49th State (January 3, 1959), northwest U.S.
State Abbreviation: AK
Nickname: Last Frontier, Great Land, Land of the Midnight Sun
Origin of Name: The name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word
"Alyeska," meaning "great land.
Things to Know
Alaska lies at the extreme northwest of the North American continent
and is the largest peninsula in the Western Hemisphere.
in Denali National Park, at 20,320 feet (6,194 meters), is the
highest peak in North America.
Native Eskimo and Aleut tribes inhabited the Alaska area before it
was discovered by Vitus
Bering, a Dane exploring for the Russians, in 1741.
Vitus Bering was the first to map the west coast of Alaska
America bought Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867. President Andrew
Johnson's Secretary of State, William H. Seward, was responsible for
negotiating the purchase of Alaska from Russia. The USA paid Russia
$7.2 million for Alaska. A copy of the cancelled check can be viewed online.
When the agreement to purchase the Alaska territory from Russia was
struck in 1867 by Secretary of State William H. Seward, there were
many in the lower 48 states who were critical of the secrecy that had
surrounded it and of the high price tag. Critics of Seward's
agreement to purchase the Alaska territory from Russia referred to
the plan as "Seward's Folly." They mocked his willingness
to spend so much on "Seward's icebox" and Andrew Johnson's
"polar bear garden."
was discovered in 1896 at Bonanza Creek, setting off the great Klondike Gold Rush.
Oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska in 1968. The oil fields at Prudhoe
Bay are the largest in North America. The Trans-Alaska
pipeline was built and completed in 1977 at a cost of $7.7 billion.
An oil spill by an Exxon
tanker in Prince William Sound in 1989 damaged pristine
coastline and led to battles between environmentalists and the oil
industry. The beautiful scenery, national parks, and wildlife are
Alaska's main natural resources and tourist attractions.
Major Rivers: Yukon River , Kuskokwim River, Colville River, Copper River
1954 - 2006, sled dog racer
Benny Benson, from Chignik Alaska, in 1926 designed the state flag at
age 13. The blue field is for the sky and the Forget-Me-Not,
the state flower. The North Star is for the future of the state of
Alaska, the most northerly of the Union. The dipper is for the Great
Bear - symbolizing strength.
Carl Ben Eielson, 1897 - 1929, pioneer pilot.
Joe Juneau, prospector
Things to Do
Alaska State Bird and State Flower Printable
Before printing under File in Page Setup set margins to zero.
Make A Binky Puppet Alaska's famous zoo
Things to Do-Lesson Plans
The Iditarod The Last Great Race on Earth (Grade 3-5)
In this WebQuest you will learn what it is like to compete in this
incredible race by assuming the roll of a musher in the Iditarod,
making all the preparations necessary for the race, registering,
training, and finally competing.
Sites to See
In The Sky
This site will show you what auroras look like from space and on
Earth, explain how they are created, and show you where they can be found.
Page-Suggestions for using this site in the classroom.
Klondike Gold Rush
History of the Klondike Gold Rush
Things To Do-Other Sites
Alaska State Quarter
Read about the Alaska State Quarter and print out the color page.
Alaska Color Pages
Alaska State Flag Color Page
Kids Corner - Coloring & Activity Pages
Stories to Read Online
Arctic Animal Stories