The cold hard facts . . .
Alaska is rich in natural resources. Beneath its peaks of pure white frosting lie gold, silver, platinum, copper and oil. It's the biggest, the coldest, and the northernmost state in United States . . . and the only state that has polar bears, walrus, Eskimos, tundra, and ptarmigan (see State Stamp). It is also the only state that once belonged to Russia, just 55 miles away. Alaska played a key role in WWII by providing strategically placed US military bases which aided in the defense of America and her allies. In fact, the 1,510 mile long Alaska Highway was built in 1942 specifically for these military purposes. Today it is the most important land access to the Yukon Territory and Southern Alaska.
Name Origin: Aleut. ( "Greatland")
Area: 591,000 square miles
Statehood: January 3, 1959 (49th)
Nickname: The Land of the Midnight Sun
Motto: "North to the future"
Famous For: Eskimos, Polar Bears, Walrus, Salmon, King Crab, Gold Rush, Glaciers, Ice Fields, Lakes, Mountains and Forests