Thursday, May 23, 2013
ALCAN Highway Construction Feat Recognized in Juneteenth Celebration
The Alaska portion of the road was built by the all-black Army Engineer Service Corps, Completed Oct. 28, 1942.
The Alaska Highway –formerly known as the ALCAN Highway— was built as an emergency war measure to provide a military supply route to the Last Frontier.
Completed Oct. 28, 1942, the road starts at Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and ends in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The Alaska portion of the road was built by the all-black Army Engineer Service Corps.
In 1994, Dr. Ronald Myers started the Juneteenth holiday campaign, a national movement to commemorate the emancipation of slaves.
Seven years later, Alaska became the seventh state to have an official Juneteenth celebration, slated between Oct. 26 and 30.
This year for Alaska’s Juneteenth, Bishop Dave Thomas of Anchorage and Dr. Myers hung a wreath at the memorial bridge in Delta Junction along the ALCAN Highway.
“We do this to celebrate the accomplishments of the African-American soldiers who helped build the ALCAN Highway in World War II. The crowning achievement was the building of the Chief Sikanni River Bridge there in Canada,” said the bishop.