William A. Egan Day
Effective Date: Monday, October 8th, 2012
WHEREAS, born in Valdez on October 8, 1914, William Egan grew up in Alaska, learning the ways of the frontier as a pilot, miner, and businessman, and served his nation as a member of the United States Army during WWII. William Egan was the only Governor of Alaska to be born in Alaska; and
WHEREAS, Governor Egan spent a lifetime in public service to the people of Alaska, serving in the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives and Senate, as Mayor of Valdez, and as President of the Alaska Constitutional Convention, when he was charged with leading the effort of drafting a constitution for what would become the 49th state. As a proponent of the “Alaska-Tennessee Plan,” Egan aggressively pressured the United States Congress to grant Alaska statehood; and
WHEREAS, when Alaska won statehood, the people of Alaska elected William Egan as Governor. During his tenure, Governor Egan played a central role in establishing foundational elements of Alaska State government, including the organization of the executive and judicial branches of the new state’s government and the allotment of 103 million acres of State land, including land on the North Slope which became an important State resource for oil development; and
WHEREAS, Governor Egan worked to establish the Alaska Marine Highway System, defend Alaska’s fisheries from foreign incursion, and develop a tax structure for the oil industry. He implemented the Trans Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act with President Nixon, pursuing energy independence for the nation and building Alaska’s wealth and future; and
WHEREAS, Governor Egan remained involved with Alaska’s interests following his time as Governor. Along with Governor Walter Hickel, he founded Commonwealth North to promote Alaskan policy. His significant and influential role in Alaska was recognized with honorary degrees from Alaska Methodist University and the University of Alaska, recipient of the “Alaskan of the Year” award in 1971, and in the many public buildings and structures named for him throughout the state.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim October 8, 2012 as:
William A. Egan Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to remember Governor Egan’s extraordinary contributions, gentlemanly demeanor, and passionate defense of the cause of Alaska statehood.
Dated: October 5, 2012