I bet you did not know all of these 10 Alaska (Day) facts… or maybe you did

Alaska Day is coming up soon – in three days to be exact – so I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about 10 Alaska Day facts (and general facts about Alaska) that we find interesting.

  1. Alaska Day celebrates freedom – It makes sense that Alaska Day is celebrated on October 18 (almost) every year. That was the date back in 1867 when the territory was transferred from Russia to the United States. This was a result of Russia’s loss during the Crimean War.
  2. Alaska was once considered “Seward’s Folly” – The man who pushed the purchase through, William Seward, was looked at as a fool. He put the purchase for Alaska through when there was not much draw to the land. Most Americans did not have any sort of interest in relocating to Alaska at the time.
  3. Sitka was the capital before Juneau – Before Juneau became the capital of Alaska, Sitka held that representation. It was also the place where the handover from Russia to America took place.
  4. Alaska did not become a state until 1959 – While Alaska gained its American independence from Russia in 1867, it was not until 1959 that they started being viewed as a state.
  5. Alaska was once a hotbed of gold – Remember William Seward? Yeah, he was not considered a fool after gold was discovered in the Klondike back in 1897. Thousands of gold diggers made their way to the land of Alaska, helping bring it some credibility.
  6. Alaska Day is a big deal in Alaska – Most schools and libraries close on this day, as do all state, county and government offices. It is even a paid holiday for all state employees as Alaska wants their citizens to remember how important and significant this day truly is.
  7. Alaska Natives were not granted immediate citizenship – It took until 1924 when the Indian Citizen Act was passed. On another note, the Anti-Discrimination Act within the state was passed 21 years later, banning racial discrimination in Alaska.
  8. Alaska has the largest forests and the lowest population density – Tongass is 16.8 million acres and Chugach is 4.8 million acres, which is a lot of forest to discover. At the same time, Alaska’s population density is one person per square mile, which helps keep foot traffic on the land to a minimum.
  9. There’s an Alaska Day parade – What’s a holiday celebration without a parade? It is by far the biggest event to help culminate the big day. Just visit downtown Juneau if you want to be part of the festivities.
  10. Alaska means “great land” – And no, I’m not talking about their influx of gold. I’m talking about how Alaska derives from Alyeska, which means “great land.” On top of this, people call Alaska “the last frontier” and have dubbed the state motto as “North to the Future.”

How’s that for some interesting facts about the 49th state of the United States?

Alaska has such a rich history and it is difficult to look past the true importance of a day like Alaska Day.

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