by Paul

Alaska is the biggest state in the United States. It is located in the Pacific Ocean directly north of New Zealand. It is 173 east longitude and between 60 and 130 latitude. Three miles from Alaska is an island named Big Diomede Island, which belongs to Russia. On the other side, there is an island named Little Diomede Island that belongs to the United States. 50 miles south of Alaska is the United States, and 50 miles Northwest is Russia. Alaska borders Canada on its east side.

In the winter, the weather can go down to -10 to 0F but, in the summer, it can go up to 70 to 75F.

Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. It's 589,757 square miles! But, Alaska has the fewest number of people in the U.S.. It only has 400,481 people! It sounds like a lot, but for a big state like Alaska, it's a tiny amount. Its rank in size is #1.

There are many cities in Alaska. Juneau is the capital. An important city in Alaska is Nome. Gold was found there and that started a gold rush. The biggest city is Anchorage. Another major city is Sitka. It was Alaska's first capitol.

Alaska is very well known for its famous mountains. Mt. McKinley is in Alaska and is the highest point in North America.

It is 20,320 feet tall! Mt. Katmai had one of the biggest volcanic explosions in history on June 6. It was heard 1,000 miles away. There are many other landforms like Mt. Juneau, Matanuska Valley and much more.

The state bird is the Willow Ptarmigan and the state tree is the Sitka Spruce. The Forget-me-not is the state flower. There are many fish in Alaska, but the state fish is the King Salmon. The state marine mammal is the BowHead Whale and the state fossil is the Woolly Mammoth.

There are a variety of things you can see and do in Alaska. Dogsledding is a very popular sport in Alaska, and so is fishing. Blanket toss shows, dances, and parades are also very popular in Alaska.

Alaska's history is very interesting. It was discovered by Siberian hunters and became the 49th state on January 3, 1867. In 1791, 1792 and 1794 a famous explorer named George Vancouver explored Alaska's coast. In the year 1899 gold was discovered in Alaska. At first, the U.S. didn't want Alaska to become a state, but then it was decided that it would and was sold to the U.S. for 2 cents an acre, which came out to be a large amount because of Alaska's great size.

Alaska is very rich in natural resources. Lakes, forests, fish, game animal and also soil are all natural resources found in Alaska. There are also below ground natural resources found in Alaska. There is gold, oil and cranium. There is also coal silver and copper. Some other ones are natural gasses, uranium, tungsten and finally jade.

Alaska grows and raises many things. Potatoes, oats, hay, cabbage, barley and many other things are all things that Alaska grows. Alaska raises many things such as chickens, hogs, cows, dairy cows and sheep.

It's strange, but manufacturing accounts for 3 percent of the growth of the state! Fish products are one of the major manufactured goods in the state. Almost any where you go you can buy fish products. Furs are important, too. Paper, lumber, wood, cement blocks and concrete blocks are all things that Alaska manufactures.

Benny Benson is a very important Alaskan. He was the designer of the Alaskan flag. He was only 13 when he entered a contest to select the design of the new flag. He won and his design was made into a flag. When he grew up, he became an airplane mechanic and died in 1972. Jay Hammond was also a very important Alaskan. He was the governor of Alaska from 1974 to 1982. He helped protect the Permanent Fund. The Permanent Fund controls money from oil.

Alaska is a very exciting and interesting state. It has a history unlike any other state. It has brave people and interesting animals. All together, Alaska is a great state and a very interesting one, too.