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Events, exhibits, memorials marking the 50th anniversary of 1964 Alaska earthquake

Mike Dunham
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The Four Seasons Apartments in Anchorage, Alaska, was a six-story lift-slab reinforced concrete building which cracked to the ground during the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. The building was under construction, but structurally completed, at the time of the earthquake. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
A home in Turnagain Heights in Anchorage, Alaska, lies in ruins following a devastating earthquake in 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
A ground fracture in the Forest Acres area in Seward, Alaska, was caused by the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. The fracture in the foreground measures about 2 feet wide. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
1964 Good Friday Earthquake Anchorage museum
Anchorage Museum
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
1964 Good Friday Earthquake Anchorage museum
Anchorage Museum
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Former home of Gov. Egan at left. Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
A building at Second Avenue and C Street collapsed during the 1964 Good Friday earthquake. Courtesy of the Anchorage Museum of History and Art
Army Corps of Engineers
Debris avalanche on the peninsula between Ugak and Kiliuda Bays in Alaska following a major earthquake on March 27, 1964. A slide of Tertiary rocks from the 1,500-foot-high peak at upper right flowed into the uninhabited valley below at about 300-foot altitude where it spread out as a debris lobe roughly 1,500 feet across. The narrow streak of light-colored debris in the lower right corner is part of the slide mass that overflowed the near flank of the landslide scar. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Twisted rails and overturned tank cars attest to the force of the waves that inundated the Seward area after the Alaska earthquake on March 27,1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND DEC. 31, JAN. 1, ** In this 1964 photo provided the Seward, Alaska visitors center, the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami that struck Seward, Alaska in 1964, is seen. Longtime residents of the nation's most seismically active state are familiar with the proper earthquake and tsunami protocol. (AP Photo/ Seward, Alaska visitors center) ** NO SALES **
AL GRILLO
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Damage to houses from landslides that occurred in Turnagain Heights in Anchorage, Alaska, following an earthquake on March 27, 2964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Extensive fissures ripple through the sand dune on the Copper River Delta following the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Pilings of former homes in Chenega village at Chenega Cove in western Prince William Sound are all that remain from destruction caused by waves created by the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. Only the school house on high ground was undamage. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Former home of Gov. Egan at right. Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
The control tower at Anchorage International Airport lies collapsed by the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
** FILE ** A mother stands watch as her child plays in a puddle of water near her earthquake-shattered home in Kodiak, Alaska in this March 1964 file photo. The water was left by tidal waves caused by the earthquake. Seven of the 10 largest earthquakes in the U.S. have occurred in Alaska and more earthquakes occur in Alaska each year than in any other U.S. state. (AP Photo/File)
Unknown
Wreckage of the J.C. Penney Department Store at Fifth Avenue and D Street in Anchorage, Alaska, following the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. The building failed after sustained seismic shaking. Most of the rubble has been cleared from the streets. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
An aerial view show damage to Kodiak, Alaska, following the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964.. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Tsunami damage along the waterfront at Kodiak, Alaska, following the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Former home of Gov. Egan at left. Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Former home of Gov. Egan at left. Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times / ADN archive 1964 Alaska Earthquake
Anchorage Times
A home in Turnagain Heights in Anchorage, Alaska, lies in ruins following a devastating earthquake in 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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An earthquake-damaged building bows of L Street in Anchorage, Alaska, March 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The Four Seasons Apartment Building in Anchorage, Alaska, which was under construction on unconsolidated material, suffered heavy damage during the earthquake on March 27, 1964. There were no casualties; five workers left the top (fifth) floor 35 minutes before the earthquake. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Wreckage of Government Hill Elementary School in Anchorage, Alaska, as viewed from the playground, looking west, following the earthquake on March 27 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Dipping oil out of water in Valdez. Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The rails in this approach to a railroad bridge near the head of Turnagain Arm were torn from their ties and buckled laterally by streamward movement of the riverbanks during the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. The bridge was also compressed and developed a hump from vertical buckling. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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A section of the Million Dollar Bridge on the Copper River Highway in Alaska lies in the river following an earthquake on March 27, 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
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Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Gov. William Egan a few yards from his house in Valdez following the 1964 Earthquake.
Courtesy of Egan family
A large coastal wave caused by the Alaska earthquake destroyed the waiting room of the Alaska Railroad depot in Whittier, Alaska, on March 27, 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
The Anchorage municipal wharf area appears shortly after at low tide following the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. The main dock was only slightly damaged, but the older Army dock (upper left) was ruined. Vibration and ground fractures damaged some structures in the port area, including the petroleum tank (lower right). (U.S. Army/MCT)
Handout
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik
A boulder estimated to weigh 1,700 pounds was thrown up 88 feet above the shoreline at Shoup Bay during the Alaska earthquake on March 27, 1964. (U.S. Geological Survey/MCT)
Handout
The 1964 earthquake heavily damaged much of Anchorage, Alaska. Harvey Chafitz photo
Harvey Chafitz
Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964
Joe Rychetnik

