Governor Dunleavy signs bill establishing June 9 as Don Young Day

Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 10:28 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Saturday, August 26, at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Governor Mike Dunleavy signed into law House Bill 1-41, establishing every June 9th as Don Young Day.

Young the former republican congressman for Alaska, passed away in 2022 while traveling back to Alaska. He was 88-years-old.

At the time of his death, he was the longest-serving republican in congressional history, having served as Alaska’s U.S. Representative for 49 years.

In 1973, Young won a special election in the wake of the disappearance of incumbent democrat Nick Begich. Begich had won the 1972 election despite having disappeared in a plane crash weeks earlier, but was declared deceased later that year. Young won the March 1973 special election to fill Begich’s seat and continued to serve and become the Dean of the House in 2017.

Young was deeply committed to the prosperity of Alaska and had a hand in several major developments in the state to include the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the Magnuson Stevens Act. He advocated for Native Alaskan rights, pushed for vital infrastructure improvements, and helped to protect our Second Amendment rights.

Bill Sponsor and Rules Chair, Representative Craig Johnson stated, “It’s an honor to have sponsored a bill that recognizes the exceptional service of Congressman Don Young. His advocacy for Alaska’s interests and his relentless pursuit of economic growth and personal freedoms for all Alaskans will be celebrated every June 9th.”

“Congressman Young’s 49 years representing the 49th state earned him the respect and admiration of generations of Alaskans. His accomplishments are legendary both here and in the nation’s capital. I am proud to say he was a friend of mine and it is an honor for me to sign legislation creating Don Young Day. I also want to thank Representative Johnson for sponsoring this bill,” said Governor Dunleavy.