Nome, Alaska

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Nome is a city in the Nome Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska, located on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. According to a 2008 State of Alaska certification, the city population was 3,570. Nome was incorporated on April 9, 1901, and was once the most populous city in Alaska. Nome lies within the region of the Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC).

The city of Nome claims to be home to the world's largest gold pan, although this claim has been disputed by the Canadian city of Quesnel, British Columbia.

In the winter of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic raged among Inuit in the Nome area. Fierce territory-wide blizzard conditions prevented delivery of a life-saving serum by airplane from Anchorage. A relay of dog sled teams was organized to deliver the serum. The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this historic event.



The origin of the city's name "Nome" is still under debate. The city's name may come from a point of land located twelve miles (19 km) from the city. Cape Nome received its name from an error, when a British mapmaker copied a map annotation made by a British officer on a voyage up the Bering Strait. The officer had written "? Name" next to the unnamed cape. The mapmaker misread the annotation as "C. Nome", or Cape Nome, and used that name on his map.[1]

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