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,
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.
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.
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.
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
(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
worlds tallest mountain on land, dwarfing even
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.