Although ridiculed shortly afterwards as ‘Seward’s Folly’, the Alaska Purchase has since been reinterpreted as one of President Andrew Johnson’s greatest achievements.

Exxon Valdez had only recently departed the Valdez Marine Terminal when the captain, Joseph Hazelwood, left Third Mate Gregory Cousins in charge of steering the vessel while he retired to his quarters.

A potential diphtheria epidemic in Alaska was avoided after a dogsled relay transported vials of antitoxin 674 miles in five and a half days in “Great Race of Mercy”.