lundi 10 juin 2013

Alaskan History Taken For Granted

By Grace Daniels

Alaska was the forty ninth state and is also the largest state in the United States. Purchased from Russia by William Seward, Secretary of State in 1867, he paid only 7.2 million dollars for the land, which came out roughly to two cents per acre. The land did not become a state until almost one hundred years after it was purchased. Misunderstood, Alaskan history is often times taken for granted.

Some of the most notable events that have taken place include but are definitely not limited to the 1925 Nome diphtheria outbreak, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1964 9.2 magnitude earthquake, and the gold rushes that occurred between 1876 and 1900. Lets not forget in 1741 the first discovery of Alaska was made by a Russian expedition being led by Vitus Bering along with George Steller. This is just a few quick examples of what Alaskan history holds.

Disasters are not the only thing in the history of Alaska. There are other facts that make it notable. Did you know that it was purchased from Russia for 7.2 million dollars back in 1867 by William Seward, the US Secretary of State. That equates to only two cent per acre. It became the 49th state in the US on January 3, 1959. It became a state almost 100 years after its purchase. It was first discovered in 1741 by a Russian expedition led by Vitus Bering along with George Steller.

Speaking of animals, Alaska is home to a wide variety of wildlife. It is the only place in the world that has mosquitoes that do not carry disease and it is the only place where you can find all three US bear species. It is most noted for the polar bear, especially since they live and hunt on the ice and have white fur. The natives have learned to live in harmony with the wildlife, especially since over one hundred million acres is protected and set aside for preservation.

Many of the native aborigines live on what is called a homestead. The people that crossed the Bering land bridge from Siberia into Alaska and stayed acquired the lands free and clear and now inhibit them. This is part of the preservation and preserve consisting of over 100 million acres. The lands of this state are protected and will not be able to be over developed and commercialized like so many other states. This allows for the natural beauty and prestige to predominantly exist.

One of the most beautiful and amazing wonders of this land is the aurora borealis and northern lights. This mesmerizing phenomenon originates from the sun and creates a show of lights when particles collide with the atmospheric gases. It also houses seventeen out of twenty of the highest peaks in the United States. The Mt Spurr volcano is one of several snow and ice covered peaks defining a large dissected stratovolcano. Mt. Spurr is the eastern most historically active volcano and erupted three times in 1992. In 2009 the Mt Redoubt volcano erupted five times.

Bright lights and colors always amaze people; therefore, the northern lights and aurora borealis are two of Alaska's most notable features. These amazing lights occur when particles from the sun collide with gases in the atmosphere. Historically this is one of the few places where you can experience this spectacular light show and still be amazed viewing it over and over as the natives do.

There are so many interesting facts and bits of Alaskan history to learn about. Most people do not realize that this land is more than just snow, ice and cold temperatures. It is an amazing preservation home to a multitude of wildlife. Taking time to explore and learn some of the details of the land of the midnight sun may prove to be more entertain than you ever thought it could be and it may be intriguing enough to make you want to visit the last frontier.

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