Today in History: Alaska formally becomes part of the USA in 1867

Today in History: Alaska formally becomes part of the USA in 1867

The United States had purchased the large and sparsely populated territory of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The purchase was not seen as a positive acquirement by many American citizens who believed that adding Alaska to the US’s territory was a waste of taxpayers’ money. Many called the act, Seward’s folly after Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was responsible for making the purchase. Alaska was admitted to the Union as a state in 1959. October 18 is annually celebrated as Alaska Day in Alaska.

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