Two major events occurred in America on the same day one hundred years apart. Each holds a place in history books as events that helped shape our nation. One represents a division while the other an addition.
While you may be familiar with the Mason-Dixon Line—the line that divides the North and the South, how much do you know about its settlement?
The Mason-Dixon line was very symbolic in the minds of the people of the young nation struggling over slavery and the names of the two surveyors who created it will evermore be associated with that struggle and its geographic association. The Mason-Dixon Survey initiated in 1763, when Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon landed the monumental task of resolving an 80-year land dispute.
Although the Mason-Dixon line is most commonly associated with the division between the northern and southern (free and slave, respectively) states during the 1800s and American Civil War-era, the line was delineated in the mid-1700s to settle a property dispute. The two surveyors who mapped the line, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, will always be known for their famous boundary. Read MORE...
|Alaska's size compared with|
the 48 contiguous states.
The 49th state to join the Union, Alaska, was purchased from Russia on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million. Some 591,000 square miles of land—a territory twice the size of Texas and equal to nearly a fifth of the continental United States—was purchased at the ridiculously low rate of less than 2¢ an acre. On October 18 in 1867, the American flag flew for the first time in Alaska, marking the formal transfer of this massive northern territory from Russia to the United States. The purchase raised some eyebrows with a few ill-informed critics mocking the purchase.
But after a year of squabbling, Congress approved the purchase, and Russia formally transferred control of the vast northern land to the United States. Within a few decades, Alaska would prove to be an amazing treasure trove of natural resources from gold to oil, proving Seward's wisdom and exposing the shortsightedness of those who had once poked fun at the purchase.