Frequently Asked Questions

Arts, Literature & History

Russian Chief Managers

  • 1790-1818 Alexsandr Andreevich Baranov
  • Jan.-Oct.1818 Leontii Andreianovich Gagemeister (originally Ludwig Von Hagemeister[German])
  • 1818-20 Semen Ivanovich Ianovskii
  • 1820-25 Matvei I. Murav'ev
  • 1825-30 Peter Egorovich Chistiakov
  • 1830-35 Baron Ferdinand Petrovich Vrangel (originally Wrangell [German])
  • 1835-40 Ivan Antonovich Kupreianov
  • 1840-45 Adolph Karlovich Etolin (originally Arvid Adolf Etholen [Swedish/Finnish])
  • 1845-50 Mikhail Dmitrievich Teben'kov
  • 1850-53 Nikolai Iakovlevich Rozenberg
  • 1853-54 Alexsandr Il'ich Rudakov
  • 1854-59 Stepan Vasil'evich Voevodskii
  • 1859-63 Ivan Vasilevich Furugelm (originally Johan Hampus Furuhjelm [Finnish])
  • 1863-67 Prince Dmitri Petrovich Maksutov

All names here are transliterated in the modified Library of Congress system used by Richard A. Pierce in Russian America: a biographical dictionary, Limestone Press, 1990. Previously these names have been transliterated or anglicized under a variety of methods, so some historical references and Alaskan place namesALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR may demonstrate different spellings. For example, Baranof, Yanovski, Kupreanov, Rosenberg, etc.

Military Commanders

  • 1867-68 Brevet Major Gen. Jeff C. Davis
  • 1869-70 Captain G. K. Brady (U.S. Army)
  • 1870 Major J. C. Tidball
  • 1877 U.S. Troops withdraw leaving M. C. Berry, customs collector, the only federal official in Alaska.
  • 1879-1880 Captain L. S. Beardslee (U.S. Navy), Sloop Jamestown
  • 1880 Henry Glass (U.S. Navy) assumed command from Beardslee.
  • 1880-81 Edward P. Lull (U.S. Navy), the Wachusett
  • 1882-83 Comm. E. C. Merriman (U.S. Navy)
  • 1883-84 Comm. J. B. Coghlan (U.S. Navy), the Adams
  • 1884-86 Lt. Comm. Henry E. Nichols ALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR (U.S. Navy). the Pinta

Territorial Governors, appointed by the President

  • 7/4/1884-5/7/1885 John H. Kinkead - by President Arthur
  • 5/7/1885-4/20/1889 Alfred P. Swineford - by President Cleveland
  • 4/20/1889-6/18/1893 Lyman E. Knapp - by President Harrison
  • 6/18/1893-6/23/1897 James Sheakley - by President Cleveland
  • 6/23/1897-3/2/1906 John G. Brady - by President Roosevelt
  • 3/2/1906-5/20/1909 Wilford B. Hoggatt - by President Roosevelt
  • 5/20/1909-4/18/1913 Walter E. Clark - by President Taft
  • 4/18/1913-4/12/1918 John F. A. Strong - by President Wilson
  • 4/12/1918-6/16/1921 Thomas Riggs, Jr. - by President Wilson
  • 6/21/1921-8/16/1925 Scott C. Bone - by President Harding
  • 8/16/1925-4/19/1933 George A. Parks - President Coolidge
  • 4/19/1933-12/6/1939 John W. Troy - by President Roosevelt
  • 12/6/1939-4/10/1953 Ernest Gruening - by President Roosevelt
  • 4/10/1953-1/3/1957 B. Frank Heintzleman - by President Eisenhower
  • 4/8/1957-8/9/1958 Mike Stepovich- by President Eisenhower
  • Statehood bill passed Congress 7/7/58. Statehood official 1/3/59.
  • * Stepovich resigned; Waino E. Hendrickson, Secretary of Alaska, served as ALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR acting governor until William Egan too office on 1/3/59

Delegates in Congress

In 1906 Congress authorized Alaska to send a voteless delegate to the House of Representatives. Serving in that capacity were:

  • 1906-07 Frank H. Waskey
  • 1907-09 Thomas Cale
  • 1909-17 James Wickersham
  • 1917 Charles A. Sulzer (contested election)
  • 1918 James Wickersham (seated as delegate
  • 1919 Charles A. Sulzer (died before taking office)
  • 1919 George Grigsby (appointed)
  • 1921 James Wickersham (seated as delegate, having contested the 1919 election and resulting appointment)
  • 1921-30 Dan E. Sutherland
  • 1931-33 James Wickersham
  • 1933-44 Anthony J. Dimond
  • 1944-58 E.L. Bartlett
  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.

Presented below are historical facts for which there are written records. Until contact with Europeans, the history of Native Alaskans was preserved through the oral tradition. In the 250 years since Europeans found Alaska, much of that oral history was lost, what was recorded does not correspond to the Western manner of recording events on a calendar basis.

18th century

  • 1725- Peter the Great sends Vitus Bering to explore the North Pacific.
  • 1728- Vitus Bering sails through the Bering Strait.
  • 1733- Bering's second expedition, with George Wilhelm Steller aboard, the first naturalist to visit Alaska.
  • 1741- Alexei Chirikof, with Bering expedition, sights land on July 15; the Europeans had found Alaska.
  • 1742- First scientific report on the North Pacific fur seal.
  • 1743- Concentrated hunting of sea otter by Russia begins.
  • 1774 to 1792 - The Spanish sent seven expeditions north to look for Russian settlements and the Northwest Passage.
  • 1774- Juan Perez ordered by Spain to explore west coast; discovers Prince of Wales Island, Dixon Sound.
  • 1776- Captain James Cook expedition to search for Northwest Passage.
  • 1725- Cook reaches King Island, Norton Sound, Unalaska.
  • 1784- Grigorii Shelikov establishes first white settlement at Three Saints Bay, Kodiak.
  • 1786- Gerassin Pribilof discovers the rookeries on the islands now know as the Pribilofs.
  • 1791- George Vancouver leaves England to explore the coast.
  • 1792- Catherine II grants a monopoly of furs in Alaska to Grigorii Shelikov.
  • 1794- Baranov builds first vessel in northwestern America at Voskres-senski on Kenai.
  • 1795- The first Russian Orthodox Church established in Kodiak.
  • 1799- Alexander Baranov establishes Russian post known today as Old Sitka; trade charter grants exclusive trading rights to the Russian American Company.

19th Century

  • 1802- Russian fort at Old Sitka destroyed by Tlingits.
  • 1804- Russians return to Sitka and attack Kiksadi fort on Indian River. Russians lose the battle, but Natives are forced to flee. Baranov re-establishes trading post.
  • 1805- Yurii Lisianski sails to Canton with the first Russian cargo of furs to be sent directly to China.
  • 1821- No foreigners allowed in Russian-American waters, except at regular ports of call.
  • 1824- Russians begin exploration of mainland that leads to discovery of Nushagak, Kuskokwim, Yukon, and Koyokuk Rivers.
  • 1834- Father Veniaminov moves to Sitka; consecrated Bishop Innokenty in 1840.
  • 1840- Russian Orthodox Diocese formed; Bishop Innokenty Veniaminov given permission to use Native languages in the liturgy.
  • 1841- Edward de Stoeckl assigned to the secretariat of the Russian legation in the U.S.
  • 1847- Fort Yukon established.
  • 1848- Cathedral of St. Michael dedicated at New Archangel (Sitka).
  • 1853- Russian explorer-trappers find oil seeps in Cook Inlet.
  • 1857- Coal mining begins at Coal Harbor on the Kenai Peninsula.
  • 1859- De Stoeckl returns to U.S. from St. Petersburg with authority to negotiate the sale of Alaska.
  • 1861- Gold discovered on Stikine River near Telegraph Creek.
  • 1865- Western Union Telegraph Company prepares to put telegraph line across Alaska and Siberia.

Purchase from Russia

  • 1867- U.S. purchases Alaska from Russia; Pribilof Islands placed under jurisdiction of Secretary of Treasury. Fur seal population, stablized under Russian rule, declines rapidly.
  • 1868- Alaska designated as the Department of Alaska under Brevet Major General Jeff C. Davis, U.S. Army.
  • 1869- The Sitka Times, first newspaper in Alaska, published.
  • 1872- Gold discovered near Sitka and in British Columbia.
  • 1874- George Halt said to be the first white man to cross the Chilkoot Pass in search for gold.
  • 1876- Gold discovered south of Juneau at Windham Bay.
  • 1877- U.S. troops withdrawn from Alaska.
  • 1878- School opens at Sitka, to become Sheldon Jackson Junior College. First canneries in Alaska established at Klawock and Sitka.
  • 1880- Richard Harris and Joseph Juneau, with the aid of local clan leader Kowee, discover gold on Gastineau; Juneau is founded.
  • 1881- Parris Lode claim staked and by 1885 is the most prominent mine in Alaska: Treadwell Mine.
  • 1882- First commercial herring fishing begins at Killisnoo; first two central Alaska salmon canneries built. U.S. Navy bombs, then burns Tlingit village of Angoon.
  • 1884- Congress passes Organic Act. $15,000 appropriated to educate Indian children.
  • 1885- Dr. C. H. Townsend suggest introduction of reindeer into Alaska. Sheldon Jackson appointed General Agent for Education in Alaska.
  • 1887- Father William Duncan and Tsimshian followers found Metlakatla on Annette Island.
  • 1888- Boundary survey started by Dr. W. H. Dall of the U.S. and Dr. George Dawson of Canada.
  • 1890- Large corporate salmon canneries begin to appear.
  • 1890- Dr. Sheldon Jackson explores Arctic Coast; brings reindeer husbandry into Alaska.
  • 1891- First oil claims staked in Cook Inlet area.
  • 1892Afognak Reserve established, beginning the Alaskan Forest Service System.
  • 1894- Gold discovery on Mastadon Creek; founding of Circle City.
  • 1896- Dawson City founded at mouth of Klondike River; gold discovered on Bonanza Creek.
  • 1897-1900- Klondike gold rush.
  • 1897First shipment of fresh halibut sent south from Juneau.
  • 1898- Skagway is largest city in Alaska; work starts on White Pass and Yukon Railroad; Congress appropriates money for telegraph from Seattle to Sitka; Nome gold rush begins.
  • 1899- Local government organized in Nome.

20th century

  • 1900- Civil Code for Alaska divides state into three judicial districts, with judges at Sitka, Eagle, and St. Michael; moves capital to Juneau. White Pass railroad completed. U.S. Congress passes act to establish Washington-Cable (WAMCATS) that later becomes the Alaska Communications System (ACS).
  • 1902- President Theodore Roosevelt establishes Tongass National Forest; E.T. Barnette and local miners name their settlement Fairbanks.
  • 1904- Last great Tlingit potlatch held in Sitka. Submarine cables laid from Seattle to Sitka, and from Sitka to Valdez, linking Alaska to "outside".
  • 1905- Tanana railroad built; telegraph links Fairbanks and Valdez; Alaska Road Commission established under Army jurisdiction.
  • 1906- Alaska authorized to send voteless delegate to Congress. Governor's Office moved from Sitka to Juneau.
  • 1907- Gold discovered at Ruby; Richardson trail established; Tongass National Forest, largest U.S. forest, created by presidential proclamation.
  • 1908- First cold storage plant built at Ketchikan.
  • 1911- International agreement between U.S., Great Britain, Canada, Russia, and Japan controls fur seal fisheries; sea otters placed under complete protection; Copper River and Northwestern Railroad begins service to Kennecott Copper Mine.
  • 1912- Territorial status for Alaska provides for Legislature; Alaska Native Brotherhood organizes in Southeast; Mount Katmai explodes, forming Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.
  • 1913- First Alaska Territorial Legislature convenes. First law passed grants women voting rights.
  • 1914- Surveying begins for Alaska Railroad; City of Anchorage born as construction campsite.
  • 1915- Alaska Native Sisterhood holds first convention in Sitka.
  • 1916- First bill for Alaska statehood introduced in Congress. Alaskans vote in favor of prohibition by a 2 to 1 margin.
  • 1917- Treadwell Mine complex caves in.
  • 1918- Congress creates Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines as a land grant college.
  • 1920- Anchorage organizes city government.
  • 1922- Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines opens. Native voting rights established through a court case.
  • 1923- President Warren G. Harding comes to Alaska to drive the last spike in Alaska Railroad.
  • 1924- Congress extends citizenship to all Indians in the United States; Tlingit William Paul, Sr. is first Native elected to Alaska Legislature. Start of airmail delivery to Alaska.
  • 1928- Court case resolves right of Native children to attend public school.
  • 1929- U.S. Navy begins 5-year survey to map parts of Alaska. Alaska Native Brotherhood convention at Haines resolves to pursue land claims settlement in Southeast Alaska.
  • 1932- Radio telephone communications established in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Nome.
  • 1935- Matanuska Valley Project established. Nine hundred Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine workers go on a strike that lasts 40 days and ends in violence. - The Jurisdictional Act of June, 1935 allows the Tlingit and Haida Indians to pursue land claims in U.S. Court of Claims.
  • 1936- The Indian Reorganization Act of 1935 amended to include Alaska. Nell Scott of Seldovia becomes the first woman elected to the Territorial Legislature.
  • 1940- Fort Richardson established; construction begins on Elmendorf Air Force Base.
  • 1942- Japan bombs Dutch Harbor; invades Aleutians.
  • 1944- Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine shuts down.
  • 1945- Governor Gruening signs the Anti-Discrimination Act, the first such legislation passed in the United States and its possessions since post-Civil War.
  • 1946- Boarding school for Native high school students opens at Mt. Edgecombe.
  • 1947- The Alaska Command established; first unified command of the U.S. staffed by Army, Air Force, and Navy officers. First Alaska Native land claims suit, filed by Tlingit and Haida people, introduced in U.S. Court of Claims.
  • 1948- Alaskans vote to abolish fish traps by a 10 to 1 margin.
  • 1953- Oil well drilled near Eureka on Glenn Highway marks the beginning of Alaska's modern oil history; first plywood operations begin at Juneau; first big Alaskan pulp mill opens at Ketchikan. First Alaskan television broadcast by KENI, Anchorage.
  • 1955- Alaskans elect delegates to constitutional convention.
  • 1955- Constitutional Convention opens at University of Alaska.
  • 1956- Territorial voters adopt the Alaska Constitution; send two senators and one representative to Washington under the Tennessee Plan.
  • 1958- Statehood measure passes; President Eisenhower signs statehood bill.

