Alaskans can celebrate 152 years as a part of the U.S. on Saturday, although Alaska didn’t receive statehood until 1959.
That’s because the U.S. bought the sprawling northern territory from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, or about 2 cents per acre. But many people were not fans of the purchase — they called it “Seward’s Folly” because then-Secretary of State William Seward negotiated the deal.
But the territory soon proved it mettle. Gold had already been found along the Stikine River, which runs through both modern-day Alaska and British Columbia, in 1861. More gold was found around Juneau and Fortymile Creek in the 1880s, sparking a gold rush. (RELATED: El Chapo’s Beauty Queen Wife Will Launch A Clothing Brand Using His Name)
Alaska became the 49th state in 1959 and is known for its amazing natural beauty, especially in its eight national parks. Here are 10 amazing photos to celebrate its 152nd anniversary as part of the U.S:
Denali National Park and Preserve, home to the highest national peak in North America, attracts roughly 400,000 visitors a year, according to the National Parks Service.
This beautifully blue river is one of the most fished sites in the state.
Glacier Bay is “a highlight of any Alaska cruise” that also contains mountains and rainforest, according to NPS.
Brown bears flock to Brooks Falls every summer for salmon.
Eagle River Nature Center
Eagle River Nature Center is a popular tourist spot located near Anchorage, Alaska.
Portage Glacier can be viewed by a boat ride across Portage Lake. It’s located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
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