Alaskan American Heritage Month – November, more info
About Alaskan Americans – Outsiders first discovered Alaska in 1741, when Danish explorer Vitus Bering sighted it on his long voyage from Siberia. The first settlement in Alaska was established by Russian whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island in 1784.
17 of the 20 highest peaks in the U.S. are located in Alaska. Called Denali by the natives and later named Mt. McKinley, located in Alaska’s interior, is the highest point in North America and the second-largest peak in the world.
After expanding their reach all the way to Sitka, war broke out in Europe in the 1820’s, and the Russians began to lose interest in Alaska. In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward offered Russia $7,200,000, or two cents per acre, for Alaska.
On October 18, 1867, Alaska officially became the property of the United States, to the chagrin of many Americans, who called the purchase “Seward’s Folly.”