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Lt. Governor to Visit Home of Alaska Purchase Seeks Alaskans’ Ideas for Anniversary Celebrations


February 10, 2012, Anchorage, AK – Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell is looking for ideas on how Alaska should celebrate upcoming anniversaries, and is starting his search where Russia turned Alaska over to the U.S. 150 years ago – Sitka.

The lieutenant governor, who chairs the Alaska Historical Commission (AHC), will travel there Saturday to spend time with city leaders, state historians, and Sitka residents.

“We have many important milestones in our state to recall and study,” Lt. Gov. Treadwell said.  “Anniversaries are an opportunity to look at how far we’ve come together as a community and be proud of the tremendous role we’ve played in national – and global – history.

“An Alaska Purchase celebration can show that the myth of ‘Seward’s Folly’ is over.  As we mark these events, we hope to inspire the study of our history and culture in our schools, spur tourism, and support our parks, museums and libraries.”

The 1967 centennial of the Alaska Purchase, made in 1867, was marked by events and exhibits, and construction or refurbishment of at least 42 civic building projects around the state, including Pioneer Park (Alaskaland) in Fairbanks, the Anchorage Museum of History of Art, the Alaska State Museum, and the Harrigan Centennial Hall in Sitka.                                               

The state anniversary celebration effort is headed up by the Alaska Historical Commission (AHC), a 9-member state citizens’ board chaired by Lt. Gov. Treadwell, which advises the governor and legislature on matters of importance regarding the state’s history and archaeology.

AHC is creating a list of anniversaries between 2012 and 2017 and seeks Alaskans’ ideas for that list, as well as suggestions and comments on ways to celebrate.  The Commission has begun to gather ideas already on two specific events:  the 150th anniversary of America’s purchase of Alaska from Russia in 2017-18, and the 25th anniversary of opening the border between Alaska and Russia and the end of the Cold War in 2013-14. 

The list and description of the anniversaries can be found at http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/oha/histcomm/ahc.htm. Comments may be sent to the AHC at oha@alaska.net. The public comment period is open until March 8, 2012. The anniversaries will be on the agenda for discussion at the AHC’s meeting scheduled for March 27-28 in Juneau.


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