Harding Rail Car
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Warren G. Harding Rail Car

Warren G. Harding Rail CarPresident Warren G. Harding, the first chief executive to visit the territory, came to Fairbanks to celebrate the completion of the Alaska Railroad.

Although Harding was dead within two weeks, his reputation marred by scandal, that day Fairbanks was excited by what the Daily News-Miner called "the Glory of the Coming.''

He spoke first to a crowd at Week's Field on July 23, 1923. Among other things he said, ``I wonder if you know what has most impressed us on our ... trip to Alaska. You have a sample of it here in Fairbanks....While Alaska is majestic and boundless and mighty.....it is also strikingly a home land, and that is the finest thing that may be said of any section of any nation in the world.''

That same afternoon, Harding spoke again at the Masonic Temple on First Avenue, and allegedly ate dinner at the R.C. Wood home down the street.

In 1923, the fledgling Alaska Railroad brought President Warren G. Harding to the Tanana River town of Nenana. The rail car that President Harding rode in has been restored and can be seen and toured at Alaskaland.


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