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

October 1, 1899--The All-American mail route was opened from Valdez to Circle City and other points an the Yukon River.

October 2, 1903--Telegraphic communication was established between Sitka and Juneau via submarine cable.

October 3, 1942--The Whittier Army post was activated with one officer and 15 enlisted men.

October 4, 1943--The Alaska Glacier Seafood plant at Petersburg was destroyed by fire, a $100,000 loss.

October 5, 1913--A storm at Nome caused damage of one million dollars.

October 6, 1869--The Fort Wrangle post office was established. The name later changed to Wrangell.

October 7, 1911--The Ruby Record, a weekly newspaper, was established.

October 8, 1915--William A. Egan, who became a three-term governor of the State of Alaska, was born in Valdez.

October 9, 1923--The MV Kennecott, Alaska Steamship Co. freighter, went to pieces on the Queen Charlotte Islands on her maiden voyage from Alaska.

October 10, 1951--Fire destroyed the Lathrop Building in Cordova, a $500,000 loss.

October 11, 1915--The river steamboat Tyconda burned at Anchorage; all 10 persons on board escaped.

October 12, 1930--Pilot Ralph Wien and two Catholic priests were killed in a plane crash at Kotzebue.

October 13, 1960--Alaska Methodist University was dedicated at Anchorage. It is now Alaska Pacific University.

October 14, 1865--Sydney Laurence, who gained fame as an Alaska artist, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

October 15, 1957--The U.S. Forest Service awarded the Alaska Lumber & Pulp Company at Sitka a contract for five and a quarter billion board feet of timber.

October 16, 1929--The Presbyterian Church at Wrangell, the oldest one in Alaska, was destroyed by fire.

October 17, 1873--Thomas Riggs, who became the 9th governor of Alaska, was born in Maryland.

October 18, 1898--In a formal transfer ceremony, Russians at Sitka lowered their flag for the last time and newly arrived American troops raised the Stars and Stripes over the United States' recent acquisition.

October 19, 1951--Fifty years ago today the Seward Highway connecting Anchorage and Seward opened.  It connected to the Sterling Highway that had opened to Homer the previous year.  The Seward Highway was to be paved in 1952.

October 20, 1897--The Fort St. Michael military reservation was established.

October 21, 1904--The Dillingham post office was established, named for U. S. Senator William P. Dillingham who had visited the town.

October 22, 1916--The cornerstone was laid for the Masonic Building at 4th Avenue and F Street, Anchorage.

October 23, 1960--William R. Wood was inaugurated as the fourth president of the University of Alaska.

October 24, 1887 - The Alaskan Society of History and Ethnology was founded at Sitka and it founded the Sheldon Jackson Museum.

October 25, 1916--The Old Kasaan National Monument was established at a deserted Indian village on Prince of Wales island.

October 26, 1909--Alfred P. Swineford, the second governor of the District of Alaska (1885-1889) died at Juneau.

October 27, 1778--Captain James Cook, the British explorer, left Unalaska for Hawaii where he was killed the following year.

October 28, 1936--The Matanuska Valley Cooperative Association was organized at Palmer.

October 29, 1904--The Knik post office was established at the head of Knik Arm of Cook Inlet.

October 30, 1938--The cornerstone was laid at the Shrine of St. Terese on Shrine Island, near Juneau.

October 31, 1935--Ferry service between Juneau and Douglas, which had commenced in the 1880, was discontinued upon completion of a bridge.