The signing by President Eisenhower on January 3, 1959, of the proclamation admitting Alaska as the forty-ninth state of the Union, marked the formal conclusion of the longest and most difficult struggle for political recognition and status that any state has fought since the beginning of the Republic. This occasion was all the more notable because the statehood effort, by comparison, was the briefest and the only fully successful phase of a continuing ninety-year effort to provide essential and appropriate governmental institutions for the great northwestern continental area transferred to the United States by Russia pursuant to the 1867 Treaty of Purchase.
Fred A. Seaton,
Alaska’s Struggle for Statehood,
39 Neb. L. Rev. 253
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol39/iss2/2