Statehood

  • 1959- Statehood proclaimed; state constitution in effect; Sitka pulp mill opens. U.S. Court of Claims issues judgement favoring Tlingit and Haida claims to Southeast Alaska lands.
  • 1964- Good Friday earthquake.
  • 1966- Alaska Federation of Natives organized. Interior Secretary Udall imposes a "land freeze" to protect Native use and occupancy of Alaska lands.
  • 1967- Fairbanks flood.
  • 1968- Oil pumped from a well at Prudhoe Bay on North Slope. Governor Hickel establishes Alaska Lands Claims Task Force that recommends a 40 million acre land settlement for Alaska Natives.
  • 1969- North Slope Oil lease sale brings $900 million. First live satellite telecast in Alaska.
  • 1971- Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act signed into law.
  • 1972- Alaska Constitution amended to prohibit sexual discrimination.
  • 1973- Congress passes the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act; salmon fisheries limited entry program becomes law.
  • 1974- Alaska voters approve capital move initiative.
  • 1975- Alaska Legislature appropriates funds to initiate purchase and installation of 100 satellite earth stations for establishment of statewide satellite communications network.
  • 1976- Natural gas pipeline proposals filed. Alaska voters pick Willow as new capital site; voters approve constitutional amendment establishing Alaska Permanent Fund to receive "at least 25 percent" of all state oil revenues and related income.
  • 1977- Trans-Alaska Pipeline completed from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.
  • 1980- Alaska Legislature increases Permanent Fund share of oil revenues from 25 to 50 percent; repeals Alaska personal income tax; establishes Alaska Dividend Fund to distribute Permanent Fund earnings to Alaska residents. Congress passes Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).
  • 1982- Alaska voters repeal law relocating capital to Willow and establish state spending limit; first Permanent Fund dividends distributed.
  • 1983- Time zone shift: all Alaska. except westernmost Aleutians Islands, move to Alaska Standard Time, one hour west of Pacific Standard time; crab stocks so low that most commercial seasons are cancelled; the drinking age is raised from 19 to 21 by the Legislature.
  • 1985- State purchases Alaska Railroad from the federal government; declining oil prices cause budget problems.
  • 1986- Price of oil drops below $10 per barrel, causing Alaska oil revenues to plummet; the legislature passes a new bill governing subsistence hunting and fishing.
  • 1987- The economic doldrums from oil prices continue to affect the state, causing many to lose their jobs and leave, banks to foreclose on property, and businesses to go bankrupt; a new military build-up in Alaska begins when the first troops of the new Sixth Infantry Division begin to arrive in Fairbanks.
  • 1988- International efforts to rescue two whales caught by ice off Barrow captures world-wide attention; the state's economic woes continue and Anchorage loses 30,000 in population; the Soviets allow a one-day visit of a group of Alaskans to the Siberian port city of Provideniya; Anchorage loses its bid to host the 1994 Olympic Games to Lillehammer, Norway.
  • 1989- The Exxon Valdez, a 987' oil tanker carrying 53 million gallons of North Slope crude grounds on Bligh Reef spilling 11 million gallons into Prince William Sound; the Permanent Fund passes the $10 billion mark; the Alaska Supreme Court throws out Alaska's rural preference law.
  • 1990- The Alaska Legislature meets in special session and struggles unsuccessfully to resolve the subsistence issue; federal authorities take over subsistence management on federal lands; oil prices temporarily double after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; Walter Hickel makes a political comeback with lt. governor candidate Jack Coghill on Alaskan Independence Party ticket and winning gubernatorial race; Congress sets aside more Southeast Alaska as wilderness by passing the Tongass Reform Act.
  • 1991- The State of Alaska, the U.S. Justice Department and Exxon reach a $1 billion settlement resulting form the Exxon Valdez oil spill which is rejected by the U.S. District Court. An amended settlement earmarking more money for restoration work in Prince William Sound wins judicial approval. Congress effectively closes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development; Bristol Bay fisherman strike over low salmon prices; Hickel administration and the Legislature unable to resolve the subsistence issue.
  • 1992- Final repercussions of Alaska's recession are felt as oil industry retrenches with major job losses; the Anchorage Times, once Alaska's largest newspaper folds; reapportionment challenges delay primaries by two weeks; Spurr Volcano erupts three times, one blast dumping ash on Anchorage; Juneau's Hillary Lindh wins Olympic Silver Medal in downhill skiing.
  • 1993- Alaska Legislature passes largest capital works appropriation in ten years; a court-mandated new reapportionment scheme re-draws boundaries of some election districts; Greens Creek Mine near Juneau closes due to low silver, zinc, and lead prices; Sitka Pulp Mill announces indefinites suspension of mill operations, affecting 400 workers; Alaskan Independence Party Chairman Joe Vogler mysteriously disappears.
  • 1994- Federal trial results in $5 billion dollar verdict in the Exxon Valdez case. Alaska's Tommy Moe brings home Olympic gold in downhill ski competitions. Joe Vogler's body is discovered buried off Chena Hot Springs Road near Fairbanks. Voters defeat the latest proposal to move the Alaska capital away from Juneau. The mental health lands case is decided after years in court; the suit initiated by Vern Weiss of Nenana and several other plaintoffs revolved around the 1977 legislature's dissolution of a trust established in territorial days.
  • 1995- Canadian fisherman attack an Alaska ferry with paint and ball bearings projected from sling shots in frustration over inconclusive U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty talks, which hinder Southeast Alaska's troll king salmon fishery. MarkAir faces bankruptcy while ticket holders are stranded and employees all over the state are laid off. The $267 million dollar Healy Clean Coal Project is launched with a substantial backing by the U.S. Department of Energy. Villagers from Alatna return to a newly rebuilt village after being one of several Koyukuk River communities washed out by fall floods in 1994.
  • 1996- A federal judge rules against the State of Alaska in a case brought by Governor Hickel and continued by Governor Knowles over the state's interpretation of how the Alaska Statehood Act affects the federal government's management of federal lands in the state. U.S. Congress lifts the ban on exportation of Alaska crude oil. One of the most devastating fires in state history destroys homes and property in the South Central area near Big Lake.
  • 1997- High winds and seas caused a Japanese refrigerator ship to go aground near Unalaska, spilling approximately 39,000 gallons of fuel. The Fairbanks Municipal Utilities System was sold to three private companies, ending 50 years of public utility ownership. MAPCO, owner of Alaska's largest oil refinery, was bought by Williams Co. Inc. Canadian fishermen in Prince Rupert blockaded an Alaskan ferry for three days in protest of Alaskan salmon-fishing practices; ferry service to Prince Rupert was disrupted for 19 weeks. The issue of the safety of the 20 year old Trans-Alaska pipeline was in the news, but both Alyeska and the Joint Pipeline Office maintained that the pipeline is well-monitored and safe.
  • 1998- Statewide, 6,700 jobs were added and the unemployment rate set a record low at 5.8%. The moose was adopted as Alaska's official state land mammal. In May, an estimated 4,000 people marched in Anchorage to show solidarity and to bring attention to Native Rights' issues. The new Seward SeaLife Center is the western hemisphere's first cold-water marine research facility, and includes two floors of public displays. The Supreme Court of the United States in its case No.96-1577 ruled that the approximately 1.8 million acres owned by the Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government is not "Indian country".
  • 1999- Two legendary dogmushers died this year - Joe Redington, Sr., founder of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and Edgar Nollner, Sr., the last surviving musher of the 1925 diptheria serum run to Nome. The state's top two oil producers, BP and ARCO, announced their intent to merge. The University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks received $1,000,000 from the Bill Gates Foundation to help with their expansion project. In Anchorage, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a 26 acre cultural park, opened its doors; it is expected that the Center will attract 130,000 visitors a year. In September, a proposal to spend Alaska Permanent Fund earnings on state government was soundly rejected by voters, 83% to 17%. The state's largest financial institution, the National Bank of Alaska, announced it has agreed to a buyout by Wells, Fargo & Co. Derailment of two Alaska Railroad trains in the Susitna River Valley in November and December resulted in jet fuel spills totalling approximately 100,000 gallons. Cleanup was hampered by extreme weather and the remote terrain.
  • 2000- Along with the rest of the world, Alaskans welcomed the year 2000 with fanfare and firecrackers. Tragedy struck on January 31 when an Alaska Airlines jet crashed near Los Angeles, killing 88 people including Morris Thompson, Interior Alaska Native leader and former BIA director. Snowslides stranded dozens of people in Girdwood for nearly a week; avalanche conditions in the area were among the worst in decades. In April, after more than a year of anti-trust investigations by the FTC, the agreement was signed for BP to take over ARCO, with the exception of ARCO Alaska which was purchased by Phillips Petroleum. After more than 40 years the bodies of 133 people, mostly Native Alaskans, were returned to their villages for burial. Patients at the Mt. Edgecumbe TB hospital when they died, they had been buried in a nearby WWII bunker. Elmer Rasmuson, Anchorage banker and Alaskan philanthropist, died in December. And once again Alaska offered unique challenges to the intrepid federal census takers. Census 2000 results show a state population of 626,932, an increase of 14% from 1990, and Alaska moves to 47th in the state population rankings.
  • 2001- Like so many others across America, Alaskans mourned friends and relatives killed in the terror attacks of September 11th, and joined in the October assault on al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in Afghanistan. The year had started on a sad note with paint-ball shootings of Alaska Natives in Anchorage. The assailants were prosecuted with their own videotape and Governor Tony Knowles created a Commission on Tolerance. 2001 saw other developments in Native issues. Governor Knowles declined to appeal the Katie John subsistence case and held a summit on subsistence. In December Point Hope Alaska Native Jesse Frankson stunned the sports world by winning the Guinness World Record for the highest martial arts kick.
  • 2002- Legendary four-time Iditarod winner Doug Swingly said goodbye to racing and hello to new bride Melanie Shirilla. St. Patrick's Day brought Anchorage a record-setting snowfall of 28.6 inches of wet snow. The previous record of 15.6 inches was set in 1955. On that same day, March 17th, rescuers from North Slope Search and Rescue used helicopters to pluck 18 seal hunters from broken sea ice. It took five trips to pick up the hunters, but no one was injured. In June 2002, Alaska renewed its place as first line of missile defense with the groundbreaking of six interceptor missile silos. On November 3rd, Interior Alaska was shaken by a 7.9 earthquake centered 90 miles south of Fairbanks. Thanks to the small population of this area, no one was hurt, even though the quake was felt in Louisiana. On November 5, Alaska voters rejected moving the State Legislature by 67% to 33%. December brought a shock to the Alaska fishing industry, the closure of the 75-year-old Ward Cove Packing Co. salmon operation. Ward Cove cited weak overseas markets and competition from farmed salmon in its closure statement.
  • 2003- Alaskans rang in the New Year with a hike in the minimum wage from $5.65 to $7.15. This gave Alaska the highest minimum wage on the West Coast. In March, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport was shut down by 109 mph winds. This same windstorm brought $8.5 million dollars in damages to homes and businesses. March also saw people around the state marching off to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In April, Alaskans bid farewell to Kmart, which closed all of its Alaska stores. Wolf control became an issue in April, after the Board of Fish and Game voted to allow it, and environmental groups threatened tourism boycotts. October brought a preventable tragedy when author Timothy Treadwell and his companion Amie Huguenard were found mauled to death by bears in the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Mr. Treadwell was well known for approaching bears at very close ranges, something most wildlife professionals advise against. The year also brought the death of two respected politicians: former state Rep. Ramona Barnes (in November), Alaska's first female speaker of the House and former state Sen. Frank Ferguson (In June), a powerful Alaska Native legislator.
  • 2004 - 2004 will be remembered for a record fire season especially within the interior part of the state. 708 fires burned more than 6.7 million acres and cost more than $106 million. The U.S. Senate race between Lisa Murkowski (R) and Tony Knowles (D) was an 11.5 million campaign with Murkowski winning by 3 percent despite charges of nepotism regarding her 2002 appointment by her father, Frank Murkowski who left the U.S. Senate to become Alaska's governor. Subsequently Alaska voters abolished the governor's right to make such appointments, requiring that a special election be held in the future. In economic news record oil and gold prices were seen as well as record gasoline costs of $2.15 a gallon. A ship, the Selendang Ayu grounded and broke up in rough seas of the coast of Unalaska spilling 210,000 gallons of fuel and its cargo of soybeans. Cleanup efforts were difficult. Mitch Seavey of Seward won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on his 11th try.
  • 2005 -  The loss of two great men saddened Alaskans this year. Jay Hammond, who served two terms as Alaska’s governor died at his home in Lake Clark on Aug. 1. He was 83. Col. Norman Vaughan, explorer and adventurer, inspired many on how to live their senior years, died Dec. 23. He was 100 years old. Alaskans joined in a relief effort after the South Asia Tsunami which killed an estimated 200,000 people. Elmendorf  Air Force Base sent 85 Airmen and four C-130’s to Indonesia for two weeks bringing in food and supplies and carrying out hundreds of people displaced by the destruction of the tsunami. Three Alaskan solders were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq: Sgt. Kurtis Arcala, Lance Cpl. Grant Fraser, and Pfc. Matthew Bohling. Four Alaskan Boy Scout leaders were electrocuted when they were erecting a tent at the 2005 National Scout Jamboree. They were Michael Shibe, Michael LaCroix , Ron Blitzer and Scott Powell who had moved to Ohio last year. A legally blind musher, Rachel Scdoris, began the 1,100 mile Iditarod race but had to scratch 731 miles into the race when her dogs became affected with a virus which also struck a number of other mushers. Robert Sorlie of Norway won the race for the second time.
  • Sources for 1725-1993 : Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums. [amended]
  • Sources for 1774-1792: Through Spanish Eyes: Spanish Voyages to Alaska, 1774-1792.
  • Sources for 1994 : Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 12/26/94.
  • Sources for 1995 : Anchorage Daily News, 12/31/95; Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Heartland, 12/31/95.
  • Sources for 1996 : Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 6/5/96.
  • Sources for 1997 : Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Heartland Section, 12/28/97; Alaska Almanac, 22nd ed. 1998.
  • Sources for 1998 : Alaska Almanac, 22nd-23rd ed. 1998-1999; Alaska Economic Trends, April 1999.
  • Sources for 1999 : Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Heartland, 1/2/ 2000; Anchorage Daily News, 1/1/2000; Alaska Almanac, 24th ed., 2000.
  • Sources for 2000 : Alaska Almanac, 24th ed., 2000; Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 12/30/00, p.C1;Census figure from State of Alaska website
  • Sources for 2001 : Juneau Empire 12/30/2001, 12/31/2001, Anchorage Daily News 12/30/2001.
  • Sources for 2002-2003 : Alaska Almanac, 27th ed., 2003, Juneau Empire 12/29/2003 and 12/31/2003, Division of Elections Web Site.
  • Sources for 2004 : Anchorage Daily News January 1, 2005, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner January 2, 2005
  • Sources for 2005 : Anchorage Daily News January 1, 2006

