A mystery explained: Why they 'dood' it
Fifty years ago at the Empire
After it was announced that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had officially made Alaska the 49th state, the phrase "WE DOOD IT!" was splashed across the top of the Jan. 4, 1959, issue of The Daily Alaska Empire.

Fifty years later, the expression may confuse some who didn't live through the period. In the middle of the 20th century it was a relatively common and humorous saying, said Jackie Honeywell Walden, a Capital City Celebrations volunteer.

The phrase "I dood it" was popularized by the radio, television and film star Red Skelton and made it into the American lexicon from his radio character Junior, the Mean Widdle Kid.

"It was just kind of a slang phrase, that's basically what it was," said Honeywell Walden, 65, who was a sophomore in high school at the time of statehood.

She said the character was often accused of not being able to do things and would say "I dood it" when he would accomplish said things. Skelton's television show ran from 1951 to 1971 and was one of the few television shows playing in Juneau in 1959, airing at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays on KINY TV.

"At the time he was the comedian we watched," she said.

Honeywell Walden, who left Juneau after her senior year and just moved back to Juneau last year to retire, said many people not familiar with the saying have expressed curiosity about the phrase the Empire chose to use in 1959. She said many of the prominent politicians and pro-statehood people had come to Alaska during World War II when it was a popular phrase. She said the battle for statehood had been a long and arduous one by the time Eisenhower signed the statehood act.

"It was basically saying, 'We can do it, we can do it, we can be a state,' and finally, 'We did it. We dood it,'" she said.

"When the paper came out they all thought it was funny," she added. "They thought it was great."