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5 Fun Facts About January 26 In Alaska History

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

1. Alaska became an official United States territory on January 26, 1868. The U.S. government purchased the land from Russia for $7.2 million dollars, or roughly two cents an acre.
2. In 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law on January 26. This law allowed for Native Alaskans to receive compensation and land rights for the loss of their traditional lands.
3. On January 26, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred. The tanker ran aground and spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, devastating the local wildlife and environment.
4. In 2005, Alaska Airlines Flight 243 made an emergency landing in Anchorage on January 26 after a large portion of the plane's fuselage ripped away mid-flight. Miraculously, all 143 passengers and crew survived.
5. January 26, 2021 marked the first-ever formal recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day in Anchorage, replacing Columbus Day. The day was celebrated with a virtual gathering and traditional drumming and dancing.
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