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5 Fun Facts About November 19 In Alaska History

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

1. In 1864, the United States government officially transferred ownership of Alaska from Russia to the United States on November 19th. The purchase of Alaska, known as the Alaska Purchase, was one of the most significant land acquisitions in American history.

2. In 1902, the famous inventor Thomas Edison visited Alaska to observe the Northern Lights. He had been invited by Charles Walcott, who was the head of the U.S. Geological Survey at the time. Edison's visit helped to draw attention to Alaska and its natural wonders.

3. In 1942, during World War II, the U.S. Army established the Alaska Highway as a strategic military route from the United States to Alaska. The highway, also known as the Alaska-Canada Highway, stretches for 1,400 miles and was built in just eight months, making it one of the greatest engineering feats of the war.

4. In 1968, the devastating Good Friday earthquake struck Alaska on November 19th. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.2, remains the strongest earthquake ever recorded in North America. It caused widespread damage and loss of life, and the effects are still felt in Alaska today.

5. In 1977, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law on November 19th. The act was a landmark piece of legislation that granted Native Alaskans ownership of 44 million acres of land and nearly one billion dollars in compensation for the loss of traditional lands and resources. The act also established 12 regional Native corporations and over 200 village corporations, which continue to play a vital role in Alaska's economy and culture.
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