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Alaska State Stamps

© 1999 WriteLine. Forget-me-not
State Flower:

Forget-Me-Not


© 1999 WriteLine. Willow Ptarmigan
State Bird:

Ptarmigan


© 1999 WriteLine. Sitka Spruce
State Tree:

Sitka Spruce


© 1999 WriteLine. Alaska flag
State Flag:

In 1927 Alaska held a contest to seek ideas for a flag design that would represent the newly independent territory. A 13-year-old seventh grader named Benny Benson entered this flag design and won the contest. Benson chose the blue in the flag for the blue Forget-Me-Not (now the State flower).The gold is for the 1880s Gold rush in Alaska. The stars, the Big Dipper and the North Star, show how close Alaska comes to heaven.

© 1999 WriteLine. William Henry Seward
Famous Person:

William Henry Seward

On the night of April 14, 1865 Secretary of State William Seward was at home in bed recovering from a carriage accident when Lewis Powell (a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth who had assassinated President Lincoln that same night ), broke into Seward's home and brutally stabbed him in the throat. Remarkably, Seward survived the attack and continued serving as Secretary of State under Lincoln's successor, President Johnson.

Seward wasn't born in Alaska; he didn't live in Alaska, but he kept Alaska alive in Congress as an issue worth pursuing and a land worth purchasing. For six years Seward dogged Congress to purchase Alaska from the Russians who had used the land for fur trading and now considered the area "furred out." It was an economic liability that the Russian Czar wanted to turn into cold cash. In 1867 Seward finally succeeded in presenting an agreeable package before Congress which gave Alaska to America for only two cents an acre. Seward convinced Congress that Alaska had hidden treasures as yet untapped. But few Americans were convinced of promised riches and derisively labeled the purchase "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Icebox." Ironically, that "icebox" provides an abundance of timber, oil and natural gas; the fuel that has kept Americans warm for decades.

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