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Published on Aug 20, 2010
The Matanuska Colonization Project of 1935 was among the most unusual and controversial of the many New Deal programs designed to help ordinary citizens crushed by the Great Depression. ALASKA FAR AWAY: THE NEW DEAL PIONEERS OF THE MATANUSKA COLONY tells the story of this bold government experiment, and the families who found themselves thrust into the national spotlight along the way. The project relocated more than 200 struggling families from northern Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin to the Matanuska Valley in Alaska to start an experimental farming colony, open up Alaska for settlement, and give these families a fresh start. It generated a whirlwind of publicity and controversy at the time, not only as a very expensive federally funded social experiment, but also as one of the last pioneer movements in America.