Alaska Day October 18 , Sitka, Alaska

October 18, 2011 by staff 

Alaska Day October 18 , Sitka, AlaskaAlaska Day October 18 , Sitka, Alaska, On this day in 1867, the United States took possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory of Russia. The handover took place at a ceremony in Sitka.

The transfer price was and 7.2 million, or approximately $ 110 million and today. Following the Civil War, the United States had become a remote and sparsely populated territory comprising586, 412 square kilometers, almost double the size of Texas.

The Tsarist St. Petersburg authorities tried to sell Alaska to the United States rather than risk losing a war with Britain, a European rival. In March 1867, Eduard de Stoeckl, the Russian envoy to the United States, was authorized to negotiate a settlement.

The purchase of Alaska was defended by William Seward, secretary of state to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Critics called “Seward’s folly”, “Seward refrigerator” and “Andrew Johnson Polar Bear Garden,” among other derogatory names. However, the Senate of the march on May 27, 1867. Johnson signed the agreement the next day.

Seward invited senators were hesitant to dinner at his home near the White House. While guests dined on food and wine, Seward told how beautiful Russian America was reported that.

In 1917, the third Territorial Legislature created the Alaska Seward’s Day on the occasion of delivery. That year, territorial legislators also designated October 18 as the Day of Alaska. Many streets are named Alaska Seward. A city on the Kenai Peninsula bears his name – like a glacier, a peninsula, a stream, road and mountain.

Alaska’s name is derived from “Alayeksa” an Aleut word meaning “great land.” Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. Today, Alaska produces about 15 percent of crude oil produced in the U.S.

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