Alaska is the northernmost state, but part of the state (the Aleutian Islands) extends into the Eastern Hemisphere, making Alaska both the westernmost and the easternmost state in the US.
Date first discovered by Europeans: Some historians believe Russians settled Alaska as far back as the 17th century. Others believe that the crew of the Russian ship St. Gabriel were the first Europeans to have surveyed Alaska in 1732.
Date admitted to US: 1959, making it the 49th state admitted to the US
Largest City: Anchorage
Terrain: Alaska is mostly snow and ice in the north, but the south-eastern part of Alaska, which is closer to the rest of the US, is both warmer and wetter than the rest of the state.
Alaska not only has many mountains, but also many volcanoes including Mount Bona, the highest volcano in the United States (but not North America).
Area rank: 1st
Area: 663,388 sq mi
Population rank: 48th
Electoral Votes: 3
Alaska was purchased from Russia 1867, but was not admitted as a state until 1959. Many factors prevented Alaska from becoming a state earlier, including military, political, and corporate interests. At various times, even the people living in the territory didn’t want statehood, believing it would lead to an increase in taxes or too many people moving to the new state.
There are no roads that connect Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, to the North American Highway system despite the fact that Juneau lies on the mainland of Alaska. The terrain around the city is so rugged that everything is brought into the city via boats or planes.
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