Thursday, March 27

• The Great Alaska Shake Out earthquake drill will be held at 1:36 p.m. Families and organizations will get prepared for big earthquakes by practicing how to "drop, cover and hold on" and other aspects of your emergency plans. Emergency management personnel are hoping to register up to 100,000 Alaskans to participant. Register online. (shakeout.org/alaska)

• A commemoration, "Remembering the Great Quake," will include the staff of the U.S. Geological Survey, state and local officials with community leaders recalling the devastation wrought by the earthquake at 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Anchorage Museum, 625 C St. Participants will observe 4 minutes and 38 seconds of silence at 5:36 p.m. A video link to the event will be available at the Egan Center, where photos of the 1964 Earthquake will be on display and opportunity will be provided for earthquake survivors to record their stories. (929-9201, anchoragemuseum.org)

• Several communities in Alaska will practice tsunami drills between 10:15 and 10:45 a.m. on Thursday. The drill will include sounding tsunami warning sirens and sending messages on TV or radio stations stating that a tsunami warning has been issued for all of Alaska. An "all clear" message will be issued following the siren test. Remember that it is not a real emergency. Do not evacuate or call 911.

• Anchorage Community Theatre's "Seismic Celebration" will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Good Friday Earthquake with scenes and music numbers from the last 60 seasons, live and silent auctions and the official announcement of the 2014-15 season. Lobby opens at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Grant Hall, Alaska Pacific University, $50. (344-4713, actalaska.org)

• Russian Orthodox churches in Alaska will ring bells in a "full peeling" to commemorate the earthquake. Tolling of all bells in a church will begin at 5:34 p.m. and last for two minutes, followed by two minutes of silence then two minutes of striking the largest bell once every 10 seconds.

• "1964 Earthquake Experience," a film by local filmmaker Jonathan Lang, will be presented every half hour noon-7 p.m. Thursday at the Alaska Experience Theatre, 333 W. Fourth Ave. $8.95. (272-9076, alaskaexperiencetheatre.com)

March 27 - April 2

• From March 27 to April 2, federal, state, nonprofit and other organizations will conduct a readiness exercise, based out of the State Emergency Operation Center on JBER and the Egan Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage. The Alaska Shield Full Scale Exercise will take place in 13 communities. Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, Kenai Peninsula, Seward, Cordova, Valdez, Kodiak, Homer, Ketchikan, Juneau, Fort Greely, Unalaska and Fairbanks/North Pole will participate. The purpose is to test state and federal agencies ability to respond to a massive disaster emergency and to educate members of the public about how they can become better prepared for such disasters. Details on the operation and suggestions for an emergency kit and other preparations can be found online. (ready.alaska.gov and ready.alaska.gov/prepare)

March 27-28

• As part of the Alaska Shield exercise, medical personnel will practice the response to a catastrophic disaster. Volunteers to play the part of patients are being sought, as are licensed health care providers. Days and hours are flexible. Volunteers must be at least 7 years old. Participants ages 13-17 may take part with a parent or guardian's written approval. Register online. (haleborealis.com)

Ongoing

• On March 27, the Egan location of the Valdez Museum will unveil “A Moving Experience: A Look Back at the Good Friday Earthquake,” the museum’s newest permanent exhibition. Funded by the City of Valdez and the Rasmuson Foundation, the exhibit features an Old Town kitchen set mid-quake and a new look at the experience of the earthquake and its effects on Valdez, including rarely-seen artifacts and photographs from the museum’s collection.

• Also at the Valdez Museum, the Hazelet Ave. location will be open for special hours March 27– April 5, extending viewing opportunities for visitors. This location features the “Remembering Old Valdez Exhibit,” a scale model of Old Valdez as it appeared in 1963 before the earthquake. This location also features the documentary “Between the Glacier and the Sea,” a touch-screen kiosk featuring personal interviews with earthquake survivors, a furnished section of an Old Town house and exhibits about Valdez’s firefighting history. Extended hours at this location are 12 - 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, through April 5.

• Share stories and photos of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake. (www.ready.alaska.gov/64quake)

April 3

• "Chenega is Gone," a documentary about the tsunami that destroyed the village of Chenega will be shown and survivors of the disaster will be on hand to speak about their experiences. The free event will take place at 7 p.m. on April 3 at the Anchorage Museum.

April 11

• "Riskland: Remembering the 1964 Earthquake," a new exhibit on the science and history of the Great Alaska Earthquake will open Sunday, April 11 at the Anchorage Museum, 625 C St.

-- Compiled by Mike Dunham

 

More coverage of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake
By MIKE DUNHAM
mdunham@adn.com