Alaskans Celebrate July Fourth: This Week in History

Juneau, Alaska, celebrated July Fourth in 1913

Alaskans Celebrate July Fourth: This Week in History

Melina Druga
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Alaska was still a territory in 1913, but that didn’t stop it from having a fun-fill July Fourth, judging from the coverage in the Alaska Daily Empire in Juneau on July 5 and July 7.

In the capital city, between 3,000 and 4,000 people gathered to watch a baseball game, and the area’s three ferries were taxed from transporting people to the town of Douglas to watch a game there.

It rained briefly in the afternoon, but not long enough to interrupt the city’s tug-of-war competition.

An eight piece orchestra played music to the delight of dancers who gathered at the Elks’ hall.  The high school band also provided music in Douglas.

“There was little drunkenness visible,” the Daily Empire said.  “Nothing happened during the entire day to mar the joy that was everywhere present.”

The Governor Speaks

In Sitka, baseball also was popular.  The winning team received $50.

Alaskan Gov. J. F. A. Strong spoke optimistically about the territory’s future.  He and his wife had been met at the harbor by colorful gas boats and other vessels.

The couple returned to Juneau a few days later, having also toured industry in Sitka.

Sitka was the home of Mrs. Schmakoff, the newspaper reported, the territory’s oldest living resident at 101.  The great-grandmother had been living in Alaska since 1830.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press was reporting there had only been eight people killed in the United States for the July Fourth holiday that year, although 285 were injured.

How did you celebrate July Fourth?  Leave a comment below.

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Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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