What Has Alaska
Alaska is our last geographical frontier. War, out of strategic
necessity, has made Americans conscious of this United States outpost as nothing
has since the Yukon gold rush nearly fifty years ago. Many vigorous young men
and women are wondering what this vast area is like. What kinds of opportunities
will it offer after this war is over?
This pamphlet is packed with facts
and figures about Alaskan climate, geography, agriculture, and industry. These
facts afford an excellent basis for forums or discussions on at least three major
questions. The three are listed here together with other questions that naturally
come to mind in connection with them:
What Has Alaska to Offer
In what ways does Alaska resemble the Western frontier
of, say, 1850? In what ways is it different? Will the development of Alaska in
the next century parallel the development of the West in the last?
frontier a vital contribution to make to present-day American living?
do you consider of greatest importance in Alaska today: The dollar-and-cents value
of its fish, minerals, and other resources? Its strategic and military defense
role? Its position on world airways? Its possibilities as a vacationland and recreation
area? Its possibilities as a migration area for settlers from the States and Europe?
How Should Alaska Be Developed after the War?
Alaska be developed to the full by modern industry and agriculture, or should
it be left as a source of fish and minerals and as a national playground?
Army equipment remaining in Alaska be turned over to the Territory for roadmaking,
clearing of farmland, and similar tasks?
Should permanent military installations
be kept in Alaska?
Should the Alaska Highway be developed for pleasure and
commercial freight traffic, or should it remain a military service road only?
a railroad overland into Alaska be worth its cost in dollars and manpower?
should the role of the Alaska native be in the development of the Territory? Should
Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos be accorded the same economic and political privileges
as white Alaskans?
What Is Likely to Be Alaskas Political
Development in the Future?
Should Alaska be given statehood? What effect
would this have on its development? On the exploitation of its resources?
Alaskans elect their governor and other Territorial officials? Should Congress
continue to exercise a veto power over Territorial legislation?
be the policy of Alaska toward immigration after the war?
What should be
the relation of Alaska to its neighbors, USSR and the Canadian Northwest?
you wish to do so, you might organize one meeting on each of the major questions.
Or still another question may suggest itself to you as more likely to interest
your group. Perhaps future political development for Alaska will be less interesting
to your members than the possibilities for industrial development or for personal
opportunities. In planning a meeting or meetings on Alaska you should of course
be guided by what your men would like to discuss.
Use EM 1, G.I. Roundtable:
Guide for Discussion Leaders. It was planned to be full of practical suggestions
on choosing subjects, on promoting off-duty discussion, on using charts, maps,
movies and other visual aids, and on other matters pertaining to a discussion
group program. Almost any meeting which you may plan on Alaska will require a
wall map of the area. If such a map is not available, have some G.I. artist draw
a rough outline of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands on a sheet of paper about 4
by 6 feet. (If large sheets of paper are not available, such a map can be prepared
in two or four sections and the sections mounted on a wall or a large board with
tacks.) Have the main features likely to be valuable for your discussion printed
on the outline as shown in the map opposite page 1 of this pamphlet. This map
might also indicate the products and industries of the various regions: agriculture,
gold, fur farming, trapping, salmon, tourists, etc.
It is suggested that
the map will be more effective if a color scheme, using crayon or ink, is used:
red for the regions, black for geographical features, and green for products and
industries. A more elaborate color scheme could be developed by breaking the geographical
features down into parts. You can use the colors for printing the names or for
underlining names printed in black.
Make copies of this pamphlet available
for reading by your group members. You can place pamphlets on a loan basis in
the library, service club, or day room. Some reading by members in advance of
discussion is always helpful even if only a few take advantage of the opportunity.
on the following pages are suggested for further reading if it so happens that
you have access to them. They are not approved nor officially supplied by the
War Department. They have been selected because they give additional information
and represent different points of view.