To research federal mining claims, one can contact the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Fairbanks office [1-907-451-2790] has a volunteer-compiled kardex system that traces federal mining claims statewide back to territorial days.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Recorder's offices have a computer that searches state and federal claims from the 1970's to the present. Records for claims of the 1800's through the 1970's are recorded on film. Each Recorder's office keeps the historical records for its own mining district.

Recorder's offices are located in:

Address Recording District (Office #)
   
Recorder Anchorage (301)
3601 "C" Street, Suite 1140 Aleutian Islands (305)
Anchorage, AK 99503-5947 Cordova (306)
1-907-269-8899 Bristol Bay (307)
1-907-269-8872 Bristol Bay (307)
  Iliamna (320)
   
Recorder Box 426 Bethel, AK 99559 1-907-543-3391 (Physical Location) Coty Office Building 204 Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway Bethel (402)
   
Recorder Kotzebue (215)
1648 S. Cushman, #201 Fairbanks (401)
Fairbanks, AK 99701-6206 Mt. McKinley (411)
1-907-452-3521 Manley Hot Springs (412)
1-907-452-2298 Barrow (413)
  Nenana (414)
  Nulato (415) Rampart (416) Ft. Gibbon (417)
   
Magistrate/Recorder Box 86 Glennallen, AK 99588 1-907-822-3726 (Physical Location) AHTNA Building Mile 115 Richardson Highway Chitina (308)
   
Recorder Homer (309)
195 E. Bunnell Ave., Suite "A" Homer, AK 99603 1-907-235-8136 Seldovia (313)
   
Recorder 400 Willoughby, 3rd Floor Juneau, AK 99801 1-907-465-3449 1-907-465-3425 Juneau (101 Haines (106) Skagway (111)
   
Recorder 120 Trading Bay Road, #230 Kenai, AK 99611 1-907-283-3118 Kenai (302)
   
Recorder 415 Main Street, Room 320 Ketchikan, AK 99901 1-907-225-3142 1-907-225-3143 Ketchikan (102) Wrangell (104) Petersburg (110)
   
Recorder 204 Mission Road, Room 16 Kodiak, AK 99615 1-907-486-9432 Kodiak (303)
   
Recorder Box 431 Nome, AK 99672 1-907-443-5178 (Physical location) Front Street, 3rd Floor Old Federal Building Cape Nome (201)
   
Recorder 836 South Colony Way Palmer, AK 99645 1-907-745-3080 Palmer (311) Talkeetna (321)
   
Magistrate/Recorder Box 1929 Seward, AK 99664 1-907-224-3075 (Physical Location) 5th and Adams Room 208 Seward (314)
   
Recorder 210 C Lake Street Sitka, AK 99835 1-907-747-3275 Sitka (103)
   
Magistrate/Recorder Box 127 Valdez, AK 99686 1-907-224-30075 (Physical Location) 213 Meals Ave. Valdez (318)
   
  • Unless otherwise noted, address shown is both mailing and physical location.
  • Source : Simon L. Young, State Recorder, 3601 "C" Street, Suite 1180, Anchorage, AK 99503-5947. 1-907-269-8882

7.2 million dollars negotiated in March, 1867 by William Seward, U.S. Secretary of State amd Eduard de Stoeckel of Russia.

Source : Alaska: A History of the 49th State, 2nd ed., ed. by Claus-M. Naske and Herman E. Slotnick. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

In 1968, the discovery well was drilled which proved Prudhoe Bay to be the largest oil field in the U.S. with an estimated 10 billion barrels of recoverable reserves. On September 10, 1969 the state conducted a North Slope lease sale and earned more than $900 million in bonus monies.

It was determined to move the oil to market through a nearly 800-mile long pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez where it would be pumped aboard tankers. Environmental studies for the pipeline were started in 1968 and permits applied for.

Several Native villages filed a lawsuit claiming the pipeline would cross their land. The land ownership question was settled with Congressional passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and its signature into law by President Richard Nixon in December 1971.

The building permit for the pipeline was issued in 1974, and construction began on March 27, 1975. During peak construction, 20,000 were employed on what was called the largest privately financed construction project in history. It cost $8 billion, including the Valdez terminal, before it was completed in 1977. The first tanker carrying North Slope crude oil left the Valdez terminal on August 1, 1977.

The pipeline is 48 inches in diameter and varies between 0.462 and 0.562 inches thick. About 1.15million barrels of oil move through the pipeline each day. The oil moves at about 5.5 miles per hour and requires just under six days to travel from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. If full, the pipeline would hold over 9 million barrels of oil.

For more information, visit the Alyeska Pipeline Web Site.

  • Source : Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Source: Alaska Almanac 24th ed., 2000 and 25th ed., 2001

Ka.ye.ka.ha (She was of the Tlingit Raven Kiksadi clan; d. 2/25/37; no offspring.)

  • Source: Juneau Public Library

Kodiak - in 1792

  • Source : Alaska Milepost Bellevue, WA: Vernon Publications, 1996.
  • Commissioned - London, Connecticut 1/25/86
  • Christened and launched 1/13/85
  • Source : Anchorage Times, 1/19/86

The Russians first discovered gold on the Kenai Peninsula in 1848. Dates for later important gold strikes were: Juneau, 1880; Fortymile; 1886; Circle City, 1893; Rampart, 1893; Nome. 1898; Fairbanks, 1902.

Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan met in Fairbanks on May 2, 1984.

Culture & Religion

Signed into law on December 18, 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) won a unique settlement from the United States Congress for Alaska's Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts. For the extinguishment of their aboriginal land claims, Alaska Natives were awarded title to 44 million acres of land and paid $962.5 million. The settlement provided for the formation of 13 regional, 4 urban, and over 200 village Native corporations, which received the cash and acreage. Any Native Alaskan born on or before December 18, 1971, who could prove one-quarter blood Native ancestry, was eligible to enroll in a local and regional corporation. Enrollment entitled each Native Alaskan to 100 shares in both corporations. On February 3, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law important changes to the settlement act. The "1991" amendments were the result of a five-year effort to correct some of the problems that emerged from ANCSA.

The amendments provide: automatic protections for undeveloped Native corporation lands; continued restrictions on stock to maintain Native control and ownership of the corporations; shareholder authority to issue stock to Alaska Natives who missed the original enrollment period, and to children born after the deadline; and shareholder authority to provide additional benefits to Elders and to make other changes in the corporation structure.

For more information, visit the ANCSA Resource Center.

  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Alaska Day - October 18. Anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory and the raising of the U.S. flag at Sitka in 1867.
  • Seward's Day - Last Monday in March. Commemorates the signing of the treaty by which the United States bought Alaska from Russia.
  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.

January 7

  • Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 1/5/85
Daily Living, Recreation & Sports
  • Canadian Border Crossing at Beaver Creek 1-867-862-7230 Canadian Customs FAQs
  • U.S. Customs at the border 1-907-774-2252 U.S. Customs Traverler Information
  • Source : Phone numbers were verified by staff at both the U.S. and the Canadian border crossings.

Time is Alaska Standard Time

  • 1917 - April 30......11:30 a.m.
  • 1918 - May 11.........9:33 a.m.
  • 1919 - May 3..........2:33 p.m.
  • 1920 - May 11........10:45 a.m.
  • 1921 - May 11.........6:42 a.m.
  • 1922 - May 12.........1:20 p.m.
  • 1923 - May 9..........2:00 a.m.
  • 1924 - May 11.........3:10 p.m.
  • 1925 - May 7..........6:32 p.m.
  • 1926 - April 26.......4:03 p.m.
  • 1927 - May 12.........5:42 a.m.
  • 1928 - May 6..........4:25 p.m.
  • 1929 - May 5..........3:41 p.m.
  • 1930 - May 8..........7:03 p.m.
  • 1931 - May 10.........9:23 a.m.
  • 1932 - May 1.........10:25 a.m.
  • 1933 - May 8..........7:30 p.m.
  • 1934 - April 30.......2:07 p.m.
  • 1935 - May 15.........1:32 p.m.
  • 1936 - April 30......12:58 p.m.
  • 1937 - May 12.........8:04 p.m.
  • 1938 - May 6..........8:14 p.m.
  • 1939 - April 29.......1:26 p.m.
  • 1940 - April 20.......3:27 p.m.
  • 1941 - May 3..........1:50 a.m.
  • 1942 - April 30.......1:28 p.m.
  • 1943 - April 28.......7:22 p.m.
  • 1944 - May 4..........2:08 p.m.
  • 1945 - May 16.........9:41 a.m.
  • 1946 - May 5..........4:40 p.m.
  • 1947 - May 3..........5:53 p.m.
  • 1948 - May 13........11:13 a.m.
  • 1949 - May 14........12:39 p.m.
  • 1950 - May 6..........4:14 p.m.
  • 1951 - April 30.......5:54 p.m.
  • 1952 - May 12.........5:04 p.m.
  • 1953 - April 29.......3:54 p.m.
  • 1954 - May 6..........6:01 p.m.
  • 1955 - May 9..........2:13 p.m.
  • 1956 - May 1.........11:24 p.m.
  • 1957 - May 5..........8:30 a.m.
  • 1958 - April 29.......2:56 p.m.
  • 1959 - May 8.........11:26 a.m.
  • 1960 - May 2..........7:12 p.m.
  • 1961 - May 5.........11:31 p.m.
  • 1962 - May 12........11:23 p.m.
  • 1963 - May 5..........6:25 p.m.
  • 1964 - May 20........11:41 a.m.
  • 1965 - May 7..........7:01 p.m.
  • 1966 - May 8.........12:11 p.m.
  • 1967 - May 4.........11:55 a.m.
  • 1968 - May 8..........9:26 a.m.
  • 1969 - April 28......12:28 p.m.
  • 1970 - May 4.........10:37 a.m.
  • 1971 - May 8..........9:31 p.m.
  • 1972 - May 10........11:56 a.m.
  • 1973 - May 4.........11:59 a.m.
  • 1974 - May 6..........3:44 p.m.
  • 1975 - May 10.........1:49 p.m.
  • 1976 - May 2.........10:51 a.m.
  • 1977 - May 6.........12:46 p.m.
  • 1978 - April 30.......3:18 p.m.
  • 1979 - April 30.......6:16 p.m.
  • 1980 - April 29.......1:16 p.m.
  • 1981 - April 30.......6:44 p.m.
  • 1982 - May 10.........5:36 p.m.
  • 1983 - April 29.......6:37 p.m.
  • 1984 - May 9..........3:33 p.m.
  • 1985 - May 11.........2:36 p.m.
  • 1986 - May 8.........10:50 p.m.
  • 1987 - May 5..........3:11 p.m.
  • 1988 - April 27.......9:15 a.m.
  • 1989 - May 1..........8:14 p.m.
  • 1990 - April 24.......5:19 p.m.
  • 1991 - May 1.........12:04 a.m.
  • 1992 - May 14.........6:26 a.m.
  • 1993 - April 23.......1:01 p.m.
  • 1994 - April 29......11:01 p.m.
  • 1995 - April 26.......1:22 p.m.
  • 1996 - May 5......12:32 p.m.
  • 1997 - April 30...10:28 a.m.
  • 1998 - April 20......4:54 p.m.
  • 1999 - April 29......9:47 p.m.
  • 2000 - May 1........10:47 a.m.
  • 2001 - May 8..........1:00 p.m.
  • 2002 - May 7..........9:27 p.m.
  • 2003 - April 29.......6:22 p.m.
  • 2004 - April 24.......2:16 p.m.
  • 2005 - April 28.....12:01 p.m.
  • 2006 - May 02........5:29 p.m.
  • 2007 - April 27.......3:47 p.m.
  • 2008 - May 06......10:53 p.m.
  • 2009 - May 1.........8:41 p.m.
  • 2010 - April 29 .....9:06 a.m.
  • 2011 - May 4.........4:24 p.m.
  • 2012 - April 23 ....7:39 p.m.
  • 2013 - May 20........2:41 p.m.

