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5 Fun Facts About March 9 In Alaska History

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

1. In 1917, the Alaska Railroad officially opened for operation, connecting Seward to Fairbanks. This event marked a major milestone in Alaska's transportation history and helped to spur economic growth throughout the state.

2. On March 9, 1942, Japanese forces launched an air raid on Dutch Harbor, a naval base in the Aleutian Islands. This attack marked the beginning of a Japanese occupation of the western Aleutians, during which time several Aleutian villages were bombed and occupied.

3. In 1959, Alaska officially became the 49th state of the United States. March 9, 1959 was the day President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into law, paving the way for Alaska's admission to the Union later that year.

4. On March 9, 1964, a massive earthquake measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale struck Alaska. The quake, which lasted several minutes, triggered a massive tsunami that devastated coastal communities throughout the state, including the town of Valdez.

5. March 9, 1989 marked the beginning of one of the worst environmental disasters in history, when the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, spilling over 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine waters of Alaska's coastline. The spill had devastating effects on marine life and the fishing industry for years to come.
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