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5 Fun Facts About January 17 In Alaska History

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1. In 1915, the Alaska Road Commission was officially established with the goal of improving transportation within the territory. This commission played a crucial role in the development of Alaska's infrastructure, particularly in the construction of roads and bridges.

2. On January 17, 1917, the United States Army Signal Corps established a military telegraph line across Alaska, linking radio stations from Valdez to Nome. This communication network was essential for maintaining contact between remote military outposts during WWI.

3. Charles Rosenkrans Jr., known as the "Father of the Alaska Marine Highway," was born on January 17, 1922. He was instrumental in the development of the ferry system that connects Southeast Alaska communities with the rest of the state.

4. In 1959, on January 17th, Alaska officially became the 49th state of the United States. This significant event marked the end of a long struggle for statehood and opened up new opportunities for economic growth and political representation for Alaskan residents.

5. In 1964, a devastating earthquake struck Southcentral Alaska on January 17th, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Known as the Good Friday earthquake, the magnitude 9.2 quake was the second-largest earthquake ever recorded and had a lasting impact on the region's infrastructure and communities.
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