Parade on Nome’s Front Street, 1916. Courtesy Library of Congress

Loving liberty, Americans honored their nation’s birth in Alaska when it was still foreign soil. Two years before the United States bought the territory from Russia, the Western Union Telegraph Expedition’s Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Henry P. Fisher arranged its first July Fourth bash in the capital New Archangel, present-day Sitka. As guest of the Russian governor, Fisher had tired of the outpost’s routine and…

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