Alaska Highway Opens - 2
The bitter memory of World War II was fading by 1947. North Americans were optimistic. TIME magazine carried a special feature on a new land…
It was a bitterly cold day. The CBC announcer said, because of wartime restrictions, he was not allowed to give the temperature. But the bands played on; the red, blue and white ribbon was cut; trucks roared past the viewing party and the Alaska Highway was officially opened.
Soldiers Summit, on the shores of Kluane Lake was the location of that impressive ceremony back on November 20th,1942. At 9.30 a.m., Colonel K.B. Bush, the Northwest Service Command Chief of Staff, acting as master of ceremonies, began by delivering messages in person, and by letters from government and military officials of Canada and the United States.
Canadian cabinet minster Ian Mackenzie, and the Secretary for the state of Alaska, E.L. Bartlett, cut the ribbon which was stretched across the highway. Two American military bands, which had been huddling in a tent to keep their instruments warm, played God Save the King, The Star Spangled Banner and The Maple Leaf Forever.
The Alaska Highway, really little more than a pioneer trail, was open. But it would be years and millions of dollars before the road could really be called a highway.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.