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5 Fun Facts About August 17 In Alaska History

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

1. On August 17, 1902, a devastating fire swept through the town of Rampart, Alaska, destroying nearly every building in the settlement. The fire was caused by sparks from a paddle steamer that had stopped at the town's dock.

2. August 17, 1964, marked the day that the Alaska Earthquake hit, the second-largest earthquake ever recorded, with a magnitude of 9.2. The quake lasted for nearly four minutes and caused widespread damage across the state, including triggering massive landslides and tsunamis.

3. One of Alaska's most famous volcanoes, Mount Augustine, began a period of heightened activity on August 17, 2005, when it began emitting ash and steam. Over the following weeks, the volcano made several significant eruptions, leading to air traffic disruptions and temporary evacuation orders for nearby communities.

4. On August 17, 1985, the Alaska Legislature passed a resolution renaming Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, to Denali, its traditional Athabascan name. The change was a long-standing demand of Alaska Native groups, who had argued that the previous name honored a president who had never visited the state.

5. August 17, 1943, saw the arrival of the first convoy of lend-lease aid to the Soviet Union, which included over 150 aircraft, as well as trucks, jeeps, and medical supplies. The aid was shipped from Alaska to Siberia, over a treacherous route dubbed the "Alaska-Siberia Highway," and was crucial in helping the Soviet Union fight off Nazi Germany.
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