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Builders of the Alcan


first_imgHere are the words of General Simon Buckner, commander of the Army in Alaska upon being informed that Engineers 97th Regiment assigned to build the Alaska section of the Alcan Highway would be composed of African American soldiers.  He objected, concerned that the high wages being paid for labor meant they would likely “settle after the war with the natural result that they would interbreed with the Indians and Eskimos and produce an astonishingly objectionable race of mongrels, which would be a problem from now on.”  Until recently you could read the Alcan Highway story in a history book without ever finding out those soldiers were not White.  Talk of Alaska has gone into Alaska’s hidden military history a number of times, discussing the secret fire balloons launched by Japan, for instance, and the Aleutian battlefield debris, Cold War spying, and other things.  Both of our panelists have researched these issues and written on themCaterpillar tractor with grader widening the roadway of the Alcan Highway in 1942 (File photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)Download AudioHOST: Steve HeimelGUESTS:Lael Morgan, longtime Alaska journalistPeter Porco, Alaska journalist and playwrightStatewide callersParticipate:Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcastPost your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send email to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by email, RSS or podcast.Talk of Alaska guest Lael Morgan, longtime Alaska journalist on June 14, 2016. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)last_img

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