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Commemoration of Alaska’s Purchase Begins in Washington, D.C. Next Week

Leaders gather to showcase Alaska’s history, heritage


March 24, 2017 JUNEAU – Celebration of Alaska’s purchase from Russia, known as the Treaty of Cession, will be held in Washington D.C. next week and feature a number of Alaska leaders. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the document that transferred ownership of Alaska to the United States.  Lt. Governor Byron Mallott is the Chair of the Alaska Historical Commission, a nine-member commission that has been heavily involved in organizing events around the 150th anniversary.


First Lady Donna Walker will join other Alaska leaders at events commemorating the Treaty of Cession next week. Alaska Airlines has generously donated the First Lady’s round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C. for the festivities. A luncheon at the National Press Club, a State Department reception, and a chamber music concert by Alaska’s Wild Shore New Music at the National Archives Museum are all made possible by generous contributions from Alaskans.


“2017 is an important milestone in the history of the Last Frontier,” First Lady Walker said. “I’m thrilled to be able to be in our nation’s capital, and participate in a series of activities with our congressional leaders to recognize, remember, and commemorate this portion of Alaska’s story.”


The events will take place on March 30, and kick-off a nearly year-long commemoration of the official purchase of Alaska from Russia orchestrated by Secretary of State William H. Seward. Various events will be held during the year throughout Alaska, and will culminate in a special ceremony in Sitka on Alaska Day, October 18th.


Last year, Governor Walker proclaimed 2017 a “Year of History and Heritage”, encouraging all Alaskans to use the occasion of this 150th anniversary to study, teach, reflect on our past, and apply its lessons to a brighter, more inclusive future.


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