Alaska History and Facts 

Mt. Denali "The Great One"
Mt. Denali "The Great One"

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Mt. Denali "The Great One"
Mt. Denali "The Great One"

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Photo Credit Denali NPS  

Alaska Facts  

  1. Alaska State: Flower Forget-me-not  

  2. Alaska State Bird: Willow Ptarmigan  

  3. Alaska State Tree: Sitka Spruce  

  4. Alaska State Mineral: Gold  

  5. Alaska State Gem: Jade  

  6. Alaska State Mammal: Moose  

  7. Alaska State Fish: King Salmon  

  8. Alaska State Sport: Dog Mushing  

  9. State Nickname: The Last Frontier  

  10. State Motto: North To The Future  

  11. State Song: Alaska's Flag  

  12. Alaska State Holidays: Alaska Day, Oct.18th and Seward's Day March 27  

  13. The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, about 2 cents an acre.  

  14. 15 species of whales are found in Alaska waters.  

  15. Alaska has more than 80 potentially active volcanoes.  

  16. The flag of Alaska contains 8 gold stars representing the Big Dipper and the North Star on a field of blue.  

  17. Longest Day: Barrow the sun rises on May 10th, it don't set for nearly 3 months.  

  18. Shortest Day: Barrow when sun sets on November 18th, Barrow residents do not see the sun again for nearly two months.  

  19. What maybe the oldest documented site of human habitation in North America, the Mesa Site found in 1993 lies 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  

  20. There are more than 3,000 rivers in Alaska and over 3 million lakes.  

  21. The name of Alaska probably comes from Unalaska, an Aleut word derived from agunalaksh which translates the shores where the sea breaks its back.  

  22. The 90,000 Native people of Alaska make up roughly 15% of the state's population.  

  23. Almost half of Alaska (175 million acres) is classified as wetlands.  

  24. Highest Point: Mount McKinley, 20,320 ft  

  25. 17 of the highest 20 mountains in the U.S. are in Alaska. It has 19 peaks over 14,000 feet.  

  26. Of the total 365 million acres of land that make up Alaska, less than one-twentieth of 1% is settled.  

  27. Alaska has numerous natural hot springs found across the state. Near Port Moller Hot Springs on the Alaska Peninsula, a village site has been occupied intermittently over the past 3000 years.  

  28. The largest gold nugget found in Alaska was discovered near Nome in 1903. It weighed 155 troy ounces and was 2 inches thick, 4 inches wide and 7 inches long.  

  29. It is estimated that there are 100,000 glaciers in Alaska covering 29,000 square miles or 5% of the state.  

  30. The estimated tidal shoreline of Alaska including inlets, islands and shoreline to head of tidewater is 47,300 miles.  

  31. The largest state in the union, Alaska is one-fifth the size of the Lower 48 and spans 2,400 miles east to west and 1,420 miles north to south.  

  32. On average 1,000 earthquakes registering 3.5 or more on the Richter scale occur in Alaska each year.  

  33. Most snowfall in 24 hours: 62 inches, at Thompson Pass near Valdez, Dec. 1955.  

  34. Most monthly snowfall: 297.9 inches, at Thompson Pass near Valdez, Feb. 1953.  

  35. Most snowfall in a season: 974.5 inches (over 81 feet), at Thompson Pass near Valdez, 1952-53.  

  36. Most precipitation in 24 hours: 15.2 inches, in Angoon, Oct. 12, 1982.  

  37. Most monthly precipitation: 70.99 inches at MacLeod Harbor (Montague Island), Nov. 1976.  

  38. Most annual precipitation: 332.29 inches at MacLeod Harbor (Montague Island), 1976.  

  39. Highest recorded temperature: 100°F, at Ft. Yukon, June 27, 1915.  

  40. Lowest recorded temperature: -80°F, at Prospect Creek Camp, Jan. 23, 1971.  

  41. Earthquakes: 9.2 on the Richter Scale on March 27th 1964 - the strongest ever recorded in North America  

  42. 430 bird species have been sited in Alaska.  

  43. Over 50 species of wild fruit is found in Alaska including Low and Highbush Cranberries, Blueberries, Salmonberries, wild rose and strawberries.  

  44. Three species of bear are found in Alaska: the black, the brown/grizzly and the polar bear. Brown bears are the largest living omnivorous land mammals in the world.  

  45. The Arctic Circle is the latitude where the sun does not set for one day at summer solstice and does not rise for one day at winter solstice