Thursday, July 1, 2010

Interesting Alaska Statehood Act Facts.

Here's a question - What do You really know about the State of Alaska, and their long effort to become a first rate citizenry? Probably not much, even though the Senate approved the Alaska Statehood Act just 52 years ago yesterday. I consider that to be a travesty, because until I decided to research the history of Alaska yesterday afternoon, I too was as ignorant and as dumbfounded as most Americans are about our 49th state.

So here are some Interesting Alaska Statehood Act Facts:

Fact One - Alaska was American Property for over nine decades before becoming a State.

Fact Two - Republicans initially favored Hawaii Statehood over Alaska Statehood, due to the fact Hawaii was a Republican stronghold, while Alaska was a Democrat stronghold. How things have changed.

Fact Three - Southern Democrats opposed Alaskan Statehood out of a well placed fear that 2 more pro-civil rights Senators would be seated.

Fact Four - Alaskan Delegates convened for the Winter of 1955-1956 to draft Alaska's State Constitution, which some still consider to be one of the greatest Constitution'a ever to have been written.

Fact Five - On April 24th, 1956: Out of 25,000+ voters, 68% of Alaskans voted to ratify their State Constitution, along with the infamous Tennessee Plan.

Fact Six - The Tennessee Plan was simply a tactic Territories used to force Congress to accept their push for Statehood status. It involved electing two Senators, and the appropriate amount of Representatives, and than sending them to Washington to demand to be seated. This method failed for Alaska.

Fact Seven - President Dwight Eisenhower finally called for Alaskan Statehood during his 1958 State-Of-The-Union speech before Congress.

Fact Eight - On May 28th, 1958: The House of Representatives passed the Alaska Statehood Act (differing versions were passed in previous years) by a margin of 210-166.

Fact Nine - On June 30th, 1958: The United States Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act by a margin of 64-20. It should be noted that all previous Alaska Statehood Legislative movements failed in the Senate.

Fact Ten - On July 7th, 1958: President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into effect, all that is needed for Statehood is a confirmation from Alaska voters, and for their official government to be elected.

Fact Eleven - On August 26, 1958: Alaska Voters officially approve joining the Union.

Fact Twelve - On January 3rd, 1959: President Dwight Eisenhower signed the official declaration which made Alaska the 49th state.

There's your history lesson for the day.

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1 comment:

Fenway_Nation said...

Besides trying to obstruct civil-rights legislation, apparently Robrt Byrd was the last living Senator who voted on Alaska and Hawaii's statehood....