Did you know that today is Alaska Day? Alaska Day celebrates the transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States, which happened in 1867. In March 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars. The Alaska Purchase added 586,412 square miles (about twice the size of Texas) to the United States. Alaska became the 49th state of the United States on January 3, 1959.
We hope that you have a momentous day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
The formal transition ceremony took place at Fort Sitka. It included 250 US soldiers that marched to the Governor’s House at Castle Hill. The Russian troops lowered the Russian Flag and then the US flag was raised in its place. At the end of the ceremony, Captain Aleksei Alekseyevich Peshchurov said, “General Rousseau, by authority from His Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, I transfer to the United States the territory of Alaska.”
Alaska Day is a state holiday. In Sitka, there is a parade and reenactment of the flag raising.
Sometimes the transfer date is listed as October 7th. This is because of the time difference between Alaska and St. Petersburg, Russia. Also, at the time Russia was still using the Julian calendar when the US had already switched to using the Gregorian calendar.