Calendar of 150th Anniversary Events

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Submit material to our Calendar of Events by using our online Event Submission Form. Please direct questions and concerns to 150th Project Director Anna Lee Hirschi at members@alaskahistoricalsociety.org.

 

 

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2017

January

January 30

Submissions due for “150 Reasons We Love Alaska” Essay

Alaskans are invited to contribute a brief essay (150 words or less) to “150 Reasons We Love Alaska,” a publication to be distributed in early 2017 during Alaska’s sesquicentennial year. Submissions can be sent to gov.alaska150@alaska.gov.

February

February 1-29

Emanuel Leutze’s painting of the Purchase of Alaska on display (Fairbanks, AK)

The painting will be on display at the Museum of the North, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

February 4
Decolonizing Alaska is a multimedia visual art exhibit featuring contemporary artists exploring and responding to Alaska’s history of colonization and its emerging influence on sustainability, both environmental and cultural. As part of the exhibition Decolonizing Alaska, this discussion will bring together artists Annette Bellamy, Joel Isaak, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Rika Mouw, Michael Walsh, and Crystal Rose Worl for a conversation moderated by curator Asia Freeman.

 

February 11

Signing of the Alaska Treaty Lecture (Fairbanks, AK)

The University of Alaska Museum of the North is offering a lecture about a painting of historic importance to Alaska. “Signing of the Alaska Treaty” by Emanuel Leutze is touring the state to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1867 treaty to purchase Alaska. Alaska historian Terrence Cole and artist Kes Woodward will talk about the value of history paintings and the era responsible for this work. The lecture will also examine Leutze’s life and career, including his most famous painting, a depiction of Gen. George Washington crossing the Delaware River during the American Revolution.

February 17

Seward’s Folly: A New Look At the Alaska Purchase (Washington, DC)

The Alaska Purchase—denounced at the time as “Seward’s Folly” but now seen as a masterstroke—is known as a key moment in American history, but few know the whole story. Dr. Lee Farrow, professor of History at Auburn University at Montgomery, will give an overview of just what the Alaska Purchase was, how it came about, and its impact at the time. She will also discuss the implications of the deal for foreign policy and international diplomacy far beyond Russia and the United States at a moment when the global balance of power was in question. This talk is sponsored by the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center.

February 18

Visit Sitka | Sitka Chamber of Commerce’s 150th Anniversary-themed Gala (Sitka, AK)

March

March 3-October 22

Polar Bear Garden exhibit at the Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, AK)

The exhibition opens to the public with special emphasis on the famous Leutze painting, which depicts the negotiation of the “Alaska Purchase,” as well as the original check and the Treaty of Cession for the purchase, on loan from the National Archives. A caviar and vodka tasting will be featured, along with a live performance by the Russian American Colony Singers. The museum will host a special screening of the 1959 film The Flying Saucer, which begins the coordinating film series that will be simultaneous with the run of the exhibition. Special art programs for children and families related to the exhibition content will be offered during the Anchorage School District’s spring break.

March 4

Seward’s So-Called Folly: Puppet Show (Kenai, AK)

To highlight the 150th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska, Triumvirate is producing a commemorative puppet show and radio drama accompanied by graphic novel style art work produced by students all over the district. Illustrations will be projected on our 20 foot screen during the radio drama, and will follow with an explanation of what happened in Alaska after the purchase told with 23 large puppets.

March 15

Local Knowledge: Places, Names and Stories (Sitka, AK)

A panel of knowledgeable Sitkans, moderated by Eric Jordan, will tell about places and place names (including the names that aren’t on the charts), the stories behind ancient Tlingit names, Russian names and how they got there, and the local vessels and personalities who left their mark in Sitka’s geographic lore. In the second half of the program, audience members will be able to share their own local knowledge of places, names and stories.

March 24

Seward’s Folly 150 Years Later: A Fireside Chat with Wayne Jensen (Juneau, AK)

Architect and historian Wayne Jensen will give a Fireside Lecture on Seward’s Folly 150 Years Later at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, U.S. Forest Service.

March 28

Youth Salute to Alaska’s History (Sitka, AK)

Elementary school students will perform a play titled  The Transfer of Russian America to the United States; K-12 groups will perform Russian music from the 1860’s; Sitka Studio of Dance will perform ballet from the same era.

March 29

Opening of the Sitka National Park Service’s Alaska Native Commemoration Art Exhibit (Sitka, AK)

The Alaska Sesquicentennial Commemorative Exhibit will highlight and showcase Alaska Native perspectives on the sale and its long-term impacts today. Many of the artists will be present for this opening reception, but the art will be on display throughout the summer of 2017. The exhibit will also be highlighted on the park’s website and through social media.

March 30

Tlingit Perspective of the Sesquicentennial: A Time to Heal (Sitka, AK)

Held at Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi, this event will honor and celebrate the Tlingit community. It will feature Clan leaders, culture bearers, dance performances, and storytelling.

Seward’s Day Luncheon (Washington, D.C.)

This luncheon will be held at the National Press Club on the 150th anniversary of the day both parties agreed to the Alaska Treaty of Cession.

