WHEREAS, January 3, 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Alaska’s hard-won fight to become the 49th state of the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, in the years leading up to statehood, Alaska pioneers, with excellent foresight and keen understanding of the unique and immeasurable value of our territory and its resources, worked tirelessly to prepare Alaska for statehood, and prove Alaska’s worth to the nation; and
WHEREAS, in November 1955, 55 Alaskan pioneer men and women from throughout the state gathered in Fairbanks to create the state’s first constitution. The group made quick work of the formidable task, completing the framework and foundation for our state’s governance in just 75 days; and
WHEREAS, after years of preparation, and in the face of fierce opposition, statehood advocates made a final determined push to steer the Alaska Statehood Bill through Congress, and it was a success. On January 3, 1959, Alaska was granted statehood when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Bill into law; and
WHEREAS, looking back on the past 60 years it is clear that Alaska statehood was a prudent investment, which continues to produce returns for the nation. Alaska has contributed greatly to the wealth, security, and wellbeing of the United States by producing and exporting our natural resources, including wild Alaska seafood, timber, minerals, and oil, among others. Alaska also stands as a strategic military post of national significance, and we are deeply proud of, and grateful for, the contributions our men and women of the armed forces make to the security and wellbeing of our state and the nation; and
WHEREAS, we look back with gratitude on the diligence and determination of the Alaska pioneers who worked tirelessly to bring about statehood, and as we reflect, we look to today and tomorrow, at the vast opportunities on the forefront and carry forward the same Alaska pioneer spirit in seeking to apply Alaskan ingenuity, determinedness, and creativity to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim January 3, 2019 as:
the 60th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to reflect on all we have achieved as a State, and look to the great opportunities to come with the same zeal and determination of the pioneers of the past.
Dated: January 3, 2019