"One of the greatest geotectonic events of our time occurred in southern Alaska late in the afternoon of March 27, 1964. Beneath a leaden sky, the chill of evening was just settling over the Alaskan countryside. Light snow was falling on some communities. It was Good Friday, schools were closed, and the business day was ending. Suddenly without warning half of Alaska was rocked and jarred by the most violent earthquake to occur in North America this century. The descriptive summary that follows is based on the work of many investigators. A large and still-growing scientific literature has accumulated since the earthquake, and this literature has been freely drawn upon here. In particular, the writers have relied upon the findings of their colleagues in the Geological Survey. Some of these findings have been published, but some are still being prepared for publication. Moreover, some field investigations are still in progress."
Geological Survey Professional Paper No. 541
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/