Source: Nenana Ice Classic, Box 00272, Nenana, AK 99760. 1-907-822-5446; FAX 1-907-832-588

January 7

  • Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 1/5/85

World Championship Sled Dog Race Winners

  • 1946 - Jake Butler
  • 1947 - Earl Norris
  • 1948 - Earl Norris
  • 1949 - Jake Butler
  • 1950 - Gareth Wright
  • 1951 - Raymond Paul
  • 1952 - Gareth Wright
  • 1953 - Clem Tellman
  • 1954 - Raymond Paul
  • 1955 - Raymond Paul
  • 1956 - Jimmy Huntington
  • 1957 - Gareth Wright
  • 1958 - George Attla
  • 1959 - Jimmy Malemute
  • 1960 - Cue Bifelt
  • 1961 - Leo Kriska
  • 1962 - George Attla
  • 1963 - Roland Lombard
  • 1964 - Roland Lombard
  • 1965 - Roland Lombard
  • 1966 - Joey Redington, Jr.
  • 1967 - Roland Lombard
  • 1968 - George Attla
  • 1969 - Roland Lombard
  • 1970 - Roland Lombard
  • 1971 - Roland Lombard
  • 1972 - George Attla
  • 1973 - Carl Huntington
  • 1974 - Roland Lombard
  • 1975 - George Attla
  • 1976 - George Attla
  • 1977 - Carl Huntington
  • 1978 - George Attla
  • 1979 - George Attla
  • 1980 - Dick Brunk
  • 1981 - George Attla
  • 1982 - George Attla
  • 1983 - Harris Dunlap
  • 1984 - Charlie Champaine
  • 1985 - Eddy Streeper
  • 1986 - Races cancelled due to poor track conditions
  • 1987 - Eddy Streeper
  • 1988 - Charlie Champaine
  • 1989 - Roxy Wright-Champaine
  • 1990 - Charlie Champaine
  • 1991 - Charlie Champaine
  • 1992 - Roxy Wright-Champaine
  • 1993 - Roxy Wright-Champaine
  • 1994 - Ross Saunderson (2-day race due to winds)
  • 1995 - Ross Saunderson
  • 1996 - Races cancelled due to lack of snow
  • 1997 - Alex Gasser
  • 1998 - Ross Saunderson
  • 1999 - Egil Ellis
  • 2000 - Egil Ellis
  • 2001 - Races cancelled due to lack of snow
  • 2002 - Egil Ellis
  • 2003 - Buddy Streeper
  • 2004 - Buddy Streeper
  • 2005 - Egil Ellis
  • 2006 - Races canceled due to lack of snow
  • 2007 - Blayne Streeper
  • 2008 - Blayne Streeper
  • 2009 - Blayne Streeper
  • 2010 - Blayne Streeper
  • 2011 - Egil Ellis
  • 2012 - Ken Chezik
  • 2013 - Arleigh Reynolds
  • 2014 - Arleigh Reynolds

Sources:

  • 1946 - Andy Kokrine
  • 1947 - Andy Kokrine
  • 1948 - Charlie Titus
  • 1949 - Dan Snyder
  • 1950 - Gareth Wright
  • 1951 - Horace Smoke
  • 1952 - Horace Smoke
  • 1953 - Horace Smoke
  • 1954 - Raymond Paul
  • 1955 - Wilbur Sampson
  • 1956 - Jimmy Huntington
  • 1957 - Bergman Sam
  • 1958 - Alfred Wells
  • 1959 - Roland Lombard
  • 1960 - Cue Bifelt
  • 1961 - Beatus Moses
  • 1962 - Roland Lombard
  • 1963 - Roland Lombard
  • 1964 - Roland Lombard
  • 1965 - Keith Bryar
  • 1966 - Roland Lombard
  • 1967 - Roland Lombard
  • 1968 - Bill Taylor
  • 1969 - George Attla
  • 1970 - George Attla
  • 1971 - Greenway/Taylor
  • 1972 - George Attla
  • 1973 - Harold Greenway
  • 1974 - Alfred Attla
  • 1975 - George Attla
  • 1976 - Harvey Drake
  • 1977 - Carl Huntington
  • 1978 - George Attla
  • 1979 - George Attla
  • 1980 - Harvey Drake
  • 1981 - Peter Norberg
  • 1982 - Harris Dunlap
  • 1983 - Gareth Wright
  • 1984 - Doug McRae
  • 1985 - Eddie Streeper
  • 1986 - George Attla
  • 1987 - George Attla
  • 1988 - Marvin Kokrine
  • 1989 - Roxy Wright-Champaine
  • 1990 - Charlie Champaine
  • 1991 - Ross Saunderson
  • 1992 - Roxy Wright-Champaine
  • 1993 - Roxy Wright-Champaine
  • 1994 - Ross Saunderson
  • 1995 - Amy Streeper
  • 1996 - Amy Streeper
  • 1997 - Neil Johnson
  • 1998 - Michi Konno
  • 1999 - Egil Ellis
  • 2000 - Egil Ellis
  • 2001 - Egil Ellis
  • 2002 - Egil Ellis
  • 2003 - Buddy Streeper
  • 2004 - Egil Ellis
  • 2005 - Egil Ellis
  • 2006 - Egil Ellis
  • 2007- Buddy Streeper
  • 2008 - Egil Ellis
  • 2009 - Egil Ellis
  • 2010 - Egil Ellis
  • 2011 - Egil Ellis

Source : Open North American Hall of Champions, Alaska Dog Mushers Association. Fax: 1-907-479-8166

Environment, Science & Natural Resources

Area

  • 586,412 square miles

Coastline

  • 10,686 miles

Shoreline

  • 54,563 miles

Island (largest)

  • Kodiak................3,599 square miles
  • Prince of Wales.......2,770 square miles
  • Chichagof.............2,062 square miles

Mountains (highest)

  • McKinley.............20,320 feet
  • Saint Elias..........18,008 feet
  • Foraker..............17,400 feet
  • Bona.................16,500 feet
  • Blackburn............16,390 feet
  • Sanford..............16,237 feet
  • Vancouver............15,700 feet
  • Churchill............15,638 feet
  • Fairweather..........15,300 feet
  • Hubbard..............15,015 feet
  • Bear.................14,831 feet

Oceans

  • North Pacific
  • Arctic

Seas

  • Beaufort
  • Bering
  • Chuckchi

Rivers (longest)

  • Yukon........2,300 total miles (1,875 in Alaska)

Lakes (largest)

  • Iliamna.............1,000 square miles
  • Becharof..............458 square miles
  • Teshekpuk.............315 square miles
  • Naknek................242 square miles
  • Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development - Division of Tourism
  • Alaska Division of Community and Business Development.
  • Alaska Climate Research Center

Alaska weather is influenced the year round by storms that occur in the North Pacific Ocean. These storms follow various favored paths which are determined by upper level winds often referred to as the jet stream or the long wave pattern in the atmosphere.

The usual progression of these storms is to form and intensify just east of the low pressure trough along the east coast of Asia, then along a path from lower Kamchatka to the Aleutians and into the Gulf of Alaska. Some storms cross the Aleutians and move northward through the Bering Sea and into the Arctic. Storms in the Gulf of Alaska either dissipate there or move easterly across southern Alaska into Canada. This storm track is farther north in summer than in winter. Also, winter storms are more intense.

A second major influence on Alaska's weather is Arctic air masses which form and intensify over Alaska, Northern Canada, or Siberia. These air masses show up as large high pressure areas that sometimes persist for weeks at a time over Interior Alaska. A well-developed cold air mass will sometimes cross the mountains between Yukon Territory and Southeast Alaska. More often though, the primary effect of this persistent high pressure area is limited to mainland Alaska west of the 141-degree boundary between Canada and Alaska. The high pressure area forms only in winter.

There is a large amount of variability is Alaska's weather from one year to the next. The primary cause of the variability is a shift in the path of the jet stream. When the amplitude of the long waves which determine the path of the jet stream becomes large, Alaska is likely to have a warm, wet winter and a cool, wet summer. Cold winters and warm summers are more likely to occur when the storm track along the jet stream is well south of the state. Then the primary influence on the climate is the net gain or loss of heat from the surface. In summer, 24 hours of daylight and lots of solar radiation make for mild conditions with few clouds. However, in winter there is a new heat loss which produces extremely low temperatures which may persist for weeks at a time.

  • James Wise, Alaska State Climatologist, Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center, 707 A Street, Anchorage 99501.
  • Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • March 27, 1964, 5:36 p.m. for approximately 4 minutes.
  • Magnitude estimated: 9.2 on the Richter Scale.

Interior Alaska

Average date of first arrival for migrant birds

March

  • 18 Snow Bunting
  • 25 Golden Eagle

April

  • 8 Bald Eagle
  • 12 Rough-legged Hawk
  • 13 Common Goldeneye
  • 14 Lapland Longspur
  • 15 Canada Goose; Northern Pintail; Red-tailed Hawk; Northern Harrier
  • 17 Mallard; American Kestrel; Short-eared Owl
  • 19 Trumpeter Swan; Herring Gull
  • 20 Greater White-fronted Goose
  • 22 American Wigeon; Sandhill Crane
  • 23 Northern Shoveler; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; American Tree Sparrow
  • 24 Snow Goose; Green-winged Teal; Mew Gull
  • 25 Redhead; Canvasback; American Pipit; Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 26 Barrow's Goldeneye
  • 27 Varied Thrush
  • 28 Rusty Blackbird; Fox Sparrow
  • 29 Sharp-shinned Hawk; Violet-green Swallow; Tree Swallow
  • 30 Red-breasted Merganser; Lesser Yellowlegs

May

  • 1 Common Snipe; Bonaparte's Gull; Northern Flicker; Hammonds Flycatcher; Savannah Sparrow; White-crowned Sparrow
  • 2 Solitary Sandpiper; Hermit Thrush
  • 3 Golden-crowned Sparrow; Lincoln's Sparrow
  • 4 Horned Grebe; American Golden Plover
  • 6 Red-necked Grebe; Semipalmated Plover
  • 7 Orange-crowned Warbler
  • 8 Ring-neck Duck; Pectoral Sandpiper; Least Sandpiper; Belted Kingfisher
  • 9 Lesser Scamp
  • 10 Common Loon; Pacific Loon; Long-billed Dowitcher; Arctic Tern; Townsend's Warbler; Wilson's Warbler
  • 11 Say's Phoebe; Cliff Swallow
  • 12 Surf Scoter; Whimbrel; Swainson's Thrush; Northern Waterthrush
  • 13 Upland Sandpiper; Yellow Warbler; Blackpoll Warbler
  • 14 White-winged Scoter
  • 15 Oldsquaw; Grey-cheeled Thrush
  • 16 Wandering Tattler; Lond-tailed Jaeger; Western Wood-pewee; Olive-sided Flycatcher
  • 17 Spotted Sandpiper
  • 19 Bank Swallow
  • 20 Black-bellied Plover
  • 23 Stilt Sandpiper
  • 25 Alder Flycatcher

Coastal Alaska

  • Thanks to Brina Kessel and Dan Gibson of the University of Alaska Museum who compiled the data on which these average dates of first arrival are based.

Diamond willow is a very hard wood from one of five of the thirty-three varieties of willows which grow in nearly all parts of Alaska. Most species grow in clumps and can be recognized by the diamond-shaped depressions which usually surround dead limbs. After the bark is removed, the reddish, mahogany- colored heartwood is exposed in these depressions, contrasting vividly with the bright white sapwood. Some experts believe that fungi, particularly Valsa sordida Nitschke, cause the branches to die and the sapwood to recede, exposing the heartwood, while others blame the condition on rabbits and other animals that feed on the branches. Diamond willow in Alaska usually grows to 3 1/2 or 4 inches in diameter but may exceed ten inches in diameter. Ages attained have been noted at 150 years plus. A trunk four inches in diameter may be 50-100 years old.

For further information regarding diamond willow see Alaska magazine, March, 1986, p.82.

