Alaska Day in Alaska in 2020

Alaska Day in Alaska in 2020
Alaska on a vintage globe Image via Pixabay
  How long until Alaska Day?
This holiday next takes place in 364 days.
  Dates of Alaska Day in Alaska
2021 Mon, Oct 18Government Holiday
2020 Mon, Oct 19Government Holiday
2019 Fri, Oct 18Government Holiday
2018 Thu, Oct 18Government Holiday
2017 Wed, Oct 18Government Holiday
  Summary
Marks the official transfer of Alaska from Russia to USA on October 18th 1867

When is Alaska Day?

Alaska Day is a regional state holiday observed in Alaska, USA.

Alaska Day is celebrated on October 18th or the nearest weekday.

History of Alaska Day

Alaska day commemorates the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States, which took place on October 18th 1867.

After suffering defeat in the Crimean War, Russia was on its knees economically and saw selling its expensive-to-maintain territory in North America as a way of raising some much-needed funds.

On March 30th 1867, the Russian Empire concluded a treaty with U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, wherein the United States purchased Alaska for $7.2 million dollars (about $129 million in today’s money.) That worked out to roughly 10 cents per square mile back then, ( just under $2 per square mile today.)

On October 18th 1867, the Russian Empire lowered its flag in Alaska and the United States raised its, marking the formal transfer.

The ratification of the purchase of Alaska had been a difficult process to get through the federal government. Alaska was regarded as cold, barren, and useless, and the public hung the name "Seward’s Folly" on the territory. Seward regarded it as a unique opportunity to add 20% to the landmass of the United States.

Did you know?

In 1926 13-year-old Native American Bennie Benson from Cognac, Alaska designed the state flag.

As Alaska Day is a paid holiday for all state employees, all state, county and city government offices will close, along with most schools and libraries. Private businesses can close at their discretion. The US Post Office will be open as will most banks and public transport will operate on nearly normal schedules.

Did you know?

The name 'Alaska' comes from a Russian word that means ''mainland'.

The biggest event to mark Alaska Day is the parade in downtown Juneau, the state capital of Alaska.

Alaska day was declared a holiday in 1917 by Alaska's territorial legislature.

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