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Alaska Facts

A timeline of Alaska History

More Alaska Facts

Motto: "North to the Future."
State Capitol: Juneau.
Purchased from Russia by U.S.: 1867.
Organized as a territory: 1912.
Entered the union: Jan. 3, 1959; 49th state.
Governor: Tony Knowles.
Land area: 570,373.6 square miles, largest state in the union; one-fifth the size of the "Lower 48."
Coastline: 6,640 miles of coastline and, including islands, has 33,904 miles of shoreline.
Alaska longest river: The Yukon, runs 2,300 Miles, 1,400 in Alaska and 900 in Canada. There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3 million lakes.
The National Park Service: oversees more than 50 million acres of Alaska land. Six million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve is its most visited.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race: know as the Last Great Race on Earth, attracts mushers worldwide for the Anchorage to Nome trek, about 1,100 miles.
Alaska boasts: the northernmost (Point Barrow), the easternmost (Semisopochnoi Island in the Aleutians), and the westernmost (Little Diomede Island) points in the United States. This is possible because Alaska straddles the international dateline.
State population: 615,900 from July 1995 estimate. Largest municipality in population: Anchorage 226,338
Typical Alaskan: The median age for males is 28.5 years and 28.4 for females. About 52 percent of Alaskans are male, the highest percentage of any state.
Highest/Lowest temperatures: 100 degrees F at Fort Yukon, 1915. Lowest -80 degrees at Prospect Creek Camp, 1971.
Heaviest annual snowfall: 974.5 inches at Thompson Pass near Valdez, during the winter of 1952-53.
Tallest mountain: Mount McKinley, 20,320 feet. Of the nation's 20 highest mountains, 17 are in Alaska.
Largest natural freshwater lake: Iliamna, 1,150 square miles.
"Nessie" of the North: The legendary giant trout of Lake Iliamna.
Largest glacier: Bering Glacier complex, 2,250 square miles, which includes the Bagley Icefield. Five percent of the state, or 29,000 square miles, is covered by glaciers.
Oldest building: Erskine House/Baranof Museum in Kodiak, built by the Russians as a storehouse, probably between 1793 and 1796.
Farthest north supermarket: In Barrow, constructed on stilts to prevent central heating from thawing permafrost; cost, $4 million.
World's largest and busiest seaplane base: Lake Hood in Anchorage, accommodating more than 800 takeoffs and landings on a peak summer day; record peak set in 1984 for one day, 1,200. Weekdays see an average of 500 landings and takeoffs.
State mineral: Gold.
State sport: Dog mushing.
State bird: Willow ptarmigan, a small grouse.
World's largest concentration of bald eagles: Along the Chilkat River, just north of Haines. As many as 3,000 bald eagles can gather here in fall and winter months for late salmon runs.
America's biggest earthquake: Occurred March 27, 1964, Good Friday. Measures 8.6 on the Richter scale (since revised upward to 9.2 the strongest ever recorded in North America), the earthquake devastated much of South-central Alaska.
Second greatest tide range in North America: 38.9 feet near Anchorage in Upper Cook Inlet.
Tourism: Alaska ranks fifth among the top-ten destinations for "fantasy vacations" and second among US destinations.

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