Thursday, 18 October 2012

On this Day: 18th October 1867, Alaska transfers from Russian to US control

On the 18th October 1867, Alaska was officially transferred from Russia to the United States of America during a ceremony at Sitka. Russian and American soldiers paraded in front of the governor’s house; the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag raised amid peals of artillery.

Known as The Alaska Purchase, the acquisition of the Alaska territory by the United States was a result of a fear by Russians of impending war with Britain that would allow the British to seize Alaska.

The purchase, made at the initiative of United States Secretary of State William H. Seward, gained 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory. Originally organized as the Department of Alaska, the area was successively the District of Alaska and the Alaska Territory before becoming the modern state of Alaska upon being admitted to the Union as a state in 1959.

Photo Legacy: Making your memories last forever

Image courtesy of the US National Archives under The Creative Commons Agreement on Flickr

Research courtesy of Wikipedia


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