Portal:Alaska

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Alaska (/əˈlæskə/; Russian: Аляска "Alyaska") is an exclave and a state of the United States of America located west of Canada in the extreme northwest portion of North America. A state of superlatives, it has the largest area, the highest mountain and greatest difference in elevation, the most extensive wilderness, and the most lakes, shoreline, and wetlands of any state. Conversely, it has the lowest population density.

The Secretary of the Interior purchased from the Czar of Russia its interest in the area that became Alaska on October 18, 1867, for $7,200,000 in gold bullion. The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized territory in 1912. Alaska became the 49th state of the United States on January 3, 1959.

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Ted Stevens being recognized by the Alaska Federation of Natives in 2007.

Theodore Fulton "Ted" Stevens, Sr. (November 18, 1923 – August 9, 2010) was a United States Senator from Alaska, serving from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009, and thus the longest-serving Republican senator in history. He was President pro tempore in the 108th and 109th Congresses from January 3, 2003, to January 3, 2007, and the third senator to hold the title of President pro tempore emeritus.

Stevens served for six decades in the American public sector, beginning with his service in World War II. In the 1950s, he held senior positions in the Eisenhower Interior Department. He played key roles in legislation that shaped Alaska's economic and social development, including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and the Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. He was also known for his sponsorship of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which resulted in the establishment of the United States Olympic Committee.

In 2008, Stevens was embroiled in a federal corruption trial as he ran for re-election to the Senate. He was found guilty, and eight days later was narrowly defeated at the polls. However, prior to sentencing, the indictment was dismissed—effectively vacating the conviction—when a Justice Department probe found evidence of gross prosecutorial misconduct.

Stevens died on August 9, 2010, when a de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter he and several others were flying in crashed while en route to a private fishing lodge.

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State facts

  • Total area: 663,268 mi2
    • Land: 571,936 mi2
    • Water: 91,332 mi2
  • Highest elevation: 20,310 ft (Denali)
  • Population 741,894 (2016 est)
  • Admission to the Union: January 3, 1959 (49th)

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