Without Ernest Gruening, Alaska wouldn't be Alaska.
Oh, it would still be a snowy wilderness overran by killer bears. But Gruening, who was Alaska's governor when it was still a territory, was instrumental in its modernization, leading the drive for statehood. He followed that up by representing Alaska as its first senator. (As a side note, he was one of only two senators to vote against the Vietnam War. Kudos, Ernest.)
Just one little (big) hiccup. Apparently, in the 1930s, Alaska had a chance to take on a number of Jewish refugees from Europe. (That would be Nazi-occupied Europe.) Gruening was against it... apparently he did not want Alaska's immigration policy to be different from that of the lower 48 states. A pretty weak reason, if you ask us.
You know what's even weaker? Gruening was actually Jewish himself!