150 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Bought Alaska From Russia for $7.2 Million

On March 30, 1867, the United States gave the government of Russia a check for $7.2 million and took possession of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 square kilometers) of new land which became the Alaska Territory, and later, in 1959, would become America’s 49th state. In the last 150 years, Alaska has seen several gold rushes, an oil boom, a groundbreaking distribution of lands to Native groups, a disastrous oil spill, a tremendous growth in tourism, and much more. As a former Alaskan tour guide, allow me to relive a past job I loved, and share with you some of this amazing history and phenomenal beauty on Alaska’s sesquicentennial—49 photos of the 49th state.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

    Scenes From Greenland

    Snapshots from the largest island in the world

  • Dr. Andrew Mark Posselt, California

    Photographing the Microscopic: Winners of Nikon Small World 2021

    Some of the winning and honored images from the 2021 Small World Photomicrography Competition

  • Zhe Ji / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Depleted Lake, Wayward Cow, Alligator Reef

    A “Tribute in Light” in New York City, lingering power outages in Louisiana, rice harvesting in Japan, final scenes from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, a Neanderthal in the Netherlands, and much more

  • Adem Altan / AFP / Getty

    Wonderland Abandoned: The Swift Fall of “Europe’s Biggest Theme Park”

    A massive theme park in Ankara, Turkey, closed after less than a year of operation, sits abandoned, a symbol of ambition, waste, and political turmoil.