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Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583
DENALI PARK, Alaska:On Friday, August 23 Dr. Terrence Cole, Professor of History and Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), will speak about the Sourdough Expedition of 1910, which on April 3 of that year became the first to reach the north peak of Mt. McKinley. This group of four gold miners challenged the peak with the most rudimentary gear and no technical climbing experience. They set out in order to disprove explorer Frederick Cook's claim of reaching the summit in 1906 and demonstrate that Alaskans could outdo the exploits of any "easterners".Two members of the party, Billy Taylor and Pete Anderson, reached the top of the 19,470-foot north peak and made history. But once they returned to civilization this expedition's exploits would become as mired in controversy as that of Dr. Cook.
The free presentation begins at 7:00 pm and is taking place in the Denali Visitor Center's Karstens Theatre.
Cole's expertise and interests include all aspects of Alaska history. He has written many academic articles and monographs, and five books, including The Sourdough Expedition: Stories of the Pioneer Alaskans Who Climbed Mount McKinley in 1910 and Fighting for the Forty Ninth Star, a history of Alaska's statehood crusade. He is a frequent guest lecturer to people of all ages, ranging from kindergarten students to participants in the Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) program. Dr. Cole has been the recipient of multiple awards and honors for his scholastic contributions. In 2012, the Governor appointed him to the Alaska Historical Commission.
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