03.12.1914/1920–This Day in Alaskan History

ARRC_Homepage_02 ARR-train-Bird-Point

1914–Congress approves “an Act to Authorize the President of the United States to locate, construct and operate railroads in the territory of Alaska.” It is known as the “enabling act” for the Alaska Railroad. The Alaska Railroad will greatly affect the lives of Interior Athabascan Indians through the influx of non-Natives.

The Great Alaska Railroad

Medoryuk, Nunivak Island on the Bering Sea

1920–Walter T. Amos is born in Medoryuk on Nunivak Island. Amos eventually became well known for his spirit masks. For more than 60 years he carved driftwood and ivory to produce spirit masks for use in traditional ceremonies and to supplement his income by selling to collectors throughout the world. During the summer and fall of 1996, Amos participated in the Anchorage Museum of History and Art traveling exhibition of Eskimo Spirit Masks on loan from many private and museum collections in the United States. He also collaborated with the Smithsonian Museum in their display of the traveling Eskimo Spirit Masks of the Yukon Delta. Traditionally, driftwood, ivory, whale baleen and reindeer sinew were used in making masks.


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