13Oct

Big Sickness Arrives in Alaska in 1918

During the spring of 1918, as World War I veterans returned to their home countries, flu spread across the world and sickened many people. By that fall, the virus had mutated and become a mass killer. It preyed on the young and healthy. A dull headache signaled the beginning. Then came chills so intense that […]

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29Sep

Alaska’s first serial killer strikes

Between 1912 and 1915, a number of single, unattached men mysteriously disappeared in Southeast Alaska. The few law enforcement officials in the territory were baffled, but a suspect finally emerged in the fall of 1915. A Petersburg man named Edward Krause, who’d run for the Territorial Legislature as a Socialist Party candidate in 1912, represented […]

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15Sep

Aunt Phil’s Trunk Volume Five coming soon!

The fifth volume in my Aunt Phil’s Trunk Alaska history series went off to the printers last week. If all goes as planned, it will be available before Thanksgiving! This 448-page book, which will sell for $19.95, completes the series and features the first 25 years of Alaska’s statehood. Just like the first four books […]

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01Sep

Black Wolf Squadron touches down in Nome

Soon after the end of World War I, Brigadier Gen. William “Billy” Mitchell organized a flight of four De Havilland DH-4B aircraft from Mineola, New York, to Nome. The general wanted to show that airplanes could play an integral part in the nation’s defense. The Alaska flying expedition was named the Black Wolf Squadron. The […]

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20Aug

An update of happenings with Aunt Phil

The Alaska State Fair is opening next Thursday, Aug. 27, and will run through Labor Day, Sept. 7. If you are planning to visit the fair this year, make sure to stop by my booth on the Purple Trail (next to the face-painting people and across from the Pasty Shack) and say “Hi!” In other […]

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04Aug

Alaska Natives earn recognition by 1900s

After decades of not being recognized by the federal government, Alaska Natives marked a milestone in the mid-1930s. Amended in 1936 to include Alaska, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1935 allowed American Indians to locally govern their affairs by a tribal government that was established by constitution and bylaws for each tribe. Through its enactment, […]

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22Jul

How did Alaska get its name?

The man credited with purchasing Alaska from the Russians in 1867 probably signed his name to more government documents than any man of his day. He also appears to be the chief architect of the name given to America’s new possession. William H. Seward, born May 16, 1801 in Orange County, New York, held many […]

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06Jul

Aunt Phil Featured on CBS KTVA Channel 11 Anchorage!

CBS KTVA Channel 11 of Anchorage featured Aunt Phil last Sunday on Rhonda McBride’s show, Frontiers, at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Reviews have been overwhelming – looks like people really enjoyed learning about a few colorful characters in early Anchorage history. Here is a link to the expanded Web version if you’d like to […]

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24Jun

St. Michael Alaska Awakens

On June 25, 1897, the sleepy old Russian town of St. Michael Alaska awoke when the river steamer Alice arrived with 25 miners from Dawson carrying $500,000 among them in gold dust. That was enough to liven up just about any town. But the party wasn’t over. Two days later, the P.B. Weare carried in […]

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10Jun

Gold helped settle Alaska

Gold fever began rather tepidly in Alaska. Although Russian fur traders were aware of gold deposits found in Russian America in the mid-1700-1800s, they weren’t anxious to have gold-seeking outsiders combing their new land. So they said little about the discoveries of the bright gold metal. English missionary Robert McDonald, who researchers say found gold […]

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