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5 Fun Facts About April 14 In Alaska History

---Learn Every Day: AK Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ak To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1898, a group of gold prospectors known as the "Three Lucky Swedes" discovered gold in the Klondike region of Alaska. This discovery kicked off the Klondike Gold Rush, which brought thousands of people to the state in search of fortune.

2. On April 14, 1935, the Matanuska Valley Colony was established. This government-sponsored agricultural colony brought more than 200 families from the Midwest to Alaska in an effort to promote farming in the state. Many of the original families still have descendants living in Alaska today.

3. In 1953, the Good Friday earthquake struck Alaska, measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale. This remains the second-largest earthquake ever recorded, and caused massive damage throughout the state. The earthquake triggered a tsunami that reached as far as Hawaii, and resulted in over 100 deaths.

4. On April 14, 1968, the first Earth Day was celebrated in Alaska and across the United States. This event raised awareness about environmental issues and helped spark the modern environmental movement.

5. In 1986, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred off the coast of Alaska. The tanker spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil, causing catastrophic damage to the local ecosystem and economy. This event led to significant changes in regulations for oil tanker traffic and oil spill response.
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