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Is Alaska the Center of the World?

When we think of Alaska, we immediately think about how cold it must be and how everything must be covered in snow. Here are the facts, the place is not barren, and not all areas in Alaska are covered with snow throughout the year. But is it the center of the world?

In the 1930s, General Billy Mitchell claimed that Alaska was the center of the world. The truth is, Anchorage, Alaska is almost equidistant from New York, Tokyo, and Frankfurt. It is also within 10 hours away from 90% of the industrialized world.

Traveling to Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage is a city in the state of Alaska located along the West Coast of the United States. As of 2020, Anchorage is the most populated city in the state. The city is equidistant to other major cities like New York, Tokyo, and Frankfurt through the polar route. That being said, if you’re planning a trip to Anchorage, your flight will be just within 10 hours.

Anchorage International Airport actually serves as a pit stop for global cargo carriers. The state-owned airport is equipped with three runways extending to about 10,600 feet, with all the necessary facilities. The federal government helps out in the maintenance of these facilities.

We are the busiest airport in the world that nothing comes from or goes to. We handle 500 wide-body cargo plane landings per week, mostly 747s. We’re the sixth-largest airport in the world in terms of cargo throughput and the second-largest in North America in terms of landed cargo weight.

John Parrott, Anchorage International’s Manager

(Source: Airport Improvement)

Alaska’s Location

People have lived in Alaska since 10,000 BCE. During that time, a land bridge extended from Siberia to the easter part of Alaska. Migrant tribes like the Athabaskans, Aleuts, Inuit, Yupik, Tlingit, and Haida followed herds of animals across it and remained in Alaska to this day. (Source: History)

General Billy Mitchell claimed that Alaska, in general, was the center of the world. At the same time, Alaskans assumed that they were near the edge.

Mitchell spent most of his military career in Alaska. He was part of the Signal Corps and was therefore well versed with territories. While he was looking at Alaska on the globe, he noticed that it was approximately equidistant from all the major urban centers.

Today, Anchorage International Airport is one of the busiest air cargo ports in the world. They handle cargo coming from Asia, Europe, and North America on a daily basis. The location of Alaska piqued the interest of the Russians back in the 1730s. (Source: AK History Course)

Russian Alaska

Russia colonized some parts of North America from 1732 to 1867. Grigory Shelikhov founded the first Russian colony in Alaska in 1784. Russia controlled most of the territory during this time.

Russia then sold Alaska in 1867 to US Secretary of State William Seward for $7.2 Million. This marked the end of Russian trade expansion along the Pacific Coast of North America. This was a crucial step in the rise of the United States. (Source: Office of the Historian)

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