Alaska’s Commemorative Fifty Dollar Bill
Honoring Alaska’s Fifty Years of Statehood
1959–2009

The statehood story began in earnest in 1955 when a constitutional convention was held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. In 1956, Alaskan voters approved the new constitution. In 1958, Congress passed the Alaska Statehood Bill. Finally, on the third of January 1959, President Eisenhower signed the proclamation officially making Alaska the forty-ninth state.

Beginning with William Egan, all of Alaska’s dedicated governors have faced the challenge of harmonizing a multiplicity of cultures and widely-diverse interest groups. Drawing upon traditional Native cultures as well as modern technologies, Alaska has become a society as adamant to preserve its pristine wilderness as it is determined to keep pace with the twenty-first century.

Alaska Native heritages are diverse: Aleut, Alutiiq, Athabascan, Haida, Inupiat Eskimo, Tlingit, Tshimshian, and Yup’ik Eskimo. These Native cultures have had to adjust to the influx of explorers, traders, loggers, miners, oil companies, fishing industries, hunters, tourists, and over half a million non-Natives who now reside in the state acclaimed as America’s Last Frontier.

More than half of the nation’s parklands are located in Alaska. Denali National Park and Preserve is home to Mount McKinley (also called Mount Denali), the highest mountain (20,320 feet) in North America.

While Arctic weather is Alaska’s popular image, dramatically different climates characterize its 615,230 square miles. Rugged mountains, rain forests, ice-fields, grinding glaciers, grasslands, farmlands, tundra, rivers, and rushing streams are among Alaska’s multifaceted ecological conditions.

Commercial fishing, oil production and tourism are currently at the center of Alaska’s economy. Logging, mining, communications, construction, farming and government are also key employers. Complex issues are still being debated in regards to many of these industries. How well Alaska resolves these issues will determine the quality of its future.

The Grand Golden Jubilee celebrating 50 years of statehood is one all Alaskans will honor in testament to the joys and privileges of living in The Last Frontier.

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The Official Website of Alaska's Commemorative Fifty Dollar Bill www.AK50.com