Santa Claus In Alaska’s Newspapers

With Us Again

Image credit: from the December 24, 1917 issue of the Seward Gateway

Greetings, all!

‘Tis the season for gift giving and merry making, and no one is more prominently featured in historic Alaska newspapers as the symbol of generosity (and consumerism!) than Santa Claus. It is well documented that the Coca-Cola corporation popularized (but did not invent) the modern image of Santa Claus in a red suit, due to Haddon Sundblom’s artwork (who also created the artwork for the Quaker oats Quaker and Aunt Jemima), but Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas gave us the image of the jolly man with white whiskers:

“…He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opened his pack.
His eyes- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a round little belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself…”

Without further ado, enjoy a sampling of Santa Claus imagery in Alaska’s historic newspapers:

...Santa Claus...Has Arrived From The North Pole

Image credit: From the December 24, 1909 issue of the Daily Alaskan

Santa Claus in Alaska

Image credit: From the December 23, 1911 issue of the Daily Alaskan

Hello Cordova! Santa Claus is Here

Image credit: from the December 13, 1921 issue of the Cordova Daily Times

To the Boys and Girls of Gastineau Channel: Santa Claus Will be at the Leader Department Store all day Saturday to meet his little friends. He will have a present for every youngster that comes and will help show you a good time. Be sure to come. Santa thinks the Leader is the best place to get acquainted with the Kiddies, because there are so many dandy toys here. Bring your folks along. They will be just as much interested in seeing Santa Claus and his toys as you are. Don’t forget! Santa Claus will be here tomorrow!

Image credit: from the December 20, 1919 issue of the Alaska Daily Empire

“Pleased to Meet You; Toyland"

Image credit: From the December 7, 1920 issue of the Cordova Daily Times

Santa Claus carries a sack full of toys.

Image credit: from the December 23, 1911 issue of the Daily Alaskan

Friends

Image credit: from the December 24, 1920 issue of the Cordova Daily Times

Good Things For Everyone

Image credit: from the December 17, 1899 issue of the Daily Morning Alaskan

Are You Really Santa Claus?

Image credit: from the December 14, 1915 issue of the Cordova Daily Times

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Image credit: from the December 23, 1916 issue of the Cordova Daily Times

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Touchdown! Football in Alaska’s Historic Newspapers

Football header

Image credit: The Alaska daily empire. (Juneau, Alaska), 01 Jan. 1915. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020657/1915-01-01/ed-1/seq-31/>

With the frosty weather well underway, and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Bowl Season upon us, now is a great time to scour Alaska’s historic newspapers for football season coverage.

As with many sports in Alaska, there is no professional football league here, so readers attended and followed high school football games instead. Of course, many newspapers covered college football games in the Lower 48, too, as part of a time-honored collegiate athletic tradition.

Many Southeast newspapers covered games played by the Treadwell Gold Mine’s football teams against the Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company’s football team. The Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company lasted from 1911-1934 and held two mines in Sheep Creek and the Silver Bow Basin. Natural disasters plagued the Treadwell Gold Mine on Douglas Island, first from a mysterious explosion in 1910, then a mine collapse in 1917, before shuttering operations altogether in 1922.

As the major employers in the area, men from both mines sought recreation and found football to be an ideal outlet. The two mines made for a crosstown rivalry that translated onto the football field.

Football comes to fore 1

Football comes to fore 2

Image credit: The Alaska daily empire. (Juneau, Alaska), 01 Jan. 1915. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020657/1915-01-01/ed-1/seq-31/>

Treadwell-AK Mining game

Image credit: The Alaska daily empire. (Juneau, Alaska), 15 Nov. 1913. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020657/1913-11-15/ed-1/seq-4/>

Juneau Treadwell Complete

Image credit: The Alaska daily empire. (Juneau, Alaska), 17 Nov. 1913. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020657/1913-11-17/ed-1/seq-1/>

Today, in addition to local high school teams from all over the state, Alaskans can root for teams within the Alaska Football League. Similar to the rest of the country, NFL football coverage continues to dominate the sports pages. No matter how you enjoy the sport, football will always be a fixture newspapers- past, present, and future.

Earthquakes in Alaska

earthquake headline

Image credit: Valdez daily prospector. (Valdez, Alaska), 08 July 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn98060264/1912-07-08/ed-1/seq-1/>

After last Friday’s 7.0 earthquake rocked Anchorage and south central Alaska, many are looking ahead to see what can be done when the next quake strikes. The quake destroyed roads and buildings and will take a great deal of time and money to recover. Yet some institutions, such as the Anchorage Public Library, have fully embraced the quake as an opportunity to educate the public on seismology and the major fault lines in the state of Alaska, and how to talk to children about earthquakes amidst the destruction.

Alaska experiences more earthquakes than any other region in the United States, approximately 12,000 each year (most of which go unnoticed due to their relatively small tremors), and account for 11% of the world’s earthquakes. Alaska’s largest earthquake on record occurred in 1964, and reached a magnitude of 9.4 on the Richter scale.

Due to this frequency, there are several news items related to earthquakes that have shaken up Alaska in its historic newspapers.

earthquake

Image credit: Valdez daily prospector. (Valdez, Alaska), 08 July 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn98060264/1912-07-08/ed-1/seq-1/>

earthquake 1

Image credit: The daily Alaskan. (Skagway, Alaska), 20 Feb. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014189/1909-02-20/ed-1/seq-1/>

Earthquake CDT 2-8-1923

Image credit: The Cordova daily times. (Cordova, Alaska), 08 Feb. 1923. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86072239/1923-02-08/ed-1/seq-5/>

Earthquake Daily Alaskan 9-24-1907

Image credit: The daily Alaskan. (Skagway, Alaska), 24 Sept. 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014189/1907-09-24/ed-1/seq-1/>

Earthquake Valdez Daily Prospector 1-31-1912

Image credit: Valdez daily prospector. (Valdez, Alaska), 31 Jan. 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn98060264/1912-01-31/ed-1/seq-1/>

 

earthquake 2

Image credit: The daily Alaskan. (Skagway, Alaska), 19 Feb. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014189/1909-02-19/ed-1/seq-1/>

earthquake 3

Image credit: The Alaska citizen. (Fairbanks, Alaska), 08 July 1912. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn96060002/1912-07-08/ed-1/seq-1/>