p.A9)
1955 Jun 24, Soviet MIG’s down
a lightly armed US Navy patrol plane over the Bering Strait.
Russia’s foreign minister V.M. Molotov expressed his country’s
regrets the next day.
(HN, 6/24/98)(SFC, 6/24/05, p.F7)
1957 Mar 9, An 8.1 earthquake
shook the Andreanof Islands, Alaska.
1958 Jun 30, Congress passed a
law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the
Union, the first new state since 1912. The Senate passed the Alaska
statehood bill by a vote of 64-20.
(HN, 6/30/98)(AP, 6/30/08)
1958 Jul 7, President Dwight D.
Eisenhower signed the Alaska statehood bill. Alaska became the 49th
state in January 1959.
1958 Jul 10, A largest tsunami
on record was caused by the fall of 90 million tons of rock and ice
into Lituya Bay, Alaska, following a local earthquake. The wave
washed 500 meters up a mountain on the opposite shore.
(CW, Spring ‘99, p.30)
1958 Aug 26, Alaskans went to
the polls to overwhelmingly vote in favor of statehood.
1958 Bill Egan became Alaska’s
(AH, 10/04, p.42)
1959 Jan 3, President
Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as
the 49th state. Its area is 586,412 sq. mls. Capital: Juneau; bird:
willow ptarmigan; flower: forget-me-not; nickname: The Last
(TMC, 1994, p.1959)(THM, 4/27/97, p.L5)(AP,
1/3/98)(440 Int'l. 1/3/99)
1959 Jul 4, A 49-star flag was
raised for the first time at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in
honor of Alaska which had become the 49th state in the Union on July
(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1960 The Eisenhower
administration created the Arctic National Wildlife Range on 9
million acres of Alaska’s coastal plain and mountains adjacent to
(SSFC, 8/28/05, p.A13)
1960 Sen. John F. Kennedy was
presented with a giant cabbage in Palmer, Alaska.
1964 Feb 11, Sarah Palin, later
governor of Alaska, was born in Sandpoint, Idaho. After 3 months her
family moved to Alaska. In 2008 Sen. John McCain named her as his
vice-presidential running mate.
(SFC, 8/30/08, p.A6)
1964 Mar 27, On Good Friday,
Valdez, Alaska, in Prince William Sound was rocked by an 8.6
earthquake, the largest ever recorded in North America. In 1977
seismologists pegged the quake at 9.2. It lasted 4 minutes and was
followed by tsunamis and fires and 131 people were killed. Survivors
moved 4 miles west to solid bedrock and rebuilt the town.
(AP, 3/27/97)(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T5)(SFEC, 4/5/98,
Z1 p.8)(SFEC, 10/17/99, p.A3)(SFC, 11/26/99, p.C21)(WSJ, 9/13/01,
p.B11)(SFC, 2/15/02, p.G8)(AP, 3/11/11)
1966 Walter Hickel (1919-2010)
upset 2-term Democratic Gov. William Egan to become governor of
Alaska. In 1969 Hickel was named secretary of the interior under
(AH, 10/04, p.42)(SSFC, 5/9/10, p.C8)
1967 Feb 28, Art Davidson, Ray
Genet and Dave Johnston completed the first winter ascent of
Alaska’s Mount McKinley. On their descent they became trapped by a
storm for 6 days at 18,500 feet in an ice-cave. In 1969 Art Davidson
authored “Minus 148°."
1967 Jul 15, In Alaska a major
blizzard caught 7 climbers high on Mount McKinley (Denali). Five of
12 climbers managed to reach safety, but 7 were caught and froze to
death. In 2007 James M. Tabor’s: “Forever on the Mountain: The Truth
Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious
Disasters," was published.
(WSJ, 1/17/07, p.D6)
1967 Dec 26, Atlantic Richfield
oil workers struck oil on Alaska’s North Slope at Prudhoe Bay.
(AH, 10/04, p.42)
1968 Mar 13, Atlantic Richfield
Company (ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon
Company, U.S.A.) announced the discovery of oil on Alaska’s North
Slope (Prudhoe Bay). The oil companies soon began efforts to
construct a pipeline, but work was suspended due to environmental
1968 May 15, A tornado at
Jonesboro, Arkansas, killed 34 people. Another near Anchorage,
Alaska, killed one person.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.D8)
1968 The Anchorage Museum of
History and Art opened.
(WSJ, 7/17/97, p.A20)
1968 Ted Stevens began
representing Alaska in the US Senate.
(SFC, 12/20/05, p.A1)
1968 Following the disocvery of
oil in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the Eskimos were given 44m acres of
land, $1 billion and shares in regional and village corporations so
that the government could build a pipeline to the oil.
(Econ, 8/30/14, p.27)
1969 Ben Metcalfe (d.2003 at
83) coordinated the initial campaigns of the Winnipeg-based
Don't Make a Wave Committee (later Greenpeace) against planned
nuclear tests in the Aleutian Islands.
(SSFC, 10/19/03, p.A31)
1970 Feb 12, Dean Arthur
Schwartzmiller (28) was convicted in Juneau, Alaska, of 2 charges of
lewd conduct after being accused of molesting 2 boys. Over the next
35 years he was arrested in 6 more states on molestation charges. In
2005 police in San Jose found notebooks at his home that documented
over 36,000 sex acts with young boys. In 2006 a jury in Santa Clara,
Ca., convicted Schwartzmiller (64) of molesting 2 San Jose boys.
(SFC, 6/17/05, p.A1)(SFC, 9/19/06, p.A1)
1970 Nov 25, Walter Hickel
(1919-2010), former governor of Alaska and US Secretary of the
Interior, was fired by Pres. Nixon after sending Nixon a letter
critical of how the president handled student protests following the
National Guard shootings at Kent State.
(AH, 10/04, p.42)(SSFC, 5/9/10,
1971 Sep 4, An Alaska Airlines
jet crashed near Juneau, killing 111 people.
1971 Sep 15, A group of
activists set sail on the Phyllis Cormack for Alaska from Vancouver,
Canada, to stop a US nuclear weapons test in the Aleutian Islands.
Panels reading Green and Peace dangled from the bridge. Bob Hunter
(d.2005), one of the activists, became the 1st president of
(HFA, '96, p.38)(GQ, summer ‘96, p.18)(SFC,
4/30/97, p.A9)(Econ, 5/14/05, p.89)
1971 Nov 6, The US Atomic
Energy Commission exploded a 5-megaton bomb beneath Amchitka Island,
Alaska, just 87 miles from the Petropavlovsk Russian naval base. It
registered as a magnitude-7 earthquake.
(SFC, 12/17/01, p.A4)
1971 Dec 18, Pres. Nixon signed
into law the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). It gave
large portions of prime bear habitat to the Alutiiq people, who had
hunted and fished on the island for 7,000 years. 10% of the state,
44 million acres of land, was ceded to native tribes.
p.A7)(AH, 10/04, p.42)
1971 Walter Hickel (1919-2010),
former governor of Alaska (1966-1969) and former US secretary of the
interior (1969-1970) under Pres. Nixon, authored “Who Owns America."
(AH, 10/04, p.42)(SSFC, 5/9/10, p.C8)
1972 Sep 26, Richard M. Nixon
met with Emperor Hirohito in Anchorage, Alaska, the first-ever
meeting of a U.S. President and a Japanese Monarch.
1972 Oct 16, A small plane
disappeared during a flight from Anchorage to Juneau. On board were
Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. (b.1914), US Congressman from Louisiana,
Representative Nick Begich of Alaska, Begich’s aide Russell Brown
and the pilot, Don Jonz. House Resolution 1 of January 3, 1973,
officially recognized Boggs's presumed death and opened the way for
a special election. Boggs’s wife, Lindy Boggs, (1916-2013),
won the special election and served to 1991.
1972 The Alaska Continental
Development Corp. merged with the financially troubled Alaska
Airlines. The airline soon became profitable in part due to the
Alaska oil pipeline.
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.A4)(http://tinyurl.com/6obvr7)
1973 Nov 16, President Nixon
signed the Trans Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law. Oil
companies formed a consortium that gave British Petroleum 50.1%
control of the pipeline.
