Today in 1867, the United States formally purchased the land now known as Alaska.

Each year Alaska Day is a state holiday, though some Indigenous people prefer not to celebrate since nobody asked them whether the sale from Russia to the US should go through.

There’s one other thing worth knowing about that closing date: it gave Alaska a week with two Fridays.

Now I Know explained this one a few years back.

The two countries agreed on the $7.2 million sale of Alaska in March 1867, and spent the next few months finalizing the paperwork and setting up the finances and otherwise preparing for the transition.

Officials traveled to Sitka, Alaska, where they lowered the Russian flag and raised the American flag (eventually, as the Russian flag got stuck and they couldn’t get it down for some time).

It was a big change.

This vast area had been controlled by Russia, and now it was controlled by US military.

And when that change took place, the calendar changed too.

Russia was still using the old Julian calendar, which was 12 days behind the Gregorian calendar used by the United States.

So in Alaska, the day before the transition was Friday, October 6 and the day of the transition was Saturday, October 19.

Going from a Friday to a Saturday would have been fine, but there was one more change besides the calendar.

While Alaska was Russian, the International Date Line had been placed on the border between Alaska and Canada.

But when Alaska became part of the US, it started using an American time zone.

The Date Line moved west of Alaska and essentially pushed the calendar back a day.

So Alaska went from Friday, October 6 to Friday, October 18.

Sometimes the week really feels like it’s dragging on!

Today in 2019, a hard-hitting news story out of Biddeford, Maine.

After being dared to do so by his parents, Jake Arsenault asked his school if he could sit for his official student ID photo wearing a hot dog costume.

And the school said yes!

When the Day After Friday is Friday (Now I Know)

Seward’s Bargain: The Alaska Purchase from Russia (

Maine school allows student to wear hot dog costume for his ID picture

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Photo by Philanthropy Northwest via Flickr/Creative Commons