Building the Alaska Highway

About the Show

In May of 1942, across the rugged sub-Arctic wilderness of Alaska, British Columbia and Yukon Territory, thousands of American soldiers began one of the biggest and most difficult construction projects ever undertaken: the building of the Alaska Highway. The United States had toyed for 80 years with the idea of building a road link from the lower 48 states to Alaska, but it was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that spurred Washington into action. Worried that the Japanese might invade Alaska, President Roosevelt directed that a supply line be built to US military bases in the region. Interweaving interviews with the men who were there, archival footage and beautiful cinematography of the sub-Arctic route the road took, this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production tells how young soldiers endured ice, snow and bitter cold for eight months to complete the project.