This Month in Alaska History
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This Month in History is compiled by Robert N. DeArmond of Sitka

April 1, 1869--The first public school in Alaska under the American flag was opened in a log building at Sitka. The teacher, Miss Addie Messer, was paid $50 a month.

April 2, 1935--Juneau-Fairbanks air service was inaugurated by Pacific-Alaska Airways.

April 3, 1898--A snowslide at Sheep Camp on the Chilkoot Trail killed 43 men.

April 4, 1911--A large business block in Iditarod was destroyed by fire.

April 5, 1824--The United States and Russia signed a convention opening the North Pacific to fishing and trade.

April 6, 1933--The sale of beer became legal in Alaska with the repeal of the Bone Dry law.

April 7, 1867--Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts delivered a speech in the Senate strongly supporting the purchase of Alaska.

April 8, 1944--The Alaska Juneau gold mine, Alaska's largest, closed down at midnight.

April 9, 1915--President Woodrow Wilson officially announced the route of the Alaska Railroad between Seward and Fairbanks.

April 10, 1885--Dr. Sheldon Jackson was appointed General Agent of Education for Alaska, a position in the U.S. Bureau of Education.

April 11, 1975--Alaska Airlines hired Joann Osterud, its first female pilot.

April 12, 1794--Captain George Vancouver and his ships entered Cook Inlet and discovered it was not a river.

April 13, 1913--The Princess Sophia struck Sentinel Island Reef and was damaged. Five years later she was wrecked on close by Vanderbilt Reef with the loss of all 343 people (the number varies) on board.

April 14, 1938--The Hydaburg Cooperative Association ratifies Alaska's first Indian Reorganization Act constitution.

April 15, 1929--Anscel Eckmann arrived at Juneau in a Lockheed Vega plane, the first non-stop flight from Seattle to Alaska.

April 16, 1959--The first Alaska State Legislature adjourned after being in session since January 26.

April 17, 1869--The Army established Fort Kenay at the old Russian town of Fort St. Nicholas, today known as Kenai.

April 18, 1913--John F. A. Strong, owner of the Alaska Daily Empire, a Juneau newspaper, was appointed Governor of Alaska.

April 19, 1933--John W. Troy, owner of the Daily Alaska Empire, was inaugurated as he 12th governor of Alaska.

April 20, 1888--The Metlakahtla post office was established on Annette Island with Fr. William Duncan as postmaster. The office was discontinued in 1889, reopened in 1892, closed again in 1895 an finally reestablished April 20, 1904, with the spelling Metlakatla.

April 21, 1913--President Woodrow Wilson signed an Executive Order establishing a reservation for the Chilkat Natives at Klukwan.

April 22, 1917--A cave-in and flooding closed the Treadwell and Mexican mines on Douglas Island.

April 23, 1869--The Alaska Times, a weekly newspaper, began publication in Sitka. It was the first newspaper printed in Alaska.

April 24, 1956--The voters of Alaska approved the constitution adopted at Fairbanks in February by a vote of 17,447 to 7,180 and adopted a "Tennessee plan" to send an unofficial three-member delegation to Congress.  Ernest Gruening and William Egan were named delegates to the Senate, Ralph J. Rivers to the House.

April 25, 1840--Sir James Douglas of the Hudson's Bay Company, arrived at Sitka to negotiate a treaty.

April 26, 1875--Charles D. Jones was born at Zanesville, Ohio. He was a member of the first Alaska Territorial Senate, was appointed U.S. Marshal at Nome and returned to the Senate for a term in the 1950s.

April 27, 1933--The Admiral Watson sailed from Seattle for Alaska, the last sailing of a ship of the pioneer Pacific Steamship Co. which was going out of business.

April 28, 1898--The townsite of Council City on Seward Peninsula was staked and a mining district formed.

April 29, 1958--The last Territorial Primary Election was held, a "lost" election because it was annulled by the first state primary in August.

April 30, 1913--The Alaska Pioneers' Home bill was approved by Governor Walter Clark.