1973 The Alaskan 1,159 mile
Iditarod dog-sled race was first run in commemoration of the 1925
dog-sled relay for diphtheria vaccine to Nome.
(Nat. Hist., 3/96, p.34,41)(SFEC, 3/7/99, p.D3)
1974 Apr 29, Work officially
began on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. Prudhoe Bay to Yukon River
road construction began.
1975 Mar 27, The 1st pipe of
the Alaska oil pipeline was laid at Tonsina River.
1975 Alaska’s Supreme Court
ruled that what a person does in his home is protected under a
strong privacy provision in the state’s Constitution. Justices
concluded that cultivating small amounts of cannabis was harmless.
Marijuana remained illegal under federal law.
(SFC, 5/24/10, p.A1)
1976 The Alaska Permanent Fund
was created after oil was discovered on the North Slope. Residents
of over a year received an annual dividend from the fund.
(SFC, 9/27/02, p.A7)
1977 May 31, The trans-Alaska
oil pipeline was completed after three years of work.
1977 Jun 20, The 1st oil of the
Alaska pipeline began to flow south 799 miles from Prudhoe Bay to
the port of Valdez. It reached Valdez on Jul 28.
1977 Jun 28, The 1st Prudhoe
Bay oil of the Alaska pipeline reached the port of Valdez as
construction of the Trans-Alaskan pipeline was completed.
1978 Jan 7, In Alaska the body
of Shelley Connolly (16) was found next to the train tracks just
south of McHugh Creek at milepost 109 of the Seward Highway; she had
been sexually assaulted and murdered. The last time she was seen
alive was earlier that evening inside Chilkoot Charlies talking to
four men. In 2019 police in Oregon arrested Donald F. McQuade
following a DNA match from cigarette butts discarded in public.
(http://tinyurl.com/yxza6u32)(SFC, 9/5/19, p.A5)
1978 Pres. Jimmy Carter
declared permanent national monuments on 56 million acres in Alaska.
Sec. of Interior Cecil Andrus ordered protection of an additional 52
million acres of Alaskan public land.
(SSFC, 3/27/17, p.C3)
1978 Vandals blew up a section
of the Alaska pipeline, opened in 1977, spilling 700,000 gallons of
oil. No one was arrested.
(SFC, 3/11/06, p.A4)
1980 Oct 4, Some 520 people
were forced to abandon the cruise ship “Prisendam" in the Gulf of
Alaska after the Dutch luxury liner caught fire—no deaths or serious
injury resulted. The ship capsized and sank a week later.
1980 Dec 2, Pres. Carter signed
the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and protected
104 million acres of wilderness. The size of Denali National Park
was tripled to 6.2 million acres. Motorized access to the land was
given for traditional activities such as hunting, fishing and
camping. Peggy Wayburn’s book: "Alaska the Great Land" was credited
with helping persuade Congress. The law directed the Interior Dept.
to assess oil potential in 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain. A
ban was put on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In
2002 Pres. Bush pushed to overturn the ban. Estimates on oil there
ranged from 3.2 to at least 5.7 billion barrels.
p.B1)(SFC, 3/28/02, p.A24) (SFC, 9/30/06, p.B6)(Econ, 12/20/03,
p.38)(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.A9)(SSFC, 8/28/05, p.A13)
1982 Alaska began issuing oil
royalty annual checks to all residents.
(SFC, 9/22/00, p.A10)
1982 The White Pass & Yukon
railroad closed after a highway opened between Skagway and
Whitehorse, and a slump in metal prices shut down mines.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T3)
1983 The Alaska Veterans
Memorial at Byers Lake was erected. It was dedicated by Gov. Bill
Sheffield in 1984.
1985 Mar 20, Libby Riddles of
Teller, Alaska, became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Dog
1986 Mar 12, Susan Butcher won
the 1,158 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska.
1986 The Tatitlek tribe sold
timber rights on Prince William Sound and heavy logging resulted.
(WSJ, 9/3/99, p.A1)
1987 Aug 7, Lynne Cox became
the 1st to swim from US to Russia across the Bering Strait.
1988 Oct 16, Rescue workers
near Point Barrow, Alaska, continued their efforts to save three
California gray whales trapped in Arctic Ocean ice [see Oct 26].
1988 Oct 26, US-Soviet effort
freed 2 gray whales from frozen Arctic near Barrow, Alaska [see Oct
1988 The White Pass & Yukon
railroad opened for tourists visiting the state from cruise ships
and the new road to Skagway.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T3)
1988 Alaskan oil production
(Econ, 8/23/14, p.23)
1989 Mar 24, Good Friday. The
nation's worst oil spill occurred as the supertanker Exxon Valdez
ran aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound and began
leaking 11 million gallons of crude. The Exxon Valdez struck ground
in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and spilled 10.6 million gallons of
oil. It was later renamed the Mediterranean and operated between
Europe and the Middle East. Exxon then spent some $2.5 billion to
clean up the spill and filed suit against Lloyd’s of London for
reimbursement under a $210 million insurance policy. In 1996 a jury
in Houston voted that Lloyd’s and some 250 other underwriters should
compensate Exxon $250 million. The Exxon Valdez oil spill fouled
approximately 1,000 miles of Alaska shoreline. The oil tanker ran
aground in Prince William Sound, spilling some 11 million gallons of
crude oil. An estimated 250,000 seabirds were killed. The Exxon
Valdez spilled 240,000 barrels of oil in Alaska's Prince William
(AP, 3/23/97)(TMC, 1994, p.1989)(SFC, 5/5/96,
p.A-11)(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A10)(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T5)(HNQ, 8/14/99)
1989 Mar 25, In the wake of the
Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska's chief
environmental officer, Dennis Kelso, criticized cleanup efforts as
1989 Mar 28, President Bush
sent three high-ranking officials to Alaska to "take a hard look" at
the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound. '
1989 Mar 30, The Anchorage
Daily News won the public service award for its reports on
alcoholism and suicide among native Alaskans.
1989 Mar 31, The FBI announced
it would conduct a criminal investigation into the massive oil spill
in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
1989 Apr 1, Alaska Gov. Steve
Cowper announced that a "strike force" of state officials and local
fishermen were taking over some of the cleanup operations following
the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1989 Dec 13, In Alaska Mt.
Redoubt began erupting. Nearly every one of the volcanic events
during the 1989-90 eruption of Redoubt Volcano generated lahars in
the Drift River Valley.
1989 Dec 15, Mt. Redoubt
erupted in Alaska and sent baseball-sized pieces of pumice over 20
miles from the volcano. A 747 jet flew into its ash cloud, lost all
four engines and dropped 4,000 feet before it recovered. No one was
hurt but the plane sustained $80 million in damage.
(AAM, 3/96, p.84)(PacDisc. Spring/’96, p.31)
1990 Jan 2, A lahar from the
Mt. Redoubt volcano in Alaska flooded part of the oil terminal in
1990 Jan 29, Former Exxon
Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood went on trial in Anchorage, Alaska,
on charges stemming from the nation's worst oil spill. Hazelwood was
acquitted of major charges and convicted of a misdemeanor.
1990 Jan, Mt. Redoubt again
erupted in Alaska and sent baseball-sized pieces of pumice more than
20 miles from the volcano.
(AAM, 3/96, p.84)
1990 Feb 27, Exxon Corp and
Exxon Shipping were indicted on 5 criminal counts for the oil spill
at Valdez, Alaska.
1990 Mar 22, A jury in
Anchorage, Alaska, found former tanker captain Joseph Hazelwood
innocent of three major charges in connection with the Exxon Valdez
oil spill, but convicted him of a minor charge of negligent
discharge of oil.
(HN, 3/22/97)(AP, 3/22/00)
1990 Mar 23, Former Exxon
Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was sentenced by a judge in
Anchorage, Alaska, to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay
$50,000 in restitution for his role in the 1989 oil spill.
1990 Dec 3, Walter Hickel
(1919-2010), former governor of Alaska (1966-1969) and US Interior
chief (1969-1970) under Pres. Nixon, took office as Alaska’s 8th
governor. He served to Dec 5, 1994.
