MRAK Almanac: What happened on July 1, 1958? - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, October 24, 2019
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MRAK Almanac: What happened on July 1, 1958?

A breezy compendium of political, social, and cultural events around the 49th State:

7/1: Juneau Assembly meeting postponed to July 8.

7/1: Ketchikan Borough regular Assembly meeting, 1900 First Avenue. 5:30 . Details here.

7/1: Grand opening of Gelatte, Italian ice cream store in downtown Anchorage. 500 West 6th Street, noon – 10 pm. Come celebrate a small business opening in downtown.

7/2: Haines Assembly’s Government Affairs and Services committee will take up the ordinance aimed at blocking the Constantine mining project. It’s the “Aqueous Storage of Hazardous Materials Ordinance 19-04-529” that would prevent storage of liquids of a certain type and quantity, such as tailings ponds. The meeting begins at 6:30 pm.

7/2: Skagway Assembly’s Public Safety Committee will meet and on the agenda is the discussion of whether or not there should be crosswalks in downtown. Currently, locals and tourists alike just cross the street wherever they please, sometimes causing a safety concern. Meeting is at 7 pm in Assembly Chambers.

7/2: Kenai Borough Assembly meeting. On the agenda is a discussion of whether to eliminate the invocation ordinance, now that satanists and atheists and “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” have begun to participate regularly. Also on the agenda is a move to try to change from a mayoral form of government to a manager form of government. This ordinance would go before voters in October and is being brought by Assembly members who are not supporters of the current mayor. Meeting starts at 6 pm. Details here.

7/3: Official firework shows in many parts of Alaska are held on the eve of the Fourth of July.

Personal fireworks are banned in most places in Alaska right now. The Alaska State Troopers advises, “We may have slightly exaggerated our graphic… but we wanted to get the point across that fire danger in Alaska is pretty significant all across the state. With hot, dry conditions and only so many wildfire fighting resources available, the Alaska State Fire Marshal, at the request of the Division of Forestry, is banning the sale and use of fireworks in the following areas:

• Fairbanks North Star Borough
• Kenai Peninsula Borough
• Matanuska-Susitna Borough
• Kodiak Borough
• Copper River Valley, including Glennallen south to Valdez
• Western Alaska, including McGrath and points west
• Tanana Valley north of the Alaska Range
• Northern Panhandle, including Haines in the north, Skagway, and Juneau to the south

HISTORICAL NOTES

Today in 1958, news came that Alaska had been admitted as the 49th State. Above, Juneauite Romer Derr rings the replica Liberty Bell in front of Alaska’s Capitol 49 times in celebration of the news. Holding the Alaska flag is Judy Findlay, and holding the American flag is Marilee Nowacki. There were also celebrations in Anchorage and Fairbanks. (Image below from Juneau-Douglas City Museum collection).

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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