The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – March 2019: Alaska

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – March 2019: Alaska

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1bhabeck
Edited: Feb 25, 2019, 1:25am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. Last month, we visited Hawaii, the Aloha State and the most tropical of the 50 states. This month, we are traveling north to the frozen tundra of America’s northernmost state, Alaska.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – March 2019: Alaska


History

On October 18,1867 United State Secretary of State William H Seward acquired the Alaska Territory from Russia for $7.2 million (2 cents per acre). Many Americans at the time called the purchase “Seward’s Folly.” Alaska's name is based on the Eskimo word Alakshak meaning great lands or peninsula.

Alaska became the 49th state in the union on January 3, 1959 and is the northernmost and westernmost state in the union. It is non-contiguous to the rest of the states and is located less than 50 miles from Russia.


The only battle during World War II that was fought on American soil took place in 1943 after the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands. Agattu, Attu, and Kiska are the only parts of North America occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.

Geography

Alaska, the largest US state, over twice the size of Texas – it is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries! – is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest US states. Measuring from north to south the state is approximately 1,400 miles long and measuring from east to west it is 2,700 miles wide. When a scale map of Alaska is superimposed on a map of the 48 lower states, Alaska extends from coast to coast.


There are more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes in Alaska. The largest lake, Lake Iliamna, is roughly the size of Connecticut. Alaska has more inland water than any other state (20,171 square miles).

Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States combined (34,000+ miles) and is the only state to have coastlines on three different seas: the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea.

Fun Facts

Aurora borealis (northern lights) can be seen an average of 243 days a year in Fairbanks. The northern lights are produced by charged electrons and protons striking the earth’s upper atmosphere.


While it is legal to shoot bears in Alaska, waking a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a photograph is prohibited.

The average temperature for Fairbanks in the month of January is -1 degree Fahrenheit. The highest temperature recorded in Alaska was 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Fort Yukon in 1915. The lowest temperature recorded in Alaska was -80 degrees Fahrenheit at Prospect Creek Camp in 1971. BRRR!!


The state flower is the forget-me-not. The state mineral is gold (no surprise there!) and the State motto is “North to the Future.” Some of Alaska’s nicknames include: “The Last Frontier,” “Land of the Midnight Sun,” and “Seward’s Icebox.”

Alaska accounts for 25 percent of the oil produced in the United States. Prudhoe Bay, on the northern Alaskan coast, is North America’s largest oil field. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on an 800-mile journey to Valdez, Alaska.


Alaska is the only state name that you can type on one row of a keyboard.

Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 are in Alaska, including the highest peak in North America (20,320 ft. above sea level), Denali. Alaska has more than 100 volcanoes. More than half the world’s glaciers can be found Alaska; about 5% of Alaska is covered by glaciers in the state (approx 29,000 square miles). Each year Alaska has about 5,000 earthquakes. Of the 10 strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska.


The fishing and seafood industry is the state’s largest private industry employer. The largest salmon ever caught was at the Kenai River. It weighed in at 97.5 pounds.

Joe Juneau's 1880 discovery of gold ushered in the gold rush era. During the Klondike gold rush in 1897, potatoes were so highly valued for their vitamin C content that miners traded gold for them.

(miners and prospectors climb the Chilkoot Trail during the 1989 Klondike Gold Rush)

An example of a traditional native food is Akutaq, the Eskimo ice cream, which can consist of reindeer fat, seal oil, dried fish meat and local berries.

The state sport of Alaska is dog mushing, which was once the primary mode of transportation in most of Alaska. The Iditarod dog sledding race is the state’s largest sporting event. The Alaskan malamute sled dog is strong and heavily coated. It was developed as a breed by a group of Eskimos named the Malemiuts.


Alaska has the lowest population density in the nation at one person per square mile. If New York City had the same population density as Alaska, only 16 people would be living in Manhattan.

Approx 65% of Alaska is owned and managed by the U.S. federal government. The Bureau of Land Management manages 87 million acres, or 23.8% of the state. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world's largest wildlife refuge, comprising 16 million acres. Of the remaining land area, the state of Alaska owns 101 million acres and native tribes own approximate 44 million acres. Only about 1% of Alaska is owned by private interests.

Bennie Benson designed Alaska’s flag in 1926 at age 13. It would become the official state flag upon Alaska’s adoption into the Union in 1959.

Outsiders first discovered Alaska in 1741 when Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering sighted it on a voyage from Siberia. Russian whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island established the first settlement in Alaska in 1784.

More than 300 small volcanic islands make up the Aleutian Island chain, which stretches over 1,200 miles into the Pacific Ocean. Some of these islands fall in the Eastern Hemisphere, but the International Date Line was drawn west of 180° to keep the whole state, and thus the entire North American continent, within the same legal day.