  • Source : Working with diamond willow. P-013, Alaska Cooperative Extension, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, September 1975.
  • Source: The Alaska Almanac, Alaska Northwest Books, 19th ed., 1995.
  • 656,424 sq. mi. including 86,051 sq. mi. of water surface : Columbia encyclopedia, 5th ed., 1993.
    • Total area: Land area 570,374 sq. mi.: World almanac, 1995.
  • 591,004 sq. mi. : Compton's encyclopedia, 1993, 1996; New book of knowledge, 1995; World book encyclopedia, 1988, 1992.
  • 587,878 sq. mi. : Milepost, 1996-97; World book encyclopedia, 1995.
  • 586,422 sq. mi. : Cambridge fact finder, 1993.
  • 586,412 sq. mi. : Alaska almanac, 19th ed.; Alaska blue book, 1993-94, 11th ed.; Webster's new geographical dictionary, 1980.
  • 586,400 sq. mi. : Columbia Lippincott gazeteer of the world, 1962; Dictionary of Alaska place names, 1971; Random House dictionary of the English language, 2d. ed., 1987.
  • 570,374 sq mi. : Information please almanac, 1996; World almanac, 1995.
  • 570,373.6 sq. mi. : Alaska almanac, 20th ed.

Caribou, a wild member of the deer family, are native to most parts of Alaska. Reindeer, a "type of domesticated caribou, were originally imported from Siberia during the late 19th century."

For more information, click on reindeer or caribou.

  • Source : Alaska A to Z, Bellevue, WA, Vernon Publications, 1993.
Genealogy
Government & Law

The original building was designed by John Knox Taylor. His concept was a modification of Federal Period Greek Revival buildings. In the Building Act of 1910, Congress authorized the construction of a dwelling for the governor and appropriated $40,000 to construct and furnish it. Construction, started in 1912, was under the direction of William N. Collier, an engineer with the Treasury Department, which then supervised all public buildings owned by the federal government.

The first governor to reside in the building was Walter Eli Clark and his family. They hosted the first public function in the residence, a New Year's Open House, on January 1, 1913.

The building was a 2 1/2-story 12,900-square-foot frame structure built over a full-size cellar. The first floor included a reception hall, drawing room, library, dining room, office, kitchen, two pantries, and a conservatory. The second floor contained four large bedrooms, a sewing room and three bathrooms. The third floor was designed as servant's quarters and had a large room that was to have served as a territorial museum, but it never did.

The entire exterior was completed in 1936 by plastering over the wood finish, painted white, giving the building very much the same appearance it has to this day, and which was the architect's original conception.

Major internal redesigning was executed in 1967-68 by Arthur Morgan Designers, Seattle, transforming the third floor into two guest suites and one large bedroom.

A major renovation of the Governor's mansion was undertaken in 1983. It included installation of new heating, electrical, plumbing and security systems; restoration of the interior design of the main and second floors to the original 1912 period, and refinishing the original wood floors.

Nine territorial governors, one secretary of Alaska (acting governor), and eleven elected governors (including Governor Hickel's two widely separated terms), have resided in the mansion.

  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Source: Directory of State Officials, 1998-2004

Signed into law on December 18, 1971, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) won a unique settlement from the United States Congress for Alaska's Eskimos, Indians and Aleuts. For the extinguishment of their aboriginal land claims, Alaska Natives were awarded title to 44 million acres of land and paid $962.5 million. The settlement provided for the formation of 13 regional, 4 urban, and over 200 village Native corporations, which received the cash and acreage. Any Native Alaskan born on or before December 18, 1971, who could prove one-quarter blood Native ancestry, was eligible to enroll in a local and regional corporation. Enrollment entitled each Native Alaskan to 100 shares in both corporations. On February 3, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law important changes to the settlement act. The "1991" amendments were the result of a five-year effort to correct some of the problems that emerged from ANCSA.

The amendments provide: automatic protections for undeveloped Native corporation lands; continued restrictions on stock to maintain Native control and ownership of the corporations; shareholder authority to issue stock to Alaska Natives who missed the original enrollment period, and to children born after the deadline; and shareholder authority to provide additional benefits to Elders and to make other changes in the corporation structure.

For more information, visit the ANCSA Resource Center.

  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.

Russian Chief Managers

  • 1790-1818 Alexsandr Andreevich Baranov
  • Jan.-Oct.1818 Leontii Andreianovich Gagemeister (originally Ludwig Von Hagemeister[German])
  • 1818-20 Semen Ivanovich Ianovskii
  • 1820-25 Matvei I. Murav'ev
  • 1825-30 Peter Egorovich Chistiakov
  • 1830-35 Baron Ferdinand Petrovich Vrangel (originally Wrangell [German])
  • 1835-40 Ivan Antonovich Kupreianov
  • 1840-45 Adolph Karlovich Etolin (originally Arvid Adolf Etholen [Swedish/Finnish])
  • 1845-50 Mikhail Dmitrievich Teben'kov
  • 1850-53 Nikolai Iakovlevich Rozenberg
  • 1853-54 Alexsandr Il'ich Rudakov
  • 1854-59 Stepan Vasil'evich Voevodskii
  • 1859-63 Ivan Vasilevich Furugelm (originally Johan Hampus Furuhjelm [Finnish])
  • 1863-67 Prince Dmitri Petrovich Maksutov

All names here are transliterated in the modified Library of Congress system used by Richard A. Pierce in Russian America: a biographical dictionary, Limestone Press, 1990. Previously these names have been transliterated or anglicized under a variety of methods, so some historical references and Alaskan place namesALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR may demonstrate different spellings. For example, Baranof, Yanovski, Kupreanov, Rosenberg, etc.

Military Commanders

  • 1867-68 Brevet Major Gen. Jeff C. Davis
  • 1869-70 Captain G. K. Brady (U.S. Army)
  • 1870 Major J. C. Tidball
  • 1877 U.S. Troops withdraw leaving M. C. Berry, customs collector, the only federal official in Alaska.
  • 1879-1880 Captain L. S. Beardslee (U.S. Navy), Sloop Jamestown
  • 1880 Henry Glass (U.S. Navy) assumed command from Beardslee.
  • 1880-81 Edward P. Lull (U.S. Navy), the Wachusett
  • 1882-83 Comm. E. C. Merriman (U.S. Navy)
  • 1883-84 Comm. J. B. Coghlan (U.S. Navy), the Adams
  • 1884-86 Lt. Comm. Henry E. Nichols ALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR (U.S. Navy). the Pinta

Territorial Governors, appointed by the President

  • 7/4/1884-5/7/1885 John H. Kinkead - by President Arthur
  • 5/7/1885-4/20/1889 Alfred P. Swineford - by President Cleveland
  • 4/20/1889-6/18/1893 Lyman E. Knapp - by President Harrison
  • 6/18/1893-6/23/1897 James Sheakley - by President Cleveland
  • 6/23/1897-3/2/1906 John G. Brady - by President Roosevelt
  • 3/2/1906-5/20/1909 Wilford B. Hoggatt - by President Roosevelt
  • 5/20/1909-4/18/1913 Walter E. Clark - by President Taft
  • 4/18/1913-4/12/1918 John F. A. Strong - by President Wilson
  • 4/12/1918-6/16/1921 Thomas Riggs, Jr. - by President Wilson
  • 6/21/1921-8/16/1925 Scott C. Bone - by President Harding
  • 8/16/1925-4/19/1933 George A. Parks - President Coolidge
  • 4/19/1933-12/6/1939 John W. Troy - by President Roosevelt
  • 12/6/1939-4/10/1953 Ernest Gruening - by President Roosevelt
  • 4/10/1953-1/3/1957 B. Frank Heintzleman - by President Eisenhower
  • 4/8/1957-8/9/1958 Mike Stepovich- by President Eisenhower
  • Statehood bill passed Congress 7/7/58. Statehood official 1/3/59.
  • * Stepovich resigned; Waino E. Hendrickson, Secretary of Alaska, served as ALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR acting governor until William Egan too office on 1/3/59

Delegates in Congress

In 1906 Congress authorized Alaska to send a voteless delegate to the House of Representatives. Serving in that capacity were:

  • 1906-07 Frank H. Waskey
  • 1907-09 Thomas Cale
  • 1909-17 James Wickersham
  • 1917 Charles A. Sulzer (contested election)
  • 1918 James Wickersham (seated as delegate
  • 1919 Charles A. Sulzer (died before taking office)
  • 1919 George Grigsby (appointed)
  • 1921 James Wickersham (seated as delegate, having contested the 1919 election and resulting appointment)
  • 1921-30 Dan E. Sutherland
  • 1931-33 James Wickersham
  • 1933-44 Anthony J. Dimond
  • 1944-58 E.L. Bartlett
  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.

Governors Since Statehood

1/3/59-12/5/66

William A. Egan (D)

  • Elected: 11/26/58 - Ran against: Butrovich (R), Dolinter (I)
  • Elected: 11/6/62 - Ran against: Stepovich (R)
12/5/66-1/29/69

Walter J. Hickel* (R)

  • Elected: 11/8/66 - Ran against: Egan (D), Grasse (NP)
  • * Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Richard Nixon in 1969
1/29/69-12/5/70

Keith H. Miller (R)

  • Succeeded
12/5/70-12/2/74

William A. Egan (D)

  • Elected: 11/3/70 - Ran against: Miller (R), Anderson (AIP)
12/2/74-12/6/82

Jay S. Hammond (R)

  • Elected: 11/5/74 - Ran against: Egan (D), Vogler (AIP)
  • Elected: 11/7/78 - Ran against: Hickel (write-in), Croft (D), Kelly (R), Wright (I)
12/6/82-12/1/86

Bill Sheffield (D)

  • Elected: 12/2/82 - Ran against: Fink (R), Randolph (L), Vogler (AIP)
12/2/86-12/2/90

Steve Cowper (D)

  • Elected: 11/4/86 - Ran against: Sturgulewski (R), Vogler (AIP), O'Brannon (I)
12/3/90-12/5/94

Walter J. Hickel (AIP)

  • Elected: 11/6/90 - Ran against: Knowles (D), Sturgulewski (R), Sykes (GPA)
12/5/94-12/2/02

Tony Knowles (D)

  • Elected: 11/8/94 - Ran against: Campbell (R), Coghill (AIP),
  • Elected: 11/3/98 - Ran against: Jacobsson (GPA), Lindauer (R), Metcalfe (R), Sullivan (AIP), Taylor (R - write-in)
12/2/02-12/5/06

Frank Murkowski (R)

  • Elected: 11/5/02 - Ran against: Ulmer (D)
12/5/06-7/26/09

Sarah Palin (R)

  • Elected: 11/7/06 - Ran against: Knowles (D)
  • Resigned: 7/3/09
7/26/09 - present

Sean Parnell (R)

  • Succeeded: 7/26/09
  • Elected: 11/2/10 - Ran against: Berkowitz (D), Toien (L), Wright (AIP)

Lieutenant Governors Since Statehood

* Title changed from Secretary of State in constitutional amendment of 1970.

1/3/59-12/5/66

Hugh Wade (D)

  • Elected: 11/26/58 - Ran against: Phillips (R), Holton (I)
  • Elected: 11/6/62 - Ran against: Ross (R)
12/5/66-1/29/69

Keith H. Miller (R)

  • Elected: 11/8/66 - Ran against: Wade (D), Saupe (NP)
1/29/69-12/5/70

Robert W. Ward (R)

  • Succeeded
12/5/70-12/2/74

H. A. Boucher (D)

  • Elected: 11/3/70 - Ran against: Ward (R), Merrill (AIP)
12/2/74-12/4/78

Lowell Thomas, Jr. (R)

  • Elected: 11/5/74 - Ran against: Boucher (D), Peppler (AIP)
12/4/78-12/6/82

Terry Miller (R)

  • Elected: 11/7/78 - Ran against: Hurley (D), Poland (A), Vogler (I)
12/6/82-12/3/90

Stephen McAlpine (D)

  • Elected: 11/2/82 - Ran against: Colletta (R), Thompson (L), Roberts (AIP)
  • Elected: 11/4/86 - Ran against: Miller (R), Rowe (AIP), Barnes (L)
12/3/91-12/5/94

Jack Coghill (AIP)

  • Elected: 11/6/90 - Ran against: Campbell (R), Hensley (D), Crumb (GPA)
12/5/94-12/2/02

Fran Ulmer (D)

  • Elected: 11/8/94 - Ran against: Miller, M. (R), Ward (AIP)
  • Elected: 11/3/98 - Ran against: Baxley (R), Milligan (GPA), Ward (R)
12/2/02-12/5/06

Loren Leman (R)

  • Elected: 11/5/02 - Ran against: Hall (D)
12/5/06-7/26/09

Sean Parnell (R)

  • Elected: 11/7/06 - Ran against: Berkowitz (D)
7/26/09-12/10

Craig E. Campbell - Confirmed

  • Appointed
12/6/10- present

Mead Treadwelll

  • Elected" 11/2/10 - Ran against: Bensen (D), Brown (L)

U. S. Senators

1959-1968

E.L. (Bob) Bartlett* (D)

  • Elected: 11/26/58 - Ran against: Roberston (R), Capper (I)
  • Elected: 11/8/60 - Ran against: McKinley (R)
  • Elected: 11/8/66 - Ran against: McKinley (R)
  • * Died December 1968
1959-1968

Ernest Gruening (D)

  • Elected: 11/26/58 - Ran against: Stepovich (R)
  • Elected: 11/6/62 - Ran against Stevens (R)
1968-

