Alaska was occupied by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. The state is considered the entry point for the settlement of North America by way of the Bering land bridge. The Russians were the first Europeans to settle the area beginning in the 18th century, eventually establishing Russian America, which spanned most of the current state. The expense and difficulty of maintaining this distant possession prompted its sale to the U.S. in 1867 for US$7.2 million, or approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km2). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.
Alaska's indigenous population is proportionally the highest of any U.S. state, at over 15 percent. Close to two dozen native languages are spoken, and Alaskan Natives exercise considerable influence in local and state politics. (Full article...)
The News-Miner was founded as the Weekly Fairbanks News in 1903 by George M. Hill and assumed the News-Miner name in 1909, under editor William Fentress Thompson, when Zachary Hickman sold his newspaper, The Miner News, to the Fairbanks News. Thompson guided the paper through tough economic times as the gold near Fairbanks was mined out. During this period, the News-Miner absorbed Fairbanks' other newspapers and became the sole publication in Fairbanks. During the 1920s, the News-Miner experimented with aerial delivery to remote mining camps, becoming one of the first newspapers in the world to make regular deliveries by aircraft. After Thompson's death in 1926, former Fairbanks mayor Alfeld Hjalmar Nordale became the paper's editor.
In 1929, the News-Miner was purchased by Alaska industrialist Austin E. Lathrop, who operated it under a series of editors until 1950. In that year, the paper was purchased by Charles Willis Snedden, who proceeded on a course of modernization. Under Snedden's leadership, the News-Miner became one of the first papers in Alaska to print in color and survived a fire and the biggest flood in Fairbanks history. (Full article...)
St. Michael's Cathedral in Sitka. The original structure, built in 1848, burned in a fire on January 2, 1966. The cathedral was rebuilt from plans of the original structure and contains artifacts rescued from the fire.
Earthquake damage in Anchorage
Oil pooled on rocks on the shore of Prince William Sound after the oil spill.
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