|State nickname: "The Last Frontier"|
- % water
|Ranked 1st |
- Total (2000)
|Admittance into Union
January 3, 1959
|Time zone||Alaska: UTC-9/-8|
54°40'N to 71°50'N
130°W to 173°E
USS Alaska was named in honor of this state.
Alaska was probably first settled by peoples who came there across the Bering Land Bridge, including Inuit and a variety of Native American groups. Most if not all of the pre-Columbian population of the Americas took this route, but continued further south and east.
The first Europeans to reach Alaska came from Russia. Vitus Bering sailed east and saw Mt. St. Elias. The Russian-American Company hunted otters for their fur. The colony was never very profitable, because of the costs of transportation. See Russian colonization of the Americas.
At the instigation of Secretary of State William Seward, the United States Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 on April 9th, 1867, and the United States flag was raised on October 18th of that same year. Currently, Alaska celebrates the purchase on Seward's Day[?], the last Monday of March, and the flag-raising on Alaska Day[?], the October 18.
The National Statuary Hall of the United States of America is part of the Capitol in Washington DC. Each state selected distinguished citizens and provided statues. Most states have two. Alaska has one. The statue is of E.L. (Bob) Bartlett [?] (1904-1968) one of the original U. S. senators from Alaska. He was the territorial delegate to the US Congress from 1944 to 1958, and was elected as the first senior US senator in 1958 and re-elected in 1964. There are streets, buildings, and even the first state ferry, named for him.
The first woman elected to statewide office was Fran Ulmer, elected as Lieutenant Governor in 1994.
Many acres of Alaska are managed by the federal government as National Forests, National parks, and National Wildlife Refuges. There are places in Alaska that are general public lands (BLM land) but they are arguably more spectacular than many national parks in the Lower 48. Probably, nearly every Alaska state park would be a national park in the lower 48. Many acres of Alaska are managed by corporations (mostly, ANSCA corporations, of which there are 13 regional ones and dozens of local ones).
Alaska is the largest state in the United States in terms of land area (615,230 sq mi). If you superimposed Alaska on the Lower 48, Alaska would touch Minnesota and Texas, as well as Georgia and California. One scheme for describing the state's geography is by labelling the regions: South Central Alaska along the coast where there are towns, citites, and petroleum industrial plants; the Alaska Interior where there are big rivers, such as the Yukon River and the Kuskowim River[?], as well as Arctic tundra lands and shorelines; and the Alaska Panhandle where there are towns, tidewater glaciers and extensive forests.
Alaska, with its numerous islands, has nearly 34,000 miles of coastline. The island chain extending west from the southern tip of alaska is called the Aleutian Islands
Another important way of describing Alaska is by distinguishing the transportation options. Some of Alaska is connected by roads to the highways of Canada and the rest of the United States. These places are "on the road system". Along the Pacific Ocean, many places have freight and passenger service from ocean-going ships. Most places have air service (ranging from jets on tarmac to floatplanes on lakes).
|The Last Frontier|
|State Bird:||Willow Ptarmigan[?]|
|State Flower:||Forget Me Not[?]|
|State Motto:||"North To The Future"|
|State Song:||"Alaska's Flag"|
|State Tree:||Sitka Spruce[?]|
The state's 1999 total gross state product was $26 billion placing it 46th in the nation. Its Per Capita Income for 2000 was $30,064, 15th in the nation. Alaska's argiculture outputs are seafood, nursery stock, dairy products, vegetables, and livestock. Its industrial outputs are petroleum and natural gas, gold and other mining, food processing, lumber and wood products and tourism.
(Please note that only incorporated cities of over 5,000 people are listed.)