This Month in Alaska History
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

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

June 1, 1909--The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opened in Seattle on what is now the campus of the University of Washington.

June 2, 1840--The British flag replaced the Russian flag over Fort Dionysius and the Hudson's Bay Company changed the name to Fort Stikine.  In 1868 the name was changed to Fort Wrangell and the American flag was raised.

June 3, 1942-- Japanese planes from two carriers bombed Fort Mears at Dutch Harbor and fighter planes strafed the fort, the Navy station, and Unalaska village.  Twenty-five soldiers and sailors were killed.   The Japanese made a second attack the following day.  In all, 44 were killed and 71 were wounded in the two attacks.

June 4, 1741--Vitus Bering and Alexi Chirikov sailed from Kamchatka an a voyage that resulted in the Russian discovery of Alaska.

June 5, 1915--The Anchorage Times published its first issue.

June 6, 1914--A government survey party landed at Ship Creek, Cook Inlet, to begin surveying a railroad to Fairbanks.  The camp they established later became the town of Anchorage.

June 7, 1942--Sixty years ago today, Japanese troops landed on Attu Island in the Aleutians, made prisoners of the Aleut residents and a school teacher and his wife.  They were unopposed by American forces.

June 8, 1957--Michael Anthony Stepovich was sworn in at Juneau as the 15th and last appointed governor of Alaska.

June 9, 1947--The Farwest Fisheries Company cannery at Wrangell was destroyed in a $150,000 fire.

June 10, 1883--Explorer Frederick Schwatka started over the Dyea Trail on his way to start his examination of the Yukon River.

June 11, 1913--The 668-ton iron-hulled steamer Yukon was wrecked on Sanak Island during a fog.  Her 3 passengers and 42 crew members were rescued by Revenue Cutter Tahoma.

June 12, 1924--President Calvin Coolidge created the Sitka National Cemetery by executive order.  It is Alaska's only national cemetery.

June 13, 1898--The Fort Egbert military reservation was established on the outskirts of the town of Eagle on the Yukon River.

June 14, 1944--Fire destroyed much of the town of Hoonah, and with it many important Tlingit cultural objects.

June 15, 1867--HMS Sparrowhawk arrived from Victoria carrying Governor Frederick Seymour of British Columbia who came to settle Hudson's Bay Company affairs in Russian America.  The company had much of Southeastern Alaska under lease from the Russians.

June 16, 1963--The University of Alaska made its only appearance on the television quiz show "General Electric College Bowl."  U of A lost to defending champion Temple University.

June 17, 1953--The military port of Whittier was virtually destroyed by a $20-million fire said to have been the most costly fire in Alaska.

June 18, 1945--General Simon Bolivar Buckner, who had commanded all troops in Alaska during the early years of the war, was killed at Okinawa.

June 19, 1912--By executive order President William Howard Taft set aside land for the new town of Hydaburg.

June 20, 1940--A Pan American Airways plane took off from Fairbanks.  It carried mail that would be delivered mail at Seattle the next day, thus initiating the fastest airmail service between Interior Alaska and the Lower 48 states.

June 21, 1890--President Benjamin Harrison reserved Indian River Park in Sitka from the land laws.  It is now part of Sitka National Historic Park.

June 22, 1865--The Confederate raider Shenandoah fired the last shot of the Civil War in the western Bering Sea where she had raided Yankee whalers.

June 23, 1888--The Lutheran Church at Sitka, built of logs and the first Protestant church in Alaska, was being razed by order of the District Court because of its poor condition.

June 24, 1894--The Circle City townsite was staked following the discovery of gold on Birch Creek.

June 25, 1897--The Alaska Commercial Company steamer Alice arrived at St. Michael with the first shipment of Klondike gold.

June 26, 1940--Fairbanks' first paved street--Second Avenue--opened to traffic.  The local newspaper claimed that this was the "farthest north" paved road in America.

June 27, 1940--Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Field were activated near Anchorage.

June 28, 1928--The post office, Province Hotel, and other business buildings at Hyder were destroyed in a $100,000 fire.

June 29, 1978--Alaska created Wood-Tikchik State Park.

June 30, 1958--The U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood bill 64-20 and sent it to President Dwight Eisenhower.