cover of book

Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star: C. W. Snedden and the Crusade for Alaska Statehood
by Terrence Cole
University of Alaska Press, 2010
eISBN: 978-1-883309-07-7 | Cloth: 978-1-883309-06-0
Library of Congress Classification F909.C69 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 979.802092

When Alaskans in the 1950s demanded an end to "second-class citizenship" of territorial status, southern powerbrokers on Capitol Hill were the primary obstacles. They feared a forty-ninth state would tip the balance of power against segregation, and therefore keeping Alaska out of the Union was simply another means of keeping black children out of white schools.

C.W. "Bill" Snedden, the publisher of America's farthest north daily newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, helped lead the battle of the Far North against the Deep South. Working behind the scenes with his protege, a young attorney named Ted Stevens, and a fellow Republican newspaperman, Secretary of Interior Fred Seaton, Snedden's "magnificent obsession" would open the door to development of the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay, inspire establishment of the Arctic Wildlife Range (now the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), and add the forty-ninth star to the flag.

Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star is the story of how the publisher of a little newspaper four thousand miles from Washington, D.C., helped convince Congress that Alaskans should be second-class citizens no more.

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