Gunnar Kaasen and sled dog Balto made history on the last leg of the 1925 mushing relay, bringing life-saving serum safely to Nome during a diphtheria outbreak. The media had covered the serum run for days, with dramatic headlines lauding the mushers, who made their way with sheer grit through miles of blinding snow and cutting winds, suffering frostbite, exhaustion and loss of dedicated dogs along the way. Kaasen and Balto ended the run on Nome’s Front Street, the same spot where the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (run to commemorate the Iditarod Trail and the serum run) ends each March. They received the bulk of the media’s attention, going on a tour of the U.S. afterward and even appearing in movies. A statue of Balto was raised in New York’s Central Park, where it’s still a favorite today.
- Nome, AK Driving Directions