Channeling Elizabeth Peratrovich

I FIRST HEARD OF ELIZABETH PERATROVICH from Ernest Gruening, who was my very first hero. (Well, okay, after Herbie “The Shishmaref Cannonball” Noyukpuk, who mushed to great glory in the World Championship Sled Dog Races.) I guess Ernest Gruening was my first political hero. He was the territorial governor of Alaska from 1939 until 1953 and he was one of our first US senators. In that capacity, he was one of two in the US Senate who voted against the Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964. That resolution authorized American military action in Southeast Asia which, as any member of my generation knows, led to the Vietnam War.

In 1964 I was a lot more concerned with the effects of the Alaska Earthquake, 9.2 on the Richter scale, that hit in the middle of my twelfth birthday party, but in college in Fairbanks, sweating out the draft lottery with my friends, I wondered how and why we’d gotten involved. So I did what I always do, I went to the library and looked it up. Somewhere along the way, I stumbled across the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, and when I noticed that only two senators had voted no and that one of them was from Alaska, I decided I had to find out more about this senator. (This is the way research works. It cascades, and it’s labor intensive, time consuming, and addictive. Stay away from it.)

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Dana View All →

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2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Research!!!……it’s robbed me of many a hour of sleep. Even in my late 80s, I find my head peeking out of rabbit holes at two or three in the morning.

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