Christine and Dennis McClure

Independent Historian

A family connection led the McClure’s to the Alaska Highway in 2013, but traveling the famous road raised issues far more important than family. The racism that distorted the experience of thousands of young, black American soldiers and the fact that they received no credit for their enormous contribution infuriated them.   The fact that those men faced up to all the challenges that made the project epic—stood up to racism on top of that, and still delivered inspired them.

Back home in North Carolina, they created a website that told the story of the 93rd in Yukon, designed to locate Alcan veterans or their families; spent four years traveling to archives, visiting the veterans and families, exhaustively researching the black experience on the Highway and writing a book to present it to the world.  We Fought the Road, was just published by Epicenter Press.

Buffalo Soldiers in Skagway, Alaska (1899-1902)

In May of 1899 the United States Army sent Buffalo Soldiers, the black soldiers of Company L of the 24th Infantry, to Dyea, Alaska Territory. The Klondike Gold Rush had brought hordes of gold rushers up the Lynn Canal to the tiny ports at Dyea … Read MoreBuffalo Soldiers in Skagway, Alaska (1899-1902)

The Construction of the Alaska Highway, 1942: The Role of Race in the Far North

In the following article independent historians Christine and Dennis McClure describe the role race played in the construction of the Alaska-Canada (ALCAN) Highway during World War II. The highway, constructed in eight months, stretched 1,600 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska. … Read MoreThe Construction of the Alaska Highway, 1942: The Role of Race in the Far North