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5 Fun Facts About August 16 In Alaska History

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

1. On August 16, 1955, the deadliest plane crash in U.S. history occurred in Seward, Alaska, when an Air Force C-119 transport plane crashed, killing all 37 passengers and crew on board.

2. August 16, 1959, marked the day that Alaska officially became the 49th state of the United States. President Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into law, making it official.

3. On August 16, 1901, the discovery of gold in Nome, Alaska, led to a frenzy of people rushing to the area to try to strike it rich. This event also helped spur further exploration and development of Alaska.

4. August 16, 1940, saw the opening of the Alaska Highway, which connected Alaska to the contiguous United States by a land route for the first time. The highway was built by the U.S. military during World War II to facilitate the transport of troops and supplies.

5. In more recent years, August 16, 2008, marked the start of an intense wildfire season in Alaska, with more than 800 fires reported that year. Climate change is thought to be contributing to an increase in wildfire activity in the state.
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