1925 Serum Run to Nome

Newspaper photos of the 1925 Serum Run to Nome

Newspaper photos of the 1925 Serum Run to Nome (Daily News, via Newspapers.com™)

The 1925 Serum Run to Nome (also called the Great Race of Mercy) was a dogsled relay between January 27 and February 2, 1925, that delivered diphtheria antitoxin to Nome, Alaska. 

Background

In January 1925, a growing number of children in Nome were diagnosed with diphtheria, a potentially fatal contagious disease. The town needed diphtheria antitoxin to control the outbreak, but Nome was icebound for the winter, making delivery by dogsled the most viable option

Relay

First, the serum was transported from Anchorage to Nenana by train. Then a relay of dogsled teams carried the 20-pound package from Nenana to Nome, traveling 674 miles in just five and a half days. 

Dogsled Teams

Twenty drivers and about 150 dogs were involved in the relay, which was completed in extreme subzero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions.

Renowned musher Leonhard Seppala and his dog team (led by Togo) traveled the longest and most dangerous leg of the relay. The final leg was completed by Gunnar Kaasen. His sled dogs were led (or possibly co-led) by Balto, who became the most famous dog from the relay.

Learn more about the 1925 Serum Run to Nome through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about the 1925 Serum Run to Nome

"Ten Diphtheria Cases at Nome; Four Are Dead" 27 Jan 1925, Tue Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Dogs Mush to Stop Plague at Nome City" "Alaskan Teams to Make Perilous Journey" 28 Jan 1925, Wed The Province (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) Newspapers.com "Stricken City of Nome Is Under Quarantine" 28 Jan 1925, Wed The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Newspapers.com "Dog Teams in Race with Death in Far North" 29 Jan 1925, Thu The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington) Newspapers.com "Old Serum Is Used in Nome Epidemic" "Flyer Offers to Aid. Dog Teams [...] Are Regarded as Safer" 29 Jan 1925, Thu Evening star (Washington, District of Columbia) Newspapers.com "Mayor Maynard Sends Appeal for Quick Aid" "Asks Serum to Be Rushed to Nome by Airplane" 30 Jan 1925, Fri Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Rushing Relief to Nome" "Relay Dog Teams Carrying Anti-Toxin for Diphtheria Patients in Alaska" 30 Jan 1925, Fri Lincoln Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Newspapers.com "Twenty Pounds Will Reach Nome Feb 6" 30 Jan 1925, Fri The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Newspapers.com "Records Fall in Death Race" "Dog Teams Driven Night and Day to Save Nome" 30 Jan 1925, Fri The Spokane Press (Spokane, Washington) Newspapers.com "Relief Nears Nome!" 30 Jan 1925, Fri Seattle Union Record (Seattle, Washington) Newspapers.com "Dog Team Is Making Great Time to Nome" 31 Jan 1925, Sat Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Canine Teams Are Near Nome with Anti-Toxin" "Seppalla [...] May Save Diphtheria Victims" 31 Jan 1925, Sat Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) Newspapers.com "Seppalla's Dogs, Carrying Serum, in Homestretch" "Crack Dog Driver Reported Nearing Bering Sea" 01 Feb 1925, Sun The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho) Newspapers.com "Anxiously Await Arrival of Dogs Bringing Serum" "Death Toll in Nome Still Remains at Five" 01 Feb 1925, Sun Morning Tribune (San Luis Obispo, California) Newspapers.com "Antitoxin Dog Carriers Held Up by Storms" 02 Feb 1925, Mon Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Racing with Death" (editorial) 02 Feb 1925, Mon Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Relays Stationed to Meet Seppalla" "Nome Expects New Plans Will Bring Antitoxin Today" 02 Feb 1925, Mon The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) Newspapers.com "Race of Mercy Ends at Nome" "Hardy Alaskans Reach Northern City with Anti-Toxin" 02 Feb 1925, Mon Visalia Daily Times (Visalia, California) Newspapers.com "Intrepid Finn, Ice-Covered and Bleeding, Reaches Goal" 03 Feb 1925, Tue Daily News (Los Angeles, California) Newspapers.com Map: Map: "Route of Mercy Race" 03 Feb 1925, Tue Daily News (Los Angeles, California) Newspapers.com "Kasson Gives Credit to Dog in Nome Race" (excerpt) 03 Feb 1925, Tue Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Two Views of Plague-Stricken Alaskan City" (Photos of Nome) 03 Feb 1925, Tue Florence Morning News (Florence, South Carolina) Newspapers.com "Balto, Lead Dog, Is Hero of Dash for Nome With Antitoxin; Frozen Serum Declared Unhurt" 03 Feb 1925, Tue Stockton Evening and Sunday Record (Stockton, California) Newspapers.com Photo of Photo of "lone doctor and his staff of nurses" in Nome, Alaska 03 Feb 1925, Tue The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) Newspapers.com Photo: Photo: "Seppala, Who Mushed Greatest Distance in Nome Relief Relay" 04 Feb 1925, Wed The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) Newspapers.com "Controversy Arises Over Nome Epidemic; Authorities Differ" 06 Feb 1925, Fri Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "Dog Sleds Rush Aid to Stricken Nome" (photos of dogsled team and of Nome in winter) 10 Feb 1925, Tue Juneau Empire (Juneau, Alaska) Newspapers.com "First Photos of Nome Dash Rushed 5,120 Miles for NEWS Readers" 17 Mar 1925, Tue Daily News (New York, New York) Newspapers.com Photo: Balto is honored in Oakland, California & welcomed by 5,000 peoplePhoto: Balto is honored in Oakland, California & welcomed by 5,000 people 10 May 1925, Sun Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Newspapers.com Photo: Gunnar Kaasen and Balto with other sled dogs Photo: Gunnar Kaasen and Balto with other sled dogs 07 Jul 1925, Tue Daily News (New York, New York) Newspapers.com Photo: Statue of Balto unveiled at New York's Central Park in December 1925Photo: Statue of Balto unveiled at New York's Central Park in December 1925 17 Dec 1925, Thu The Buffalo News (Buffalo, New York) Newspapers.com Photo: Leonhard Seppala and his lead dogs Togo and FritzPhoto: Leonhard Seppala and his lead dogs Togo and Fritz 29 Dec 1926, Wed Stockton Independent (Stockton, California) Newspapers.com
"1925 Serum Run to Nome," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/roaring-twenties/1925-serum-run-to-nome/ : accessed May 25, 2024)

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