Barrow, 800 miles south of the North Pole, has both the longest and shortest day. When the sun rises on May 10, it doesn’t set for nearly three months. When it sets on November 18, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months.

Giant vegetables are common in Alaska due to the extremely long days in summer. Alaska has grown a record cabbage weighing in at 94 pounds.


The Pribilof Islands are home to the largest seal colony with over one million seals.

Alaskan Kodiak and Polar Bears can grow to 1,400 pounds and 11 feet tall. Moose can grow to 1,350 pounds with antlers spanning up to 6 feet wide. (Note: It is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they are moose hunting in Alaska.)

2bhabeck
Edited: Feb 25, 2019, 2:10am

(Continued from Above)

Notable Residents

In 2008, Governor Sarah Palin became the first Republican woman to run on a national ticket when she became John McCain's running mate. She continued to be a prominent national figure even after resigning from the governor's job in July 2009.


In 2008, Democrat Mark Begich, mayor of Anchorage, defeated long-time Republican senator Ted Stevens. Stevens had been convicted on seven felony counts of failing to report gifts on Senate financial discloser forms one week before the election. The conviction was set aside in April 2009 after evidence of prosecutorial misconduct emerged.

Republican Frank Murkowski held the state's other senatorial position. After being elected governor in 2002, he resigned from the Senate and appointed his daughter, State Representative Lisa Murkowski as his successor. She won full six-year terms in 2004, 2010 and 2016.

Jewel, a singer/songwriter was born in Homer, AK. Curt Shilling, a former MLB pitcher for the Boston Red Sox was born in Anchorage.

Archie Van Winkle was a famous United States Marine born in Juneau. He served in the Marine Corps in three wars: in the WWII campaigns of the Solomon Islands, the Phillippines and the landing of Emirau; the Korean War campaign of the Battle of Inchon (where he was injured and for his heroism in battle awarded the Medal of Honor); and the Vietnam War campaign of the Battle of Khe Sanh. Other awards he received were the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, Air Medal and three Purple Hearts.

Jimmy Doolittle (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993): A WWII hero and Medal of Honor recipient, Doolittle grew up in Nome. The Doolittle Raiders, led by Jimmy Doolittle, bombed Japan by direct order of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a daring mission as a response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The men volunteering for this one way mission were to bail out over China, since the bombers couldn’t carry enough fuel to return the long distance back to the aircraft carriers at sea.


Wyatt Earp was the sheriff and deputy town marshal of Tombstone and took part in that shootout which resulted in the death of three cowboy outlaws. Wyatt Earp lived in Nome for quite some time during the Gold Rush and opened a saloon there before moving back to Arizona.

In honor of Alaska, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Gold,” “North,” “Midnight,” or “Sun” in the title; or

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in the wild or deals with a case of amnesia (for the forget-me-not), or

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in ALASKA.


Happy Reading ❤

3bhabeck
Feb 25, 2019, 1:08am

okay...I admit I got a bit carried away, but the more I read, the more fascinated I become with this state. LOL. Believe it or not, this is actually the "pared down" version of the post. :) Enjoy!

5Carol420
Edited: Mar 11, 2019, 1:40pm



Carol Learns to Build and Igloo
📌 ★

3/3 - DONE
📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with “Gold,” “North,” “Midnight,” or “Sun” in the title.
Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts - 4.5★

📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in the wild or deals with a case of amnesia (for the forget-me-not)
The Amnesia Paradox by Noelle Greene - 2.5★

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in ALASKA.
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter - 4★

6Olivermagnus
Edited: Mar 31, 2019, 12:26pm

I love Alaska! I lived there in 70s and my daughter was born there. Such a beautiful state.



Lynda and Oliver Head for the Iditirod Trail

In honor of Alaska, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book with “Gold,” “North,” “Midnight,” or “Sun” in the title; or
Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovich - 3/10/19 - 4 Stars

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in the wild or deals with a case of amnesia (for the forget-me-not), or
Hunter's Moon - Dana Stabenow - 5 Stars - 3/13/19 - set in a hunting camp in Alaska

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in ALASKA.
Island of Sea Women - Lisa See - 5 Stars - 3/22/19 - LS

7bhabeck
Edited: Mar 19, 2019, 2:02am

Brenda's Trip to Alaska
3/3 Complete


• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Gold,” “North,” “Midnight,” or “Sun” in the title; or
Red Gold by Robert D. Kidera; 3/18/19; 2.5 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in the wild or deals with a case of amnesia (for the forget-me-not), or
Trespasser by Paul Doiron; 3/16/19; 4 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in ALASKA.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn; 3/7/19; 4 stars

8gaylebutz
Feb 25, 2019, 5:21pm

I'm going to read A Deeper Sleep by Dana Stabenow. It takes place in the wilderness of Alaska.

