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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Nov.20, 2022 @acehistorynews
#AceHistoryDesk – Today in History – On November 20, 1942, U.S. Army engineers, working closely with partners in U.S. civilian agencies and Canada, officially opened the Alaska Highway.
This overland military supply route, originally known as the Alcan Highway, passed through the Yukon, running from the prairies of British Columbia to the Territory of Alaska.
The roadway was over 1,500-miles long and connected Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, Alaska. It provided Americans and Canadians on the Pacific coast new avenues for the transportation of goods, and an increased sense of security after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and escalating hostility in the Pacific. This first phase of construction was completed in less than eight months.
In the 1780s, Russian fur traders became the first European settlers of the land across the Bering Strait from Siberia. Russian influence on native Alaskans is explored in the Library of Congress exhibition In the Beginning Was the Word: The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures.
The Library’s collaborative digital project with Russian libraries, Meeting of Frontiers, explores the comparative history of the Russian expansion across Siberia to the Russian Far East and the Pacific, the American expansion westward, and the meeting of the Russian-America frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
The Russian-American Company administered Alaska from 1799 until 1867, when Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska for the United States. Congress established the Territory of Alaska in 1912, prompted by the significant gold discoveries of the 1880s and 1890s.
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