Ernest Gruening: Alaska's Greatest Governor by Claus Naske

By Claus Naske

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Ernest Gruening governor of territorial Alaska. What have been twenty historical years that modified the face of North the USA whilst Alaska grew to become a nation in 1959.

Using unpublished archival fabrics, Claus-M. Naske follows Gruening from Puerto Rico to the Pacific Islands and from Alaska to Antarctica. As governor, Gruening committed himself to the industrial improvement of Alaska and fought discrimination opposed to Alaska Natives. In 1958, he was once elected to the U.S. Senate the place he adversarial the Vietnam struggle and earned a name for his liberal perspectives on civil rights. Gruening's letters and memos exhibit the demanding situations that he confronted on a daily basis as an activist governor and senator. As a guy of expertise, ambition, and ego, Gruening met clash head-on and received the dignity of Alaskans for his honesty and undeniable speech.

The lifetime of Ernest Gruening is a private account of Alaska statehood in addition to a political odyssey during the 20th century.

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Gruening felt confident that men with records like these would be an asset to the New Deal, and he was certain that he would be happy working in the Department of the Interior.  Gruening’s turn came first. When Boyd Brown, the lieutenant governor of Saint Croix, became president of the newly formed Virgin Island Company, the government agency designed to develop the economy of the three islands, Gruening considered it his duty to find a successor quickly. He thought that Robert Herrick, a nationally known novelist and retired professor of English literature at the University of Chicago, would make an ideal appointee.

Gruening (left) and his son Peter. No number. island[s] to be part of ‘His Britannic domain, Gilbert and Ellice Administration’ ” (Figure ). The British had obviously departed from the State Department understanding by announcing sovereignty over or at least strengthening their claims to these uninhabited islands.  The director found Canton, a coral atoll some twenty-eight miles in circumference surrounding a large, almost circular lagoon, to be ideal for building landing fields. ” Upon his return to the United States, Gruening and Jay Pierrepont Moffat of the State Department, who was in charge of the island negotiations, visited the president.

Er ne st gruening Figure . Black, Gruening, and four young Hawaiian men who occupied Howland Island, . No number. Figure . Black and Gruening on Howland Island, . No number. Director Gruening looked for an individual with engineering experience, administrative ability, and familiarity with fieldwork. He found these desired qualities in Richard Blackburn Black, a civil engineering graduate of the University of North Dakota. Black had experience in railway construction and mine safety work, and had been a surveyor and assistant scientist in the second Byrd Antarctic Expedition from  to .

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