Alaska State Facts, Symbols and History

Alaska Fast Facts

Capital: Juneau (pop. 32,164) (2011)

Alaska population: 731,449 (2012) (47th)

Alaska Quarter: The fourth quarter commemorative coin, issued in 2008, honors Alaska and is the 49th coin in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Program.Alaska was admitted to the Union on January 3, 1959, becoming our 49th National State. The Alaska Quarter features an image of a grizzly bear emerging from the water clutching a salmon in its jaws. The design also includes the North Star above the Great Earth sign. Two other inscriptions are shown on the coin: “Alaska” and “1959”.Salmon and grizzly bear represent the natural beauty and abundant wildlife in Alaska. The bear represents strength and the salmon represents food that provides strength. Approximately 98% of the United States grizzly bear population is found in Alaska and can be seen in Denali and the National Parks of Katmai, Kodiak and the Admiralty Islands.

Language: English, others

Largest Cities: (by population) Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks, Sitka, Ketchikan, Kenai

Name: The name Alaska is a derivative of the Aleut word “Alyeska” which means “great land” or “what the sea breaks against”.

Statehood: January 3, 1959 (49th state)

Symbols of Alaska

  • Animal: moose
  • Bird: Alaska willow partridge
  • Flag of Alaska
  • Fish: King Salmon
  • Flower: Wild local forget-me-not
  • Gemstone: Jade
  • Marine mammal: bowhead whale
  • Motto: “North to the future”
  • Nicknames: (most used) The Last Frontier; Land of the Midnight Sun
  • Song: Flag of Alaska
  • State seal
  • Tree: Sitka spruce

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, on the northwestern outskirts of North America. It includes the peninsula of the same name, the Aleutian Islands, a narrow strip of the Pacific coast along with the islands of the Alexander Archipelago along western Canada and the mainland. See cities and towns in Alaska.

The state is located in the extreme northwest of the continent, separated from the Chukchi Peninsula (Russia) by the Bering Strait, and borders Canada to the east. It consists of the mainland and a large number of islands: the archipelago of Alexander, the Aleutian Islands, the Pribylov Islands, the island of Kodiak, the island of St. Lawrence. It is washed by the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. On the Pacific coast – the Alaskan Range; the inner part – a plateau with a height of 1200 m in the east to 600 m in the west goes into the lowlands. To the north is the Brooks Range, behind which is the Arctic Lowlands.

Mount McKinley (Denali) (6194 m) is the highest in North America. There are active volcanoes. Glaciers in the mountains (Mailspin).

  • AbbreviationFinder: Demonstrates how the two-letter acronym of AK stands for Alaska and a list of frequently used abbreviations related to the state of Alaska.

In 1912, the eruption of the volcano resulted in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The northern part of the state is covered by tundra. To the south are forests. The state includes the island of Little Diomid in the Bering Strait, located 4 km from the island of Great Diomid (Ratmanov Island), which belongs to Russia.

The climate on the Pacific coast is temperate, maritime, and relatively mild; in other areas – Arctic and subarctic continental, with severe winters.

The famous Denali National Park is located in the vicinity of the highest mountain in the United States, McKinley.

Alaska’s largest city is Anchorage.

The capital of Alaska is the city of Juneau.

Unlike most other states in the United States, where the primary grassroots unit of local government is the county, the name of the administrative unit in Alaska is baro (borough). Even more important is another difference – 15 bars and the municipality of Anchorage cover only part of Alaska. The rest of the territory does not have enough population (at least interested) to form local self-government and forms the so-called unorganized bar, which for census purposes and for ease of management was divided into so-called census areas. There are 11 such zones in Alaska.

Groups of Siberian tribes crossed the isthmus (now the Bering Strait) 16,000 to 10,000 years ago. The Eskimos began to settle on the Arctic coast, the Aleutians inhabited the Aleutian archipelago.

Discovery of Alaska

In the Western tradition, it is believed that the first white man to set foot on the land of Alaska was GV Steller. Bernhard Grzymek’s book From Cobra to Grizzly Bear says that Steller was the first to notice the mountainous outlines of the Alaskan Islands on the horizon, and he could not wait to continue his biological research. However, the ship’s captain W. Bering had other intentions and soon ordered to disembark and return. Steller was extremely outraged by this decision and eventually insisted that the ship’s commander give him at least ten hours to explore Kayak Island, where the ship still had to dock to replenish freshwater supplies. Steller called the article about his research feat “A Description of Plants Collected in 6 Hours in America.”

