The Northwestern state of Alaska is the largest state in the US and it was bought from Russia in the year 1867, at a price of $7.2 million. Although Alaska came under the banner of the USA in the year 1867, it was not granted statehood for nearly a hundred years. In fact, it was governed mainly by military wings posted in Alaska and was not officially a part of America until the year 1958. Alaskans were naturally discontented as the US government body which was supposed to govern them, was not only very far away, but also did not have any representatives of Alaska in it. To remedy the problematic situation, Alaskans wanted statehood and the first bill advocating the cause of Alaska’s statehood was introduced to the Congress by James Wickersham in 1916, but without much effect.
The constitution of Alaska was written in 1955 by fifty-five elected delegates in the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The delegates were all elected by the residents of Alaska and each one of them represented a region of the vast landmass. After the constitution was completed, in 1956 the residents of Alaska voted in favor of both approving the newly written constitution and the “Alaska-Tennessee Plan”. According to the “Alaska-Tennessee Plan”, two elected representatives of the Alaskan residents were to serve in the Senate and one other representative was to be a member of the House of Representatives. This plan was actually adopted because a plan very similar to this one had helped Tennessee attain statehood. As per the “Alaska-Tennessee Plan”, Ernest Gruening, William A. Egan and Ralph Rivers were elected to serve in the Senate and the House of Representatives respectively, but unfortunately the US Congress did not acknowledge them as they were not authorized elected delegates. However, the lack of recognition did not stop the three men from creating favorable conditions in the government to ultimately get the bill of Alaska’s statehood signed by President Eisenhower on 7th July, 1958. The official declaration of Alaska being added as the 49th state was made by Eisenhower on 3rd January, 1959.