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Alaska Statehood

President Eisenhower stated his support for the idea of statehood for Alaska early in his administration but also expressed concerns that needed to be overcome before that could occur. The greatest concern was the issue of national security; this was during the height of the Cold War and Alaska was on the border of the Soviet Union. Another concern was the amount of public land in the territory; 99% of the area was owned by the Federal government and a suitable compromise had to be arranged to transfer unreserved lands to the new state government.

After the annual introduction of various statehood bills H.R. 7999 passed in the House on May 28, 1958, passed in the Senate on June 30, 1958 and was signed into law by the President on July 7, 1958. On January 3, 1959 he signed the official proclamation admitting Alaska as the 49th state.

Letter, Barrie M. White Jr. to Sherman Adams regarding Operation Statehood and visit of Alaskans to Washington D.C., May 2, 1954 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 629, OF-147-D Alaska (2)]

Memo, Orme Lewis, Department of the Interior, to Thomas Stephens regarding Alaskan delegation, May 13, 1954 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 629, OF-147-D Alaska (2)]

List of Alaska delegation members for 5/13/54 meeting with the President [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 629, OF-147-D Alaska (2)]

Letter, Barrie M. White Jr. to the President regarding Operation Statehood, May 27, 1954 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 629, OF-147-D Alaska (2)]

Letter, Sen. Henry Jackson to the President regarding Alaska statehood and national security considerations, March 19, 1955 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D-1 Alaskan Statehood (2)]

Letter, response from the President to Sen. Henry Jackson, March 31, 1955 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D-1 Alaskan Statehood (2)]

Memo from Legislative Counsel to Wilton B. Persons regarding implementation of the administration's position on Alaska statehood, March 6, 1957 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D-1 Alaskan Statehood (2)]

Letter, Secretary of the Interior Fred A. Seaton to the President regarding Alaska statistics, June 24, 1958 [DDE's Papers as President, Administration Series, Box 32, Seaton, Fred (2)]

Statement of the Secretary of the Interior on Alaskan Statehood, July 1, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (4)]

Memo, Ted Stevens, Department of the Interior, to Sherman Adams regarding Alaska Statehood Act, July 4, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (4)]

Letter, the President to Gov. Michael Stepovich regarding H.R. 7999, July 7, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (4)]

Press release regarding President's signing of H.R. 7999, July 7, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF 147-D Alaska (4)]

Letter, Maurice Stans to the President regarding problems arising from Alaska Statehood, July 17, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 629, OF-147-D Alaska (4)]

Letter, the President to Maurice Stans regarding the Bureau of the Budget's role in Alaska statehood, July 18, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (4)]

Bulletin 59-1 Effects of Alaska Statehood, August 4, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (4)]

President Eisenhower's statements regarding statehood for Alaska and Hawaii, September 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D-1 Alaskan Statehood (1)]

Letter, Attorney General William Rogers to the President regarding proposed proclamation for Alaska statehood, December 31, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (5)]

Memo concerning the Time of Admission of the State of Alaska, December 31, 1958 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (5)]

Proclamation #3269 Admission of the State of Alaska, January 3, 1959 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF 147-D Alaska (5)]

List of persons attending the signing ceremony [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (5)]

Press release with remarks of the President on signing the proclamation admitting Alaska into the state of the union, and the executive order designating the new design for the U.S. flag, January 3, 1959 [DDE's Records as President, Official File, Box 630, OF-147-D Alaska (5)]

Images in the audiovisual collection

For additional information please see:

Alaska Statehood Subject Guide