Artifact of the Month
Artifact of the Month: January 2016

Ketchikan celebrates passage of the Alaska Statehood Bill, June 30, 1958

In 2003, Paulu Saari donated his collection of photographs and negatives, numbering in the thousands. The bulk of the images were taken during the 1950s when he was a staff photographer for the Ketchikan Daily News, a position he held from 1955 to 1966. Paulu's photos captured every day events from the notable to the mundane- business openings, construction projects, meetings, social events, sports and recreation activities, and general comings and goings. Since his work was for the newspaper, we are able to connect the image and its accompanying article to learn more about the event and the people involved.

1959 was a monumental year for Alaska, when on January 3rd, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the official proclamation admitting Alaska as the 49th state. The summer prior on June 30, 1958, having already cleared the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood bill by a vote of 64-20. Celebrations erupted across the territory. Featured in the photo is Mayor J.E. Winston sharing the news of statehood with an enthralled crowd of onlookers. People danced in the streets through the night.

As part of our mission to make our collections available for research and outreach, Ketchikan Museums provides digital reproductions of artifacts for scholarly and general use. To initiate a request, please click on the "Research Request Form" link below or call us at 907-225-5600.

Ketchikan Museums, KM 2003.2.63.131
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Celebrateing the passage of the 1958 Alaska Statehood BillCelebrateing the passage of the 1958 Alaska Statehood Bill