Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Films Related to the Alaska Highway

Return to the Alaska Highway Project Jukebox homepage

Archival Footage Related to the Alaska Highway

Slim Williams and John Logan were promoters of the Alaska Highway in the 1930s. To get the attention of the United States government, they drove the highway on a 300lb. motorcycle in 1939. These two videos were taken while on that trip:

Slim Williams and John Logan depart Fairbanks, May 14, 1939.
(AAF-5216, John T. Logan Collection, Alaska Film Archives; 0:57 min.)

Slim Williams and John Logan travel with motorcycles lashed together, 1939.
(AAF-5216, John T. Logan Collection, Alaska Film Archives; 2:27 min.)

Slim and John's Great Adventure

The story of the trip made by Clyde (Slim) Williams & John Logan on motorcycles in 1939 over the proposed route of the Alaska Highway. Includes a current interview with John Logan as well as footage of film made on the actual trip.
(AAF-5216, John T. Logan Collection, Alaska Film Archives; 1:14 min.)


"Air Route to Russia." Universal Newsreel, Vol. 17, no. 358, December 22, 1944.
(AAF-379, National Archives Collection, Alaska Film Archives; 0:51 min.)

This is about the Lend-Lease program which supplied vast amounts of war material between the United States and other Allied nations during WWII. The Northwest Staging Route, a series of airstrips from Montana, through Canada, to Alaska were used for the ferrying of planes and materials, and connecting them with a highway became a priority after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Other Films about the Alaska Highway

"Building Connections: Reclaiming Lost Narratives of the Alaska-Canada Highway"

This film by Robert Marshall Wells focuses on the experiences of black soldiers who built the Alaska Highway. (For more information, see:

"American Experience: Building the Alaska Highway"

This PBS program interweaves interviews with historians and engineers who built the highway, and presents archival footage and beautiful cinematography of the sub-Arctic route the road took. The film also features never-before-seen home movies of the Alaska Highway. It originally aired on February 7, 2005.

"The Alaska Highway: Bulldozers vs. Bullets"

A romanticized fictional film created in 1943 about the construction of the Alaska Highway. The film is essentially a love story about the highway, with humorous twists and a happy ending.

"The Trail of '42"

This movie by Stan Cohen was created in 1989, and traces the history of the highway using contemporary footage, the original US Army Signal Corps movie, rare original footage, interviews and still photos

"The Gravel Magnet"

This film uses archival footage and interviews to document the construction of the Alaska Highway which was started as a result of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Produced by Barbara Barde, 1989.


"Picturing a People: George Johnston, Tlingit Photographer"

Carol Geddes presents the story of George Johnston, who trekked
hundreds of miles overland from Teslin, Yukon to coastal Alaska in search of the history of his people, the Tlingit Indians. Johnston took many photographs throughout his life, and learned as much as he could about Tlingit culture, religion and the songs and dance of his people.
This video is available at the UAF Rasmuson Library, as well as the George Johnston Museum in Teslin, Yukon Territory. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada in 1997.