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New TV series explores Alaskan history from pioneers' eyes

Alaska Dispatch

Alaska’s rugged landscape and rich pioneering history naturally lends itself to incredible stories from the Last Frontier. Now you can hear some of the state’s extraordinary tales from people who lived it. 360 North, Alaska’s public affairs channel, will begin airing a new series called "Alaska Statehood Pioneers: In Their Own Words" this week that will give state history buffs new fodder.

The 10-part television series features oral history documentaries from some Alaska pioneers who helped formed the constitution and usher the territory into statehood. They speak about their journeys to Alaska, their families and homes.

The interviews were conducted in 2004 by historian Terrence Cole of the University of Alaska and public television producers for the Creating Alaska project and 50th anniversary of statehood preparations. Most interviews have remained out of the public eye since they were recorded.

Vic Fischer, Jack Coghill and Katie Hurley are among the featured pioneers. About half of the participants have passed away since being interviewed, including judge Tom Stewart, former Gov. Jay Hammond and Maynard Londborg.

The series begins Wednesday at 8 p.m. It will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday the following weeks. A web component will be available at 360 North’s website, including video-on-demand files of each program and entire interview transcripts, KYUK reports.

You can also watch a live stream of 360 North.