Ted Stevens (R)

  • Appointed 1968
  • Elected: 11/3/70 - Ran against: Kay (D)
  • Elected: 11/7/72 - Ran against: Guess (D)
  • Elected: 11/7/78 - Ran against: Hobbs (D)
  • Elected: 11/6/84 - Ran against: Havelock (D)
  • Elected: 11/6/90 - Ran against: Beasley (D)
  • Elected: 11/5/96 - Ran against: Obermeyer (D), Whittaker (GPA)
  • Elected: 11/5/02 - Ran against: Vondersaar (D), Dore (AIP), Karpinski(L), Sykes (GPA)
1969-80

Mike Gravel (D)

  • Elected: 11/5/68 - Ran against: Rasmuson (R), Gruening (write-in)
  • Elected: 11/5/74 - Ran against: Lewis (R)
1981-

Frank Murkowski (R)

  • Elected: 11/4/80 - Ran against: Gruening, E. (D)
  • Elected: 11/4/86 - Ran against: Olds (D)
  • Elected: 11/3/92 - Ran against: Smith (D), Jordan (GPA)
  • Elected: 11/3/98 - Ran against: Sonneman (D), Kohlhass (L)
  • Resigned: 12/2/02 to become Governor of Alaska
2002-

Lisa Murkowski (R)

  • Appointed: 12/20/02 by Governor Frank Murkowski
  • Elected: 11/04 - Ran against
2008-

Mark Begich (D)

  • Elected: 11/4/08 - Ran against: Bird (AI), Gianoutsos (NP), Haase (L), Stevens (R)

U. S. Representatives

1959-1966

Ralph Rivers (D)

  • Elected: 11/26/58 - Ran against: Benson (R)
  • Elected: 11/8/60 - Ran against: Rettig (R)
  • Elected: 11/6/62 - Ran against: Thomas (R)
  • Elected: 11/3/64 - Ran against: Thomas (R)
1966-1970

Howard Pollock (R)

  • Elected: 11/8/66 - Ran against: Rivers (D)
  • Elected: 11/4/68 - Ran against: Begich (D)
1970-1972

Nicholas Begich* (D)

  • Elected: 11/3/70 - Ran against: Murkowski (R)
  • Elected: 11/7/72 - Ran against: Young (R)
  • * Presumed dead in missing aircraft during re-election campaign, October 1972.
1973-

Don Young (R)

  • Elected: 3/6/73 (special election) - Ran aginst: Notti (D)
  • Elected: 11/5/74 - Ran against: Hensley (D)
  • Elected: 11/2/76 - Ran against: Hopson (D)
  • Elected: 11/7/78 - Ran against: Rodey (D)
  • Elected: 11/4/80 - Ran against: Parnell (D)
  • Elected: 11/2/82 - Ran against: Carlson (D)
  • Elected: 11/6/84 - Ran against: Begich, P. (D)
  • Elected: 11/4/86 - Ran against: Begich, P. (D)
  • Elected: 11/8/88 - Ran against: Gruenstein (D)
  • Elected: 11/6/90 - Ran against: Devens (D)
  • Elected: 11/3/92 - Ran against: Devens (D)
  • Elected: 11/8/94 - Ran against: Smith, T. (D), Whitmore (GPA)
  • Elected: 11/5/96 - Ran against: Lincoln (D), Grames (GPA), Nemec (AIP)
  • Elected: 11/3/98 - Ran against: Duncan (D), Grames (GPA)
  • Elected: 11/7/00 - Ran against: Greene (D), Dore (I), Karpinski(L), Anna Young (GPA)
  • Elected: 11/5/02 - Ran against: Greene (D), deForest (GPA), Clift (L)
  • Elected: 11/2/04 - Ran against Anders (L), Feller (GPA), Higgins (D)
  • Elected: 11/7/06 - Ran against Benson (D), Crawford (L), Ince (GPA), McGonegal
  • Elected: 11/4/08 - Ran against Berkowitz (D), Wright (AI)
  • Elected: 11/2/10 - Ran against Crawford (D)

Senate Presidents, House Speakers Since Statehood

1959-60
  • Senate President: William Beltz (D) *
  • House Speaker: Warren Taylor (D)
1961-62
  • Senate President: Frank Peratrovich (D)
  • House Speaker: Warren Taylor (D)
1963-64
  • Senate President: Frank Peratrovich (D)
  • House Speaker: Bruce Kendall (R)
1965-66
  • Senate President: Robert McNealy (D)
  • House Speaker: Mike Gravel (D)
1967-68
  • Senate President: John Butrovich (R)
  • House Speaker: William Boardman (R)
1968-70
  • Senate President: Brad Phillips (R)
  • House Speaker: Jalmar Kertulla (D)
1971-72
  • Senate President: Jay Hammond (R)
  • House Speaker: Gene Guess (D)
1973-74
  • Senate President: Terry Miller (R)
  • House Speaker: Tom Fink (R)
1975-76
  • Senate President: Chancy Croft (D)
  • House Speaker: Mike Bradner (D)
1977-78
  • Senate President: John Rader (D)
  • House Speaker: Hugh Malone (D)
1979-80
  • Senate President: Clem Tillion (R)
  • House Speaker: Terry Gardner (D)
1981-82
  • Senate President: Jalmar Kerttula (D)
  • House Speaker:
    • Jim Duncan* (D)
    • Joe Hayes (R)
    • Duncan was replaced as House Speaker by Hayes following a floor vote.
1983-84
  • Senate President: Jalmar Kerttula (D)
  • House Speaker: Joe Hayes (R)
1985-86
  • Senate President: Don Bennett (R)
  • House Speaker: Ben Grussendorf (D)
1987-88
  • Senate President: Jan Faiks (R)
  • House Speaker: Ben Grussendorf (D)
1989-90
  • Senate President: Tim Kelly (R)
  • House Speaker: Sam Cotten (D)
1991-92
  • Senate President: Dick Eliason (R)
  • House Speaker: Ben Grussendorf (D)
1993-94
  • Senate President: Rick Halford (R)
  • House Speaker: Ramona Barnes (R)
1995-96
  • Senate President: Drue Pearce (R)
  • House Speaker: Gail Phillips (R)
1997-98
  • Senate President: Mike Miller (R)
  • House Speaker: Gail Phillips (R)
1999-2000
  • Senate President: Drue Pearce (R)
  • House Speaker: Brian Porter (R)
2001-2002
  • Senate President: Rick Halford (R)
  • House Speaker: Brian Porter (R)
2003-2004
  • Senate President: Gene Therriault (R)
  • House SpALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR eaker: Pete Kott (R)
2005- 2006
  • Senate President: Ben Stevens (R)
  • House SpALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR eaker: John Harris (R)
2007-2008
  • Senate President: Lyda Green (R)
  • House SpALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR eaker: John Harris (R)
2009-2010
  • Senate President: Gary Stevens (R)
  • House SpALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR eaker: Mike Chenault (R)
2011-2012
  • Senate President: Gary Stevens (R)
  • House SpALASKA OFFICIALS PRIOR eaker: not yet announced

Abbreviation Guide

  • (AIP) Alaskan Independence Party;
  • (D) Democrat;
  • (GPA) Green Party of Alaska;
  • (I) Independent;
  • (L) Libertarian;
  • (NP) No Party;
  • (R) Republican.

  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Alaska Division of Elections, 1996.
  • Source: State of Alaska Official Election Pamphlet, 2000 & 2002, Alaska Senate & House Journals.
  • Source: General Official Candidate List by District, 2002, 2004, 2006, & 2008, State of Alaska, Division of Elections.

The Alaska State Capitol was originally the Federal and Territorial Building, but under provisions of the Alaska Statehood Act (approved July 7, 1958), became the property of the State of Alaska.

Ground was broken September 18, 1929. The building was completed on February 2, 1931, and formally dedicated on February 14, 1931.

Funds appropriated by Congress in 1911 to pay for the purchase of the capitol site were sufficient to pay for only half of the block on which the building is located. The citizens of Juneau raised the additional money needed to buy the remainder of the site, and presented the property to the government. The site and completed building represent an investment of approximately $1 million. Construction is of brick-faced concrete. The lower facade is faced with Indiana limestone. The four columns of the portico and the interior trim are of light and dark Token marble from quarries at Tokeen, Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.

The building provided the first permanent chambers for the Alaska Legislature. The chambers of the State Senate and House of Representatives are located on the second floor. The executive office of the governor, on the third floor, was remodeled in 1967 to give it a modern Alaskan atmosphere. Double doors with hand-carved panels of Alaskan scenes separate the office from the third floor. In 1980, under the direction of the legislature, extensive restoration of certain areas of the building was accomplished.

Fifth floor finance committee rooms were refurbished in the style of the early years of the House Speaker's conference room on the second floor has received similar treatment, and the ground floor entrance hall has been returned to its original decorative design.

  • Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.


Regional Native Profit Corporations
Ahtna, Inc.

  • P.O. Box 649,Glennallen 99588
  • 1-907-822-3476. Fax: 1-907-822-3495

Aleut Corporation

  • 4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 300, Anchorage 99503
  • 1-907-561-4300. Fax: 1-907-563-4328

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

  • P.O. Box 129, Barrow 99723
  • 1-907-852-8633. Fax: 1-907-852-5733

Bering Straits Native Corporation

  • P.O. Box 1008, Nome 99762
  • 1-907-443-5252. Fax: 1-907-443-2985

Bristol Bay Native Corporation

  • 111 West 16th Avenue, Suite 400, Anchorage, AK 99501
  • 1-907-278-3602. Fax: 1-907-276-3924

Calista Corporation

  • 301 Calista Ct, Anchorage AK, 99518
  • 1-907-279-5516. Fax: 1-907-272-5060

Chugach Alaska Corporation

  • 3800 Centerpoint Drive, Ste. 700, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
  • 1-907-563-8866. Fax: 1-907-563-8402

Cook Inlet Region, Inc.

  • P.O. Box 93330, Anchorage 99509
  • 1-907-274-8638. Fax: 1-907-279-8836

Doyon, Limited

  • 1 Doyon Place, Suite 300, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
  • 1-907-459-2000. Fax: 907-459-2060

Koniag, Inc.

  • 4300 "B" St., Suite 407, Anchorage 99503
  • 1-907-561-2668. Fax: 1-907-562-5258

NANA Corporation

  • P.O. Box 49. Kotzebue 99752
  • 1-907-442-3301. Fax: 1-907-442-4161

Sealaska Corporation

  • One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 400, Juneau, AK 99801
  • 1-907-586-1512. Fax: 1-907-586-2304

Thirteenth Regional Corporation

  • 631 Strander Blvd., Suite B, Seattle, WA 98188
  • 1-206-575-6229. Fax: 1-206-575-6283


Regional Native Non-profit Organizations
Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association

  • 1131 East International Airport Rd., Anchorage Alaska 99518
  • 1-907-276-2700. Fax: 1-907-279-4351

Arctic Slope Native Association

  • P.O. Box 1232, 7000 Uula St., Barrow, Alaska 99723
  • 1-907-852-2762.

Association of Village Council Presidents

  • PO Box 219, Bethel, Alaska 99559
  • 1-907-543-7300. Fax: 1-907-543-3596

Bristol Bay Native Association

  • P.O. Box 310, Dillingham, AK 99576
  • 1-907-842-5257

Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indians Tribes of Alaska*

  • 320 W. Willoughby Avenue, Suite 300, Juneau, AK 99801
  • 1-907-586-1432

Chugachmiut

  • 1840 South Bragaw, Suite 110, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • 1-907-562-4155. Fax: 1-907-563-2891

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.

  • 3600 San Jeronimo Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
  • 1-907-793-3600. Fax: 1-907-793-3422

Copper River Native Association

  • Mile 104 Richardson Hwy, Drawer H, Copper Center, AK 99573
  • 1-907-822-5241. Fax: 1-907-822-8801

Fairbanks Native Association

  • 605 Hughes Avenue, Suite 100, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
  • 1-907-452-1648. Fax: 1-907-456-4148

Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope

  • 6986 Ahmaogak Street, Barrow, AK 99723
  • 1-907-852-4227. Fax: 1-907-852-4246

Kawerak, Incorporated

  • 500 & 504 Seppala Drive, Nome, Alaska 99762
  • 1-907-443-5231. Fax 1-907-443-4452

Kodiak Area Native Association

  • 3449 East Rezanof Drive, Kodiak, Alaska 99615
  • 1-907-486-9800. Fax: 907-486-9898

Maniilaq Association

  • P.O. Box 256, Kotzebue, AK 99752
  • 1-907-442-3311

Southcentral Foundation

  • 4501 Diplomacy Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • 1-907-729-4955

Tanana Chiefs Conference, Inc.

  • 122 First Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99701
  • 1-907-452-8251

Thirteenth Regional Heritage Foundation

  • 1156 Industry Drive, Seattle, WA 98188
  • 1-206-575-6229
  • Tanana Chiefs Conference. Inc.

U.S. District Court, District of Alaska

Fitzgerald, James Martin U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by Gerald Ford on December 2, 1974, to a seat vacated by Raymond E. Plummer; Confirmed by the Senate on December 18, 1974, and received commission on December 20, 1974. Served as chief judge, 1984-1989. Assumed senior status on January 1, 1989.

