Alaska Homeland Security and Emergency Services Resources

When the territory of Alaska was purchased in 1867, it was known as Russian America. Many American's ridiculed the purchase negotiated by secretary of state, William Henry Seward. Believing it to be nothing more than an icy, wasteland, many soon began to call it "Seward's Folly" or "Sewards Icebox".

It wasn't until the Gold Rush of 1898 that the true worth of Alaska's natural assets became known. A large reservoir of gas and oil were discovered in 1968 and today along with gas and oil, Alaska is an important source of other precious metals, seafood, timber, zinc and other types of mining.

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959 and quickly sent three Democrats to Congress to represent the newly formed state. Along with the newly acquired status as a part of the Union, came millions of dollars in funds to promote much needed modernization.

Today, the state receives billions of dollars each year that go toward highway construction, research at universities, public safety and health care, the military and much more. Alaska offers modern, well equipped hospitals that lead the way in new technologies and plays a very important role in the nations military forces.

With an average population density of only one person per square mile, compared to an average of 71 per square mile in the rest of the United States, Alaska is commonly referred to as "The Last Frontier". But, it's a frontier that has adapted quickly through the years to meet the modern needs of it's residents.


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