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5 Fun Facts About November 18 In Alaska History

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

1. On November 18, 1922, the first commercial flight arrived in Alaska when a West Point graduate named Noel Wien and his partner landed their small airplane on a frozen lake in Fairbanks. This event marked the beginning of Alaska's aviation industry.

2. November 18, 1978, was a tragic day in Alaska's history as a Pacific Southwest Airlines flight was hijacked by a man named Richard McCoy and forced to land on an abandoned airstrip near Anchorage. The passengers were eventually released safely, but the incident brought national attention to airport security measures.

3. On November 18, 1987, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history. The spill impacted the local wildlife and fishing industry and spurred new regulations for oil transportation.

4. November 18, 2014, marked the opening of the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) Acceleration Academy, which provides high school students with college-level courses and hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

5. In 2018, November 18 was declared Alaska National Rural Health Day to recognize the importance of rural healthcare workers and their contribution to Alaskan communities' overall health and well-being. The observance also highlighted initiatives to improve rural health services and access to care.
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