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5 Fun Facts About December 25 In Alaska History

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Here are 5 interesting facts about December 25 in Alaska's history:

1. On December 25, 1818, the Russian Orthodox Church held Alaska's first Christmas celebration on Saint Michael's Island in the Aleutian chain. The post here also served as a school, printing shop, and parish.

2. In 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, and December 25 became a federal holiday in the territory. The day was called "Domestic Christmas" and was celebrated much like other parts of the country with gift-giving and family gatherings.

3. In 1906, a massive blizzard hit the town of Nome on Christmas Day, blocking the harbor with ice and keeping ships from delivering much-needed supplies. This event is known as "The Christmas Blizzard of 1906" and highlights the harsh realities of winter life in Alaska.

4. During World War II, soldiers at Fort Richardson in Anchorage celebrated Christmas by skiing, skating, and participating in a snowshoe race. They also enjoyed Christmas dinner with turkey, ham, and all the traditional fixings.

5. In the 1970s and 1980s, the oil industry boomed in Alaska, and Christmas Day became a time of great wealth and extravagance for some. Many workers in the oil fields received generous bonuses and threw extravagant holiday parties, earning the nickname "North Slope Christmas" for the event.
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