The statehood story began in earnest in 1955 when a constitutional convention was held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. In 1956, Alaska voters approved the 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. We are pleased to present Governor William Egan on the front of Alaska's Commemorative Fifty Dollar Bill.