However, in fact, the first Europeans to visit Alaska were August 21, 1732, members of the team of the bot “St. Gabriel” led by surveyor MS Gvozdev and navigator I. Fedorov during the expedition of AF Shestakov and DI Pavlutsky 1729 -1735 In addition, there is fragmentary information about the visit of Russians to America in the XVII century.

Russian America and the sale of Alaska

From July 9, 1799, to October 18, 1867, Alaska and the adjacent islands were under the control of a Russian-American company. However, after the abolition of serfdom in Russia to pay compensation to landlords, Alexander II was forced in 1862 to borrow from the Rothschilds 15 million pounds at 5% per annum. However, the Rothschilds had to return something, and then Grand Duke Constantine Nikolayevich – the younger brother of the Emperor – offered to sell “something unnecessary.” Alaska turned out to be the most unnecessary thing in Russia.

In addition, the fighting in the Far East during the Crimean War showed the absolute insecurity of the eastern lands of the Empire and especially Alaska. In order not to lose a gift, it was decided to sell the territory, which was impossible to protect and develop in the foreseeable future.

On December 16, 1866, a special meeting was held in St. Petersburg, attended by Alexander II, Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, the Ministers of Finance and the Ministry of the Sea, and the Russian Ambassador to Washington, Baron Eduard Andreevich Stekl. All participants approved the idea of ​​sale. At the suggestion of the Ministry of Finance, a threshold amount of at least $ 5 million in gold was set. On December 22, 1866, Alexander II approved the border of the territory. In March 1867, Steckle arrived in Washington and officially addressed Secretary of State William Seward. The treaty was signed on March 30, 1867 in Washington. The area of ​​1 million 519 thousand square meters. km was sold for $ 7.2 million in gold, or $ 0.0474 per hectare.

Alaska as a US state

When did Alaska become a US state? From 1867, Alaska was administered by the US Department of War and was called the County of Alaska, in 1884 – 1912. county, then territory (1912 – 1959), since 1959 – the state of the United States.

Five years later, gold was discovered. The region developed slowly until the beginning of the Klondike gold rush in 1896. During the years of the gold rush in Alaska, about one thousand tons of gold were mined.

Alaska was declared a state in 1959. Various mineral resources have been developed there since 1968, especially in the Prudo Bay area, southeast of Point Barrow. In 1977, an oil pipeline was laid from Prudo Bay to the port of Valdez. In 1989, an oil spill from the Exxon Valdez tanker caused severe pollution.

In the north, extraction of crude oil (in the Prudo Bay and Kinai Peninsula; the Aliesca oil pipeline, 1,250 km long to the port of Valdez), natural gas, coal, copper, iron, gold, zinc, fishing, reindeer husbandry; logging and hunting, air transport, military air bases.

Oil production has played a huge role since the 1970s. after the discovery of deposits and the laying of the Trans-Alaskan pipeline. The Alaskan oil field is compared in importance to the oil fields in Western Siberia and the Arabian Peninsula.


Although the state is one of the least populous in the country, many new residents moved here in the 1970s, attracted by vacancies in the oil industry and transport, and in the 1980s population growth was more than 36 percent.

Population growth in recent decades:

– 1990 – 550,000 inhabitants;

– 2004 – 648,818 inhabitants;

– 2005 – 663,661 inhabitants;

– 2006 – 677,456 inhabitants;

– 2007 – 690,955 inhabitants.

In 2005, the population of Alaska increased by 5,906 people, or 0.9%, over the previous year. Compared to 2000, the population increased by 36,730 people (5.9%). This number includes a natural increase of 36,590 people (53,132 births minus 16,542 deaths) since the last census, as well as an increase due to migration of 1,181 people. Immigration from outside the United States has increased Alaska’s population by 5,800, while internal migration has reduced it by 4,619. Alaska’s population density is the lowest in the United States.

About 75 percent of the population is white, a native of the United States. There are about 88,000 indigenous people in the state – Indians (Atapas, Haida, Tlinkits, Simshians), Eskimos and Aleutians. The state also has a small number of Russian descendants. Among the main religious groups are Catholics, Orthodox, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists. The share of Orthodox, which is estimated at 8-10%, is the highest in the country.

For the past 20 years, residents have traditionally voted for Republicans. Former Republican Gov. Sarah Palin was the US Vice Presidential candidate in the 2008 election under John McCain. Currently Governor Sean Parnell.

Alaska State Symbols

Alaska State Facts, Symbols and History
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