Alaska Wild and Free

Nick Harris


Welcome to Alaska


Eskimos first lived in Alaska more than 7,000 years ago. Today, about 16% of all Alaskans are Eskimos. These people are really three groups: the Inupiaq, the Yupik, and the Alutiiq. These groups are not very different, but they speak different languages.

Alaska was a part of Russia for a long time. Then in 1867, the United States bought it from Russia for $7.2 million. Many people thought this was too much money. But in the late 1840s, the Americans found gold in Alaska. Then in 1901, they found some oil there. Later, in the 1950s, they found lots of oil.

Alaska is a very big place. It's the biggest state - more than twice as big as Texas, the next biggest state. But not many people live there. Over 8 million people live in New York City, but only 730,000 live in all of Alaska. And about half of them live in the city of Anchorage.

Alaska has many mountains and glaciers. A glacier is like a river of ice. The Matanuska glacier is one of the most beautiful.

The winters are freezing with a lot of snow storms. In winter, it is also very dark because there is no sun in the far northern part of the state, and in other areas, it comes out for only two to seven hours every day.