to Offer Postwar Pioneers?
Pioneer is a magic word in American
history. For generations, American pioneers pushed westward across the incredibly
rich spaces of our continent, writing history with the long rifle, the sod-breaking
plow, the Texas saddle, the lariat, the gold pan, and the oil drill. What the
frontiersmen did, thought, and said had important effects on our federal government
at Washington, our relations with other countries, and our nations destiny.
frontier is bred into our bones. From it, some historians tell us, we got many
of those characteristics other nations call Americanour inventiveness,
our willingness to do hard physical labor, our respect for bigness, our liking
to keep moving, our refusal to accept restraint or limitation, our
belief in the individuals right to say, do, and worship as he pleases, our
hospitality, our love of freedom, our dislike of hereditary rulers and authoritarian
Not all in the history of the frontier was creditable. American
pioneers wasted the nations resources and drove the Indians from their lands.
Some frontiersmen lived lustily and violently, without thought for those who would
follow. Only very slowly did they learn that the good earths heritagesoil,
plants, trees, rivers, minerals, fish and wild lifeis something to be preciously
guarded for our mutual good.
Alaska, Americas continental outpost,
is our last frontier. In its own way; it is as rich and varied as the land to
which the Pilgrims came more than three hundred years ago. It is almost unsettled
in comparison with similarly situated lands in northern Europe. The war has greatly
speeded up its development, has linked it with the rest of the United States by
a new system of highways and airways, and has brought into its borders thousands
of young men and hundreds of young women who would never otherwise have visited
Alaska offers twentieth-century pioneers a challengeand an opportunity.
Should I Go to Alaska?