AlaskaOn April 9, 1867 the United States bought the Alaskan Territory from the Russians for $7.2 million. The purchase of the territory added a total of 586,412 square miles to the United States. That is almost twice the size of Texas! And I thought things were always bigger here. However, Alaska did not become an official state of the United States until 1958. In later years, a large amount of oil reserves were discovered and are now transported from the North Slope of Alaska to the city Valdez, Alaska. About 400,000 barrels of crude oil are produced per day. This area is the highest yielding oil field in all of North America. To learn more about our 49th state please visit the Jacinto City Library.