1991 Mar 13, Exxon pleaded
guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $100 million fine in a
$1.1 billion settlement of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1991 Jun, Alaska Airlines began
the 1st regularly scheduled service from the US to the Soviet Far
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.A4)
1991 Oct 8, A federal judge in
Anchorage, Alaska, approved a five-billion-dollar settlement against
Exxon for the Valdez oil spill.
1992 Aug 18, Christopher
McCandless (b.1968), a former student from Harvard, starved to death
in the wilderness of Alaska. His story was later told by Jon
Krakauer in the book “Into the Wild." In 2007 Sean Penn directed a
film of the same name based on the book. In 2020 an abandoned bus
that was used by McCandless was removed for public safety.
p.102)(SFC, 6/20/20, p.A4)
1994 Aug 11, A US federal jury
awarded $286.8 million to some 10,000 commercial fishermen for
losses as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
1994 Sep 16, A federal jury
ordered Exxon Corp. to pay $5.3 billion in punitive damages to
commercial fishermen and others harmed in the 1989 Exxon Valdez
spill in Alaska. A US Court of Appeals threw out the punitive
damages in 2001.
(AP, 9/16/99)(SFC, 3/27/99, p.A7)(SFC, 11/8/01,
1994-2002 Tony Knowles served as governor of
(Econ, 8/26/06, p.27)
1995 Sep 22, An AWACS plane
carrying US and Canadian military personnel crashed on takeoff from
Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska, killing all 24
1995 Alaska’s halibut fisherman
decided to privatize their fishery by dividing up their annual quota
into “catch shares," that were owned in perpetuity by each
(Econ, 9/20/08, p.24)
1996 May 4, In Alaska Jessica
Baggen was raped and murdered after she celebrated her 17th
birthday. Her body was found two days later. On August 3, 2020,
suspect Steve Branch (66) died by suicide after state police
investigators traveled to his home in Austin, Arkansas, to interview
him about Baggen’s murder in the city of Sitka.
(NBC News, 8/11/20)
1996 Sarah Palin (b.1964) was
elected mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and served for 2 terms until 2002
when term limits forced her from office.
(SFC, 8/30/08, p.A6)
1996-2006 In Alaska per-capita federal spending
rose from 38% above the national average to 71% above. Much of this
was later attributed to Sen. Ted Stevens, who had begun representing
Alaska in 1968.
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.34)
1997 Feb 19, In southwestern
Alaska Evan Ramsey (16) opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun as
students assembled in a high school lobby, killing a principal and
16-year-old classmate in Bethel, a town of 6,000. Ramsey was
sentenced to a 198-year prison term.
1997 Nov 9, A family of 7 and
the pilot of a commuter plane died in a crash in Barrow.
1997 Nov 26, In the Aleutian
Islands 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, the freighter,
Kuroshima, ran aground off Dutch Harbor in heavy winds. Two crewmen
were reported dead and 10,000 gallons of oil was reported to have
leaked. As much as 240,000 gallons was reported on board. Emergency
workers removed 57,000 gallons on Dec 5 and 30,000 gallons still
(SFC,11/28/97, p.B9)(SFC, 12/1/97,
1997 Dr. Johan Hultin (72) of
San Francisco found remnants of the 1918 Spanish flu in the lungs of
a corpse buried in the permafrost of a cemetery in Alaska. An
earlier effort at Brevig Mission in 1951 had failed.
(SFC, 10/6/05, p.A14)
1998 Mar 17, In Alaska Jeff
King battled through blowing snow and poor visibility to earn his
third victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
1998 Bob Kaufman, SF venture
capitalist, met with Richard Goldman to ask for money to buy 10,539
acres of wilderness for public trust. The Goldman fund provided some
$5 million over the next 3 years.
(SSFC, 7/29/01, p.A6)
1998 John V.R. Evans of
Alaska’s Matanuska Valley set a Guinness world record by growing an
18-pound, 13 ounce carrot.
(SFC, 7/6/05, p.A2)
1999 Feb, The snowmobile was
banned from all but 7,000 of the 2 million acres of Denali National
Park designated as the Denali National Wilderness.
(WSJ, 5/13/99, p.B1)
1999 Mar 21, In Alaska an
avalanche killed at least 4 snowmobilers at the Turnagain Pass in
Chugach National Forest.
(WSJ, 3/23/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 10, A sightseeing
helicopter crashed near Herbert Glacier and all seven people onboard
(SFC, 6/10/99, p.A3)
1999 Aug, Alfred Reumayr of
British Columbia was arrested in a joint operation by the US Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to plotting to blow up the
Trans-Alaskan oil pipeline on New Year's Day 2000. He had planned to
buy energy securities at low prices before the attack, and hoped to
profit by selling them at a higher price amid market turmoil
2000 Jan 20, The 2000 US census
began in Unalakleet, Alaska.
(SFC, 1/21/00, p.A1)
2000 Jan 31, Alaska Airlines
Flight 261, an MD-83 jet with 88 people bound for Seattle from
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, crashed about 2.7 miles north of Anacapa
Island, Ca. There were no survivors. A stop had been scheduled in
2000 Mar 14, Defending champion
Doug Swingley drove his dog team to victory in the Iditarod Trail
Sled Dog Race.
2000 Sep 2, In Alaska Joshua
Alan Wade killed Della Brown (33), a native Alaskan, by smashing her
head with a rock in Anchorage. Wade was acquitted in 2003 in her
killing, but was convicted of tampering with her body and served
several years in prison. In 2010 Wade acknowledged her murder.
2000 Oct, The annual oil
royalty checks from the Alaska Permanent Fund totaled nearly $2000
(SFC, 9/22/00, p.A10)
2000 In Haines, Alaska, Dave
Pahl created his Hammer Museum, a tribute to the oldest human tool.
In 2007 he struggled to retain the name as the Armand Hammer Museum
of Art changed its name to the Hammer Museum of Art and applied for
a trademark to the name.
(WSJ, 10/5/07, p.A1)
2001 Jan, A rare tundra blaze
burned across 15,000 acres in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife
(SFC, 1/6/01, p.D8)
2001 Mar 14, Doug Swingley won
the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska for the third straight
2001 May 7, Four Anchorage
school children were stabbed by Jason Pritchard (33). Pritchard was
shot with rubber bullets and taken into custody.
(WSJ, 5/8/01, p.A1)(SFC, 5/8/01, p.A2)
2001 Jul 30, A sightseeing
plane crashed near Glacier Bay National Park and all 6 people aboard
(WSJ, 8/1/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 5, In Alaska Daniel
Carson Lewis (37) was arrested for shooting a hole into the oil
pipeline, which cause the leakage of up to 280,000 of gallons. Some
285,600 gallons spewed out for 3 days until the leak was plugged Oct
6. The cleanup cost was $7 million.
(SFC, 10/6/01, p.A11)(SSFC, 10/7/01, p.A17)
2001 Oct 10, A small plane
crashed following takeoff from Dillingham. 10 people were killed in
the Cessna 208 Caravan.
(SFC, 10/11/01, p.A21)
2002 Jan 24, In Juneau, Alaska,
Joseph Frederick (18) displayed a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus"
as the Olympic torch passed by. The head teacher at his high school
suspended him and Frederick sued in return. The case moved up to the
US Supreme Court. In 2007 the US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that
schools may punish youths for statements that might promote drug
(Econ, 3/24/07, p.35)(SFC, 6/26/07, p.A8)
2002 Feb 16, Pres. Bush
departed on a 6-day Asia trip. Enroute to a three-nation tour of
Asia, Bush stopped off at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, where
he told hundreds of cheering US soldiers that "America will not
blink" in the fight against terrorism and Osama bin Laden.
(SFC, 2/16/02, p.A3)(AP, 2/16/07)
2002 Mar 12, Martin Buser
captured his fourth victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
2002 Apr 8, California
mountaineers, Aaron Martin (32) and Reid Sanders (30), died on Mount
St. Elias while trying to reach the summit in order to ski down.
(SFC, 4/18/02, p.A2)
2002 May 24, Japan led a
successful move to deny Alaska and Siberian native peoples a renewal
of permission to hunt whales after a failed bid to end a 20-year
moratorium on commercial whaling.
