Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cool Things About Alaska

Since my characters seem to come from all over the place and usually places I've visited, I decided to have one of my characters come from a place I've never been to.  Alaska.  What a beautiful spot for this character to live in, don't you think?

Thus, I did a bit of initial research on Alaska.

This is what I found (references below--and yes, I like Wikipedia).  Most of the following is from

  • Nickname(s): The Last Frontier; Land of the Midnight Sun

  • Motto: North to the Future

  • Tree: Sitka Spruce

  • Flower: Forget-me-not

  • Bird: Willow Ptarmigan

  • Date of Statehood: January 3, 1959

  • Capital: Juneau

  • Population: 710,231 (2010)

  • Size: 664,988 square miles

  • Largest of United States: The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska more than 420 times.

  • Alaska is bounded by the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean to the north; Canada's Yukon Territory and British Columbia province to the east; the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south; the Bering Strait and the Bering Sea to the west; and the Chukchi Sea to the northwest.

  • People have inhabited Alaska since 10,000 BCE. A land bridge used to extend from Siberia to Alaska. Migrants followed herds of animals across it. Of these migrant groups, the Athabaskans, Aleuts, Inuit, Yupik, Tlingit and Haida remain in Alaska.

  • Russia controlled most of the Alaska territory from the late 1700s until 1867

  • Purchased by U.S. Secretary of State William Seward in 1867 for $7.2 million, or about two cents an acre. Called Seward's Folly. Critics thought the land had nothing to offer.

  • Gold found in Alaska in 1890s. Many prospectors and settlers flocked to the area.

  • During World War II, the Japanese occupied two Alaskan islands, Attu and Kiska, for 15 months.

  • Alaska contains 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States. At 20,320 feet, Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America.

  • Alaska has roughly 5,000 earthquakes every year. In March of 1964, the strongest earthquake recorded in North America occurred in Prince William Sound with a magnitude of 9.2.

  • The most powerful volcanic explosion of the 20th century occurred in 1912 when Novarupta Volcano erupted, creating the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park.

  • The temperature dropped to a record -80 degrees Fahrenheit at Prospect Creek Camp in 1971.

  • The Trans-Alaska pipeline was built between 1974 and 1977 after the 1973 oil crisis caused a sharp rise in oil prices in the United States.

I also wanted to put a town west of Anchorage.  But there are no real roads to the location.  People have to fly.  Thus, my character is from Anchorage.

Here's a map of Alaska, and you can see where Anchorage is.  It's in the lower center.  Juneau is on the right, in the part that's on the main nation of Canada.

Reference:  University of Texas, Austin Library

Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
Prince William Sound
GoogleMaps of Alaska
Alaska ( from the History Channel)
University of Texas, Austin Library

Have a good day!
SweetTale Books

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