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5 Fun Facts About February 19 In Alaska History

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

1. On February 19, 1959, Alaska was formally admitted as the 49th state of the United States. This was the culmination of a lengthy campaign for statehood that had begun decades earlier.

2. February 19, 1997, marked the dedication of the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. The center is a cultural center that showcases the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Alaska's indigenous peoples.

3. On February 19, 1980, a major avalanche struck the town of Valdez, Alaska, killing 15 people and causing widespread damage. The disaster prompted changes in how the town was built and managed in order to better protect against future avalanches.

4. February 19, 1942, saw the beginning of the Aleutian Islands Campaign during World War II. This was a series of battles fought between the United States and Japan for control of the Aleutian Islands, which lie off the coast of Alaska.

5. On February 19, 1979, the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began in Anchorage, Alaska. This grueling competition sees teams of mushers and their sled dogs race across Alaska's frozen tundra, covering almost 1,000 miles in less than two weeks.
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