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Holland America Cruise Tours  Alaska Facts

  • Alaska has about 710,231 residents occupying 570,374 square miles, or 365,039,104 acres of land.
  • Alaska is the largest state, about 2.3 times the size of Texas and about one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states.
  • Alaska is the 49th state.
  • Alaska's nickname is "Last Frontier".
  • Alaska was purchased in 1867 and cost Seven Million Dollars.
  • Alaska is the largest state in the United States.
  • Alaska is the largest peninsula in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Alaska's state gem is jade. Alaska has large deposits of the gem, including an entire mountain of jade on the Seward Peninsula.
  • The tall, stately Sitka spruce is the state tree. It is found in Southeastern and Central Alaska. The giant king salmon, which weighs up to 100 pounds, is the state fish.
  • State Fossil - Wooly Mammoth per the 14th Legislature - 1986
  • Gold is the state mineral. Gold has played a major role in Alaska's history.
  • State Insect - The four spot skimmer dragonfly.
  • Marine Mammal - Bowhead whale per the 13th Legislature - 1983
  • Dog mushing is the state sport. It was once a primary form of transportation in many areas of Alaska.
  • State Motto - North to the Future.
  • Mt. McKinley is in Alaska Range and is North America's highest peak at 20,320 feet.
  • Alaska's state capital is Juneau.
  • Alaska state flower is the forget-me-not.
  • Official State Holidays:
    • Last Monday 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.
    • October 18. Alaska Day is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the territory and the raising of the US. flag at Sitka on October 18, 1867.
  • State Seal:The state seal was originally designed in 1910 while Alaska was a territory and not a state. The rays above the mountains represent the Northern Lights.Alaska state flag 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 Alaskan agriculture. The fish and the seals signify the importance of fishing and wildlife to Alaska's economy.
  • State Flag - The blue field is for the sky and the forget-me-not, the state flower. The North Star is for the future of the State of Alaska, the most northerly of the Union. The dipper is for the Great Bear, symbolizing strength

Famous Alaskans

  • Aleksandr Baranov trader, public official, Russia
  • Margaret Elizabeth Bell, author
  • Benny Benson designed state flag at age 13, Chignik
  • Vitus Bering explorer, Denmark
  • Charles E. Bunnell, educator
  • William A. Egan, first state governor
  • Carl Ben Eielson, pioneer pilot
  • Henry E. Gruennig, political leader
  • B. Frank Heintzleman, territorial governor
  • Walter J. Hicke,l former governor
  • Sheldon Jackson, educator and missionary, Minaville, NY
  • Joe Junea, prospector
  • Austin Lathrop, industrialist
  • Sydney Lawrence, painter
  • John Griffith, (Jack) London author, San Francisco, CA
  • Ray Mala, actor
  • John Muir naturalist, explorer, Scotland
  • Virgil F. Partch, cartoonist
  • Joe Redington, Sr. sled-dog musher and promoter
Alaska state seal

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