This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1906, a fire destroyed much of the business district of Wrangell.

• In 1959, Alaska jobless benefits were reported higher than that of any other state.

• In 1959, the City of Kodiak prepared its civil defense shelters in case of atomic war.

• In 1960, three "Iron Dogs," gas-powered ski-equipped sleds, arrived in Fairbanks after a demonstration run along 1,500 miles of the Kuskoquim River from Bethel, averaging 70 miles per day.

• In 1973, novice musher Dick Willmarth of Red Devil, won the first Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 20 days, 49 minutes and 41 seconds. Bobby Vent, of Huslia, was second.

• In 1989, the tanker Exxon-Valdez ran aground in Bligh Reef in the Valdez Narrows, spilling over 11 million gallons of oil into the waters of Prince William Sound, creating the largest oil spill in North America.

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