Thursday June 30th is Anniversary of Alaska Statehood Act

June 30, 1958 – Date of Senate passage of Alaska Statehood Act
July 7, 1958 – FDR signs Statehood Act
Jan. 3, 1959 – Alaska becomes 49th state

We're In Alaska Statehood passed by U.S. Senate

This  “We’re In” photo was taken on June 30, 1958 the day the U.S. Senate passed The Alaska Statehood Act.

The famous photo, above, was taken the next day after the paper was flown to Washington, D.C.

The Statehood Act didn’t go into effect immediately–Alaska actually became a state in January 1959.

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Today (June 30) is the anniversary of the day in 1958 when the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act which brought Alaska into the Union. The measure was signed by President Eisenhower on July 7, 1958 and Alaska became the 49th state on Jan. 3, 1959.

You’ve probably seen the famous statehood photo. The one of the big two-word headline: “We’re In.” That headline was printed on the cover of the Anchorage paper of that day.

Well, here’s an interesting tidbit you may not know about that photo—the one with the officials holding the newspaper.

While the headline was printed on June 30th, the photo itself was taken on July 1st—in Washington, D.C.

That could be arranged in this day of high speed jets and special courier services. But back in 1958, that was some feat.

Special editions of the historic paper were flown to Washington, D.C. by jet bomber for distribution to Washington officials.

There’s a photo in the Alaska Digital Archives of President Eisenhower and Alaska Territorial Governor Mike Stepovich holding a copy of that paper in Washington, D.C. on July 1st. The day after it was printed in Anchorage.

This week on The LegHead Report we’ll be remembering the signing of the Alaska Statehood Act with stories from our archives about statehood.

And speaking of Archives, the Alaska Digital Archives has a copy of the “We’re In” photo as well as thousands of others. The digital archives also has audio and video covering all periods of Alaska history.

Plan to spend a lot of time there if you go. There is so much to look at and enjoy.

Alaska Digital Archives