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Looking back in Fairbanks — Nov. 20

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Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:53 pm | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

10 YEARS AGO

Nov. 20, 2002 — Ice in the Tanana River broke apart and piled into a mile-long, 200-foot-wide jam on Tuesday, clogging the river and causing water to flood into Salcha residents’ yards.

No, time hasn’t fast-forwarded to April.

The cause of the rare mid-November breakup is the warmer than normal temperatures that have prevented the Tanana from freezing over.

25 YEARS AGO

Nov. 20, 1987 — The brightest comet to streak across the sky since Halley’s comet crossed two years ago will be visible around Fairbanks for the next few weeks, local astronomers say.

Comet Bradfield, first sighted last August by Australia astronomer William Bradfield, will be visible in the Fairbanks sky from now until Dec. 1.

50 YEARS AGO

Nov. 20, 1962 — “The Arlis Twist,” — 10 steps then a complete turnaround — was one of the strange facets of far, far north living this writer was introduced to recently during a two week visit to Arlis II floating ice island, deep in the Arctic Ocean.

The “twist” is purely a defensive maneuver. It was invented by the island’s personnel so they could watch for polar bears that sometimes board the island from the adjoining ice pack and might jump someone as they walk about during the five month long winter night.

75 YEARS AGO

Nov. 20, 1937 — NEW YORK — Native Americans who sold the island of Manhattan to the Dutch in 1626 for 60 guilders, the equivalent of $24.12, offered today to buy it back for $30.

The offer was made in New York City by Chief Clear Sky, a Mohawk. He said the offer was $5.88 more than the original sale price because “the island has been improved.”

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