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

December 1, 1894--The Yukon Order of Pioneers was organized at Fortymile on the Yukon River.

December 2, 1980-- Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, converting massive tracts across Alaska into National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other protective designations.

December 3, 1906--Frank H. Waskey was seated as the first Delegate in Congress from Alaska.

December 4, 1932--The public school building at Fairbanks was destroyed by fire.

December 5, 1905--Roald Amundsen, the Arctic explorer, reached Eagle on the Yukon River after traveling overland from Herschel Island.

December 6, 1907--Fire started in the Model Cafe at Fairbanks, burned it, a drug store, and a men's clothing store.

December 7, 1960--The Arctic National Wildlife Range was created by the Secretary of the Interior.

December 8, 1900--The steamer City of Topeka went aground on Sullivan Island in Lynn Canal but was salvaged.

December 8, 1741--Vitus Bering, homeward bound after his discovery of Alaska, died on Bering Island.

December 8, 1960--The Lazy Mountain Children's Home near Palmer was destroyed by fire.

December 9, 1937--Benjamin B. Mozee was issued a commission as U. S. Marshal for the Second Judicial Division, at Nome.

December 10, 1910--The steamer Olympia was wrecked on Bligh Island in Prince William Sound, a total loss.

December 11, 1938--The M/V Patterson ran ashore 8 miles west of Cape Fairweather, a total loss.

December 12, 1957--The Coast Guard Cutter Storis arrived at Juneau after traversing the Northwest Passage around North America.

December 13, 1883--The Custom House at Sitka, a log building built by the Russians, was gutted by fire.

December 14, 1940--The Valdez Federal Building, which housed the U. S. District Court and Marshal's office, burned.

December 15, 1950--Frank A. Boyle, the Territorial Auditor, died at Juneau. The Assistant Auditor, Neil Moore, replaced him.

December 16, 1871--George A. Edes was appointed Collector of Customs for Alaska with headquarters at Sitka.

December 17, 1957--A PBY plane operated by the Stanford Research Institute, disappeared near Ketchikan. The wreck was later found an Gravina Island.

December 18, 1971--Thirty years ago Congress enacted the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act conveying over 40 million acres to Alaska Native-owned corporations and settling aboriginal land claims.

December 19, 1962--There was a $300,000 fire at the Cape Lisburne Air Force Station.

December 20, 1905--The SS Portland stranded on Spire Island Reef near Ketchikan, suffered $20,000 damage.

December 20, 1920--The SS Dora, long a mail steamer on Alaska routes, wrecked at Hardy Bay, Vancouver Island, a total loss.

December 21, 1906--The first message was sent via submarine cable between Juneau and Wrangell.

Decmber 22, 1919--The trading store of the Sons of Norway at Petersburg was destroyed by fire.

December 23, 1946--The Auke Bay post office near Juneau opened for business.

December 24, 1906--Ketchikan received telegraphic service by submarine cable.

December 25, 1929--The U.S. Army Signal Corps radio station at Nome was destroyed by fire.

December 26, 1946--Dr. Raymond Banister and Harold Roth disappeared after flying from Seward.

December 27, 1911--The American halibut fishing steamer Grant, a former Revenue Cutter, was wrecked on Banks Island in British Columbia.

December 28, 1934--A Juneau lodge of the Sons of Norway was initiated at the Odd Fellows Hall.

December 29, 1906--The Elliott Creek post office was established. It was discontinued at the end of the year 1910.

December 30, 1938--E. W. Griffen, Secretary of Alaska, died suddenly at Juneau.

December 31, 1917--All saloons and liquor stores in Alaska were to close at midnight under a new law approved by a majority of Alaska voters.