Here's another story I heard from one of the participants long ago, Alice
All Alaska was thrilled in 1959 to learn at last we'd become a State of the
United States, no longer a Territory.
As Sitka was the place of the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United
States, it was fitting that the first 49-star flag be flown from Castle Hill,
site of the transfer. The occasion is still celebrated in Sitka every year on
The ceremony was planned for something like 3:00 p.m. and the town was gearing
up for the happy time. Then word came that a nefarious plot was being hatched in
Juneau - they were going to raise the flag in the morning.
That would never do. A small group of loyal Sitkans climbed Castle Hill in the
dark, waited until midnight, and at exactly one minute after, raised the flag,
then lowered it. Not sure what time they unfurled the flag in Juneau, but
certainly no one there can claim to have done it first.