Alaska celebrates Seward’s Day on the 153rd anniversary of the Alaska Purchase

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) On Monday, March 30, Alaska celebrated Seward's Day -- a state holiday commemorating the United States' 1867 purchase of what would become the State of Alaska. This year marks the 153rd anniversary of the treaty signing.

Seward's Day is celebrated on the last Monday in March. (Photo courtesty of the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society)

Negotiated by then-Secretary of State William Seward for about $7.2 million, the Alaska Purchase was considered by many to be a waste of money, earning it the nickname Seward's Folly.

According to Ron Inouye, Board Member of the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society, Seward’s Day is a day to recognize people who made a contribution to Alaska’s history.

“I would hope that maybe on this day people would google Seward and take a look at his career... take a look at Alaska history and see why our relationship to Russia is a very, very interesting one -- totally different from any other state. And we should really celebrate that difference because that’s why we have a lot of the issues that are unique amongst the other states,” Inouye said.

He went on to say, “I think it’s really interesting that we really don’t know very much about the relationship that even the United States had with Alaska at that point -- and how once the purchase was made, it really is very significant. We’re unique among all the states at having this really interesting relationship with Russia. And I don’t think we who live here really know much about it unless you go and study that Russia-America period.”

Seward’s Day is celebrated on the last Monday of March. This year the holiday coincides with the actual anniversary for the first time since 2015.

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