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Construction of the Alyeska Pipeline took place from 1969 to 1977 and employed roughly 70,000 people. The actual construction started on March 27, 1975 and was completed on May 31, 1977. The first oil flowed down the pipe on June 20, 1977, traversing 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay on the north coast of Alaska to the port town of Valdez on the southern coast. And on the evening of August 1, 1977, the SS Arco Juneau sailed for the Atlantic Richfield refinery in Cherry Point, Washington with the first tanker full of black gold.

Once pipeline construction was complete, most of the workers from that boom time returned to the Lower 48, and it took a while for Alaska's economy to recover. But in the early '80s the state entered the period I refer to as the Glory Days



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