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Alaska is the premier destination of the outdoors person. The beauty and splendor of the snowy mountains will thrill most everyone. Hunting and fishing are popular activities here. You can experience the rich heritage at one of the many great museums. The Alaskan wilderness is a great vacation destination.

Peter the Great of Russia commissioned a Danish sea captain, Vitus Bering, to explore the Northwest coast of Alaska. This feat is credited with the "official" discovery by Russia and the first reliable information on the land.

Economics of the time and the Crimean war had disastrous effects on Russian domestic affairs which brought about the Russians trying to interest the United States in purchasing Alaska in 1859. Due to the Civil War, the purchase was not completed until March 30, 1867 when the Treaty of Purchase was signed in Washington D.C., was affirmed by the Senate on April 9th, and signed by President Andrew Johnson on May 28th. Formal transfer of the territory was made at Sitka on October 18, 1867. The purchase price was $7,200,000.00. Shortly afterwards, Alaska was nicknamed Seward's Folly and Seward's Icebox.

In 1896 the discovery of gold in the Yukon Territory of Canada fired the imagination of the world. This brought literally thousands of gold seekers through Alaska on their way to the gold fields.

In 1949 the Alaska Statehood Committee launched a campaign which brought about the Alaska Statehood Act which was signed by President Eisenhower on July 7, 1958. On January 3, 1959, Alaska was officially proclaimed the forty-ninth state of the Union. From 1959 to present, Alaska has had economic booms with timber, oil, sea foods, and the tourism industries.

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