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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on Earthquake Recovery Assistance to Alaska.

August 20, 1965

Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)

I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of activity under authority of Public Law 88-451 which covers actions taken by five Federal departments and agencies to assist in the recovery of Alaska following the earthquake of March 27, 1964.

The Act, entitled, "1964 Amendments to the Alaska Omnibus Act", was designed to speed additional aid to Alaska following the earthquake.

This report covers the period from January 1, 1965, through June 30, 1965. During the period covered in the report, more than $30 million in grants and loans were furnished Alaska under Public Law 88-451. During the twelve-month period since the amendments have been in force, $52 million have gone to Alaska. This assistance is only a fraction of the total recovery programs that the Federal Government has provided. Submission of this report to the Congress, as required by Public Law 88-451, also affords an opportunity to review briefly the total assistance to Alaska and its meaning to the State.

As of this date, more than $336 million in grants and loans have been made to the State, its communities and its people. Of this amount, nearly $163 million has been in the form of direct grants and still another $91 million in loans to individuals, business concerns, and other organizations. The remainder is for the repair of damaged Federal facilities in Alaska.

This means that $1,360 per citizen has gone to Alaska since the earthquake.

Today, Alaska has substantially recovered from the earthquake. Scars remain, but the worst effects have been overcome by the stamina, courage and resources of Alaska's people aided by speedy and significant Federal assistance of many kinds.

Repairs to Alaska's highways are virtually complete. Damage to airports has been repaired. The Alaska railroad is running again on a full schedule and with new equipment. Most schools have been repaired or rebuilt. Docks and harbors are being repaired and expanded to meet the growing needs of the populace. Lifeblood industries have fully recovered from the devastating blow. The fishing industry was put back on its feet at such a rapid rate that it was able to increase its catch by 100 million pounds during 1964, for an increased value of $11,600,000.

The per capita income of the Alaskan citizen has increased from $2,850 at the time of the earthquake to $3,154 today, an increase of 11 percent.

At no time in recent years has an individual State suffered such a catastrophe and at no time was such a massive and effective program of Federal assistance carried out. It is a tribute to the individual citizens of Alaska, to the Congress, and to the thousands of State and Federal personnel who worked tirelessly in the hours and months that followed this tragedy.

The future of Alaska is one of great potential and immediate fulfillment. The damage and dislocation left by the earthquake are gone and the destiny of our forty-ninth State is once again bright with promise.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The text of the report was not made public by the White House.

The 1964 Amendments to the Alaska Omnibus Act was approved by the President on August 19, 1964 (Public Law 88-451; 78 Stat. 505).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House on Earthquake Recovery Assistance to Alaska. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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