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5 Fun Facts About February 28 In Alaska History

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

1. In 1985, a fuel storage tank in Galena, Alaska was ruptured by the spring breakup of the Yukon River. Over 100,000 gallons of heating oil spilled, contaminating the area and threatening the health of nearby residents.

2. On February 28, 1942, the Alaska Highway was officially opened for military use. The road, which stretches from Dawson Creek in British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska, was built to transport troops and supplies during World War II.

3. In 1915, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was first held. The race, which covers over 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, commemorates the historic sled dog relay that delivered medicine to Nome during a diphtheria epidemic in 1925.

4. On February 28, 1959, Alaska was officially declared a state. The admission of Alaska as the 49th state of the United States came after years of political and legal battles over statehood.

5. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound. The tanker, which was carrying over 11 million gallons of crude oil, ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the sound, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in history.
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