Alaska: New Lead for the Sled

"When a lead dog of a sled team grows old, the Eskimos shoot him," an Alaskan had warned grimly. And though he still begins his day at 6 a.m. with 30 minutes of calisthenics and an icy bath, Alaska's Ernest Henry Gruening is 81. No matter that for nearly three decades he has pulled his state's sled as territorial governor, statehood advocate and, since 1959, U.S. Senator. Last week, borrowing a tradition from the Eskimos, Alaskan Democrats delivered the coup de grāce to Gruening's long and vigorous political life. In the state's...

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