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

August 1, 1977--The first tanker with Prudhoe Bay oil, the ARCO Juneau, left Valdez.

August 2, 1924--Fire destroyed the power plant at the Kennecott mine.

August 3, 1908--The first automobile in Fairbanks, a Pope-Toledo, arrived for David Laite.

August 4, 1938--Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, sailed from Seattle on an inspection trip to Alaska.

August 5, 1909--The George C. Thomas Memorial Library was dedicated at Fairbanks.

August 6, 1920--The cannery of the Straits Packing Company burned at Skowl Arm of Kasaan Bay.

August 7, 1938--A Pan-American Airways "Baby Clipper" landed on the Juneau airfield in a trial flight.

August 8, 1931--Col. and Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh landed at Barrow en route to the Orient.

August 9, 1899--The U.S. Revenue Marine service steamer Nunivak entered the Yukon River to commence patrol duties.

August 10, 1728--Vitus Bering discovered St. Lawrence Island.

August 11, 1900--The Nome Daily Chronicle began publication. In September it changed to weekly publication and the following June it closed down.

August 12, 1869--William H. Seward, the former Secretary of State who was instrumental in the purchase of Alaska, delivered an address to an overflow crowd at the Lutheran Church in Sitka.

August 13, 1974--The USS Anchorage, on a tour of Alaska ports, arrived in Sitka harbor for a three-day stay.

August 14, 1906--The first official election was held to name a Delegate in Congress for Alaska. Actually, two Delegates were elected: Frank Waskey for a short term, Thomas Cale for a full term.

August 15, 1935--Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed in a plane crash near Barrow.

August 16, 1920--Juneau had its first airplane overflight when one of the four planes of the Black Wolf Squadrom passed over on its way to Nome.

August 17, 1896--George Carmack and companions discovered gold. Canada’s Yukon Territory celebrates the anniversary as Klondike Discovery Day.

August 18, 1903--U.S. Senator W. P. Dillingham arrived at Sitka on the Revenue Cutter McCullouch on a tour of Alaska. The town of Dillingham was later named for him.

August 19, 1935--Alton C. Nordale, a Territorial Legislator, died in a plane crash near Healy River.

August 20, 1953--The Northern Commercial Company displayed the first TVs to arrive in Fairbanks at the Tanana Valley fairgrounds.  Prices ranged from $259 to $419.

August 21, 1922--A fire at Haines destroyed the post office and other buildings.

August 22, 1794--Captain George Vancouver and his ships sailed from Port Conclusion, Baranof Island, ending his Alaska surveys.

August 23, 1911--Fire destroyed the Alaska Steamship Company warehouse at Cordova.

August 24, 1912--President William Howard Taft signed the Organic Act which created the Territory of Alaska. The signing took place on the birthday of Delegate James Wickersham, author of the bill.

August 25, 1900--The USS Wheeling arrived in Sitka from the Philippines after taking part in the Spanish-American War.

August 26, 1958--Voters in the first Alaska State Primary Election approved the Statehood Enabling Act 40,452 to 8,010 and nominated candidates for Governor, Secretary of State, members of Congress and for the first State Legislature.

August 27, 1911--G/s F.S. Redfield stranded on Cape Prince of Wales. All 23 people aboard survived.

August 28, 1903--The Santa Ana landed 200 people at Seward. The date was long observed there as Founders Day.

August 29, 1885--Lieutenant Henry Allen reached St. Michael after exploring the Copper and Yukon Rivers.

August 30, 1918--Father William Duncan died at Metlakatla, a town he was instrumental in founding in 1887.

August 31, 1953--Ted Stevens was appointed as the U.S. District Attorney in Fairbanks, his first government job in Alaska.