The graduates of Soviet geological universities used to invariably give a toast to Alexander II at their meetings. The awkward tradition had a simple explanation: he had sold Alaska and they would have not been sent to expeditions behind Chukotka anymore. Indeed, fortunately for geologists, Alaska was sold by Alexander the Liberator rather than by Katherine the Great who was “wrong” in the song by the Lyube band. After its liberal reforms, one of which was the abolition of serfdom, Russia was in dire need of money. They found a source overseas: the authorities of the American states agreed to buy Russian America – the territory discovered by Bering and developed by Russian settlers at a ridiculous price of about 2 cents per acre of land or $5 per square kilometer. However, as there was a lot of land, bank check No.9759 was issued to the sum of 7 million 200 thousand dollars. On October 18, 1867, the Russian flag was lowered and the American flag was hoisted in Alaska. The multi-million expenses on the “icebox” (the name of Alaska given by the opponents of this deal) caused displeasure among the Americans. Several years later, the audience rejoiced: they found gold in Alaska. The Klondike was shaken by the “gold rush.” Later, “rush” became regular: oil, gas, coal, copper, iron, zinc were found in Alaska. It turns out that there was work to do for geologists in Alaska, but it was done by American specialists.
Information provided by the Scientific Russia News Agency. Media outlet’s registration certificate: IA No. FS77-62580 issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 31, 2015.
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