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"North to the Future"
Abbreviation: Ak

Alaska Flag
State Flag

Alaska Seal
State Seal
To the Aleut peoples, Alaska was “Alyeshka”, meaning the great land. Alaska, the 49th state, officially became a state on January 3, 1959. It was purchased from Russia for $7 million in 1867 and was made a territory of the United States in 1912. It is the largest state in area, almost a fifth as large as all the rest of the United States. It remained largely unexplored until the Gold Rush in the 1880s. Fur trade was the main economic activity in Alaska for more than 150 years after 1741. In the 1880s and 1890s major gold deposits were discovered. In addition, other minerals, particularly copper, tin, mercury, and silver, were also mined. During the 1940s and 1950s large military bases were built. Beginning in the late 1970s, the economy underwent a fundamental change as the state's enormous oil deposits were exploited. Almost a third of Alaska is north of the Arctic Circle. At Point Barrow, Alaska's northernmost point, the sun never sets between May and August. Tourists come to see Alaska's mountain scenery, historic coastal towns and the state's vast areas of untamed wilderness. Mount McKinley in the Alaska Range is North America's highest peak at 20,320 feet and one of the greatest challenges for mountain climbers.

Die Aleuten nannten Alaska "Alyeshka", das große Land. Alaska wurde am 3. Januar 1959 der 49. Bundesstaat. 1867 war das Gebiet von Russland für eine Summe von $7 Millionen gekauft worden. Es wurde US-Territorium im Jahre 1912. Alaska ist der größte Bundesstaat; seine Ausmaße entsprechen in etwa einem Fünftel der gesamten restlichen Vereinigten Staaten. Für mehr als 150 Jahren nach 1741, wurde die Wirtschaft in Alaska vom Pelzhandel dominiert. In den 1880er und 1890er Jahren wurden große Goldvorkommen entdeckt. Zeitgleich wurden auch andere Erzvorkommen, vor allem Kupfer, Zinn, Quecksilber und Silber, abgebaut. In den 1940er und 1950er Jahren wurden große Militärbasen errichtet. Seit Anfang der 1970er Jahre hat sich, mit der Ausbeutung der umfangreichen Ölvorkommen im Bundesstaat, die Wirtschaft grundlegend gewandelt. Fast ein Drittel Alaskas liegt nördlich des Polarkreises. In Point Barrow, Alaskas nördlichstem Punkt, geht die Sonne von Mai bis August nicht unter. Touristen werden von der Berglandschaft, historischen Küstenstädten und der ungezähmten Wildnis des Landes angelockt. Mount McKinley in der Gebirgskette von Alaska ist mit 20.320 feet Nordamerikas höchster Berg, der Bergsteiger vor höchste Herausforderungen stellt.

Capital City: Juneau
Sarah Palin, R (to Jan. 2010)
Lisa Murkowski, R (to Jan. 2011); Mark Begich, D (to Jan. 2015)
House of Representatives:
1 district | Search by zip code

Population (July 2005): 664,000; National Rank: 47; Percent change since April 2000: 5.9%
Land Area: 570,833 sq. mi.(131,443 sq km): Largest state
Largest Cities (2005 est): Anchorage, 275,043; Fairbanks, 31,324; Juneau, 30,987; Sitka, 8,986; Wasilla, 8,471; Kenai, 7,464; Ketchikan, 7,410; Palmer, 6,920; Kodiak, 6,273; Bethel, 6,262;

Total Gross State Product 2005 est (billions of current dollars): 39,9
Per Capita Personal Income 2005 (current dollars):
$35,612; National Rank: 16
State Exports 2005 (millions of current dollars): 3,592; National Rank: 37
Seafood, nursery stock, dairy products, vegetables, livestock.
Petroleum and natural gas, gold and other mining, food processing, lumber and wood products, tourism.
· Alaska - Official State Homepage
· Project VoteSmart
· State and Local Government on the Internet (Piper Resources)

· Alaska Profile - Fedstats
Alaska Statistics Institute (Alaska State Library)
· U.S. Census Bureau: 2000 Data for the State of Alaska
U.S. Census Bureau: State Data Centers: Alaska

· Alaska - Regional Accounts Data (Bureau of Economic Analysis, DoC)
· Alaska Relocation Guide (Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development)


· Alaska State Flag, Facts Map and Symbols (
Brief History of Alaska Statehood (1867-1959) (University of Virginia)
· State Profiles
· National Geographic
Peoples of Alaska
· Alaska Deutsch


· State Tourist Office
· Map (Mapquest)
Visit Alaska - Alaska Division of Tourism

For High School Students
· State of Alaska: Alaska Kids
· Explore the States (Library of Congress)
· Stately Knowledge (The Internet Library)
· State Reports: Alaska (

Teacher Resources

· Pro Teacher: Lessons by State: Alaska

Link Lists
· Alaska (Google)
Alaska (Yahoo)
· "A" to "Z" Alaska Information (Alaska State Library)
· Federal, State & Local Government Site

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
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Updated: January 2009