Commonly known by its nickname, "The Last Frontier," Alaska is one the most unique states in the United States. The state was acquired by the United States in 1867, when U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward offered Russia $7.2 million for the territory, a bargain price equivalent to roughly 2 cents per acre. At the time, Seward was ridiculed for suggesting the purchase, which was derisively referred to as "Seward's folly" or "Seward's icebox."Continue Reading
Due to the initial opposition, the Alaskan purchase came very close to never happening, as the Senate ratified the treaty with Russia by a margin of only one vote.
As of 2015, the state is a significant source of oil and natural gas, and most of America's seafood comes from the Alaskan fishing industry.
Alaska's mountains are remarkable; of the 20 tallest peaks in America, 17 are located in Alaska. Among these is Denali, the highest peak in North America, at a height of 20,320 feet above sea level. The peak is named after its Native American name, meaning "The Great One."
Nearly one-third of the state lies within the Arctic Circle, which is also where the lowest known temperature in the United States was recorded, at a chilling minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The state's official sport is mushing, a practice better known as dog sledding.Learn more about Alaska