On This Day

October 18, 1867

America Buys Alaska From Russia


Alaska didn’t become the 49th state until 92 years later, but the state celebrates Alaska Day each year on October 18th to commemorate the Alaska Purchase.

On This Day

Road To Statehood

  • 1725: Russia starts exploring the Alaskan coast
  • 1861: Gold first discovered
  • 1867: U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million
  • 1891: First oil claims staked
  • 1939 – 1945: During WWII, the U.S. began to realize strategic location of Alaska
  • 1959: Alaska becomes 49th state
On This Day

“Alaska’s contribution to America’s freedom isn’t just the oil we provide or the food we harvest from the seas or our location which is the best in the world for our military. It is more than that. It begins with the fact that Alaskans are free-thinkers.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in 2004. Russia sold Alaska to America hoping the U.S. would counter Great Britain. Alaska remained a very lawless nation for decades after it joined the Union.
On This Day

All About Ala$ka

  • OIL: While Alaska’s oil production has dropped in recent years, it still produces about 7% of our crude oil. Today, a third of Alaska’s jobs are tied to the oil and and gas industry.
  • TOURISM: Alaska attracts over 1.1 million visitor each year.
  • FISHING: Alaska’s seafood industry creates $12.8 billion in economic output.
On This Day

The word Alaska is derived from the Aleut word "Aleyska," meaning "great land."

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