October 18, 1867
On the Pipeline – 149 Years Ago: the US purchased Alaska. Though some called it Seward’s Folly it would prove in time to hold valuable resources.
The United States formally took possession of Alaska after purchasing the 586,412 square miles of territory from Russia for $7.2 million. Even though it was called Seward’s Folly by some, in time, the area’s vast resources, including gold and oil, were found, and Alaska was folly no more. In 1967, North America’s largest oil field was discovered at Prudhoe Bay, and oil fields are still being discovered today. Over the years, Alaska has been one of the most important oil and gas producing regions in the United States, and much of its production traveled through the famed Trans-Alaska Pipeline.