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Togo, Balto and 7 Odd But True Facts From Feb. 15

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What do Balto and Togo have in common? Both share an important anniversary on February 15th, along with 7 other events. While many have heard of Balto, few have heard of the beloved Togo.

1493 – While on board the Niña, Christopher Columbus writes an open letter (widely distributed upon his return to Portugal) describing his discoveries and the unexpected items he came across in the New World.

1925 – The 1925 Serum Run to Nome. Also known as the "Great Race of Mercy", the serum run was a transport of diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled relay across the U.S. territory of Alaska by 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs covering 674 miles in five and a half days, saving the people of the small city of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemicThe serum arrived in Nome, Alaska, with Balto as the lead dog of the last team.

Both mushers and their dog teams became heroes as the world followed the progress of the "Great Race of Mercy" in both radio and newspapers across the United StatesBalto, the lead sled dog on the final stretch into Nome, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era (after Rin Tin Tin). His statue remains a popular tourist attraction in New York City's Central Park. The publicity from the serum run helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically reduced the threat of diphtheria.

Yet while Balto received much of the glory, another dog named Togo actually ran more miles. The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world at the time.

Balto ran a double-leg of the journey, roughly ~53 miles. Yet Togo, the lead sled dog, traversed ~200 miles (6-8 times the distance of the other dogs) of the 674-mile run-including jumping across ice floes as the the frozen "short cut" began thawing and breaking up. 

Both Balto and Togo  were owned and trained by Leonhard Seppala.

Balto weighed in at the usual 55-60 pounds typical of the Siberian Huskies and was 6 years old when he ran the Great Serum Run. Togo was small, weighing only 48 pounds. Togo was 12 years old (twice as old as Balto and considered too old to lead, let alone participate in any race) when he ran the Great Serum Run. Seppala often described Togo as "fifty pounds of muscle and fighting heart." 

The topmost image of Seppala shows the trainer with Balto in the photo on the left and with Togo on right. This image of Togo was taken immediately after he completed his ~200 mile leg of the Serum Run.

Seppala said of Togo in 1960, "I never had a better dog than Togo. His stamina, loyalty and intelligence could not be improved upon. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail."

The event is remembered and immortalized annually with the popular Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

 1942 – World War IIFall of Singapore. Following an assault by Japanese forces, the British General Arthur Percival surrenders. About 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history.

1946 – ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux begin excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves, where they will eventually discover the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls

1954 – Canada and the United States agree to construct the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska.

1972 – Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.

2001 – The first draft of the complete human genome is published in Nature. This momentous event mapping the human genome actually occurred earlier than expected.

Keeping buyers, sellers, investors and colleagues informed is an important part of my real estate practice selling Silicon Valley homes to families in San Jose, Cupertino and Saratoga in Santa Clara County, Calif.

For more helpful facts and information on Silicon Valley real estate, homes and careers, subscribe for free to Michelle Cherie Carr Crowe’s blog at http://www.activerain.com/results.

Images courtesy of Michelle Carr-Crowe’s private collection, the public domain, the U.S. government or www.freedigitalphotos.net

Thanks for reading “Togo, Balto and 7 Odd But True Facts From Feb. 15”.

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Michelle Cherie Carr Crowe Real Estate Team

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DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985

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Michelle Cherie Carr Crowe and her "Get Results Team" (established by the late legendary Silicon Valley super agent Judy Carr) are known as the "Lynbrook and Cupertino Schools Experts." Coaching clients to success is Michelle's passion, making her and her team creative catalysts for positive change in people's lives. She is a Silicon Valley-based multi-million dollar real estate consultant, author, coach and trainer who works by referral only.

Her designations have included: Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Accredited Consultant of Real Estate (ACRE), Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS)Accredited Staging Professional (ASP)Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE),  Property Marketing Expert (PME), Real Estate CyberSpace Specialist (RECS), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

Michelle is an internationally-published freelance writer with over 1,200 traditional articles published in print and online, co-author of two books on Silicon Valley-specific real estate as well as over 68,000 blog posts on Blogger, ActiveRain, Examiner, FaceBook, Realtor, Trulia, RealBird and others. She enjoys reading, traveling, animals, nature, family, dancing, staging, consulting, coaching and praying. Check out her blog at www.activerain.com/results or visit her online at www.michellejudycarr.com. For RE$ult$ ... Just Call ... (408) 252-8900.



Dennis Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 21 Days or We Sell It For Free

Thank you for sharing such interesting facts. Your blog post provided a very interesting read. Keep up the excellent work, and I look forward to reading more from you!

Have a great week.

Feb 15, 2024 06:43 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I love my dog - and so I loved reading about Togo and Balto- thanks for sharing

Feb 15, 2024 08:46 PM