Japan Invades the Aleutian Islands of Alaska

On June 7, 1942, Japanese soldiers began a nearly year-long occupation of the American island of Attu, the last piece of U.S. soil to fall to enemy forces in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska during World War II.  The day before, 500 Japanese marines had gone ashore at Kiska Island, Alaska, as a separate campaign concurrent with the Japanese plan for the Battle of Midway. … Continue reading Japan Invades the Aleutian Islands of Alaska

James Cook and Alaska

On January 3, 1959, the huge Territory of Alaska was admitted to the United States as the nation’s 49th state. Last year, I wrote an overview of the history of the region illustrated by U.S. Scott #800, released in 1937 as part of a series commemorating territorial possessions. The only other Alaska-related stamp currently in my collection is a first day cover of Scott #1732, … Continue reading James Cook and Alaska

United States #800 (1937)

Alaska Statehood

On January 3, 1959, the Territory of Alaska was admitted to the United States as its 49th state. The 663,268 square miles (1,717,856 km²) of land had been purchased from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. Alaska … Continue reading Alaska Statehood