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

February 1, 1905--Congress transferred the National Forests to the Secretary of Agriculture and provided that pulp wood or wood pulp manufactured from Alaska timber could be exported.

February 2, 1931--The flag was raised for the first time over the new Capitol building at Juneau.  Governor George Parks raised the flag.

February 3, 1961--Juneau's first commercial jet landed.

February 4, 1941--The Alaska Defense Command was established with General Simon Buckner as its commanding officer.

February 5, 1956--The delegates to the Constitutional Convention at Fairbanks adopted a constitution for an as yet unauthorized State of Alaska.

February 6, 1887--Ernest Gruening, territorial governor and one of Alaska's first two senators, was born in New York City.

February 7, 1893--Fire destroyed 24 homes at Metlakatla, founded six years earlier by Tsimshean Indians who had migrated from Canada.

February 8, 1939--The Goldstein Building in Juneau, which formerly housed Alaska's executive offices and served as its capitol, was gutted by fire but its concrete walls stood and were reused.

February 9, 1973--The U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in a victory for environmental groups, ruled that the right-of-way configuration requested for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline could not be issued under the Mineral Leasing Act.   Congress later that year amended the law to allow construction.

February 10, 1899--The Wilson & Sylvester sawmill at Wrangell received machinery that would make it the largest sawmill in Alaska.

February 11, 1945--Charles D. Brower, known as the "King of the Arctic," died at Barrow at age 82.

February 12, 1932--The roundhouse and shops at the White Pass Railroad at Skagway were destroyed by fire.

February 13, 1947--The SS North Sea of the Northland Transportation Co. ran upon a rock in Milbank Sound, B.C.  The people were saved, but the ship remained on the rock.

February 14, 1931--The Federal and Territorial Building, now the State Capitol at Juneau, was formally dedicated.

February 15, 1860--Scott Cordelle Bone was born in Shelby County, Indiana.  In 1921 he became the 10th American governor of Alaska.

February 16, 1851--Lieutenant J. J. Barnard of the British Navy was killed at Nulato while on a search for the lost Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin.

February 17, 1914--Seven members of the Alaska Territorial Senate were hanged in effigy at Cordova as a protest against their votes on a railroad measure.

February 18, 1884--Peter French was appointed U.S. Collector of Customs for Alaska with headquarters at Sitka.

February 19, 1902--The name of the Fort Wrangel post office was changed to Wrangell.

February 20, 1899--The White Pass & Yukon Route's first passenger train reached White Pass in Canada.

February 21, 1924--The first official air mail flight in Alaska was made by Carl Ben Eielson who flew from Fairbanks to McGrath.

February 22, 1850--Josiah Martin Turner was born in Michigan.  He became in turn mayor of Skagway, a member of the Territorial Senate, and U.S. Marshal for the First Judicial Division.

February 23, 1985--The Fairbanks News-Miner ceased being Alaska's widest newspaper when it adopted the standard newspaper format, rather than its distinctive 17" width.

February 24, 1879--Charles August Sulzer was born in Roselle, New Jersey.  He became a member of the Alaska Territorial Senate, then Delegate in Congress from Alaska.

February 25, 1997--The U.S. Supreme Court, hearing a case originating with the Natives of Venetie, ruled that lands conveyed by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act does not constitute federally recognized "Indian country.".

February 26, 1917--Mount McKinley National Park was established.  It is now incorporated into the Denali National Park and Preserve.

February 27, 1923--The 1,400-foot Tanana River steel bridge on the Alaska Railroad at Nenana was completed.

February 28, 1967--Climbers completed the first winter ascent of Mount McKinley.

February 29, 1944--The Juneau Lumber Mills sawmill burned.