(SFC, 5/25/02, p.A17)
2002 Jul 1, A Canadian climber
who had scaled Alaska's Mount McKinley alone died after he fell
about 1,000 feet (300 meters) while descending from the peak's upper
2002 Sep 25, The annual Alaska
oil dividend was announced to be $1,540.76.
(SFC, 9/27/02, p.A7)
2002 Nov 3, A 7.9 earthquake
hit Alaska 90 miles south of Fairbanks.
(SFC, 11/4/02, p.A2)
2002 Nov, Frank Murkowski,
former Republican senator, was elected governor of Alaska.
(Econ, 3/13/04, p.32)
2003 Mar 13, In Alaska Robert
Sorlie of Norway won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in nine days,
15 hours, 47 minutes.
2003 Oct 6, Timothy Treadwell
(46) and Amie Huguenard (37) were found fatally mauled by a bear
near Kaflia Bay in Katmai National Park, Alaska.
(SFC, 10/8/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 23, The Bush
administration reversed a 2001 Clinton policy and opened some
300,000 acres of Alaska's Tongass National Forest to possible
logging or other development. The plan affirmed a Clinton plan from
(SFC, 12/24/03, p.A4)
2003 Alaska resumed limited
aerial wolf hunting. In 1996 and 2000 Alaska voters turned down
proposals to resume aerial predation control.
(Econ, 3/26/05, p.36)
2004 Jan 20, Alaska Gov. Frank
Murkowski called for a constitutional amendment to limit future
(ADN, 1/21/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 16, Mitch Seavey won
the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in nine days, 12 hours, 20 minutes
and 22 seconds.
2004 Nov 3, In Alaska Lisa
Murkowski won the US Senate seat she inherited from her father.
(Econ, 11/6/04, p.30)
2004 The federal government
owned two-thirds of Alaska.
(Econ, 10/23/04, p.30)
2005 Jan 21, The US Bureau of
Land Management (BLM) posted a decision to open thousands of acres
on Alaska’s North Slope for exploratory oil drilling.
(SFC, 1/22/05, p.A5)
2005 Feb 5, Gregg Renkes,
Alaska’s attorney general, resigned after months of battling
criticism for alleged ethics breaches while shaping an int’l. trade
(SSFC, 2/6/05, p.A3)
2005 Mar 16, The US Senate
voted 51-49 to drill for oil in Alaska.
(WSJ, 3/17/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 7, A Univ. of Alaska
Fairbanks student found a track from a three-toed dinosaur believed
to be about 70 million years old in Denali National Park, the first
evidence that the animals roamed there.
2005 Jul 25, In Virginia 4
adult Scout leaders from Alaska were killed on the opening day of
their Jamboree when a tent pole apparently struck a power line.
2005 Oct 20, Sen. Ted Stevens,
R-Alaska, vowed to resign from the Senate if his fellow lawmakers
followed through on threats to cancel spending on a $230 million
"bridge to nowhere" in Alaska that was stuck into a pork-filled
highway bill earlier this year. On Nov 16. lawmakers scuttled plans
for the bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island.
(KRN, 10/20/05)(SFC, 11/17/05, p.A7)
2005 Oct 28, The Alaska Supreme
Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar benefits to the
same-sex partners of public employees.
(SFC, 10/29/05, p.A3)
2005 Dec 21, The US Senate
stopped a bid by Ted Stevens, Alaska’s Republican Sen., on a measure
for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the US
military spending bill. Senators also forced through a 5-month
extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act. The move effectively
killed a compromise that would have made permanent 14 of 16
provisions. The next day Senators cut the extension to 5 weeks.
(SFC, 12/21/05, p.A1)(SFC, 12/22/05, p.A5)(SFC,
2005 In Alaska the Chiginagak
Volcano in the early summer discharged acidic ash and water into the
King Salmon River killing all the fish there.
(SFC, 9/17/05, p.B8)
2006 Jan 11, The US Interior
Dept. agreed to open some 400,000 acres on Alaska’s North Slope for
exploratory oil drilling.
(SFC, 1/12/06, p.A6)
2006 Mar 2, An oil spill in
Alaska curtailed Prudhoe Bay production. At least 265,000 gallons
spilled onto the tundra from a British Petroleum (BP) line handling
100,000 barrels per day. The spill of 5,000 barrels was the largest
in the field’s 29-year history. In 2011 a $25 million settlement was
reached with a BP subsidiary for the spill.
(WSJ, 3/3/06, p.A1)(SFC, 3/11/06, p.A4)(SSFC,
8/13/06, p.A18)(SFC, 5/4/11, p.A6)
2006 Mar 10, In Alaska another
oil leak was detected on a 2nd North Slope transmission pipeline.
This followed the recently plugged leak discovered on Mar 2.
(SFC, 3/11/06, p.A4)
2006 Mar 15, Veteran musher
Jeff King drove his dog team into the Bering Sea town of Nome,
Alaska, to capture the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the
world's premier dog-sled event, for the fourth time.
2006 Apr 22, In Alaska 6
seventh-graders were arrested in North Pole, just outside of
Fairbanks, for conspiracy to commit murder during an assault on
their school. Authorities found weapons in their homes.
2006 Apr 23, In Alaska 2 small
planes collided midair and crashed about 20 miles north of
Anchorage, killing five people.
2006 Jul 6, A US federal rule
was published designating some 36,750 square miles in the Bering Sea
and Gulf of Alaska as critical habitat for right whales. The rule
takes effect Aug. 7.
2006 Jul 23, The 654-foot
Singapore-flagged Cougar Ace, a cargo ship carrying 4,813 cars from
Japan to Canada, began tilting to its port side late at night
hundreds of miles off Alaska's Aleutian Islands. 23 crew members
were rescued the next day. The ship was owned by Tokyo-based Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines and listed on its side for several weeks before being
righted. 4,703 of the cars were new Mazdas valued at about $100
million. After a year of planning Mazda scheduled all the cars for
complete reduction to scrap in Portland, Ore.
(AP, 7/25/06)(SFC, 7/25/06, p.A2)(WSJ, 4/29/08,
2006 Jul 24, Rescuers from the
US Coast Guard and Alaska Air National Guard saved 23 crew members
from a cargo ship taking on water south of the Aleutian Islands.
2006 Aug 5, Susan Butcher (51),
four-time Iditarod champion, died in Seattle, Wa. In 1986 she became
the Alaska race's second female winner and brought increased
national attention to its grueling competition.
2006 Aug 6, Oil giant BP
announced an indefinite shutdown of the biggest oilfield in the US,
at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, after finding a pipeline leak. BP was able
to maintain partial operations.
2006 Aug 7, Oil company BP
scrambled to assess pipeline corrosion in Alaska that will shut
shipments from the nation's biggest oil field, removing about 8% of
daily US crude production and driving oil and gasoline prices
sharply higher. BP said it would have to replace 16 miles of
pipeline at the Prudhoe Bay field.
(AP, 8/7/06)(AP, 8/7/07)
2006 Aug 11, BP PLC announced
it would keep one side of the Prudhoe Bay oil field open as it
replaced corroded pipes, averting a larger crimp in the nation's oil
2006 Aug 23, In Alaska
Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski finished last in a 3-day primary
election. Sarah Palin, a former Wasilla mayor, won with over 50% of
(SFC, 8/24/06, p.A3)
2006 Sep 7, BP America, the US
arm of British energy giant BP, said it will spend more than 550
million dollars (432 million euros) over the next two years on
improvements to its Alaskan oil fields, including pipeline repairs.
2006 Sep 21, In NYC Venezuela’s
Pres. Chavez visited the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Harlem and
promised to double the amount of discounted heating oil his country
is shipping to needy Americans. His offer included 100 gallons of
heating oil for each of 12,000 households in rural Alaska.
(SFC, 9/22/06, p.A3)(SSFC, 10/8/06, p.A27)
2006 The population of Alaska
(Econ, 8/26/06, p.27)
2007 Jan 9, Pres. Bush lifted a
ban on oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Bristol area.
(SFC, 1/10/07, p.A5)
2007 Jan 17, Alaska’s newly
elected Gov. Sarah Palin (42) delivered her 1st state speech.
