Alaska is bigger than any other state in America. Much bigger. In fact, it’s over twice as big as Texas. And it’s one-fifth the size of the entire lower 48 states.
The first people who lived in Alaska were probably nomadic, which means that they didn’t have permanent homes. Instead, most of them probably traveled from place to place in search of more food and favorable living conditions. Most of the native people must have lived near the coastline, where food sources are more plentiful.
Speaking of coastlines, Alaska has longest general coastline of any state. The Alaskan coastline extends for 6,640 miles. That’s almost five times longer than the total coastline of Florida. And when you include islands, Alaska has about 34,000 miles of shoreline. You might say that Alaska is the coastline capital of the United States.
The United States Purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, but Alaska didn’t Become a State Until 1959.
In March of 1867, the United States reached an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for a price of $7.2 million. The Treaty with Russia was negotiated and signed by Secretary of State William Seward and Russian Minister to the United States Edouard de Stoeckl. Although most Americans were either generally in favor of the purchase, or at least neutral, some people were highly critical of the deal. The critics called the purchase “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox.” But any remaining opposition to the Alaskan Purchase was permanently silenced by the Klondike Gold Strike in 1896.
Alaska officially became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.
Alaska’s Biggest Cities Are…
- Anchorage is the state’s largest city, by far.
- Juneau is the second-largest city and the state capital.
- Fairbanks is Alaska’s third-largest city.
Fact #1: Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 are located in Alaska. Denali, the highest peak in North America, is 20,320 ft. above sea level. Denali, the Native name for the peak, means “The Great One.”
Fact #2: Alaskans love to fly, and they often use small planes to get around their very huge state. In fact, Alaska has six times as many pilots and 16 times as many aircraft per capita as the rest of the nation. (By the way, “per capita” means “per person.”). Lake Hood, in Anchorage, is the world’s busiest seaplane base. It averages 800 takeoffs and landings on a peak day.
Fact #3:The Yukon River, which is the third longest river in America, flows 1,400 miles through central Alaska. It empties into the Bering Sea. The river begins in Canada and is a total of 2300 miles long.
Fact #4: Alaska has an estimated 100,000 glaciers which cover almost five percent (over 25,000 square miles) of the state. There are more active glaciers in Alaska than in the rest of the inhabited world.
Fact #5: Each year Alaska has approximately 5,000 earthquakes, including 1,000 that measure more than 3.5 on the Richter scale. Of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded in the world, three have occurred in Alaska.
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of Alaska? Is it Ancorage, Juneau, or Fairbanks ?
Juneau is the capital of Alaska.
Which state has a longer coastline? Alaska or Florida?
The Alaskan coastline is almost five times longer than Florida’s.
When did Alaska become a state? Was it 1867, 1928, 1959, or 1999?
Alaska became a state in 1959.
What is the tallest mountain in Alaska? Is it Mt. Everest, Mont Blanc, or Denali?
Denali is the tallest mountain in Alaska. It is also the tallest mountain in North America. Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.
If you have time, you can write a story of your own.
Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.
Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about Alaska.
Idea #2: Imagine that you lived in Alaska in a small cabin by a large lake. And, imagine that you owned a float plane. What would your life be like in the summer? And what about life in the winter?
To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.
Check out “10 Tips for Writing Better Essays.”
Here's a riddle for you:
What do you call a warm snowman?