Hyundai Alaska, AK. Information Page
The Last Frontier
Alaska is the 49th state of the United States. It was admitted on January 3, 1959, The population of the state is 626,932, as of 2000, according to the census. The name "Alaska" is most likely derived from the Aleut word Alyeska, meaning greater land. as opposed the Aleut word Aleutia, meaning lesser land. To the Aleuts, this distinction was a linguistic variation distinguishing the mainland from an island.
It is bordered by Yukon Territory and British Columbia, Canada to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and Chukchi Sea to the west, and the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean to the north. Alaska is the largest state by area in the United States. It is larger in area than all but 18 of the world's nations.
Alaska was first inhabited by humans who came across the Bering Land
Bridge. Eventually, Alaska became populated by the Inupiaq, Inuit and
Yupik Eskimos, Aleuts, and a variety of American Indian groups. Most, if
not all, of the pre-Columbian population of the Americas probably took
this route and continued further south and east.
The first written accounts indicate that the first Europeans to reach
Alaska came from Russia. Vitus Bering sailed east and saw Mt. St. Elias.
The Russian-American Company hunted sea otters for their fur. The colony
was never very profitable, because of the costs of transportation.
At the instigation of U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, the United
States Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000
(approximately $90,750,000 in 2005 dollars, adjusted for inflation) on 9
April 1867, and the United States flag was raised on 18 October of that
same year (now called Alaska Day). Coincident with the ownership change,
the de facto International Date Line was moved westward, and Alaska
changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, for
residents, Friday, October 6, 1867 was followed by Friday, October 18,
1867; two Fridays in a row because of the date line shift.
The first American administrator of Alaska was Polish immigrant
Wlodzimierz Krzyzanowski. The purchase was not popular in the contiguous
United States, where Alaska became known as "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's
Icebox." Alaska celebrates the purchase each year on the last Monday of
March, calling it Seward's Day. After the purchase of Alaska between 1867
and 1884 the name was changed to the Department of Alaska. Between 1884
and 1912 it was called the district of Alaska.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into United
States law on 7 July 1958 which paved the way for Alaska's admission into
the Union on January 3, 1959.
Alaska suffered one of the worst earthquakes in recorded North American
history on Good Friday 1964 (see Good Friday Earthquake).
In 1976, the people of Alaska amended the state's constitution,
establishing the Alaska Permanent Fund. The fund invests a portion of the
state's mineral revenue, including revenue from the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline
System, "to benefit all generations of Alaskans." In March 2005, the
fund's value was over $30 billion.
Prior to 1983, the state lay across four different time zones-Pacific
Standard Time (UTC -8 hours) in the extreme southeast, a small area of
Yukon Standard Time (UTC -9 hours) around Juneau, Alaska-Hawaii Standard
Time (UTC -10 hours) in the Anchorage and Fairbanks vicinity, with the
Nome area and most of the Aleutian Islands observing Bering Standard Time
(UTC -11 hours). In 1983 the number of time zones was reduced to two, with
the entire mainland plus the inner Aleutian Islands going to UTC -9 hours
(and this zone then being renamed Alaska Standard Time as the Yukon
Territory had several years earlier (circa 1975) adopted a single time
zone identical to Pacific Standard Time), and the remaining Aleutian
Islands were slotted into the UTC -10 hours zone, which was then renamed
Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time.
Over the years various vessels have been named USS Alaska, in honor of the
During World War II three of the outer Aleutian Islands-Attu, Agattu and
Kiska-were occupied by Japanese troops. It was the only part of the United
States to have land occupied during the war.