On March 30, 1867, the United States agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. A check for that amount was issued on August 1, 1868  and made payable to Edouard de Stoeckl, the Russian Minister to the United States. On January 3, 1959, Alaska, with a land mass larger than Texas, California  and Montana combined, became the 49th State in the Union. Alaska is thought of as America’s “Last Frontier” because of its distance from the lower 48 states and because of its rugged landscape and climate.