Life in Alaska – To Cedric Guion, Scavenger – A TO DO LIST from Rusty Heurlin – April 20, 1944

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

The following is a letter from Rusty,  (Magnus Colcord Heurlin) a very good friend of the family and who would become a very well known Alaskan Artist. He has left Anchorage and is traveling with Major Marston, in charge of Security for Alaska, and Governor Greuning, who wants to meet the various natives he is governing. Rusty is along to sketch and will use much of this material in future paintings of Alaskan life.

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - April, 1944

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - signature page - April, 1944

Nome, Alaska

April 20, 1944

Cedric Guion


Anchorage, Alaska

Dear Ced,

Spent the afternoon out at airbase here going over air manifests but could find no entrance reports on any 4 pieces shipped from Anchorage. A Lieut. Ladrak suggested I write you  to check what plane the stuff went on – see if it was Troop Carrier 3541, a C 47 plane which left Anchorage on the 7th of March. He thinks the bag…

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Wickersham's Conscience

Engraved elephant ivory artifact, courtesy of the Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology

The oldest complete written sentence has been identified. It’s written in the Canaanite language, about 1,700 years ago. There are earlier writings, but they are simply names or sometimes the owner of the object.

This artifact was found at Tel Lachish in Israel, once a major Canaanite city-state in the second millennium BCE. The artifact measures just 3.5 by 2.5 centimeters (roughly 1.38 by 1 inches). The artifact was excavated in 2016, but it wasn’t until more recently that the inscription was discovered. The inscription reads,

Drawing of artifact’s inscription

As the numbers show, lettering is right to left. When that ancient engraver reached the right edge, he rotated the artifact 180 degrees and continued. The engraver ran out of room again (“Plan ahead,” anyone?) and had to engrave the 17th character below the 16th.

The translation? Translated, the…

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