MRAK Almanac: Peonies on parade


The MRAK Almanac is your place for political, cultural, and civic events, events where you’ll meet political leaders or, if you are interested in getting to know your state, these are great places to meet conservative- and moderate-leaning Alaskans.

Alaska Fact Book:

Question: How many glaciers are in Alaska?

Answer: It’s complicated. The U.S. Geological Survey recognizes 616 officially named glaciers in the state, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg since the overwhelming majority were never named. Some estimates put the number of glaciers close to 100,000, meaning that for every glacier with a name, there are at least ten others without one. Counting these frozen behemoths is a tricky task, as it’s often unclear when one glacier ends and another begins, but we do know that the total area of Alaska’s glaciers is about 34,000 square miles—roughly equal to the area of the state of Maine.

7/5: The Calista Corporation will host its annual shareholders meeting in Toksook Bay. Shareholders will be voting on new directors as well as any proposed changes to the corporation’s regulations. Read more here.

7/6: Peonies in Bloom display at the Alaska Blooms Peony Farm (an hour drive from Anchorage). A unique display of Alaska’s beauty, great for visiting family and friends. Photo above from the Alaska Blooms Peony Farm Instagram feed.

7/6: Car Seat Safety Clinic at the Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults Center. Free to attend, a good opportunity for a car seat “checkup”. More details here.

7/6: Soundwaves Music Festival at Harding Lake near Fairbanks. Come out at 10 am for yoga and a pancake feed, enjoy a paddle board race, and top it all off with great live music on the shores of Harding Lake. Visit the Facebook link here.

7/6: Anchorage American Legion Post 29 car wash fundraiser. Swing by and get a wash starting at 10 am. Read more here.

7/7: Car Show at Club Soda in South Fairbanks, in celebration of our veterans. All vehicles on wheels are welcome. Starts at 11 am, Facebook link here.

7/6-7/7: Downtown Anchorage Market & Festival between 3rd and E St. downtown. Begins at 10 am, come enjoy this longtime Anchorage tradition.

7/5-7/7: The Wasilla Summerfest continues with the 49th State St. Rodder’s Car Show at the Menard Center all weekend, and the Band of Brothers BBQ competition on Saturday at noon. See the full lineup here.

Alaska History Archive:

July 4, 1884: 135 years agoJohn Henry Kinkead, on the appointment of President Chester Arthur, took office as the first governor of the District of Alaska. A lifelong Republican and dry goods merchant from Nevada, Kinkead was the first United States government official to hold public office in Alaska. In the spring of 1885, a personal dispute between Kinkead and infamous Presbyterian missionary Sheldon Jackson over mining interests in Alaska drew national attention, later leading to Kinkead’s resignation. The District of Alaska government remained in effect until 1912 when Alaska officially became a U.S. territory.

July 7, 1958: 61 years ago—President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into law, the passage of which allowed Alaska to officially become a state. There had been surprising opposition in Congress, mostly from southern Democrats concerned that Alaska’s new congressmen would be pro-civil rights. Some Republicans also worried that Alaska’s small population wouldn’t allow it to produce enough tax revenue to support itself and that it would eventually become a welfare state reliant on the federal government.