100 Years of Alaska's Legislature
"From Territorial Days to Today"


Juneau, Alaska

4th Territorial Legislature

Taxes & Education


Funding of the Government is a Large Priority

The 4th Territorial Legislature considered 133 bills, 62 of which were enacted. Additionally, lawmakers approved 64 of the 74 introduced resolutions. A number of the measures pertained to taxes and education, some of which we highlight in the examples below. Legislation enacted by the 4th Legislature

  • Imposed a school tax on every adult male;
  • Designated that high schools with teacher training courses would be known as "normal high schools";
  • Provided revenue for the Territorial Government by imposing and collecting taxes on the profits from property sales;
  • Imposed an inheritance tax;
  • Created the offices of Health Commissioner and Labor Commissioner;
  • Established the Territorial Fish Commission, provided for fish hatcheries, and prohibited pollution and obstruction of salmon spawning streams;
  • Provided for the construction, maintenance, and protection of public roads, bridges, trails, and ferries;
  • Established a system of taxation including a $10 tax per year for lawyers, doctors and dentists, a $15 tax per year for bakeries, and around three to five cents tax per case of canned salmon for canneries;
  • Provided for the holding of primary elections in the Territory and prescribed the qualifications of candidates to be nominated at Territorial elections;
  • Established an act against family desertion; and
  • Provided aid for suppression of Spanish Influenza and similar epidemics. The law also provided for the establishment of quarantine regulations.

Beyond the Legislature

World War I officially ends with the treaty of Versailles, on June 28, 1919.

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution-which begins the era of alcohol prohibition-is ratified in January 1919, to take effect in 1920.

Congress establishes the Grand Canyon as a U.S. National Park (1919).

Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote and sends it to the states for ratification (1919).

Congress passes the Jones Act (also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Alaska's population in 1920 is just over 55,000.

Anchorage incorporates and Leopold David is elected as the first mayor of the city (1920).

The League of Nations forms in Paris (1920).

E. White

James Frawley