of Name: Russian version of an Aleutian word, Alakahak, for "peninsula,"
"great lands," or "land that is not an island"
The U.S. bought Alaska from Russia in October 1867 for 7.2 million
dollars, or two cents per acre. Many Americans thought this was a waste
of money and called Alaska "Seward’s Folly," after Secretary of State
William H. Seward who championed the purchase.
Alaska longest river, the Yukon, runs2,300 Miles, 1,400 in Alaska and
900 in Canada. There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3
million lakes. The largest, Lake Iliamna, encompasses over 1,000 square
Each year Alaska has approximately 5,000 earthquakes, including 1,000
that measure above 3.5 on the Richter scale. Of the ten strongest
earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska.
Of the nation's 20 highest mountains, 17 are in Alaska. Mount McKinley (
20,320 feet ) in the Alaska Range is the highest in North America.
The National Park Service oversees more than 50 million acres of Alaska
land. Six million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve is its most
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, know
as the Last Great Race on Earth, attracts mushers worldwide for the
Anchorage to Nome trek, about 1,100 miles.
Alaska Extremes: the coldest day ever recorded: minus 80 degree's F at
Prospect Creek Camp, Jan.23, 1971.The hottest day: 100 degree's F at
Fort Yukon, June 27, 1915. The deepest single snowfall ever recorded in
Alaska: 62 inches, Thompson Pass, Dec. 7, 1955.
Alaska has more than 5,000 glaciers covering 100,000 square miles. There
are more active glaciers and ice fields in Alaska than in the rest of
the inhabited world. The largest glacier is the Malaspina at 850 square
miles. Five percent of the state, or 29,000 square miles, is covered by
Alaska boasts the northernmost (Point Barrow), the easternmost (Semisopochnoi
Island in the Aleutians), and the westernmost (Little Diomede Island)
points in the United States. This is possible because Alaska straddles
the international dateline.
On March 27, 1964, North America’s strongest recorded earthquake,
magnitude 9.2 on the Richter scale, rocked central Alaska.
Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline and, including islands, has 33,904
miles of shoreline.