First Woman to Run For Alaska Governor


More info on Victoria Woodhull, First Woman to Run for President of U.S.



Alaska Statehood Act Anniversary on Monday 30th

June 30, 1958 – Date of Senate passage of Alaska Statehood Act
July 7, 1958 – FDR signs Statehood Act
Jan. 3, 1959 – Alaska becomes 49th state


We're In Alaska Statehood passed by U.S. Senate

This  “We’re In” photo was taken on June 30, 1958 the day the U.S. Senate passed The Alaska Statehood Act.

The famous photo, above, was taken the next day after the paper was flown to Washington, D.C.

The Statehood Act didn’t go into effect immediately–Alaska actually became a state in January 1959.

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Today (June 30) is the anniversary of the day in 1958 when the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act which brought Alaska into the Union. The measure was signed by President Eisenhower on July 7, 1958 and Alaska became the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959.

You’ve probably seen the famous statehood photo. The one of the big two-word headline: “We’re In.” That headline was printed on the cover of the Anchorage paper of that day.

Well, here’s an interesting tidbit you may not know about that photo—the one with the officials holding the newspaper.

While the headline was printed on June 30th, the photo itself was taken on July 1st—in Washington, D.C.

That could be arranged in this day of high speed jets and special courier services. But back in 1958, that was some feat.

Special editions of the historic paper were flown to Washington, D.C. by jet bomber for distribution to Washington officials.

There’s a photo in the Alaska Digital Archives of President Eisenhower and Alaska Territorial Governor Mike Stepovich holding a copy of that paper in Washington, D.C. on July 1st. The day after it was printed in Anchorage.

This week on The LegHead Report we’ll be remembering the signing of the Alaska Statehood Act with stories from our archives about statehood.

And speaking of Archives, the Alaska Digital Archives has a copy of the “We’re In” photo as well as thousands of others. The digital archives also has audio and video covering all periods of Alaska history.

Plan to spend a lot of time there if you go. There is so much to look at and enjoy.


Alaska Digital Archives


Flags lowered to honor Alaska’s last territorial governor, services Friday in Fairbanks

Flags lowered to honor Alaska’s last territorial governor, services Friday in Fairbanks

Michael “Mike” Stepovich dies at 94.

Was Alaska Territorial Governor 1957-58.


Photo & Video: Courtesy of Fairbanks Daily News Miner

Alaska flags are flying at half-staff this week to honor the last living territorial governor, Mike Stepovich.

Stepovich died last week at the age of 94. He was in a California hospital after suffering a bad head injury in a fall earlier this month. His services will be held in Fairbanks on Friday. Despite a home in Medford, Stepovich maintained his Alaska residency and returned each summer.

“Alaska has lost a true pioneer,” Governor Parnell said in a press release announcing the death. “Governor Stepovich was a strong, selfless figure. His love for our state is a great legacy that will endure for generations of Alaskan,” he said.

Anchorage Daily News columnist Mike Dunham said that in some ways, Stepovich was the John Kennedy of territorial Alaska. He was optimistic and constantly promoting Alaska and statehood Outside.

Stepovich’s constant promotion of statehood to the American public played an important role,” said Dunham. “No one could see the smiling, handsome young Alaskan charming the panel on “What’s My Line?” without liking him and, by extension, the people whom he represented….Here was proof that Alaskans weren’t just parky-clad hunters, whiskered sourdoughs or capitalist robber barons,” he said.

Stepovich was born in Fairbanks, and served three terms in the Alaska Territorial Legislature before serving as governor from 1957 – 1958. Following his state service, Governor Stepovich returned to his law practice in Fairbanks.

State flags were lowered to half-staff on Valentine’s Day and will remain lowered until Governor Stepovich’s funeral, which the Fairbanks Daily News Miner says will be Friday morning the 28th.  Flags will be raised to full-staff Saturday morning.

Stepovich on Cover of Time Magazine June, 1958. Photo by Mike Dunham ADN.


Anchorage Daily News, Mike Dunham Column

Press Release from Governor Sean Parnell’s Office

National Native News Coverage of Mike Stepovich’s Passing

Stepovich lived in Oregon much of year, still claimed residence in Fairbanks where his service will be

Alaska becomes a state on Jan. 3, 1959

Alaska becomes a state on Jan. 3, 1959


Photo courtesy Alaska Digital Archives.

January 3 is a special day for Alaska. I guess you could say “Happy Birthday!” to our favorite state since Alaska was officially admitted into the Union on Jan. 3, 1959.

So, hey, I’m all for a Post New Year’s celebration!


Click below to hear the Jan. 3 edition of The LegHead Report.


Here are some articles and sources for more Alaska history.

The Alaska Statehood Celebration Commission

Established by the Alaska Legislature to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of statehood

Alaska Digital Archives ~ Alaska Statehood

A source of so many good Alaska historical things ~ photos, films, audio, diaries, records, etc.





Should Japan pay for tsunami cleanup?

TLHR Oct. 22 Tues. Why is Japan paying for tsunami cleanup

I saw an interesting article I’d like to share with you. It’s got to do with Japan’s decision to provide some money to the U.S. and Canada to help pay for cleaning up the tsunami debris that is expected to hit west coast shores.

It’s titled: Why on earth is Japan paying for tsunami debris cleanup in North America? It’s posted on the Japan Daily Press website which is dedicated to engaging the world with news and editorials on various facets of Japan.

Alaskans and others are concerned about what will happen when all that marine debris hits our coasts. It will require a massive clean-up effort. The big question is: Who will pay for it? Once you’ve seen the photo of the crew cleaning up part of a dock that washed ashore in Oregon, you get a hint of all the labor and special efforts that will be needed to clean the debris of hazardous wastes.

The author of the article posted at Japan Daily Press is Adam Westlake, who hails from Portland, Oregon but now lives in Japan.

Westlake says the offer of cleanup funds is just “Japan being Japan”. The money was not asked for by either Canada or the U.S., says Westlake who states that the gesture, no matter how well meant, is “an incredibly foolish act at this point in time”.

They say they want to do this as a way of showing appreciation for the millions and millions of dollars that was donated to Japan in post-disaster relief efforts, says Westlake. But he thinks the money is better spent in Japan as it works to clean up and rebuild from the devastating disaster.

Westlake goes so far as to say he hopes the governments of the United States and Canada refuse the money.

He argues that natural disasters happen and that the victim country has no responsibility for the disaster or for how a natural disaster may affect other parts of the globe as the situation progresses.

“Japan was impacted by these disasters immediately, and now, a year and a half later, North America is feeling the results,” he wrote.

Here is what Westlake suggests: “The act on Japan’s part is truly of a kind nature, but now is not the time to using money that way. And there’s no real way to “pay it forward” when it comes to natural disasters. If Japan really wants to show gratitude for all the recovery aid it received, it should help give to the next country struck by natural disaster. But you can’t go paying things like that back when your country’s people and economy are not in a healthy condition.”

An interesting perspective from an article posted on the Japan Daily Press website. See the link below to read the article.


The original article from Japan Daily Press

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