On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward signed an agreement with Baron Edouard Stoeckl, the Russian Minister to purchase 586,000 square miles of land, to become known as the Territory of Alaska, The agreement was widely referred to as “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox”.
The discovery of gold in the Yukon Territory brought thousands of new settlers to Alaska, numerous cities in Alaska such as Skagway, Juneau and Fairbanks owe their existence to The Klondike Gold Rush, people settled in the area because it was a more direct rout to the goldfields. From 1890 to 1900 more than 30,000 people surged to the great north in search of gold. The discovery of gold in Nome brought thousands of people by steamships from San Francisco and Seattle and made Nome the largest city in the Territory of Alaska with a population of 20,000 at its peak.
Commercial fishing starting taking shape in Alaska at the turn of the century and remains a driving force for workers and production today.
On January 3rd, 1959 Alaska became a state and the first governor was William A. Egan. The state flag was design before becoming a state by an orphan boy from Seward. Benny Benson designed the flag with the Big Dipper and Polaris, the north star. Even in 1927 Benny knew that the Alaska territory would become a state and said, “The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear—symbolizing strength.” Benny has a street in Anchorage dedicated to his memory, Benson Blvd.
In 1968 oil was discovered in Alaska and the subsequent years have helped Alaska flourish economically. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed in 1977 and still supplies oil for much of the U.S. consumption. The state of Alaska and oil companies, alongside environmental agencies strive to give balance between conservation and keeping the oil flowing.
Many great names and places have made Alaska an attraction for people all around the world in every season including Mount McKinley, Alyeska Resort, sport fishing, hunting, Sitka, the Iditarod Race and much more! Nothing comes close to Alaska anywhere in the world.
Today, there are so many adventures to be found in this great state! If you are already here or planning on joining us in the far north, let me know if there is something you’d like to know or have any questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.