Alaska celebrates Seward’s Day

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 5:12 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Today is Seward’s Day, a state holiday commemorating the signing of the Alaska Purchase Treaty in 1867.

The holiday is named after William H. Seward, who was the Secretary of the State and the person responsible for negotiating Alaska’s purchase from Russia on March 30, 1867.

The United States purchased the territory from Russia for 7.2 million dollars which equated to approximately two cents an acre. At the time many considered the purchase to be a waste of money and tax payer’s dollars and referred to the sale as “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox” because they thought Alaska was useless land.

Alaska would remain sparsely populated until the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 when the region came to be seen as a truly valuable addition as a U.S. territory.

Alaska comprises 665,384 square miles and according to location is one of the most strategic places in the world. The state has vast amounts of natural resources to include minerals, lumber, water, wildlife, and raw materials including oil, gold, and silver. The list goes on and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Alaska celebrates Seward’s Day every year on the last Monday in March.