As early as 1930, under President Hoover, an overland link by road to Alaska was first envisioned, but it wasn't deemed essential until the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December of 1941. Construction was authorized by President Roosevelt on February 11, 1942 whereupon Canada furnished the right-of-way, waved import duties, sales tax, income tax and immigration regulations. In return for Canada's compliance, the U.S. agreed to cede the Canadian portion of the highway to Canada at war's end. Construction of the so-called ALCAN (Alaska Canada) Highway commenced on March 9, 1942, bringing more than 10,000 American troops, mainly to camps at Whitehorse and Fort St. John. Construction was completed on October 25, 1942. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on November 20, 1942 on Soldier's Summit. Among the many books about the making the road is Stan Cohen's The Trail of '42.


The Trail of '42: A Pictorial History of the Alaskan Highway (Fort Nelson: Autumn Images)

Alcan and Canol: A Pictorial History of Two Great World War II Construction Projects (Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1992).

[BCBW 2005] "War"