As the year long celebration of Alaska's becoming the 49th star of the field of blue draws to a close, fresh off the presses is a new book written by thirty local authors as a project of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula Historical Association. "In the spring of 2008, Borough Mayor John Williams asked the Historical Association to write a book commemorating statehood," says Brent Johnson, president of the Kenai Peninsula Historical Association. "The Williams administration also set up the AK 50 on the Kenai Committee to organize various programs for the state's 50th birthday. It was the book committee that conceived the unique 'snapshot' approach to focus on the statehood years 1958-59 and this book is the results of their efforts," Johnson told the Dispatch. According to Johnson the money needed for the project came from BP and Icicle Seafoods, "Since petroleum and salmon were and are so important to the economy, these donations were a perfect fit. When Dave Carey became Borough Mayor he also directed AK 50 funds to the project, but the thirty different writers who worked on this project didn't receive a dime of compensation but all donated their time, efforts and documents to compete the project," he said.
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