This time of year I can’t help but feel a tinge of wanderlust creeping into my being as the weather starts to change and I emerge from my hibernation. One place I’ve always been curious about is Alaska. Though we often think about how cold and snowy Alaska is, I can’t help but be curious about the beautiful nature preserved in that remote part of the world. I look forward to visiting all fifty states throughout my lifetime, especially Alaska. Did you know that on this date in 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars? There was a lot of skepticism at the time, calling it “Seward’s folly,” and the press referred to it as “Seward’s icebox” and Andrews Johnson’s “polar bear garden.” (Library of Congress) Frankly, I’m thankful for that purchase 148 years ago and look forward to exploring the polar bear garden someday, hopefully soon.
Now, enough about far off states, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled report of the Reading Room’s Latest Additions.