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How did Japonski Island get its name?
A shipwrecked Japanese crew was held there in 1805
The Japanese Olympic Ski team visited there in 1912
Designated a Japanese P.O.W. camp by Nicholas P. Resanof in 1806
Japonski is the Tlingit word for "Across the Channel"
Because Japanese glass floats were frequently found on its shores
An old Finnish boat builder named Tahvo Japonski lived there

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Sitka National Cemetery


Previous Trivia Question:
What year was the first soldier buried in what later became known as the Sitka National Cemetery?
Answer: 1867
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Sitka National Cemetery

Although the U.S. flag first flew over Alaska in 1867, it was not until the1884 passage of the first Organic Act establishing the region as “a civil and judicial district” that Congress provided any form of government. During the 17 intervening years Alaska had been administered by the War Department, then the Treasury Department and finally by the Navy.

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis laid out the cemetery at Sitka in the late 19th century. Most of the interments were soldiers and sailors from the Marine base and Naval hospital. Subsequently, the land was loaned to the U.S. Department of the Interior as a home for indigent prospectors. From 1912 until 1921, the cemetery was practically abandoned and a dense growth of trees and underbrush grew up almost obscuring the site. In 1920, representatives of the Sitka American Legion post wrote to the Secretary of War calling attention to the neglected cemetery and asking for remedial action; they were told no funds were available. In 1921, they appealed to the Secretary of the Navy, who allocated $1,200 toward reconditioning the site.

In 1922, the Secretary of the Navy turned the issue of cemetery maintenance over to the War Department. In June 1924, upon the recommendation of the Alaska governor and the American Legion, President Calvin Coolidge signed an executive order designating the site Sitka National Cemetery.

Source: United States Department of Veterans Affairs

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