Hodge, Walter Hartman U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 14, 1960, to a new seat created by 72 Stat. 339, 348; Confirmed by the Senate on February 18, 1960, and received commission on February 19, 1960. Served as chief judge, 1961-1966. Assumed senior status on August 30, 1966. Service terminated on July 12, 1975, due to death.

Holland, H[ezekiah] Russel U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by Ronald Reagan on March 6, 1984, to a seat vacated by James A. von der Heydt; Confirmed by the Senate on March 26, 1984, and received commission on July 16, 1984. Served as chief judge, 1989-1995.

Kleinfeld, Andrew Jay U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by Ronald Reagan on March 26, 1986, to a new seat created by 98 Stat. 333; Confirmed by the Senate on May 14, 1986, and received commission on May 15, 1986. Service terminated on October 7, 1991, due to appointment to another judicial position (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit).

Plummer, Raymond Eugene U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by John F. Kennedy on August 28, 1961, to a new seat created by 75 Stat. 80; Confirmed by the Senate on September 8, 1961, and received commission on September 18, 1961. Served as chief judge, 1966-1973. Assumed senior status on June 1, 1973. Service terminated on December 26, 1987, due to death.

Sedwick, John W. U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by George Bush on July 2, 1992, to a seat vacated by Andrew J. Kleinfeld; Confirmed by the Senate on October 8, 1992, and received commission on October 9, 1992.

Singleton, James Keith Jr. U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by George Bush on January 24, 1990, to a seat vacated by James M. Fitzgerald; Confirmed by the Senate on May 11, 1990, and received commission on May 14, 1990. Served as chief judge, 1995-present.

von der Heydt, James Arnold U. S. District Court, District of Alaska Nominated by Lyndon B. Johnson on September 9, 1966, to a seat vacated by Walter H. Hodge; Confirmed by the Senate on October 20, 1966, and received commission on November 3, 1966. Served as chief judge, 1973-1984. Assumed senior status on July 15, 1984.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Kleinfeld, Andrew Jay U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Nominated by George Bush on May 23, 1991, to a seat vacated by Alfred Theodore Goodwin; Confirmed by the Senate on September 12, 1991, and received commission on September 16, 1991. Prior to this was a U.S. District Court Judge, District of Alaska.

Addresses

Address for all District of Alaska judges: U.S. District Court Federal Building, U.S. Courthouse 222 W. 7th Ave. Anchorage, AK 99513

Address for 9th Circuit Court of Appeals: Chambers of Andrew J. Kleinfeld Courthouse Square 250 Cushman St., Suite 3A FairbanksReturn to Top, AK 99701

  • Source: Federal Judicial Center and the Fairbanks Office of Clerk of Court, District Court, District of Alaska.

Including 2012, the total earnings of an individual who has received a dividend every year since they were first distributed in 1982 is $34,243.41.

Sources:

  • Decriminalized - 1975
  • Recriminalized 11/7/90
  • Some medical uses of marijuana are currently allowed. See AS 17.37 "Medical Uses of Marijuana" in the Alaska Statutes
  • Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 11/7/90
  • Alaska Statutes

The United States Armed Forces have played an important role in Alaska since the territory was purchased from Russia in 1867. For two decades following the purchase, the Army, Navy, And Revenue Service, the forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard, provided what little government there was. Military personnel mapped much of the interior, enforced rudimentary law and order during the Gold Rush and, shortly after the turn of the century, managed the installation and operation of Alaska's first major communications system, the Washington-Alaska Military Cable System (WAMCATS).

The military's most lasting impact, in terms of the economy and population, began to be felt at the outset of World War II. Military sponsored construction of docks, airfields, warehouses, and bases were under way well before the December 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. In early 1942, the Japanese occupation of Attu and Kiska, two far western islands of the Aleutian chain, spurred the military establishment to initiate the construction of the Alaska-Canadian (Alcan) highway. Before the year was out, a pioneer road was completed that tied Alaska to the "lower 48" states. The subsequent military buildup in the territory was enormous.

The Cold War, and Alaska's proximity to the Soviet Union, made Alaska a key outpost in the defense of North America. Early warning radar and communication systems were erected across Alaska, and key military bases were enlarged. The Department of Defense and United States Coast Guard continue to maintain about 30 manned installations across the state as well as a large number of unmanned stations such as radio relay sites.

In 1960, some 32,860 persons worked in the military, fully 33% of the labor force. The diversification of the Alaskan economy with its corresponding growth of civilian employment has resulted in the proportional decline in military employment. By 2009, active military personnel numbered 24,449 with 33,897 dependents. Alaska's active military composed 4.7% of the total labor force.

Alaska's military population is centered around the state's two largest cities. Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks and Fort Richardson near Anchorage are the state's major Army posts. The Air Force's major bases are Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks and Elmendorf Air Force Base outside of Anchorage.

Alaska is host to the Alaskan Air Command (ACC) with headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base. The Air Force also operates 13 long range radar stations located around the state.

The principal Army unit in Alaska is the 172nd Infantry Brigade (Separate), headquartered at Fort Wainwright.

Headquarters for the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are located in Anchorage with principal units in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kotzebue, Bethel, and Juneau.

The 17th Coast Guard District, with headquarters in Juneau, encompasses Alaska's 33,000 miles of coastline. The Coast Guard's major responsibilities include enforcing the 200-mile fisheries conservation zone, search and rescue, and maintenance of navigation aids.

The Navy and Marine Corps have commands and detachments in Anchorage and on Adak Island in the Aleutians.

For more information, see Military under the "Government & Law" section on SLED!

  • Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Alaskan Command Comptroller, Elmendorf Air Force Base Alaska.
  • *Population figures provided by Research & Analysis, Alaska Department of Labor.
  • Alaska Population Overview: 1999 Estimates

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Health, Disabilities & Social Services

Check with State of Alaska, Section of Epidemiology: Anchorage -- 1-907-269-8000 for current statistics. Or, see Epidemiology Bulletins - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

In Alaska: (800) 478-2437
If Calling Out of State: (907) 269-8000

Native & Indigenous Peoples


Regional Native Profit Corporations
Ahtna, Inc.

  • P.O. Box 649,Glennallen 99588
  • 1-907-822-3476. Fax: 1-907-822-3495

Aleut Corporation

  • 4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 300, Anchorage 99503
  • 1-907-561-4300. Fax: 1-907-563-4328

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

  • P.O. Box 129, Barrow 99723
  • 1-907-852-8633. Fax: 1-907-852-5733

Bering Straits Native Corporation

  • P.O. Box 1008, Nome 99762
  • 1-907-443-5252. Fax: 1-907-443-2985

Bristol Bay Native Corporation

  • 111 West 16th Avenue, Suite 400, Anchorage, AK 99501
  • 1-907-278-3602. Fax: 1-907-276-3924

Calista Corporation

  • 301 Calista Ct, Anchorage AK, 99518
  • 1-907-279-5516. Fax: 1-907-272-5060

Chugach Alaska Corporation

  • 3800 Centerpoint Drive, Ste. 700, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
  • 1-907-563-8866. Fax: 1-907-563-8402

Cook Inlet Region, Inc.

  • P.O. Box 93330, Anchorage 99509
  • 1-907-274-8638. Fax: 1-907-279-8836

Doyon, Limited

  • 1 Doyon Place, Suite 300, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
  • 1-907-459-2000. Fax: 907-459-2060

Koniag, Inc.

  • 4300 "B" St., Suite 407, Anchorage 99503
  • 1-907-561-2668. Fax: 1-907-562-5258

NANA Corporation

  • P.O. Box 49. Kotzebue 99752
  • 1-907-442-3301. Fax: 1-907-442-4161

Sealaska Corporation

  • One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 400, Juneau, AK 99801
  • 1-907-586-1512. Fax: 1-907-586-2304

Thirteenth Regional Corporation

  • 631 Strander Blvd., Suite B, Seattle, WA 98188
  • 1-206-575-6229. Fax: 1-206-575-6283


Regional Native Non-profit Organizations
Aleutian/Pribilof Islands Association

  • 1131 East International Airport Rd., Anchorage Alaska 99518
  • 1-907-276-2700. Fax: 1-907-279-4351

Arctic Slope Native Association

  • P.O. Box 1232, 7000 Uula St., Barrow, Alaska 99723
  • 1-907-852-2762.

Association of Village Council Presidents

  • PO Box 219, Bethel, Alaska 99559
  • 1-907-543-7300. Fax: 1-907-543-3596

Bristol Bay Native Association

  • P.O. Box 310, Dillingham, AK 99576
  • 1-907-842-5257

Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indians Tribes of Alaska*

  • 320 W. Willoughby Avenue, Suite 300, Juneau, AK 99801
  • 1-907-586-1432

Chugachmiut

  • 1840 South Bragaw, Suite 110, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • 1-907-562-4155. Fax: 1-907-563-2891

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.

  • 3600 San Jeronimo Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
  • 1-907-793-3600. Fax: 1-907-793-3422

Copper River Native Association

  • Mile 104 Richardson Hwy, Drawer H, Copper Center, AK 99573
  • 1-907-822-5241. Fax: 1-907-822-8801

Fairbanks Native Association

  • 605 Hughes Avenue, Suite 100, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
  • 1-907-452-1648. Fax: 1-907-456-4148

Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope

  • 6986 Ahmaogak Street, Barrow, AK 99723
  • 1-907-852-4227. Fax: 1-907-852-4246

Kawerak, Incorporated

  • 500 & 504 Seppala Drive, Nome, Alaska 99762
  • 1-907-443-5231. Fax 1-907-443-4452

Kodiak Area Native Association

  • 3449 East Rezanof Drive, Kodiak, Alaska 99615
  • 1-907-486-9800. Fax: 907-486-9898

Maniilaq Association

  • P.O. Box 256, Kotzebue, AK 99752
  • 1-907-442-3311

Southcentral Foundation

  • 4501 Diplomacy Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508
  • 1-907-729-4955

Tanana Chiefs Conference, Inc.

  • 122 First Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99701
  • 1-907-452-8251

Thirteenth Regional Heritage Foundation

  • 1156 Industry Drive, Seattle, WA 98188
  • 1-206-575-6229
  • Tanana Chiefs Conference. Inc.
  • The authority for questions about Alaskan Native languages is the Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
  • Dictionaries of the major Alaskan languages are available in larger public libraries and university libraries in Alaska.

The term Alaska Native, referring to Alaska's original inhabitants, includes Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups who differ from each other in ethnic origin, language and culture. These original settlers dispersed across the Alaska land mass and occupied geographically and climatically distinct regions.

Information collected on Alaska Native groups by the federal census is only partially useful since all identification of race and tribe is self identification. There is substantial non-reporting of tribal information, and intermarriage among persons of different Native and tribal backgrounds and between Natives and non-Natives is common. Until the 2000 census collected data separately on Eskimos Aleuts, and American Indians, but did not distinguish between Yup'ik and Inupiat Eskimos, or among the many different linguistic groups of Alaskan Athabaskans. According to the ISER Status of Alaska Natives, 2004, there are a number of other challenges to answering questions about Alaska Native Population:

"The 2000 census was the first time people had the choice of describing themselves as Alaska Native and some other race. So if "Alaska Native" is defined to include people who said they were Alaska Native and some other race-and we think that's the right definition to use-then the figures from the 2000 census are not directly comparable with those from previous censuses. Essentially, more people would be counted as Alaska Natives under the new definition than would have been under the old definition."

AND

"Also in the 2000 census, people who described themselves as Alaska Native or American Indian could specify a tribe to which they belonged. Some Alaska Natives designated tribes and others didn't; some designated more than one tribe. Those and other complications make it impossible to use the tribal data to add up to a precise count of Alaska Natives.

And finally, people who didn't describe their race as either Alaska Native or American Indian could still report having some Native American ancestry. About 14,500 people in Alaska said they had some Native American ancestry but that their race wasn't Native American. We did not include these people in our analysis."

With those cautions, the 2000 Census offered some figures for Alaska Native population and their tribal backgrounds. All numbers provided are for people who reported belonging to a single tribe. In 2000, 107,682 people reported being of Alaska Native decent. Of these people, 3,999 designated themselves as Aleut, 12,337 as Athabascan, 15,221 as Inupiat, 9,343 as Tlingit/Haida, 1,362 as Tsimshian, and 20,968 as Yupik.

A key element in the preservation of Native cultures centers around the preservation of Native Languages: Yupik - 16,630, Inupik - 6,150, Eskimo - 2,080, Athapascan - 1,210, Tlingit - 1,055, Aleut - 900, Haida - 115, Tsimshian - 115. Additional information about Alaska Native Languages can be found at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Native Language Center languages. According to census figures, these are the most common self-reported Alaska Native.

YEAR.............NATIVES AS PERCENT OF TOTAL POPULATION

  • 1930.............50.6
  • 1940.............44.8
  • 1950.............26.3
  • 1960.............19.0
  • 1970.............16.9
  • 1980.............16.0
  • 1990.............15.6
  • 2000*.............15.6
  • 2004*.............12.9
  • 2010*.............15.6
  • 2012*………….14.8%

*Beginning in 2000, the Census Bureau allowed people to designate one or more races, making direct comparisons with earlier data difficult.

Sources:

  • 2004 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights for Alaska via American Factfinder
  • Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights for Alaska via American Factfinder
  • Native Population -- Chapter 2 of Status of Alaska Natives 2004 from the Institute of Social and Economic Research Language Spoken at Home for Counties and Tracts in Alaska: 2000
  • U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Special Tabulation 224
  • DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 Data Set: Census 2000 American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File (AIANSF) - Sample Data
  • The Makeup of Alaska's Population. Alaska Economic Trends, June 2011, p. 10.

