Seward's Day


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Seward's Day

Last Monday in March
When William Henry Seward, secretary of state for President Andrew Johnson, signed the treaty authorizing the purchase of Alaska from Czarist Russia for $7 million on March 30, 1867, most Americans thought he was crazy. They called it "Seward's folly," "Seward's icebox," and "Johnson's polar bear garden." But public opinion quickly changed when gold was discovered in the region.
Since that time, Alaska's natural resources have paid back the initial investment many times over. Its natural gas, coal, and oil reserves, in addition to its seafood and lumber industries, have proved to be far more valuable than its gold. Unfortunately, Seward did not live to see his foresight commemorated as a legal holiday in the state of Alaska. The purchase of Alaska is now widely regarded as the crowning achievement of both William Seward and President Johnson. ( See Alaska Day.)
CONTACTS:
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540
202-707-5000; fax: 202-707-2076
www.loc.gov
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 243
AnnivHol-2000, p. 54
BkHolWrld-1986, Mar 30
DictDays-1988, p. 109
References in periodicals archive ?
If we overlook this polemic on "neglected" genius, however, Kairoff's study helpfully illuminates the social circumstances under which a "lady" might have composed poetry in Seward's day.
Tomorrow is Seward's Day, observing the purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867 by Secretary of State William Seward.
Whether you are a historian at heart, or simply like to know why you get a day off from work, Seward's Day celebrates an interesting event.