|Meaning||Formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States|
|Observances||Parade in Sitka, paid vacation for Alaska State employees|
|Next time||October 18, 2021 ( 2021-10 )|
|Related to||Seward’s Day|
Alaska Day ( russo : Alaska Day ) is a public holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, noted October 18 is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Alaska Territory from Russia to the United States, which took place on Friday, October 18, 1867.
On March 30, 1867, the United States bought Alaska from the Russian Empire for the sum of $ 7.2 million. It wasn’t until October of that year that the commissioners arrived in Sitka and the formal relocation was arranged. The formal flag-raising took place at Fort Sitka on October 18, 1867. The original ceremony included 250 US Army soldiers, who marched to the governor’s house in “Castle Hill”. Here the Russian soldiers lowered the Russian flag and the US flag was raised.
The official account of the affair presented by General Lovell Rousseau to Secretary of State William H. Seward:
… The troops, promptly formed, were, precisely at half past three, brought to a ‘present armament’, the signal given all’Ossipee … who was supposed to fire the salute, and the ceremony was started by lowering the Russian flag … The flag of the United States … was properly attached and began its rise, hoisted by my private secretary [e figlio], George Lovell Rousseau, and again greetings were fired as before, the Russian water battery starting. The flag was so hoisted that the instant it reached its place, the ratio of the big gun dell’Ossipee reverberated from the surrounding mountains … Captain Pestchouroff came up and said: ‘General Rousseau, by authority of His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, I am moving the Alaska Territory to the United States’ and in a few words I have taken note of the ‘acceptance of the transfer and the ceremony is over ”.
Due to the 11-hour time difference between Sitka and St. Petersburg and the fact that Russia still used the Julian calendar, the date is sometimes referred to as Saturday, October 7.
The Alaska Territorial Legislature declared Alaska Day a vacation in 1917. It is a paid vacation for state employees. The official celebration is held in Sitka, where schools release students early, many businesses close for the day, and events such as a parade and flag-raising reenactment are held.
It is not to be confused with Seward’s Day, the last Monday in March, which commemorates the signing of the Alaskan Purchase Treaty in which the United States bought Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867.
Alaska Day is protested by some Alaskan natives who see the holiday as a celebration of the violence used to take their land away. Native organizers claim that the land was not owned by Russia to sell in the first place, so the sale of the land to the United States is illegitimate.