2007 Mar 13, In Alaska Lance
Mackey won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in nine days, five
hours, eight minutes.
2007 Apr 24, At a conference in
Moscow titled “Megaprojects of Russia’s East," supporters proposed a
68-mile tunnel under the Bering Strait. The tunnel linking Alaska
and Siberia would cost $65 billion and take some 20 years to build.
(SFC, 4/25/07, p.A6)
2007 May 4, An Alaska lawmaker
and two of his former colleagues were arrested for allegedly
soliciting and accepting bribes from VECO Corp., a private oil
services company, to pass a new oil-tax system.
2007 May 28, In Alaska
officials from 75 nations began talks critical to whale conservation
amid pressure, notably from Japan, to lift a 20-year ban on
commercial whale hunting.
2007 Jun 28, Bruce Kennedy
(b.1938), former CEO of Alaska Airlines (1979-1991), was killed when
his Cessna 182 crashed in Cashmere, Wash.
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.A4)
2007 Jul 9, Alaska’s former
state Rep. Tom Anderson was convicted of taking thousands of dollars
from a corrections company consultant in exchange for his help in
2007 Jul 25, In Alaska a
sightseeing plane crashed leaving a pilot and 2 couples from a
visiting cruise ship dead.
(WSJ, 1/25/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 31, A US government
watchdog group called for the removal of GOP Sen. Ted Stevens from
his Senate committees, less than 24 hours after the FBI and IRS
raided the senator’s Alaska home in connection with a public
corruption probe centered in the state.
2007 Aug 3, In Alaska Mindy
Schloss (52), a nurse practitioner, was last seen alive in
Anchorage. Her body was found on Sep 13 near Wasilla. In 2010 Joshua
Alan Wade (29) acknowledged that he had shot and killed Schloss, who
lived next door to him.
2007 Sep 13, Bill Allen (70),
former head of VECO Corp., testified in a federal corruption trial
in Anchorage, that he had bribed 3 Alaska legislators, including the
son of US Sen. Ted Stevens.
(SFC, 9/14/07, p.A9)
2007 Nov 1, A federal jury
convicted Vic Kohring, a former Alaska lawmaker, of corruption
charges involving tax protections sought by oil companies as part of
plans for a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline.
2007 Nov 18, The Jesuit order
of the Roman Catholic Church agreed to pay $50 million to 110
Eskimos to settle claims of sexual abuse in Alaska.
(SFC, 11/19/07, p.A3)(Reuters, 11/19/07)
2007 Dec 7, Former Alaska House
Speaker Pete Kott was sentenced to six years in a federal prison for
accepting $9,000 in bribes from the founder of an oil field services
2008 Jan 5, In Alaska a small
plane crashed at the end of a runway off Kodiak Island killing 6
people enroute to celebrate Eastern Orthodox Christmas.
(SFC, 1/7/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 21, Marie Smith (89),
a resident of southeastern Alaska, died. She was the last speaker of
her native Eyak language.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.92)
2008 Mar 12, In Alaska Lance
Mackey won his second consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race,
completing the 1,100-mile journey in just under 9 1/2 days.
2008 Mar 23, The Alaska Ranger,
a 189-foot fishing vessel, sank off the Aleutian Islands, killing
the captain and 4 crew members. 42 crew members were rescued. State
environmental regulators were notified that the ship was carrying
145,000 gallons of diesel when it sank in deep seas.
(AP, 3/24/08)(SFC, 10/1/09,
2008 Jun 25, The US Supreme
Court overturned the $2.5 billion in punitive damages that Exxon
Mobil Corp had been ordered to pay for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil
spill off Alaska. Punitive damages were reduced to $507.5 million.
(AP, 6/25/08)(Econ, 5/22/10, p.68)
2008 Jul 9, A grand jury in
Anchorage indicted Sen. John Cowdery, an Alaska legislator, on
bribery and conspiracy counts in a federal investigation of
corruption that already has led to convictions against three former
state lawmakers. Federal prosecutors allege that Cowdery conspired
with executives of oil field services company VECO Corp. to bribe
another unnamed state senator for votes to support oil and gas
2008 Jul 29, Alaska Senator Ted
Stevens (84), the longest-serving Republican in the US Senate, was
indicted for making false statements concerning gifts he received
from an oil-services firm.
2008 Jul, In Alaska Gov.
Palin’s chief of staff told Walter Monegan, the state public safety
commissioner, that he was being fired because the governor wanted
“to go in a different direction." Monegan, hired by Palin shortly
after she took office in 2006, said his firing was connected to his
failure to remove Mike Wooten, Palin’s former brother-in-law, from
the state police force.
(SFC, 9/1/08, p.A7)
2008 Aug 4, Alaska sued the US
government saying its listing of polar bears as a threatened species
will hurt oil exploration and tourism.
2008 Aug 29, John McCain, on
his 72nd birthday, tapped little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (44)
to be his vice presidential running mate.
(AP, 8/29/08)(SFC, 8/30/08, p.A1)
2008 Sep 1, The GOP convention
opened at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., in an
abbreviated session due to Hurricane Gustav. Alaska’s Gov. Palin,
GOP candidate for the vice-presidency, disclosed that her daughter,
Bristol (17), is 5 months pregnant. Over 250 demonstrators were
arrested as splinter groups smashed department store and police car
windows. On March 11, 2009, Levi Johnson (19) announced he and
Bristol Palin had decided to end their relationship.
(SFC, 9/2/08, p.A1,5)(WSJ, 9/2/08, p.A4)(SFC,
2008 Oct 2, US vice
presidential candidates held their only debate prior to elections.
Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin often spoke in generalities. Delaware Sen.
Joe Biden was generally focused and forceful, and seemed to take
painstaking care not to appear disrespectful in the least.
2008 Oct 10, Alaska released a
report in which a legislative investigator found that Gov. Palin had
violated state ethics laws and abused her power by trying to have
her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.
2008 Oct 17, The Bush
administration named the beluga whale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet an
endangered species, despite opposition from Gov. Palin. Only 375
beluga whales remained there as opposed to some 1,300 in the 1970s.
In 2011 a US federal judge upheld the listing.
(SFC, 10/18/08, p.A3)(SFC, 11/22/11, p.A6)
2008 Oct 22, The fishing vessel
Katmai sank off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. 4 crew members were
rescued after spending some 15 hours in a life raft. 5 bodies were
recovered with 2 men missing.
(SFC, 10/24/08, p.A10)
2008 Oct 27, A Washington DC
jury found Alaska’s Sen. Stevens guilty on seven counts of trying to
hide more than $250,000 in free home renovations and other gifts
from a wealthy oil contractor. Stevens, who first entered the Senate
in 1968, faced Alaska's voters in upcoming elections as a convicted
felon. On April 1, 2009, the US Justice Dept. dropped charges
against Stevens, saying prosecutors’ mistakes forced the move.
(AP, 10/28/08)(WSJ, 4/2/09, p.A1)
2008 Nov 4, In Alaska voters
ousted Republican Sen. Ted Stevens. Democrat Mark Begich claimed a
narrow victory on Nov 18, after a tally of remaining ballots showed
him holding a 3,724-vote edge.
2008 Dec 16, NASA said
satellite data indicated that more than 2 trillion tons of land ice
have melted in Alaska, Antarctica and Greenland since 2003. The
satellite data showed the latest signs of what scientists say is
global warming. A scientist from America’s National Snow and Ice
Data Center said the shrinking of Arctic ice (and exposure of extra
sea to radiation) was warming the world at an accelerating pace.
2009 Mar 18, In Alaska lance
Mackey won his 3rd consecutive Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
(WSJ, 3/19/09, p.A6)
2009 Mar 23, Alaska's Mount
Redoubt volcano erupted five times overnight, sending an ash plume
more than 9 miles into the air in the volcano's first emissions in
nearly 20 years.
2009 May 21, Alaska’s Gov.
Sarah Palin became the only governor to turn down federal stimulus
money for energy efficiency, a move that legislators called
"disappointing" for a state with some of the country's highest
2009 Jun 18, The US Supreme
Court ruled 5-4 that William Osborne, a prisoner convicted in Alaska
in 1994, has no constitutional right to DNA testing to prove his
innocence. In April 2008, a three-judge panel of US Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit had held that Osborne should be allowed to
obtain new DNA tests. The court said that it is up to the
states and Congress to decide such rights.