The community of Knik has 3,529 people of Alaska Native heritage only and an additional 3,053 people with Alaska Native heritage in combination for a total of 6,582. This is followed by the community of Bethel with 3,953 with Alaska Native heritage alone, and an additional 381 in combination for a total of 4,334.

Anchorage, with a total population of 291,829 is the largest population center in Alaska and has an estimated 36,186 Alaska Native residents alone or in combination.

Source : U.S. Census, 2010.

  • Table 4. Ten Places with the Highest Percentage of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2010
  • Table 6. American Indian Reservations and Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas with Largest American Indian and Alaska Native Populations: 2010.

The Alaska Territorial Legislature offered Alaskan citizenship to Native people with a 1915 enabling act, but U.S. citizenship was extended to Alaskan Native peoples in 1924 by the U.S. Congress.

  • Alaska: A History of the 49th State, 2nd ed., by Claus-M. Naske and Herman E. Slotnick. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1987
News & Weather

Alaska weather is influenced the year round by storms that occur in the North Pacific Ocean. These storms follow various favored paths which are determined by upper level winds often referred to as the jet stream or the long wave pattern in the atmosphere.

The usual progression of these storms is to form and intensify just east of the low pressure trough along the east coast of Asia, then along a path from lower Kamchatka to the Aleutians and into the Gulf of Alaska. Some storms cross the Aleutians and move northward through the Bering Sea and into the Arctic. Storms in the Gulf of Alaska either dissipate there or move easterly across southern Alaska into Canada. This storm track is farther north in summer than in winter. Also, winter storms are more intense.

A second major influence on Alaska's weather is Arctic air masses which form and intensify over Alaska, Northern Canada, or Siberia. These air masses show up as large high pressure areas that sometimes persist for weeks at a time over Interior Alaska. A well-developed cold air mass will sometimes cross the mountains between Yukon Territory and Southeast Alaska. More often though, the primary effect of this persistent high pressure area is limited to mainland Alaska west of the 141-degree boundary between Canada and Alaska. The high pressure area forms only in winter.

There is a large amount of variability is Alaska's weather from one year to the next. The primary cause of the variability is a shift in the path of the jet stream. When the amplitude of the long waves which determine the path of the jet stream becomes large, Alaska is likely to have a warm, wet winter and a cool, wet summer. Cold winters and warm summers are more likely to occur when the storm track along the jet stream is well south of the state. Then the primary influence on the climate is the net gain or loss of heat from the surface. In summer, 24 hours of daylight and lots of solar radiation make for mild conditions with few clouds. However, in winter there is a new heat loss which produces extremely low temperatures which may persist for weeks at a time.

  • James Wise, Alaska State Climatologist, Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center, 707 A Street, Anchorage 99501.
  • Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.

Alaska is a large state with extreme temperature and daylight variations.

A : The Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska maintains a weather site for tourists.

B : For historical weather patterns you may find the information in Alaska Climate Summaries.

  • March 27, 1964, 5:36 p.m. for approximately 4 minutes.
  • Magnitude estimated: 9.2 on the Richter Scale.
Reference Desk
  • Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Copyright for Alaska's Flag song is held by the University of Alaska. For further information, contact the University Archivist at the Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6808.
  • Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development - Division of Tourism
  • Alaska Division of Community and Business Development.
  • Alaska Climate Research Center

Miscellaneous Facts About Alaska from The Alaska Almanac 32nd ed.

  • Motto: "North to the Future." Adopted in 1967.
  • State Capitol: Juneau.
  • Purchased from Russia by U.S.: 1867.
  • Organized as a territory: 1912.
  • Entered the union: Jan. 3, 1959; 49th state.
  • Number of boroughs: 18 as of July 1, 2009. *
  • Governor: Sean Parnell
  • Land area: 570,373.6 square miles, or about 365 million acres -- largest state in the union; one-fifth the size of the "Lower 48." *
  • State population: 710,231 from Census 2010. *
  • Largest municipality in population: Anchorage, 277,000 as of 2010.*
  • Largest city in area: Sitka with 4,710 square miles, 1816 square miles of which are water. Juneau is second, with an area of 3,108 square miles.
  • Typical Alaskan: According to Census 2000 figures, the median age for males is 32.4 years and 32.5 for females. About 52 percent of Alaskans are male.*
  • Average household income: $60,853 in 1989, fifth highest in the nation
  • Median household income: $68,460 in 2008. *
  • Per capita personal income: $44,039 in 2008, eighth highest in the nation. * (Up 7 places from 2007). **
  • Area per person: There is .85 square mile for each resident of Alaska. New York has .003 square miles per resident.
  • Highest/Lowest temperatures: Highest 100 degrees F at Fort Yukon, 1915. Lowest -80 degrees at Prospect Creek Camp, 1971.
  • Heaviest annual snowfall: 974.5 inches at Thompson Pass near Valdez, during the winter of 1952-53.
  • Tallest mountain: Mount McKinley, 20,320 feet.
  • World's largest producer of zinc: Red Dog Mine
  • Largest natural freshwater lake: Iliamna, 1,150 square miles.
  • "Nessie" of the North: The legendary giant trout of Lake Iliamna.
  • Number of stores that sell fishing licenses: 1,200.
  • Longest river: Yukon, 1,875 miles in Alaska, rest in Canada, 2,298 miles total.
  • Largest glacier: Bering Glacier complex, 2,250 square miles, which includes the Bagley Icefield.
  • Oldest building: Erskine House/Baranof Museum in Kodiak, built by the Russians as a storehouse, probably between 1793 and 1796.
  • Farthest north supermarket: In Barrow, constructed on stilts to prevent central heating from thawing permafrost; cost, $4 million.
  • World's largest and busiest seaplane base: Lake Hood in Anchorage, accommodating more than 800 takeoffs and landings on a peak summer day; record peak set in 1984 for one day, 1,200. Weekdays see an average of 500 landings and takeoffs.
  • Largest state park in the nation: Wood-Tikchik State Park with 1.6 million acres of wilderness.
  • State bird: Willow ptarmigan, a small grouse.
  • State fish: King Salmon.
  • State flower: Forget-me-not.
  • State fossil: Woolly mammoth.
  • State insect: Four-spot skimmer dragonfly.
  • State gem: Jade.
  • Land mammal: Moose, Alces alces.
  • Marine mammal: Bowhead whale.
  • State mineral: Gold, adopted in 1968.
  • State sport: Dog mushing.
  • State tree: Sitka spruce.
  • World's largest concentration of bald eagles: Along the Chilkat River, just north of Haines. As many as 3,000 bald eagles can gather here in fall and winter months for late salmon runs.
  • America's biggest earthquake: Occurred March 27, 1964, Good Friday. Measures 8.9 on the Richter scale (since revised upward to 9.2 -- the strongest ever recorded in North America), the earthquake devastated much of Southcentral Alaska.
  • Second greatest tide range in North America: 38.9 feet near Anchorage in Upper Cook Inlet.
  • Tourism: Alaska ranks fifth among the top-ten destinations for "fantasy vacations." and second among U.S. destinations.***
  • Attractions: The top most-visited attractions in Alaska are natural/scenic: the Inside Passage, Portage Glacier and Mendenhall Glacier.
  • Barrels per day: On June 11, 1996, BP's Milne Field on Alaska's North Slope reached a production of 50,000 barrels of oil per day. When it reaches an expected production of 65,000 barrels/day late in 1996, it will be among the top 10 producing fields in the U.S.
  • Sources:
  • * State pf Alaska, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis.
  • ** Alaska Economic Trends, Feb 2010.
  • *** New York Times poll.
  • The Alaska Almanac: Facts About Alaska. Anchorage: Alaska Northwest Books, 2009.

Alaska Flag and Song

The design for the Alaska flag was selected in a contest for Alaska students in grades seven through twelve in 1926. The winning design, submitted by 13-year-old Benny Benson, consisted of eight gold stars on a field of blue, representing the Big Dipper and the North Star.The Alaska Legislature adopted the design as the official flag for the Territory of Alaska on May 2, 1927. Later the drafters of the Alaska constitution stipulated that the territorial flag would become the official flag of the State of Alaska. The words to the song Alaska's Flag were written by Marie Drake, a long-time employee of the Alaska Department of Education, and first appeared as a poem in 1935. The poem was set to music composed by Elinor Dusenbury, whose husband was commander of Chilkoot Barracks at Haines from 1933-1936. The Territorial Legislature adopted Alaska's Flag as Alaska's official song in 1955.

Permission is not needed to reproduce the image of the state flag. However, The University of Alaska holds the copyright to the song. For further information, contact the University of Alaska Foundation, 910 Yukon Drive, Suite 206, PO Box 755080, Fairbanks, AK 99775.

phone: 907.450.8030fax: 907.450.8031Email: sdfnd@alaska.edu

State Motto

The official motto of the State of Alaska, North to the Future, was adopted by the legislature during Alaska's Purchase Centennial in 1967. Created by veteran newsman Richard Peter, the motto is meant to represent Alaska as a country of promise. According to Peter, the motto "...is a reminder that beyond the horizon of urban clutter there is a Great Land beneath our flag that can provide a new tomorrow for this century's 'huddled masses yearning to be free.' "

The Seal of the State of Alaska

When Congress provided for civil government for Alaska in 1884, the first governor designed, and had made, a seal for the District of Alaska. The seal was used until 1910 when Governor Walter E. Clark decided the design placed too much emphasis on icebergs, northern lights and Native people. The governor had a draftsman in Juneau sketch a new seal that incorporated the original features, plus symbols for mining, agriculture, fisheries, fur seal rookeries, and a railroad.The design was approved by the acting attorney general of the United States. A more refined drawing was made by an unknown person in the Department of the Interior, and the new seal was ready for use early in 1911. When Alaska changed from district to territorial status in 1912, the new designation was substituted on the seal.The Constitution of the State of Alaska provides that the territorial seal shall be the seal for the State of Alaska, with the word "territory" changed to that of "state." The seal is 2 1/8 inches in diameter.

The seal of the State of Alaska may be used only with the permission of the Lt. Governor.

Other State Symbols

  • The State Bird, the Willow Ptarmigan, was adopted by the Territorial Legislature in 1955. It is a small (15-17 inches), arctic grouse that lives among willows and on open tundra and muskeg. Plumage is brown in summer, changing to white in winter. The Willow Ptarmigan is common in much of Alaska.
  • The State Fish - King Salmon (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1962)
  • The State Flower, the wild Forget-Me-Not, was adopted by the Territorial Legislature in 1917. It is a perennial that is found throughout Alaska, from Hyder to the Arctic Coast, and west to the Aleutians.
  • The State Fossil - Woolly Mammoth (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1986)
  • The State Gem - Jade (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1968)
  • The State Insect - Four-spot skimmer dragonfly (adopted by the Alaska Legistlature in 1995)
  • The State Land Mammal - Moose (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1998)
  • The State Marine Mammal - Bowhead Whale (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1983)
  • The State Mineral - Gold (adopted by the Alaska Legislature on 1968)
  • The State Sport - Dog mushing (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1972)
  • The State Tree - Sitka spruce (adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1962)
  • Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • Alaska Almanac, 25th ed., 2001.
  • Alaska Day - October 18. Anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory and the raising of the U.S. flag at Sitka in 1867.
  • Seward's Day - Last Monday in March. Commemorates the signing of the treaty by which the United States bought Alaska from Russia.
  • Source: Alaska Blue Book 1993-94, 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • *Alaxsxaq - object toward which the action of the sea is directed.
  • **Alyeska - an Aleut term which means "The Great Land."
  • *Alaska Journal, Summer 1978, p. 199.
  • **Alaska Blue Book 1993-1994. 11th ed., Juneau, Department of Education, Division of State Libraries, Archives & Museums.
  • 656,424 sq. mi. including 86,051 sq. mi. of water surface : Columbia encyclopedia, 5th ed., 1993.
    • Total area: Land area 570,374 sq. mi.: World almanac, 1995.
  • 591,004 sq. mi. : Compton's encyclopedia, 1993, 1996; New book of knowledge, 1995; World book encyclopedia, 1988, 1992.
  • 587,878 sq. mi. : Milepost, 1996-97; World book encyclopedia, 1995.
  • 586,422 sq. mi. : Cambridge fact finder, 1993.
  • 586,412 sq. mi. : Alaska almanac, 19th ed.; Alaska blue book, 1993-94, 11th ed.; Webster's new geographical dictionary, 1980.
  • 586,400 sq. mi. : Columbia Lippincott gazeteer of the world, 1962; Dictionary of Alaska place names, 1971; Random House dictionary of the English language, 2d. ed., 1987.
  • 570,374 sq mi. : Information please almanac, 1996; World almanac, 1995.
  • 570,373.6 sq. mi. : Alaska almanac, 20th ed.
  • The actual driving distance of the Alaska Highway (from Mile 0 at Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Historical Mile1422 in Delta Junction, Alaska) is 1,390 miles. Over the years, road reconstruction has shortened the length of the highway from its original length of 1,422 miles.
  • An additional stretch of 98 miles of the Richardson Highway that runs from Delta Junction to Fairbanks, Alaska, is usually added to the full length of the trip.
  • The MILEPOST; Augusta, GA, Morris Communications Corp., 2001.