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On This Day In History: October 18th

The U.S Purchases Alaska
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On October 18th, 1867, the U.S grew significantly as Alaska was officially transferred over. This purchase was championed by the then Secretary of State William Henry Seward. Seward was a supporter of manifest destiny, and so he was eager when the Russian minister Eduard de Stoekl approached him with this offer. For the Russians, Alaska was more of a burden than a blessing—it was financially and logistically difficult to defend such a remote land. Therefore, they did not ask for much in compensation. Alaska sold for only 7.2 million dollars—less than 2 cents per acre.

 

The American public was not too thrilled about this purchase. While some embraced it as one step closer to the annexation of Canada, most viewed the land as worthless and the purchase as unnecessary. In fact, Alaska gained the nickname, “Seward’s Folly,” or more creatively, “Andrew Johnson’s [the then-President] Polar Bear Garden.” However, these attitudes were forgotten when gold was discovered in Alaska in 1899.

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About the Contributor
Kyra Arndt, Editor
Kyra Arndt is a senior in high school who goes by she/her pronouns. Her zodiac sign is Cancer (which explains a lot). Her interests include reading, writing, acting, crying, and pacing. She's involved in many activities, including cheerleading, one act play, speech, jazz band, spring play/musical, NHS, TNT, active minds, and student council. A fun fact about Kyra is that her biggest fear is wasting her potential. Her favorite local cave is Niagara Cave---no shade to Mystery Cave, though. The Disney princess she most admires is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Her favorite cat breed is the Sphynx cat (she likes them hairless). 
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