(SFC, 6/19/09, p.A7)(Econ, 8/1/09,
2009 Jun 22, The US Supreme
Court ruled 6-3 to allow a mining company to dump waste from an
Alaskan gold mine into a nearby 23-acre lake, although the material
will kill all of the lake's fish. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called the
decision "great news for Alaska" and said it "is a green light for
responsible resource development." The Kensington gold mine 45 miles
north of Juneau will produce as many as 370 jobs when it begins
2009 Jul 3, Alaska Gov. Sarah
Palin announced her decision to leave office more than a year early,
effective July 26. The announcement left open the possibility of a
presidential run. Palin was replaced by Sean Parnell.
(AP, 7/4/09)(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.A9)
2009 Jul 15, In Alaska Anthony
Rollins, a 13-year decorated Anchorage police officer, was arrested
after being indicted for assaulting multiple women while on duty.
(SFC, 7/16/09, p.A6)
2009 July 26, Alaska Gov. Sarah
Palin stepped down and was replaced by Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.
2009 Oct 21, Federal court
documents linked Alaska Rep. Don Young to a wide-ranging
investigation of corruption in Alaska. It was alleged that the
19-term Republican had received gifts totaling nearly $200,000 over
13 years from Veco Corp., a defunct oil field services company run
by former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
(SFC, 10/24/09, p.A10)
2009 Oct 22, The Obama
administration said it is designating over 200,000 square miles in
Alaska and off its coast as critical habitat for polar bears.
(SFC, 10/22/09, p.A7)
2009 Oct 28, In Anchorage Bill
Allen, an oil services executive at the heart of a federal
investigation of corruption in Alaska, was sentenced to 3 years in
prison and fine $750,000.
(SFC, 10/29/09, p.A6)
2009 Nov 24, In Alaska the
Catholic diocese of Fairbanks and representatives of almost 300
alleged victims of sex abuse by clergy agreed on a settlement of
almost $10 million.
(SFC, 11/25/09, p.A4)
2009 Dec 21, In Alaska an oil
spill was discovered coming from a 6-inch pipeline in the Prudhoe
Bay oil field.
(SFC, 12/23/09, p.A8)
2009 Dec 23, In Alaska a
123-foot tug boat hit Bligh Reef, the same reef that damaged the
Exxon Valdez in 1989. Over the next few days 49,000 gallons of
diesel fuel were salvaged from the tug. It was unknown ho much fuel
(SSFC, 12/27/09, p.A10)
2009 Sarah Palin, former
governor of Alaska (2007-2009), authored “Going Rogue: An American
(SFC, 9/29/09, p.A6)
2010 Jan 11, Fox News announced
that Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential
candidate, would become a regular commentator on its cable channel.
(SFC, 1/12/10, p.A4)
2010 Jan 18, It was reported
that Alaska corporations and a multinational firm are planning to
build the first fiber optic cable between Asia and Europe through
the Arctic. The project estimated at $1 billion, involved laying
10,000 miles of undersea fiber optic cable from Tokyo, along the
Alaska coast, through the Northwest Passage, past Greenland to
(SFC, 1/18/10, p.D3)
2010 Feb 9, Phil Harris (53),
the fishing boat captain whose adventures off the Alaska coast were
captured on the television show "Deadliest Catch", died in Anchorage
following a massive stroke on Jan 29.
2010 Feb 13, In Alaska an
avalanche near Seward buried Jim Bowles, head of Conoco Phillips
Alaska and Alan Gage, part of the company’s capital projects team.
They were among a party of 12 snowmobilers.
(SFC, 2/15/10, p.A6)
2010 Mar 8, In Alaska the body
of rural teacher Candice Berner (32) was found a mile outside of
Chignik Lake. Wolf tracks surrounded the body.
(SFC, 3/12/10, p.A8)
2010 Apr, In Alaska Kip Lynch,
a former army soldier, shot and killed his wife Racquell (19) and
their 8-month old baby, Kyirsta. Their bodies remained in the
family's Anchorage apartment for a weekend before they were
discovered. Lynch had shot himself but recovered. He was found
guilty in June 2011 and in 2012 was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
2010 May 7, Walter Hickel
(b.1919), former governor of Alaska and US Interior chief
(1969-1970) under Pres. Nixon, died in Anchorage.
(SSFC, 5/9/10, p.C8)
2010 May 25, In Alaska several
thousand barrels of crude spilled from the trans-Alaska pipeline and
overflowed a storage tank. The spill was in a containment area with
an impermeable liner.
(SFC, 5/27/10, p.A8)
2010 May 28, In Alaska a
backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Denali
National Park. A man and woman reported that they were hiking when
the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman.
2010 Aug 1, In Alaska a
Fairchild C-123 registered to All West Freight of Delta Junction
crashed in Denali National Park killing all 3 people on board.
2010 Aug 9, In Alaska a small
plane crashed killing former US Sen. Ted Stevens (86) and 4 others
at a mountainside on Bristol Bay. 4 others survived the crash of the
1957 De Havilland DHC-3T.
(SFC, 8/11/10, p.A4)
2010 Aug 21, In Alaska a
float-plane carrying 4 people went missing 285 miles southwest of
Anchorage. The passengers included 3 Katmai National Park rangers.
(SFC, 8/23/10, p.A5)
2010 Nov 17, Alaska election
officials confirmed that Rep. Senator Lisa Murkowski won her US
Senate seat as a write-in candidate.
(SFC, 11/18/10, p.A1)
2011 Jun 10, The state of
Alaska has released more than 24,000 pages of printed e-mails from
former governor Sarah Palin. The e-mails include some from her
government account and some from two personal accounts, and are said
to shed light on how she did business while she was in office.
Individuals who want to read them will have to pay a $725 charge for
copying and several hundred dollars more to have them delivered.
Interest in Palin remains high amidst rumors that she plans to run
for president, and several newspapers were already making plans to
scan and publish the e-mails.
11, Brian Young of Kodiak, Alaska, suddenly stopped breathing after
he completed the 20-hour climb up to the summit of Mt. McKinley and
then back to camp. Young was the fifth climber this season to die at
Mt. McKinley, which is North America’s tallest
2011 Jul 30, In Alaska two
small planes collided. One managed to land in Anchorage, the other
crashed killing at least 2 people on board.
(SSFC, 7/31/11, p.A10)
2011 Sep 20, Alaska announced
that the Permanent Fund Dividend for residents this year would be
$1,174. the fund was created in 1976.
(SFC, 9/21/11, p.A6)
2012 Mar 6, Ten US states voted
in the Super Tuesday Republican primaries. Republican presidential
frontrunner Mitt Romney edged out conservative rival Rick Santorum
in the vital battleground of Ohio and won five of the night's other
contests. Romney also notched victories in Alaska, Idaho, Vermont,
Virginia and his home-state of Massachusetts, while Santorum won
North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee, and Newt Gingrich carried his
home state of Georgia.
(SFC, 3/7/12, p.A6)(Econ, 3/10/12, p.18)
2012 Apr 16, In San Francisco
the annual Goldman Environmental Prizes were presented 6
individuals. They included Sofia Gatica of Argentina work on
diseases related to agrochemicals; Caroline Canon of Alaska for her
village efforts against oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean; Ma Jun of
China for his efforts on air and water violations by major
manufacturers; Ikal Angelei of Kenya for her efforts to protect Lake
Turkana; Evgenia Chirikova of Russia for her efforts to protect the
Khimki Forest; and Father Edwin Gariguez of the Philippines for
advocating against mining developments on indigenous lands.
(SFC, 4/16/12, p.A10)
2012 Jun 14, In Alaska 5
Japanese climbers on an expedition to scale Mt. McKinley were caught
up in the avalanche. One managed to escape and 4 were left missing.
2012 Jul 18, In Alaska 2
visitors from Australia were killed in a fiery small plane crash
about 39 miles north of Fairbanks.
