The 49th State — Admitted to the union Jan. 3, 1959
Landmass — 586,412 square miles
Coastline — About 33,000 miles
Rivers — More than 3,000
Lakes —More than 3 million
Highest Point —Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet
State Capital — Juneau
State Flower — Forget-me-not
State Tree — Sitka spruce
State Bird — Willow ptarmigan
State Fish — King salmon
State Sport — Dog mushing
State Fossil — Wooly mammoth
Statehood: Alaska (Oct. 18, 1867) was first a district, becoming an organized territory on Aug. 24, 1912. Alaska became the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959.
Capital: The state capital is Juneau, located in the southeast region of Alaska. In 2011 its estimated population was 32,164. Motto: “North to the Future”: Alaska’s motto was chosen in 1967 during the Alaska Purchase Centennial and was created by Juneau newsman Richard Peter. The motto is meant to represent Alaska as a land of promise.
Nickname: ”The Last Frontier” Seal: The state seal includes images of the aurora, icebergs, mining, farming, fisheries, fur seals and a railroad. The state seal was originally designed and adopted in 1910 while Alaska was still a territory, not a state. The rays above the mountains represent the northern lights. The smelter symbolizes mining. The train stands for Alaska’s railroads, and ships denote transportation by sea. The trees symbolize Alaska’s wealth of forests, and the farmer, his horse, and the three shocks of wheat represent Alaska agriculture. The fish and the seals signify the importance of fishing and wildlife to Alaska’s economy. Visit www.statesymbolsusa.org/Alaska/Seal.html to see a picture of it.
Song: “Alaska’s Flag” became the state song in 1955. Follow the link for the words: www.alaska.net/~surlyc/ACWD/ alaskaflagsonglyricsandhistory.html.
Seward’s Day: Usually the last Sunday in March.
Seward’s Day commemorates the signing of the treaty by which the United States bought Alaska from Russia, signed on March 30, 1867. The Monday following is a state holiday for government workers.
Alaska Day: Oct. 18. Alaska Day is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the territory and the raising of the U.S. Flag at Sitka on Oct. 18, 1867.