Market Overview

This Day In Market History: Russia Sells Alaska To The United States

This Day In Market History: Russia Sells Alaska To The United States

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.

What Happened

On Oct. 18, 1867, the U.S. bought Alaska for $7.2 million, expanding its territory by about 20%.

What Else Was Going On In The World

Karl Marx had recently published “Das Kapital,” and a month later, the original stock ticker was to be invented.

US Expands Substantially

After half a year of negotiations, Russia sold its remote and nearly uninhabited North American property to the U.S. It took another 92 years for Alaska to gain official statehood.

Many Americans, believing the land useless, initially called the acquisition “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden” and other critical sobriquets. However, later gold discoveries inspired a change in sentiment.

Now, Alaska contributes 25% of U.S. oil and more than 50% of its seafood. In 2016, its seafood and natural resource industries drove a $4.4 billion export tally — the majority of which represented trade with China.

Still, Alaska ranks 40 among state exporters, and only four stocks represent the land’s economy.

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