2012 Aug 13, US Interior Sec.
Ken Salazar announced the first comprehensive plan to manage the
national petroleum reserve in Alaska, allowing new drilling on half
of the nearly 23-million-acre reserve, while putting the rest off
(SFC, 8/14/12, p.A4)
2012 Dec 2, In Alaska Israel
Keyes (34), who had also confessed to killing a Vermont couple, was
found dead in his jail cell in Anchorage. Investigators later said
Keyes had confessed to killing 8 people before he committed suicide.
(AP, 12/3/12)(SFC, 12/8/12, p.A4)
2013 Mar 8, A commercial
Beechcraft 1900 cargo plane crashed in southwestern Alaska. The
bodies of the pilot Jeff Day (38) and co-pilot Neil Jensen (20) were
found the next day.
(SSFC, 3/10/13, p.A8)
2013 Mar 15, Defense Secretary
Chuck Hagel said the US is deploying 14 new ground-based missile
interceptors in Alaska to counter renewed nuclear threats from North
Korea and Iran. Hagel also said the US would shift some "resources,"
which he didn't specify, from the delayed Aegis anti-missile program
2013 Mar 31, An Alaska State
Trooper helicopter crashed overnight during a mission to rescue a
stranded snowmobiler. All three onboard were believed killed.
(SFC, 4/1/13, p.A5)
2013 Jul 7, In Alaska an air
taxi crashed after takeoff from Soldotna killing the pilot and all 9
(SFC, 7/8/13, p.A4)
2013 Sep 23, British adventurer
Sarah Outen arrived at Adak in the Aleutian Islands becoming the
first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska. She had left Choshi,
Japan, on April 27.
(SFC, 9/25/13, p.A6)
2013 Nov 29, In southwest
Alaska a Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 turboprop crashed near St.
Marys. 4 people were killed and six injured. Melanie Coffee (25)
left her 5-month-old baby to reach St. Marys and direct rescuers
back to the crash site. Her baby died.
(SSFC, 12/1/13, p.A15)
2013 Dec 30, The US FAA
selected six states (Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas
and Virginia) to test how drones can be more widely used in US
airspace. 24 states had competed for selection.
(SFC, 12/31/13, p.A6)
2014 Jan 30, Royal Dutch Shell
said it will suspend drilling in offshore Alaska after a US court
decision and as the oil major streamlines operations following a
slump in annual profits.
2014 May 1, Alaska state
troopers Gabriel Rich and Sgt. Patrick Johnson were killed in
Tanana. Suspect Nathaniel Lee Kangas (19) was arrested.
(SFC, 5/3/14, p.A5)
2014 May 25, A wildfire in
Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula grew to almost 218 square miles. Mandatory
evacuations were underway.
(SFC, 5/26/14, p.A9)
2014 Jun 10, The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) said it has granted the first
permission for commercial drone flights over US land. The BP energy
corporation and drone maker AeroVironment of California have been
given permission to use a Puma drone to survey pipelines, roads and
equipment at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. The first flight took place on
2014 Aug 25, In Alaska a rocket
carrying an experimental Advanced Hypersonic Weapon exploded as the
flight was terminated following the detection of an anamoly near a
Kodiac lauch pad shortly after liftoff.
(SFC, 8/26/14, p.A4)
2014 Aug, The US Forest service
gave the go-ahead for the so-called Big Thorne timber sale in the
Tongass National Forest of Alaska. Environmental groups soon filed
three separate suits to stop the sale.
(SFC, 8/29/14, p.A9)
2014 Oct 7, A US federal
appeals court in San Francisco struck down Nevada and Idaho’s bans
on same-sex marriage. The ruling also applies to all nine states in
the court’s territory and will overturn marriage bans in Montana,
Alaska and Arizona.
(SFC, 10/8/14, p.A6)
2014 Oct 12, A US federal judge
struck down Alaska’s first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages.
(SFC, 10/13/14, p.A8)
2014 Nov 4, Alaska voters
elected independent candidate Bill Walker to replace incumbent Gov.
Sean Parnell. Results were only made final on Nov 14.
(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.A9)
2014 Nov 4, Alaska’s statewide
initiative legalized marijuana, but allowed local governments to ban
pot businesses within their borders. In 2017 voters in and around
Fairbanks and on the Kenai Peninsula rejected efforts to ban
commercial marijuana cultivation and retail sales.
(SFC, 10/5/17, p.A7)
2015 Feb 24, Alaska became the
first red state to legalize the smoking, growing, and owning of
small amounts of marijuana, bringing the decriminalization movement
to a conservative stronghold.
2015 Mar 21, In Alaska a nearly
yearlong search for a missing came to a grim end with the discovery
of four bodies - Rebecca Adams (23), her boyfriend, Brandon Jividen
(38), and her children, Michelle Hundley (6) and Jaracca Hundley (3)
- a dead dog and a handgun just off a trail in a rural area near the
family's home on the outskirts of Kenai.
2015 Jun 24, Alaska reported
278 active fires following record heat in May.
(SFC, 6/25/15, p.A6)
2015 Jun 25, In Alaska 9 people
aboard a sightseeing airplane were killed when it crashed near
(SFC, 6/26/15, p.A6)
2015 Jul 22, The Obama
administration issued permits with conditions clearing the way for
Royal Dutch PLC to begin limited exploratory drilling in Chukchi Sea
off Alaska’s northwest coast.
(SFC, 7/23/15, p.A5)
2015 Aug 18, In Alaska 3 men
were believed buried by a landslide at a construction site in Sitka.
Six landslides hit the city following 2.5 inches of rain over the
last 24 hours.
(SFC, 8/20/15, p.A7)
2015 Aug 30, The Obama
administration announced its decision to bestow the traditional
Alaska Native name of Denali for what has been known as Mt. McKinley
on the eve of Pres. Obama’s 3-day visit to the state.
(SFC, 9/3/15, p.A12)
2015 Sep 1, Pres. Obama visited
the Exit Glacier in Alaska, which has receded 1.25 miles since 1815
and 187 feet since last year alone, and called it a signpost of
(SFC, 9/2/15, p.A8)
2015 Oct 2, A report released
by the Alaska Department of Labor showed that about 7,500 more
people moved out of the state than arrived in fiscal year 2014.
2015 Oct 16, The US Interior
Department announced it is canceling future oil lease sales and will
not extend current leases in Arctic waters off Alaska's northern
2015 The US federal government
owned 60% of the land in Alaska. The state owned 28%.
(Econ, 9/5/15, p.36)
2016 Jan 24, In south-central
Alaska a magnitude-6.8 earthquake knocked items off shelves and
walls in and jolted the nerves of residents in this earthquake-prone
region. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
2016 Jan, In Alaska thousands
of dead common murres, a type of seabird also known as a guillemot,
washed ashore near Homer and along the state’s vast coastline. The
birds appeared to have starved. Researchers later pinned the die-off
on warm ocean temperatures that affected the tiny fish eaten by the
(Econ, 1/30/16, p.24)(SFC, 2/11/17, p.A9)
2016 Mar 26, Vermont senator
Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, breathed
fresh life into his campaign for the White House with a clean sweep
in caucuses in the western US states of Alaska, Hawaii and
2016 Mar 27, In southwestern
Alaska the Pavlof Volcano erupted sending ash 20,000 feet into the
(SFC, 3/29/16, p.A14)
2016 Nov 25, In Alaska four
people including an infant were shot and killed at a hotel in
Fairbanks. McKay Hutton (22) was identified as the gunman in the
(SSFC, 11/27/16, p.A8)
2016 Dec 14, Alaska Airlines
completed its purchase of Virgin America.
(SFC, 12/15/16, p.C1)
2017 Apr 1, In Alaska workers
of Hilcorp Alaska LLC discovered an oil sheen and bubbling from
under the company’s Anna platform on the west side of Cook Inlet. It
was not clear how much oil had spilled into the inlet southwest of
(SFC, 4/3/17, p.A4)
2017 Apr 3, Pres. Donald Trump
signed into law legislation HJ69, undoing Obama-era rules that
restricted the hunting of bear in Alaska. This soon led to an
increase in orphan bear cubs in the state.
