Today is Alaska Day. A day to celebrate the transfer of AK from Russia to the USA, back in 1867.
The original ceremonies where in Sitka. And from what I hear and read, that is still a day for a great parade there. Here are some pics I downloaded from their website of their parade in 2009.
For those who want more detail: Secretary of State Seward bought it for over $ 7 million or 2 cents an acre. At that time many called it Seward's Folly.
Since the discovery of gold and then oil in the North Slope, many have come to consider it a great deal.
But not all agree that Alaska was such a great buy. These claim that it cost a heck of a lot to develop the infrastructure to get out our natural resources. It would have been cheaper to invest that original 7 million, let Britain buy AK, let Britain (and subsequently Canada) develop it and just buy the resources form them (in view of our friendly business relations with them both). Check out their thoughts at:
But if the current history is any guide, I bet Washington would have wasted that money on something else and we'd be a third rate country.
So, lets just celebrate Alaska Day and party like the folks in Sitka!