03 January 2016

On This Day: Alaska becomes 49th US State

It was On This Day in 1959 that Alaska became the 49th US state. The headline of the Daily News-Miner screamed “Statehood Proclaimed by Ike.”

William A Egan took his oath that day as the Alaska’s first governor. There were, according to the Daily News-Miner, no loud celebrations or big ceremonies that day. The fanfare had all been done in June 1958 when the US Senate approved the admission of the Territory and President Dwight D Eisenhower signed the proclamation.

The road to statehood was a long one. Alaska had been purchased from Russia in 1867 for $7,200,000, known then as Seward’s Folly. Alaska contained 586,400 square miles and spanned four time zones. The state is more than twice as big as Texas, proclaimed the Daily Republic out of South Dakota.


Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Fairbanks, Alaska. 3 January 1959.

The Daily Republic. Mitchell, South Dakota. 3 January 1959.

On This Day is a prompt to further explore historical events.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2016
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.