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5 Fun Facts About January 8 In Alaska History

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

1. In 1912, a volcanic eruption occurred on the Katmai Peninsula that would become known as the Novarupta eruption. The eruption was one of the largest in modern history, and caused an ash cloud that was visible as far away as Europe. It also created the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a valley filled with steam vents and fumaroles.

2. On January 8, 1935, the state of Alaska officially adopted the song "Alaska's Flag." The song, which celebrates the flag of Alaska, was written by Marie Drake and adopted as the official state song by the Alaska Legislature. The lyrics celebrate the beauty of the Alaskan landscape and the spirit of its people.

3. In 1965, a major earthquake struck Alaska with a magnitude of 8.7. The earthquake, which was centered in the Rat Islands in the Aleutian chain, was the second largest ever recorded in the United States. It caused significant damage on the Aleutian Islands, but because of its remote location there were no fatalities.

4. On January 8, 1971, Joe Redington Sr. started the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The race, which covers over 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, is now an annual event that draws competitors from around the world. The race is held each March, and has become a symbol of Alaska's rugged beauty and culture.

5. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The spill, which was caused by the grounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, released an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of the sound. The disaster had a significant impact on the environment and economy of the region, and spurred the passage of new laws and regulations to prevent future oil spills.
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