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5 Fun Facts About July 24 In Alaska History

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1. In 1867, the United States officially took ownership of Alaska from Russia, a process that had been negotiated earlier that year. This is now celebrated as Alaska Day on October 18, but July 24 was a significant date in the transfer of ownership.

2. On July 24, 1950, the first ever road built in Alaska's interior was opened for traffic. The road, which was 96 miles long, connected Fairbanks to the Yukon River and was constructed almost entirely by soldiers from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

3. In 2006, a unique archaeological discovery was made on July 24 when a team of researchers uncovered a 10,300-year-old prehistoric hunting device known as an atlatl dart in the Tanana River Valley. The discovery is significant because it suggests that humans were living in interior Alaska much earlier than previously thought.

4. July 24, 1972, marked the date of a devastating flood that hit Fairbanks, causing over $130 million in damage and leading to numerous evacuations. The flood was caused by heavy rainfall and a rapidly melting snowpack, and it remains one of the worst natural disasters in Alaskan history.

5. On July 24, 1909, the Seward Peninsula Gold Rush began, with the discovery of gold at Anvil Creek. The gold rush lasted for several years and drew thousands of prospectors to the area, leading to the development of new towns and infrastructure. The gold rush also had a significant impact on the culture and economy of Alaska as a whole.
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