Alaska Legislature

Alaska Legislature establishes June 9 as Don Young Day honoring 49-year congressman

JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature passed a bill Tuesday to establish June 9 as Don Young Day, commemorating Alaska’s late congressman, who died in March 2022 after 49 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Young, a Republican known for his gruff manner and bipartisanship, was 88 when he died. He was the longest-serving Republican in the history of the U.S. House. His contributions to Alaska have already been marked in numerous ways, including naming a volcano in the Aleutian chain and a federal office building in Fairbanks after him.

Young was born June 9, 1933, in California. He moved to Alaska in 1959 and was first elected to the U.S House in 1973.

The new commemorative day will not be a holiday and is not forecast to have fiscal impacts on the state. The bill calls for the day to be observed “by suitable observances and exercises by civil groups and the public.”

The bill heads next to Gov. Mike Dunleavy for final approval. Dunleavy earlier this year proclaimed March 18, 2023, as Don Young Day, “to celebrate and honor the contributions” of Young on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Iris Samuels

Iris Samuels is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News focusing on state politics. She previously covered Montana for The AP and Report for America and wrote for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at