Fifty-six years ago the Good Friday earthquake completely wiped out the Alaska Native villages of Chenega, Old Harbor, Afognak and Koguak and caused tidal waves that killed more than 100 people.
There was over $3.5 billion worth of damage; critical infrastructure destroyed. It was a turning point in Alaska history - where Alaskans facing unsurmountable odds, alone, afraid, with minimal resources - perservered.
After surveying the damage, Governor Bill Egan said, "In essence, the story of the Koguyak and Old Harbor Villages is the story of the spirit of the people of Anchorage, Valdez, Seward, Cordova, Kodiak and all other communities who suffered more than words can tell. Many have said that it is nothing short of a miracle that the casualties are not far, far greater. I can think of no finer tribute to those who are gone than what some would call another miracle - the swell of will and energy and faith that will make this great land of ours better than the one we knew before."
Governor Michael Dunleavy recently echoed the sentiments of Governor Bill Egan - asking Alaskans facing the coronavirus outbreak to band together, come to each others aid, and prepare to build a new Alaska that is stronger, more self reliant and self sufficient than ever before.