>3 bhabeck: You did get carried away! But I can see why - it is interesting stuff. I sure didn't know it all.

9Sergeirocks
Mar 5, 2019, 7:07pm

First book:

Midnight - Josephine Cox 3.5★s

10Sergeirocks
Mar 6, 2019, 8:33am

Book two, author's initials found in 'ALASKA':

Alistair MacLean - South by Java Head 4.5★s

11Carol420
Mar 11, 2019, 10:46am

I'm done !!! Love this challenge Brenda. You are doing a fantastic job.

12bhabeck
Mar 11, 2019, 11:56am

>11 Carol420: whoohoo! way to go Carol!

Thank you!

13Sergeirocks
Mar 11, 2019, 7:00pm

Well Done, Carol, 👏
(I was going to say it in Irish Gaelic, but I don't want you to think you've created a monster, lol!)

14Carol420
Mar 11, 2019, 7:42pm

>13 Sergeirocks: LOL! Go raibh maith agat. I grew up hearing it my entire life but I don't remember much of it. I believe one problems is that I heard a version of what my granddad call "Bastard Gaelic". He spoke Scottish Gaelic and my grandmother spoke the Irish form...they somehow combined the two and thus was born something that was probably not spoken anywhere else in the Gaelic world.

15gaylebutz
Mar 13, 2019, 8:19pm

A Deeper Sleep by Dana Stabenow
3.5 ★

Native Aleut and P.I. Kate Shugak has been working on a case involving the murder of a woman by her husband. Louis Deem has been the subject of investigations before, and he's never been convicted. When he's found not guilty, Kate and Jim and the rest of Nilniltna, Alaska, are certain that a man has gotten away with murder and that its only a matter of time before he tries again. A few weeks later a woman and her son are shot, the victims of an apparent robbery. But this time, Kate and Jim have a witness, and they're not going to let Deem get away again.

This was a somewhat dark story with a criminal that was easy to hate. He kept getting away with murdering his wives and then going on to the next woman and everyone in town knew it. The people of Nilniltna were a bit rowdy and quirky with bits of native Aleut culture mixed in making it an interesting place. There were some interesting twists in the book but a lack of character development kept me from really caring about Kate and Jim. Overall, a decent story but not as engaging as I expected.

16jguidry
Mar 14, 2019, 10:44pm

Jaret's Iditarod Race:
(we're actually learning about that now in our library classes)
completed (1/3)

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Gold,” “North,” “Midnight,” or “Sun” in the title; or

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in the wild or deals with a case of amnesia (for the forget-me-not), or

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in ALASKA.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 5 stars 3/5/2010

17bhabeck
Mar 15, 2019, 12:30am

>16 jguidry: welcome Jaret!

18jguidry
Mar 15, 2019, 9:39pm

>17 bhabeck: Thanks. It feels good to be back. ;0)

19bhabeck
Mar 19, 2019, 2:01am

Two really good books this month and one not-so-good...but all done

20Carol420
Edited: Mar 19, 2019, 6:28am

>19 bhabeck:



Way to go!

21Sergeirocks
Mar 20, 2019, 2:04pm

I found a third book to complete the challenge:

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie - the believed amnesia of one of the characters plays a large part in the plot, 4★s.

22bhabeck
Mar 21, 2019, 12:15am

>21 Sergeirocks: Well done Sergei!

23Carol420
Mar 23, 2019, 8:20am

>21 Sergeirocks:



Well done. You are a star in my book!

24Sergeirocks
Mar 25, 2019, 4:44am

Thank You, Brenda. Thank You, Carol.

😇

25Sergeirocks
Mar 25, 2019, 4:45am

Looking forward to what delights await us for April... :)

26Olivermagnus
Edited: Mar 31, 2019, 12:28pm

I got them all for a change!



Lynda and Oliver Head for the Iditirod Trail

In honor of Alaska, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book with “Gold,” “North,” “Midnight,” or “Sun” in the title; or
Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovich - 3/10/19 - 4 Stars

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in the wild or deals with a case of amnesia (for the forget-me-not), or
Hunter's Moon - Dana Stabenow - 5 Stars - 3/13/19 - set in a hunting camp in Alaska

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in ALASKA.
Island of Sea Women - Lisa See - 3/22/19 - LS

27bhabeck
Mar 31, 2019, 12:48pm

28Carol420
Mar 31, 2019, 1:45pm

29Sergeirocks
Mar 31, 2019, 7:12pm

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