The venerable Nome Nugget has a legitimate claim to being the oldest newspaper continually running in Alaska to the present day, but the history is complex and confusing. Its somewhat checkered past is described in the Wikipedia entry for the publication:
“While the Nome Nugget may be accepted as the oldest newspaper in Alaska, exactly how old it is has been in dispute. While the newspaper officially claims that it was established in 1897, the Library of Congress cites it as being established in 1900, and other Alaska-based organizations claim it is from 1938.
“According to the Alaska State Library the first newspaper in Nome was the Nome News, established in 1899, In 1900 the name was changed to the Nome Daily News and then back to the Nome News by 1904. In 1903, the publishing company at the time, Nome News Pub. Co., produced a supplemental newspaper entitled the Hell Whooper. It only ran for one issue on April 17. The name changed again in 1906 to the Nome Daily Nugget under a similarly named but different owner, Nome Pub. Co. In 1918 it was changed to the Nome Tri-Weekly Nugget, in 1919 it was changed to the Nome Nugget, and in 1934 back to the Nome Daily Nugget. In 1938 the paper's name changed for the final time back to the Nome Nugget.”
On August 11, 1900, The Nome Daily Chronicle began publication under the editorial direction of Fred A. Healy, touted as the "Only illustrated paper in Alaska." In September it changed to weekly publication and the following June the last issue was published.
Canadian-born journalist Major John Franklin Alexander (J.F.A.] Strong purchased the Nome Chronicle, changed its name to the Nome Nugget, and published a special New Year's Day edition on January 1, 1900. Strong published the paper until 1906; he would later be appointed the second governor of the territory of Alaska, serving from 1913 to 1916.
The Library of Congress’ Chronicling America succinctly explains the progression of confusing name changes: “The paper ran as the Nome Semi-Weekly Nugget from 1904 to 1905 and the Nome Tri-Weekly Nugget from 1905 to 1907, before a change in the publication frequency necessitated a title change to the Nome Daily Nugget, as it was called from 1907 until 1918.” And in the next paragraph: “The Nome Tri-Weekly Nugget succeeded the Nome Daily Nugget and circulated from 1918 through 1919, before it again became the Nome Nugget, published weekly. On November 8, 1934, the paper changed its name back to the Nome Daily Nugget. This time, the Daily Nugget lasted from 1934 until 1937 before returning to the Nome Nugget for good on January 3, 1938.”
“He was editor of the Juneau Empire during Republican Wally Hickel's first term as governor. Albro didn't like the governor or the governor's party and deliberately misspelled his name as ‘Gov. Hinkle’ in the state capital's newspaper editorials. It may have been from there that he ended up in Nome, his final newspaper ‘assignment.’
“At Nome, he somehow managed to buy the Nome Nugget. The building housing the newspaper office was a small frame structure that listed sharply to the side. A pencil dropped on the linoleum would roll into the corner. Permafrost had shifted the foundation. The linotype machine had to be chained to the floor to keep it from sliding across the back shop. The Nugget came out three days a week, and the masthead said it ‘published daily except for’ those four other days.
“On the paper's masthead was the italicized sort-of Latin phrase ‘Illegitimus Non Carborundum,’ or, ‘Don't let the bastards grind you down.’ Albro immediately picked a fight with Nome's mayor to spark the paper's circulation. He didn't worry a lot about losing advertisers because of his often bombastic editorials. He was having the time of his life!”
Albro Gregory once published an editorial critical of the city council members. They retaliated by passing an ordinance for the town’s first - and only - parking meter, to be placed in front of the Nome Nugget office.
The current iteration of The Nome Nugget is an independent, weekly newspaper, serving northwestern Alaska and read worldwide on the Internet. Locally owned by Diana Haecker and Nils Hahn, it is still written, photographed and produced in Nome. The Alaska Press Club voted The Nome Nugget as the best weekly newspaper in all of Alaska in 2012, and every year the newspaper receives top awards from state and national newspaper associations for outstanding journalism.
An interesting Chronology of Nome Newspapers can be found on the Internet, and it details the indirect genealogy of the Nome Nugget. The image can be enlarged if clicked upon, and the transcript is below the image, but making sense of it will be left to the reader.
CHRONOLOGY OF NOME NEWSPAPERS Transcript
1899 Nome Gold Digger1899 - 1905
Nome News1899 - 1900
1900 Cape Nome Rocker1900 - ?
Nome Daily News 1900 _
Nome News1900 - 1904
Nome Weekly News
1900 - ?
Nome Daily Chronicle1900 _
Nome Weekly Chronicle1900 _
Arctic Weekly Sun 1900
1901 Nome Nugget 1900 - 19011902 1900 - 19041903 Nome Mining Gazette* 1904 1903 - ? Nome Daily Gold Digger
Nome Semi-Weekly News
Nome Semi-Weekly Nugget
1904 - 1905 _
1905 Arctic Brother1905 - ?
1904 - 1906
Nome Tri-Weekly Nugget
1905 - 1906 _ Alaska Mining News
Record1905 - 1913?
1906 Nome Industrial Worker Nome Gold Digger Nome Daily Nugget 1907 1906 - 1911
Nome Pioneer Press1905 - 1906
1906 - 1918
1906 - 1908
1907 - 1908 Nome Daily Gold Digger1906 - 1910
Nome Weekly Nugget1908 - 1919?
1909 Arctic Appeal Mining-Dredging Edition 1910 1909 - ? 1909 - 1916? 1911 Daily Nome Industrial Worker
1912 1911 - 1918 1913 ?1914 Nome Democrat 1915 1914 - ? 1916 ?1917 1918 Tri-Weekly Nome Industrial
1918 _ Weekly Nome Industrial
Worker1918 - 1919
Nome Tri-Weekly Nugget1918 - 1919
1919 Daily Telegraph Bulletin 1919 - 19341920 1919 - 1925? 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 Nugget Daily Bulletin 1927 1926? - 1927 1928 Nugget Daily Telegraph Bulletin 1929 1928 - 1933? 1930 1931 1932 1933 ? 1934 Nome Daily Nugget
1934 - 1937Federal Emergency ReliefAdministration Bulletin
1935 19341936 1938 Nome Nugget1939 1938 -
1945 Norton Sound Off 1946 1945? - ?
1964 1965 Spudnik* 1966 1965?
1975 1976 Bering Straights 1977 1976 - 1982 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
1995 Bering Strait Record 1996 1996 - 1997 1998
*No known holdings1 One issue of the Hell Whooper was published within the Apr 17, 1903 issue of the Nome News and was also issued separately.