World History

Alaska State History – Native Tribes, Arctic Wildlife, Glaciers, Flag

The land that is now Alaska was originally settled thousands of years ago. Historians believe that humans originally came from North Asia and crossed the Bering Land Bridge during the last Ice Age. Lower sea levels exposed this land, which is now submerged. These natives settled across Alaska, Canada, and the Americas. In Alaska, they eventually became tribes like the Tlingit, Haida, Aleut, Tsimshian, and Inuit.

Information about Alabama State:

Capital Juneau
Population 733,583 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Badger
Borders Canada, the Gulf of Alaska, the Pacific Ocean, The Bering Sea, and the Arctic Ocean
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 63,618 million (2022  U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Oil and gas (over 80%), seafood, mining

Flag of Alaska State:

Europeans Arrive

In 1728, Danish explorer Vitus Bering arrived in Alaska. He discovered a strait between North America and Asia. This strait is now called the Bering Strait. He returned to the area in his 1741 and explored the Alaskan coast. British explorer Captain James Cook arrived in 1776 in search of the legendary Northwest Passage. He landed on the coast and made contact with the natives.

Colonization of Alaska

Russians were the first Europeans to establish permanent residency on Alaska’s Kodiak Island in 1784. They continued to colonize the area, primarily to hunt sea otters for their pelts. Over the next few years, both Spain and Britain attempted to explore Alaska, but Russia remained the dominant force in Europe.

America buys Alaska

The United States purchased Alaska from Russia on August 1, 1867 for her $7.2 million. The purchase was endorsed by Secretary of State William Seward. Initially, people thought this purchase was a mistake and a waste of money. They called Alaska “Swards Folly”. But when gold and oil were discovered, Seward was justified. A price of 2 cents per hectare turned out to be a good investment.

Alaska State Symbols

  • Alaska State Nickname: Last Frontier
  • Alaska State Slogan: Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach
  • Alaska State Motto: North to the Future
  • Alaska State flower: Forget-me-not
  • Alaska State bird: Willow Ptarmigan
  • Alaska State fish: King salmon
  • Alaska State tree: Sitka Spruce
  • Alaska State mammal: Moose, Bowhead whale
  • Alaska State foods: Salmon

Klondike Gold Rush

In 1896, a large gold deposit was discovered in the Klondike Territory of Alaska. Rumors spread quickly and people flocked to Alaska to get rich. From 1896 to his 1899, about 100,000 people traveled to Alaska in search of gold. This period is called the Klondike Gold Rush or Yukon Gold Rush. It is estimated that over one million pounds of gold was mined in the area.

The Geography of Alaska

  • Total Size of Alaska: 571,951 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of Alaska: Pacific Ocean at Sea Level (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of Alaska: Mount McKinley (Denali) 20,320 ft (6194 m)
  • Central Point of Alaska: Located approx. 63 N., 152 W., 60 miles northwest of Mt. McKinley (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of Alaska: 16 Boroughs (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of Alaska: Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Yukon river, Kuskokwim River, Iliamna Lake, Becharof Lake, Teshekpuk Lake

World War II

During World War II, her two of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands were occupied by Japanese forces. This was the only area of ​​the continental United States occupied during the war. After a fierce battle, the United States recaptured the islands. At this point, the United States established a strong military presence in Alaska. A highway was also built from Montana to Fairbanks, Alaska, connecting the area to the Lower 48 states for the first time.

Becoming a State

The United States Congress declared Alaska an Alaska Territory in her 1912. Many believed that the territory should not have become a state. However, during World War II, the area gained strategic importance for the military. In addition, oil deposits were discovered, making the area economically important to the United States. On January 3, 1959, Alaska became her 49th state to join the Union.

Famous People of Alaska:

Names  Professions
Robert Stroud Killer known as the ‘Birdman of Alcatraz.’
Curt Schilling Professional baseball player who pitched for the Boston Red Sox
Sarah Palin Governor who ran for Vice President
Joseph Juneau Gold prospector and founder of the city of Juneau
Wyatt Earp Lawman from the American West
Jimmy Doolittle WWII general and war hero
Carlos Boozer NBA basketball player
Benny Benson Designed the Alaskan state flag at the age of 13.

Interesting facts about Alaska

Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, is not connected by land to the rest of Alaska (or parts of the United States). Arrival is possible only by boat or plane.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States. It is twice the size of the next largest state, Texas.
Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in all of North America. Alaska is the coldest state, but summer can get hot in some areas. Up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Great American Bathtub Race is held annually on Labor Day in Nome, Alaska.
Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 by US Secretary of State William Seward for $7.2 million. Until gold was discovered, many thought this was a waste and called it Seward’s folly.
Gold was discovered here in 1896.
In 1943, during World War II, Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands. About 25% of the oil produced in the United States comes from Alaska.
With over 30,000 miles of coastline, Alaska has the longest coastline of any US state.

Timeline Overview:

1728 – Danish explorer Vitus Bering discovers the Bering Strait. 1741 – Vitus Bering returns and explores the Alaskan coast.
1776 – British explorer Captain James Cook contacts Alaskan Natives in search of the Northwest Passage.
1784 – Russians establish a settlement on Kodiak Island.
1867 – Alaska is purchased by the United States from Russia for $7.2 million.
1872 – Gold is discovered in Alaska. 1897 – The Klondike Gold Rush begins. People are flocking to Alaska in hopes of getting rich there.
1900 – Juneau becomes the capital of Alaska.
1912 – Alaska becomes a territory of the United States.
1942 – Two of the Aleutian Islands are conquered by Japan. America reconquered the island in 1943.
1959 – Alaska becomes a state of the United States.
1964 – A massive earthquake rocks Alaska, destroying several cities and severely damaging Anchorage.
1977 – The Trans-Alaskan pipeline is completed to bring oil overland. More than 16 billion barrels of oil have been shipped since the port opened.