The United States purchased Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867. The land was sold for $7.2 million. When adjusted for inflation, as of 2014, this is equivalent to around $121 million, or approximately 2 cents per acre.
Alaska was established as an organized territory in 1912 and became the 49th state of the United States in 1959. William Henry Seward, then U.S. Secretary of State, arranged the Alaska Purchase. This was an unpopular decision at the time, as the land was considered barren. However, public opinion changed with the discovery of gold in the area in 1896. As of 2014, Alaska is a highly profitable state and is the source of 25 percent of U.S. oil.