How a Public Railroad Saved Alaska

Long Before Statehood, the Progressive Era Made the Last Frontier Possible

Alaska officially became a state in 1959, but its modern origins occurred in the two decades that followed the discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1896.

At the turn of the century with reports of innumerable mineral resources and a limitless agricultural potential surfacing, this little-known U.S. possession suddenly grabbed the world’s attention. As pioneers and settlers rushed into the frontier and returned during this period, Alaskans founded many of today’s cities (including the two largest, Anchorage and Fairbanks), birthed a structure of highway and railroad transportation, and established …

Want to Take My Civics Class? Get Ready to Squirm

Learning How America Works Should Be Hard on You, Not Just Good for You

In many conversations, the topic of civics education comes with its own halo. The conventional wisdom is that it’s good, clean medicine, and if our children just get enough of …