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5 Fun Facts About February 2 In Alaska History

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1. On February 2, 1941, the first lending library in Anchorage, Alaska was established. The library operated out of the Anchorage Women’s Club and was initially run by volunteers. Today, the Anchorage Public Library system boasts six branches and offers a variety of services to the community.

2. In 1950, on February 2, a magnitude 8.6 earthquake struck near the Alaska-Canada border. Now known as the "Ampariak" earthquake, it is one of the largest recorded earthquakes in North America. Although there was widespread property damage and some loss of life, the quake was notable for the relatively small number of deaths compared to its size.

3. February 2, 1964 is a date forever etched in Alaskan history due to the Great Alaska Earthquake. The 9.2 magnitude quake is the second largest ever recorded and caused widespread devastation throughout the state. Towns and villages were destroyed, roads and bridges were ruined, and the resultant tsunamis claimed many lives. It was a defining moment in Alaskan history and led to significant changes in how the state built infrastructure and prepared for natural disasters.

4. On February 2, 1957, the United States Army launched the first-ever Nike-Hercules missile from Fort Richardson, Alaska. The missile was part of a Cold War-era missile defense system designed to intercept incoming Soviet bombers. The missile defense program was eventually phased out in the 1970s as new technology rendered the Nike-Hercules system obsolete.

5. February 2, 1925 was the day that the diphtheria serum arrived in Nome, Alaska. A severe outbreak of diphtheria had occurred in the remote town, with several children dying from the disease. The only way to get the serum to Nome was by dog sled, as the town was cut off from the outside world by ice and snow. A relay of dog teams transported the serum over 674 miles, with the final leg delivered by legendary musher Gunnar Kaasen and his dog Balto. The serum delivery saved many lives and became known as the "Great Race of Mercy."
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