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

  • Gwendoline Defente / EMAE via AP

    A Growing Oil Spill Off the Coast of Mauritius

    After running aground and being battered by waves for days, the MV Wakashio has leaked tons of fuel oil.

  • Wesley Hitt / Getty

    Arkansas: Images of the Natural State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Arkansas, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Kiran Ridley / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Ribblehead Viaduct, Lobster Party, Dragon Splashdown

    Back to school in Georgia, a raccoon on the mike in California, Highland cattle in Scotland, damage after the explosion in Beirut, a pyrocumulus cloud in California, cooling in a pool in Spain, and much more

  • AFP / Getty

    The Aftermath of the Beirut Explosion

    Images of the widespread damage in Beirut, a day after the devastating blast