Story Time with Aunt Phil: Alaska's first car

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Alaska's first car

Story of the first automobile trip from Fairbanks to Valdez. It took Robert E. Sheldon 59 hours of actual driving time over a wagon trail to reach the little town in Prince William Sound.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: sourdough preacher turned painter

Story Time with Aunt Phil: sourdough preacher turned painter

Eustace Paul Ziegler’s renowned works aptly capture the epic struggle of sourdough days, portraying that historic period in the Last Frontier.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Chilkoot Trail

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Chilkoot Trail

The majority of those gold seekers chose to climb the now-famous Chilkoot Trail in Southeast Alaska to reach Canada and the rich Klondike fields. And most had no idea of how difficult that trip would be.

Daybreak Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Skagway Streetcar

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Skagway Streetcar

A three-hour stopover in Skagway in July 1923 by President Warren G. Harding turned into a booming business for one Alaskan sourdough

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Alaska's first governor

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Alaska's first governor

John H. Kinkead, who served as Nevada’s governor from 1879 to 1883, had witnessed the transfer of Alaska from Russian to American possession in October 1867. He then became the first U.S. official to hold office in Alaska

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: St. Michael

Story Time with Aunt Phil: St. Michael

On June 25, 1897, the sleepy old Russian town of St. Michael awoke when the river steamer Alice arrived with 25 miners from Dawson carrying $500,000 among them in gold dust – about $13 million in today’s dollars.

Laurel Downing Bill
Weddings of the gold rush era

Weddings of the gold rush era

June was a popular month for weddings long before the Klondike gold rush. People of medieval times often took their annual baths in May, which meant a bride would still smell fresh in June.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Alaska flag

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Alaska flag

Author Laurel Downing Bill tells the story about the young boy who designed the Alaska state flag in the 1920's.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Zachariah Loussac

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Zachariah Loussac

The municipality's public library has long bared the name of Zachariah Loussac. He came to Alaska from the Lower 48 on three separate occasions to try and make his fortune.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Koyukuk gold boom

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Koyukuk gold boom

The Koyukuk gold stampede occurred around the same time as the Klondike gold rush and saw log-cabin camps popping up wherever steamboats stopped for the winter.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Cordova's famous iceworm

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Cordova's famous iceworm

This week in Story Time with Aunt Phil we look at the creation of the myth of the iceworm, and how Cordova keeps the legend alive to this day.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Howard Rock

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Howard Rock

On Dec. 18, 1971, the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act was signed into law. And one Alaska Native man worked tirelessly to help his people get to that agreement. His name was Howard Rock

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Sled Dogs

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Sled Dogs

This week in Story Time with Aunt Phil, a look at how Sled Dogs were influential to Alaska's history.

Daybreak Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Eskimo Scouts emerge after Pearl Harbor

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Eskimo Scouts emerge after Pearl Harbor

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, thousands of Alaska Natives came together to help defend the state's shores.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Russian Jack

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Russian Jack

One early Anchorage settler, who has a local park and many prominent places named after him, was also a convicted killer.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Totem Poles

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Totem Poles

This week on Story Time with Aunt Phil, a look at how totem poles helped educate millions of Americans on Alaska Native Culture.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Blue Ticketing

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Blue Ticketing

This week in Story Time with Aunt Phil, we take a look at the days of the Gold Rush, and how authorities handled criminals that sprung up in Alaska.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Valdez

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Valdez

This week in story time with Aunt Phil, a hoax, perpetuated by promoters looking to profit off of the gold rush would eventually birth one of Alaska’s most picturesque little towns.

Daybreak Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Judge James Wickersham

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Judge James Wickersham

Alaska legend, Judge James Wickersham, died this week in 1939, but his legacy and light live on in Alaska’s history.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Story of Ruby

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Story of Ruby

This week in Story Time with Aunt Phil, how the town of Ruby became an integral part of Alaska's gold rush history

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Alaska conspiracy myth

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The Alaska conspiracy myth

One hundred and fifty years ago this week, a ceremony held in Sitka transferred Alaska from Russia to the United States. The agreed-upon purchase price of $7.2 million and had been paid earlier in the year.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Soapy Smith

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Soapy Smith

Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith became the uncrowned king of Skagway's Gold Rush underworld through ingenious cons and brute force.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: James Doolittle

Story Time with Aunt Phil: James Doolittle

On Sept. 25, 1993, one of America’s World War II heroes – with Alaska ties – died. James Doolittle, who led the first Tokyo bombing raid in April 1942, was 96 years old.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time w/ Aunt Phil: Cruise ship sinks near Juneau

Story Time w/ Aunt Phil: Cruise ship sinks near Juneau

This week in 1952, Life Magazine shared the story of the sinking of the Canadian ship Princess Kathleen off Lena Point, 18 miles north of Juneau.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Robert Service

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Robert Service

On this Story Time with Aunt Phil, we look into the life of the great poet Robert Service, and how he impacted Alaskans.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story time with Aunt Phil: Founder's Day

Story time with Aunt Phil: Founder's Day

The story of how Seward grew out of Resurrection Bay as we celebrate the 114th anniversary of Founder's Day.

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Black Wolf Squadron

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Black Wolf Squadron

Story time with Aunt Phil: Black WOlf Squadron

Laurel Downing Bill
Story Time With Aunt Phil: The story of Alaska’s first governor

Story Time With Aunt Phil: The story of Alaska’s first governor

Author Laurel Downing Bill tells the story of Alaska's first elected governor, William A. Egan and how his upbringing prepared him to be a leader.

KTVA Web Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The WWII battle on the Aleutian chain

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The WWII battle on the Aleutian chain

Author Laurel Downing Bill tells the story on the WWII battle that took place on the island of Attu.

KTVA Web Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: Founding Fairbanks

Story Time with Aunt Phil: Founding Fairbanks

Author Laurel Downing Bill tells the story of the discovery of the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks.

KTVA Web Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: President Warren G. Harding’s visit to Alaska

Story Time with Aunt Phil: President Warren G. Harding’s visit to Alaska

Author Laurel Downing Bill tells the story of Warren G. Harding, the first U.S. President's to visit Alaska, and what he accomplished during his stay.

KTVA Web Staff
Story Time with Aunt Phil: The first flight in Alaska

Story Time with Aunt Phil: The first flight in Alaska

Author Laurel Downing Bill tells the tale of the first flight in Alaska.

KTVA Web Staff

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