Stately Knowledge: Facts about the United States


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Abbreviation AK
Source: United States Postal Service – Abbreviations
Capital Juneau
Population 710,231
Source: Resident Population Data – 2010 Census
Governor Sean Parnell (Republican, to December 2014)
Entered the Union January 3, 1959
as the 49th state
Motto North to the Future
Nicknames The Last Frontier, The Land of the Midnight Sun
Flower Forget-me-not
Bird Willow Ptarmigan
Song “Alaska’s Flag”
Professional Sports Teams No NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS, or NHL teams.
(sports listing policy)
Origin of Name From the Aleut word meaning “great land,” or “that which the sea breaks against”
Major Industries Oil, Tourism, Fishing
Source: Alaska.com – Business in Alaska
Historical Sites Sitka National Historical Park Totem Pole Collection
Points of Interest Denali National Park, Mendenhall Glacier in North Tongass National Forest, and the active volcanoes in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes at the Katmai National Park
Bordering States Alaska does not border any U.S. states. However, it does border the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, as well as Canada, specifically Canada’s Yukon territory, and the Canadian province of British Columbia!
Flag Alaska's flag

Follow these links to read articles about Alaska from Encyclopedias and Almanacs:

Official State Links

Other State Links

  • Things To Do in Alaska
    ThingsToDo.com is an online guide to information about Alaska’s entertainment, recreation, and travel, and includes the state’s interesting facts, famous people, and special events.
  • Roadside America: Alaska Attractions
    Roadside America describes itself as an online guide to offbeat attractions. This site offers reviews of “weird sites along the highway” in Alaska.
  • AlaskaOne.com: Travel Planning Information for Alaska
    This interactive internet travel site offers comprehensive online Alaska travel information.
  • FedStats: MapStat: United States: Alaska
    Fast access to statistics from more than 100 federal agencies on “economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more” in Alaska.
  • The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
    Learn more about what some call “The Last Great Race on Earth,” the Alaskan Iditarod, the world’s most famous dog sled race, which covers more than 1,150 miles!
  • The Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race
    Known for its excellent care of sled dogs, this incredible race of a 1,000 miles follows a historic trail between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon territory.
  • The state flag was designed by a 13-year-old student named Benny Benson from Chignik, Alaska. The design was chosen from 142 entrants and was adopted as the territorial flag in 1927. See University of Alaska – UA Journey – Benny Benson.
  • One-fifth the size of the United States, Alaska has an area of 571,951 square miles and measures 2,400 miles east to west and 1,420 miles north to south. This makes it larger than Texas and the next three largest states combined. In fact, if Alaska was cut into two states, each state would still be larger than Texas! See States Ranked by Size and Population.
  • The tallest mountain in North America is Mt. McKinleySee Elevations and Distances in the United States – online edition – U.S. Geological Survey.
  • There are at least two world-famous dog sled races that occur in Alaska: the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race. The Iditarod is the longest and most famous. It starts off in Anchorange (south central Alaska) and finishes over 1,150 miles later in Nome, Alaska on the coast of the Bering Sea. The Yukon Quest follows the Yukon river and runs 1,000 miles between Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon territory and Fairbanks, Alaska. Which city is the start and which city is the end of the race alternates each year. Both races are run outdoors in temperatures well below freezing. Look under Other State Links above for links to more information about these races.

Some Famous People from this State