Alaska Day, Oct. 18, is a State holiday, celebrating the anniversary of the transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the U.S. on Oct. 18, 1867. Alaska was purchased by the U.S. from the Russian Empire for $7.2 million on March 30,1867. Alaska’s territorial legislature adopted Alaska Day as a State holiday in 1917.
From the Executive Proclamation:
WHEREAS, on October 18,1867, Alaska officially became a United States Territory after the formal transfer from Russia; and
WHEREAS, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million in March of 1867, however the formal transfer did not officially occur until October of that same year; and
WHEREAS, this formal transfer was celebrated with a ceremonial flag-raising at Fort Sitka. 250 United States Army troops marched to the Governor’s house at “Castle Hill.” It was at this moment the United States flag took the place of the Russian flag; and
WHEREAS, this important moment in our state’s history laid the foundation for Alaska’s development as an official component of the United States of America which didn’t officially occur for another 92 years with Alaska gaining statehood in 1959; and
WHEREAS, Alaska Day, a significant piece of the Last Frontier’s history, serves as a valuable reminder of the rich history of our State. Alaska is a land of boundless opportunities, breathtaking landscape, and bountiful resources; and
WHEREAS, October 18, 2021 marks the 154th anniversary of the formal transfer of Alaska from the Russian Empire to the United States of America. Today is a day to celebrate the magnitude of which we have grown as a State and to be grateful for the abundance of resources, culture, and nature we have available to us.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim October 18, 2021 as ALASKA DAY in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to celebrate and acknowledge this milestone in Alaska’s history.
View the proclamation at Alaska Day – Mike Dunleavy