Alaska – largest American state
Alaska is the largest state in the USA. Its area is 1,717,854 square kilometers. It is nicknamed the Last Frontier or Land of the Midnight Sun and includes rugged coastlines, massive glaciers, and the tallest mountains in North America. Juneau is the capital of the state, but Anchorage is the largest city. Alaska is not connected to the other 48 states of the mainland United States.
The Yukon is Alaska’s largest river. Two mountain chains—the Alaska Range and the Aleutian Range—curve along Alaska’s southern coast. The highest point in North America is Mount McKinley, in the Alaska Range, which rises to a height of 6,194 meters.
Native Alaskans, Eskimo (Inuit), Aleut, and American Indians, make up about one sixth of the population. Common nationalities among the rest of the people include Russian, Filipino, Japanese, and Chinese.
Alaska’s economy is based on oil, tourism, and fishing.
Before becoming a Russian colony in the 18th century, the land was populated by some 70,000 natives. In 1728 a Russian expedition led by the Danish explorer Vitus Bering and Russian naval captain Alexei Chirikov arrived in what is now Alaska. In 1784 Russia established a settlement and fur-trading post on Kodiak Island. The newly formed Russian colony was governed by Aleksandr Baranov.
On March 23, 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward met with Russian minister and agreed on a price of $7,200,000. This translated into about 2.5 cents per acre for 586,400 square miles of territory, twice the size of Texas.
In 1959, Alaska officially became the 49th state in the Union.
In the 1970s the Trans-Alaska pipeline was built to transport oil from the Arctic oil fields.
– In some parts of Alaska sun does not set for 84 days.
– The lowest temperature within the United States was recorded in Prospect Creek, Alaska, in 1971. It was -62 degrees centigrade!
– There are approximately 10,000 glaciers in Alaska, covering about 25,000 square miles – almost 5% of the total territory.
– In 1997 cat named Stubbs was elected a mayor in Talkeetna, Alaska.
– Thirteen-year-old boy came up with a flag of Alaska. He took part in the competition for the best state flag and won. Gold stars on a blue flag represent the Big Dipper and the North Star.