Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Final Report on Earthquake Recovery Assistance to Alaska
Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)
I am pleased to transmit the sixth and final semi-annual report of Federal agency activity under the authority of Public Law 88-451 to assist Alaska to recover from the earthquake which she suffered in 1964.
On March 27, 1964, a crippling earthquake struck the State of Alaska. At the request of the Governor, I declared a "major disaster" enabling the Federal Government to provide vitally needed assistance. Congress also responded to the emergency by passing Public Law 88-451, which brought additional Federal aid to the disaster area.
Now, three years later, we can look back with pride upon our accomplishments. This report, submitted as the program ends, shows the scope of the Federal Government's contribution to the rebuilding of Alaska.
Under this law, some $56 million was provided to Alaska for earthquake relief.
--The Department of Housing and Urban Development purchased over $15 million in special Alaskan bonds to finance reconstruction activities.
--More than $9 million was distributed for urban renewal projects in Kodiak, Anchorage, Seward, Valdez, and Seldovia. Further grants in this program of almost $16 million have been approved.
--The Small Business Administration has approved 504 home loans to repair or replace damaged dwellings, totaling more than $10 million.
--More than $5 million in Federal money was used to finance 23 highway reconstruction projects.
These particular programs, carried out by authority of P.L. 88-451, represent only part of the Federal effort in rebuilding Alaska. In all, Federal recovery assistance totaled more than $350 million.
--Over $51 million from the President's Disaster Fund was used to repair public buildings, streets, bridges, schools and vital utilities.
--The Small Business Administration made low-risk loans of $82 million to small businesses and private homeowners.
--The Bureau of Public Roads, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Housing and Urban Development expended many millions more under their own authorities.
The effects of this Federal Assistance are evident in statistics on employment, personal income, investments, and bank deposits. All show substantial gains and, in some cases, have reached all-time highs.
But just last week another disaster struck our largest State. Thousands of people have been driven from their homes by the floodwaters of the Chena and Tanana rivers.
Once again I have declared a major disaster to provide immediate Federal assistance. Federal facilities have been mobilized to accomplish a gigantic recovery program before the arrival of winter weather.
The spirit, skill, and unlimited energy of our Alaskan citizens promise that this new recovery effort will be as successful as the last one.
This year Alaska celebrates its centennial. Its citizens are fully justified in their slogan, "North to the Future."
I commend this report to your attention.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
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 12-page processed report is entitled "Sixth Semiannual Report to the Congress, Public Law 88-451, '1964 Amendments to the Alaska Omnibus Act'."
Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting Final Report on Earthquake Recovery Assistance to Alaska Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/237832