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5 Fun Facts About March 16 In Alaska History

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

1. On March 16, 1968, the first ever Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began in Anchorage, Alaska. This iconic race covers over 1,000 miles of tough terrain and has become one of the most anticipated winter sports events in the world.

2. In 1976, the largest recorded earthquake to ever hit the Pacific North West struck Alaska, measuring at a magnitude of 7.6. The quake triggered a tsunami that caused significant damage to the city of Kodiak, resulting in the loss of five lives.

3. March 16, 1964 saw the start of the Good Friday Earthquake, measuring at a massive 9.2 magnitude, it was the second-largest recorded earthquake in history. It sparked tsunamis that caused significant damage to the Alaskan coast and caused several landslides, including the famous Turnagain Arm landslide that buried and destroyed large parts of the highway.

4. On March 16, 1959, Alaska was officially declared the 49th state of the United States. This event was significant for Alaska's people, who had long sought to secure their statehood and gain representation in the U.S. Congress.

5. In 1988, the Alaska Oil Spill Commission published its report on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The spill was one of the worst environmental disasters in Alaskan history and caused significant damage to the state's fishing industry and marine life. The commission's findings led to much stricter safety and environmental regulations in the oil industry.
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