On this day an expedition, led by Aleksei Chirikov and Vitus Bering, became the first Europeans to reach Alaska. (Bering would give his name to the narrow strait which separates North America from Russia.)
Probably most famous as the home of grizzly bears, polar bears, and Sarah Palin; Alaska enters written history as a colony of Russia - though indigenous people including the Inuit have been living and hunting there for well over ten thousand years.
America bought Aleksei from Russia on the penultimate day of March 1867, for the then-huge sum of over seven million dollars, a decision which was widely derided until folk found gold there.
Happy birthday, Alaska. May we recommend you join us in an Alaska Cocktail, which features in Harry Craddock's 1930 classic The Savoy Cocktail Book but with a splash of added sherry thanks to David Embury and his 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.