(SFC, 8/12/17, p.A9)
2017 May 3, Ten environmental
and Alaskan Native groups filed suit to maintain the ban on oil and
gas exploration, a key part of former Pres. Obama’s environmental
(SFC, 5/4/17, p.C4)
2017 May 11, US environmental
regulators cleared the path for a stalled copper and gold mine in
Alaska by agreeing to settle current lawsuits and other issues over
the project, which had drawn environmental concerns over its
potential impact on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.
(Reuters, 5/12/17)(SFC, 5/13/17, p.A6)
2018 Jan 22, US Interior Sec.
Ryan Zinke signed a land trade agreement that could lead to
construction of a road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife
Refuge. The road would connect the King Cove fishing community to an
all weather airport at Cold Bay.
(SFC, 1/23/18, p.A6)
2018 Jan 23, A magnitude-7.9
earthquake struck in the Gulf of Alaska, sending the state's coastal
residents inland to seek shelter from possible tidal waves. Tsunami
alerts were soon lifted.
2018 Mar 14, In Alaska
Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom was the first to reach the finish line
in Nome after traveling nearly a thousand miles across rugged
2018 Aug 4, In Alaska a small
sight-seeing plane crashed on Thunder Mountain in Denali National
Park. 4 people were killed and a fifth was missing.
(SFC, 8/7/18, p.A4)
2018 Oct 16, Alaska's Lt. Gov.
Byron Mallott resigned for making unspecified innappropriate
comments, imperiling the re-election of Gov. Bill Walker.
(SFC, 10/18/18, p.A6)
2019 Mar 13, Pete Kaiser became
the latest Alaska Native to win the 1,000-mile Iditarod dog sled
2019 May 13, In Alaska at least
four people were killed when two sightseeing planes carrying cruise
ship tourists collided in midair near Ketchikan. Two people remained
(SFC, 5/14/19, p.A6)
2019 Mar 29, In Alaska US
District Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that an executive order by Pres.
Donald Trump that lifted an Obama-era ban on drilling in the Arctic
Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic coast was unlawful.
(SSFC, 3/31/19, p.A8)
2019 Jul 4, Temperatures in
Alaska reached record highs with Anchorage recording 90 degrees. The
city's previous record was 85 degrees on June 14, 1969.
(SSFC, 7/7/19, p.A10)
2019 Jul 13, It was reported
that over the course of 10 days this month, Alaskan wildfires burned
an area of land the size of Rhode Island. This is way above normal —
though this doesn't match Alaska's extreme burning of 2015. The UN
The World Meteorological Organization noted that over 100 intense
fires burned in the Arctic Circle alone over the past six weeks,
releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than Sweden does
in an entire year.
2019 Jul 24, A strike by
Alaska's ferry workers halted traffic for the Alaska Marine Highway
System, the state-operated ferry system that serves 35 coastal
towns, most of them without outside road access.
2019 Jul 26, It was reported
that the Arctic is suffering its worst wildfire season on record,
with huge blazes in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska producing plumes
of smoke that can be seen from space.
(The Guardian, 7/26/19)
2019 Jul 27, Alaska ferry
workers and state officials sought a federal mediator's help to end
a strike that has disrupted travel during the peak summer tourist
season as the labor dispute surfaced in the 2020 presidential
2019 Jul 28, Israel's defence
ministry said tests of the Arrow-3 system were carried out in the US
state of Alaska and it successfully intercepted targets above the
atmosphere. The Arrow system, partly financed by the United States,
was developed and produced by Israeli Aerospace Industries in
partnership with Boeing.
2019 Aug 2, Alaska officials
and the union for striking boat workers said they have reached a
deal to end a walkout that has shut down the state's ferry system
for 10 days at the peak of the summer tourist season.
2019 Sep 6, The Alaska
Department of Corrections agreed to policy changes to accommodate
Muslim inmates who wish to practice their religion, settling a
lawsuit brought last year.
2019 Sep 21, The Alaska
Republican Party passed a rule canceling the holding of a
presidential primary in 2020. Earlier this month, Republican leaders
in Nevada, South Carolina and Kansas voted to scrap their
presidential nominating contests in 2020, erecting more hurdles for
the long-shot candidates challenging President Donald Trump.
2019 Oct 9, Alaska police said
Brian Steven Smith (48) has been arrested in Anchorage after videos
were found on a digital memory card depicting a woman being
assaulted and killed.
(SFC, 10/10/19, p.A5)
2019 Oct 17, In Alaska a
commuter plane carrying 42 people overshot a runway in Unalaska. One
of two passengers, who suffered critical injuries, soon died.
(SFC, 10/19/19, p.A6)
2019 Nov 18, Projects to
protect Texas marshes from erosion and an Alaskan village from the
Bering Sea got help from some of the 44 grants awarded today by the
National Coastal Resilience Fund, a public-private partnership
assisting communities threatened by storms and flooding from rising
and warming seas.
2019 Nov 26, Pres. Donald Trump
signed an executive order creating a White House task force on
missing and slain American Indians and Alaska Natives.
(SFC, 11/27/19, p.A5)
2019 Dec 31, Two crew members
of the Scandies Rose were rescued after the 130-foot crab fishing
vessel from Dutch Harbor, Alaska. A search for the five crew members
lasted 20 hours before it was called off.
2020 Jan 3, In Alaska
Shishaldin Volcano in the Aleutian Islands, one of Alaska’s most
active volcanoes, shot a cloud of ash more than 5 miles high,
triggering a warning to aviators and putting on a show that was
captured in satellite imagery.
2020 Jan 15, Four coastal
Louisiana tribes and one in Alaska that say the US government
violated their human rights by failing to take action on climate
change have submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations in
2020 Feb 6, In southwestern
Alaska a pilot and four passengers were killed in a commuter plane
(SFC, 2/8/20, p.A6)
2020 Feb 14, The Alaska Supreme
Court cleared the way for a campaign seeking to oust the state's
embattled governor to proceed with plans to collect enough
signatures to place a recall initiative on the 2020 ballot. A
lower-court judge had ruled that allegations of misconduct lodged
against Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy met the legal requirements for
placing a recall question on this year's election ballot.
2020 Mar 18, In Alaska Thomas
Waerner of Norway arrived first at the finish line in Nome to win
the Iditirod Trail Sled Dog Race.
(SSFC, 3/22/20, p.A5)
2020 Apr 9, Pantheon Resources
PLC reported the discovery of an oil field in Alaska's North Slope
region with a potential of 1.8 billion barrels of oil.
(SFC, 4/10/20, p.A3)
2020 Apr 11, Alaska held its
presidential primary. Joe biden bet Bernie Sanders 55.3% to 44.7%. A
total of 19,759 votes were cast.
(SFC, 4/13/20, p.A4)
2020 Apr 24, Alaska's
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy began allowing the limited reopening
of restaurants, stores, hair and nail salons and other businesses.
It was not until April 26 that Anchorage allowed those businesses to
(AP, 4/25/20)(AP, 4/27/20)
2020 Apr 29, It was reported
that BP is donating 3 million gallons of jet fuel to FedEx and
Alaska Airlines to help with the distribution of personal protective
equipment in the battle against the new coronavirus.
2020 May 1, Alaska Airlines and
Southwest became the latest airlines to announce they will require
passengers wear face coverings as of May 11. This means all major US
airlines have made that a requirement for passengers.
(Good Morning America, 5/1/20)
2020 Jun 4, US federal court
documents released early today showed that Alaska man Kenneth Zong,
accused of laundering $1 billion held in South Korea for Iran,
funneled nearly all the money through the United Arab Emirates. Zong
allegedly created fake invoices to help Iran draw cash held by South
Korea in lieu of payment for oil shipments.
2020 Jul 31, In Alaska 7
people, including state lawmaker Rep. Gary Knopp (67), died when two
small airplanes collided in midair near the airport in Soldotna, a
small community on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
2020 Aug 7, Officials in
Anchorage, Alaska, won a key ruling in favor of a ban on indoor
restaurant dining after a standoff over COVID-19 restrictions moved
2020 Aug 17, The Trump
administration issued final approval to allow oil and gas drilling
in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a 19 million acre (7.7
million hectares) refuge that has been off-limits to drilling for