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5 Fun Facts About February 15 In Alaska History

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1. In 1968, the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America hit Alaska. The magnitude 8.6 earthquake was centered off the coast of Kodiak Island and caused massive damage across the state.

2. On February 15, 1984, Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, officially settling land claims made by Alaska Native tribes. The act was a landmark moment for indigenous rights and helped to establish more than 200 Native corporations in the state.

3. In 2000, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began on February 15th. The annual race covers more than 1,000 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain from Anchorage to Nome and is known as one of the toughest races in the world.

4. On February 15, 1929, 13 men were killed in a violent shootout in downtown Chicago that became known as the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre." Although the event occurred outside of Alaska, it had an impact on the state's history as it helped to fuel national debates about the role of law enforcement in combating organized crime.

5. In 2007, a group of Alaskan researchers discovered the remains of a woolly mammoth on February 15th. The well-preserved specimen was found on Alaska's remote St. Paul Island and is believed to have died more than 10,000 years ago. The discovery was a significant one for researchers studying the area's prehistoric ecology.
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