Located in more than half a million square kilometers, the largest state of the United States - Alaska is one of the most sparsely populated regions of the USA. In the late 20th century, the population of this state was less than 700 tho usand people.
Separated from the rest of the states by the territory of Canada, this exclave of USA is famous for its natural resources. More than three million lakes, about three tho usand rivers, including the Yukon - the third by its length in the United States. About a hundred tho usand glaciers occupy about 5% of the surface of Alaska. 70 active volcanoes. And of course the peak of McKinley - the highest peak of the North American continent. Each year there are about five tho usand earthquakes, and about a tho usand of them reach the strength of 3.5 points on the Richter scale.
The primeval in its wild beauty nature of Alaska brings a lot of romantic images. «The Land of the Midnight Sun» (as the Americans call this land) is full of contrasts modern fully self-contained area. Abundant natural resources, including oil, gas and minerals, along with a huge variety of commercial fish make the state's economy stable, and contribute to the spread and development of the most modern technologies and means of communication. And nearby, even today you can see the hunters on sea mammals (trappers), who are traveling by dog sled.
The history of the peninsula is extremely interesting. About the existence of the "Great Land" (as word Alaska is translated from the Aleut) opposite the Chukotka Peninsula, it became known from the stories of explorer Vladimir Atlasov, yet in 1692. And since then, initially pioneers, then enterprising trappers and missionaries with varying success moved deep into the American continent, so learning Russian America.
In 1799, Pavel 1, by his decree created the Russian- American Company (RAC), having subordinated to it all other commercial companies. It was not a joint enterprise with the U.S. It was a Russian company in Russian America. Such centralization of power in the difficult economic and political conditions was not conducive to the rapid growth and development of such remote region. March 30, 1867 - U.S. State Secretary William Seward and the Russian charge d'affaires in Washington Eduard Stoeckl signed a sale agreement of Russian territories in Alaska for $ 7.2 million.
In 1848, a mining engineer, a lieutenant Peter Petrovich Doroshin found small gold deposit. But its work out has not begun, because of the unprofitableness. Later Doroshin published in the press the results of his research.
And at the turn of the 19th - 20th centuries, it became known about numerous gold veins in Alaska. Also has begun a gold rush. However, everyone in the world knows this period of history .
World War II made Alaska the most important U.S. strategic region. Brutal battles with the Japanese army were conducted for Dutch Harbor (Dutch Harbor, not to be confused with Pearl Harbor in Hawaii), Atta and Kiska cities, Aleutian Islands. American aid to the Soviet Union on the lend-lease was not just across the Atlantic Ocean. Just then was opened military transport air communication between Anchorage and Magadan. This route continues to exist even today as a line of passenger air transportation.
Despite the fact that Alaska is under the jurisdiction of the USA for more than a half century, the status of the state with the capital in Juneau, Alaska received only in 3 January 1959, and now Alaska is the youngest 49th state of the USA.
Video: "Hidden Alaska"