Alaska celebrates 58th year as a state

Happy birthday, Alaska.

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On this day, 58 years ago, Alaska officially became the nation’s 49th state. On January third, 1959 — six months after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act — the Last Frontier officially became part of the union.

Prior to that, for 92 years, Alaska had been a U-S territory, after being purchased from Russia in 1867 for a total of just $7.2 million, or about two cents per acre.