Alaska, the largest state in the U.S., holds an aura of mystery and allure with its stunning landscapes and unique culture. From its historical transactions to its natural wonders, Alaska is a treasure trove of interesting tales and trivia. Here, we explore seven fascinating facts about this magnificent state.
1. Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends:
Established in the mid-1970s, the Alaska Permanent Fund collects revenue from the state’s oil sales. Since the 1980s, every Alaskan resident receives an annual dividend payment, typically ranging from $900-$1000. Despite concerns, this unique initiative has not shown any adverse impact on employment in the state.
2. Operation Alaska – A Finnish Evacuation Plan:
During World War II, a proposal dubbed “Operation Alaska,” “Finalaska,” or “New Finland” was conceived to evacuate Finland’s entire population of 3.8 million to Alaska, though it never came to fruition.
3. Alaska’s Historical Purchase:
The United States acquired Alaska from Russia in 1867 for a sum comparable to what New York City paid for Central Park. Initially mocked as “Andrew Johnson’s polar bear garden,” Alaska has since proven to be a valuable acquisition.
4. The Birthplace of Ranch Dressing:
The popular Ranch dressing has its roots in Alaska. It was invented by a plumber striving to enhance his culinary offerings for his employees.
5. A Land of Lakes:
Alaska is home to over three million natural lakes, showcasing the state’s abundant natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.
6. Survival Trip Exam:
In Ketchikan, Alaska, 8th-grade students undergo a unique final science exam – a two-night survival trip on an uninhabited island, testing their practical skills and knowledge of the environment.
7. A One-Building Town:
There exists a small town in Alaska with a population of 272, where all residents live in the same 14-story building. This structure houses a school, hospital, church, and grocery store, creating a tightly-knit community.