February 2nd marks the anniversary of the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska. Relays of 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs delivered diptheria antitoxin in the face of blizzards and ferociously cold temperatures, saving the lives of many. Not only were the residents of Nome spared, but radio coverage of the relay increased inoculations throughout the U.S.
Balto, the lead dog for the last leg of the relay, became a national hero. A statue of him was built in New York's Central Park. However, Togo, the leader for 350 miles of the race, remained almost unknown. His statue was erected many years later in New York's Seward Park. Musher Leonhard Seppala, who drove the team led by Togo, considered him a star. Seppala also owned Balto, but considered him more of a "scrub dog". He lent Balto to Gunnar Kassen who drove the team the last leg of the relay. Balto came through, running over treacherous ice in the dark, keeping his team and the serum safe.
Great details on both dogs and the race, alond with period photos, are at: Balto's True Story.