Outsiders first discovered Alaska in 1741 when Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering sighted it on a voyage from Siberia.
Russian whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island established the first settlement in Alaska in 1784.
In 1867 United States Secretary of State William H. Seward offered Russia $7,200,000, or two cents per acre, for Alaska.
On October 18, 1867 Alaska officially became the property of the United States. Many Americans called the purchase "Seward's Folly."
Joe Juneau's 1880 discovery of gold ushered in the gold rush era.
In 1943 Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands, which started the One Thousand Mile War, the first battle fought on American soil since the Civil War.
Alaska officially became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.
Alaska's most important revenue source is the oil and natural gas industry.
Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.