The Great Serum Race

40 min.

Educators like this

Wonder of the Day #81

What Is a Dog Sled?


Understand epidemic, population, vaccines and role of medicine in controlling disease.

Big Idea

Role of non-human animal species and interspecies communication in history of world

Read The Great Serum Race - Blazing the Iditarod Trail by Debbie S. Miller with illustrations by Jon Van Zyle

The Great Serum Race
Every March, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates the 1925 serum run to Nome. The race begins in Anchorage and ends in Nome, more than 1000 miles away.

Balto and his owner, Gunnar Kasson, ca. 1925. CPL

The sled dog Balto, named for explorer Samuel Johansen Balto, stands beside his owner, Gunnar Kasson, ca. 1925. CPL

Follow up with a visit to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
After their courageous feat, Balto and his team became part of the vaudeville circuit and then were sold to become a sideshow attraction in a dime museum in Los Angeles. This development and the dogs’ poor living conditions caught the attention of Cleveland native, George Kimble, who organized an effort to help save the dogs. Through collaborative effort, Cleveland rallied together to raise enough funds to purchase Balto and six other dogs from the team, allowing them to comfortably live out their lives at the Cleveland Zoo, now Cleveland Metroparks Zoo