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Facts and Figures
Origin of Name The name Alaska is based on the Aleut word "alaxsxaq," which literally translates to "object toward which the ocean of the sea is directed," or, more simply, "the mainland." Area (Rank) 656,425 sq mi (1st). Population (Rank) 648,818 (47th). Capital Juneau. Admitted to the Union (Rank) January 3, 1959 (49th).
Official Symbols of AlaskaOfficial Symbols
The state flag was designed by a 13-year-old schoolboy, and was adopted in 1927. The blue field is for the sky and the forget-me-not, the state flower. The North Star is for the future of the state of Alaska, the most northerly of the Union. The dipper is for the Great Bear, symbolizing strength.
Alaska in Pictures, 1957Alaska in Pictures, 1957
Important Dates in AlaskaImportant Dates in Alaska
1784 Russians established the first white settlement in Alaska, on Kodiak Island. 1867 The United States purchased Alaska from Russia. January 3, 1959 Alaska entered the Union as the 49th state.
The Purchase of AlaskaThe Purchase of Alaska
On March 30, 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Russian minister to the U.S. Edouard de Stoeckl signed an agreement for the United States to purchase Alaska for the sum of $7.2 million (about 2 cents an acre). The agreement was ratified by the Senate on May 28, 1867, and the U.S. flag was raised at Sitka on October 18, 1867.
Alaska achieves statehoodAlaska Achieves Statehood
The Alaska Statehood Bill was passed by the U.S. Congress on June 20, 1958. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill on July 7, and on August 26 a record 35,000 Alaskans voted for admission as the 49th state.
Mount McKinleyMount McKinley
(aka Mount Denali) has a summit elevation of 20,237 feet above sea level, making it the highest peak in North America. Measured from base to peak, it is also the world’s tallest mountain on land, dwarfing even Mount Everest.
is the second largest city in Alaska, with a population of approximately 31,500. It was founded as a trading post for gold miners in 1902. Today it is a service center for the mineral development of the Alaskan far north.

The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: Local History and Description >> Pacific States