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5 Fun Facts About March 11 In Alaska History

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1. In 1964, the Great Alaska earthquake occurred on March 11, with a magnitude of 9.2. This remains the most powerful earthquake recorded in North American history, causing widespread damage and triggering a series of devastating tsunamis.

2. On March 11, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound. This environmental disaster was the worst oil spill in U.S. history at the time, releasing approximately 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters and causing extensive damage to the surrounding ecosystem.

3. In 1935, Alaska officially adopted the Eskimo name for Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. The name "Denali," meaning "the great one," was recognized by the federal government on March 11 of that year.

4. On March 11, 1942, the United States Army established an air base near the town of Galena, Alaska. This base played a critical role in defending Alaska during World War II, with its pilots engaging in combat with Japanese forces in the Aleutian Islands.

5. In 2001, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, one of Alaska's most iconic events, began on March 11. This grueling race covers more than 1,000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness, and typically takes between 8 and 15 days to complete.
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