Seward’s Day Reception (Washington, D.C.)

A reception will be held at the U.S. State Department on Seward’s Day to honor Secretary of State, William H. Seward, who negotiated the 1867 treaty that transferred Russian American (current day Alaska) to the United States. (Invitation only)

History Speaks: State Senator Gary Stevens at the Baranov Museum (Kodiak, AK)

State Senator Gary Stevens will be giving a lecture on the sale of Alaska and the treaty at the Baranov Museum,  at 7:00pm on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Cession.

History of Alaska: Law Lecture Series (Anchorage, AK)

Sesquicentennial Perspectives: Two Historical Views of the Alaska Purchase, a lecture by William Iggiagruk Hensley, Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The lecture will be held at Mountain View Branch Library, preceded by a reception. 6 pm.
           

March 30-April 2

The Great Alaska Sportsman Show (Anchorage, AK)

The Bureau of Land Management Booth will have information about the Treaty of Cession.

March 31

150th Anniversary Museum Walk (Sitka, AK)

The annual Museum Walk features the artifact of the month at the Sheldon Jackson Museum; a 150th commemorative exhibit on Alaska Native art at the Sitka National Park; an open house at the Russian Bishop House; hands-on activities at the Sitka Maritime Heritage Center; the presentation of a new major icon shrine at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral; and live music from the 1860’s and refreshments at the Sitka History Museum.

Anchorage Museum Public Lecture Series: David Ramseur (Anchorage, AK)

The Anchorage Museum will host David Ramseur, a Visiting Scholar in Public Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage, who will give a presentation on the melting of the “Ice Curtain” between Alaska and the Russian Far East in the 1980s and 90s. Dr. Ramseur is currently writing a book on the same topic.

Arctic Lights & Moscow Nights Concert  (Juneau, AK)

This performance seeks to promote understanding and bring cultures together through music, storytelling, and dance. Featuring the world famous Moscow Nights Trio, Russian American Colony Singers, New Archangel Dancers, and local Alaska Native dance groups.

April

April-October

Sesquicentennial Speakers Series (Sitka, AK)

A lecture series that explores a variety of historical topics and perspective related to the history of Alaska.

April 1

Anchorage Symphony Season Finale: Excerpts from Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (Anchorage, AK)

The Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Concert Chorus, and Alaska Chamber Singers present excerpts from the quintessential Russian opera Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the United States’ purchase of Alaska from Russia. This masterpiece has been touted as a revolutionary folk drama set in the art of opera that amazes with its boldness, breadth, and dramatic fireworks. Conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer. Atwood Concert Hall at Alaska Performing Arts Center.

Music without Borders Folk Concert  (Sitka, AK)

A concert celebrating folks traditions, featuring the Moscow Nights Trio and the Russian American Colony Singers. With a welcome dance from the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Dancers, and additional performances by New Archangel Dancers and the St. Michael’s Cathedral Choir, this event will promote understanding and bring cultures together through music, storytelling and dance.  

April 7

Greater Sitka Arts Council’s 150th Anniversary-themed Art Walk (Sitka, AK)

 

April 12

Sitka Speaker’s Series: The Story of St Michael’s Cathedral Russian Icon Collection (Sitka, AK)

Presented by Ana Ditmar, Sitka National Historical Park, 7 to 8pm.

April 13

Polar Politics: Alaska-Russian Relations in the 1980s (Chugiak, AK)

David Ramseur will speak as part of the History Chats series at Chugiak High School. Program sponsored by Tundra Vision Public History Consultants.

April 19

Russian American Colony Singers present Music Without Borders (Fairbanks, AK)

This unique program commemorates Alaska’s Sesquicentennial and celebrates the multicultural nature of Alaska through the ‘universal language’ of music.  The program incorporates Russian folk songs, Alaska Indigenous storytelling, and special appearances by world renowned Russian trio “Moscow Nights.”  It promises to touch each heart as we focus on values so vital to Alaska: respect for the diversity of its people, deep appreciation for their interwoven histories, and a shared love of this great land.

Sitka Speaker’s Series: The Final Story of the Neva Survivors Camp (Sitka, AK)

Presented by Dave McMahan, Harrigan Centennial Hall, 7 to 8pm.

April 21

Anchorage Museum Public Lecture Series: Leon Aron (Anchorage, AK)

April 21 Leon Aron will be the featured lecturer.  The Anchorage Museum will host Leon Aron, a resident scholar and the director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Dr. Aron will speak on Russian domestic and foreign policy; US-Russia relations; and the economic, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet evolution.

April 21-22

150 Years: Kenai Peninsula History Conference (Soldotna, AK)

Hosted by a volunteer committee in partnership with the Pratt Museum and Kenai Peninsula College, the conference will be held at the Kenai River Campus of Kenai Peninsula College in Soldotna. The conference will include a symposium for the general public about the Kenai Peninsula, the Cession, and the area’s unique blend of Native, Russian, and US traditions, with related cultural and educational activities for all. Interested parties can look at our website, our Facebook page, or contact Shana Loshbaugh here. REGISTRATION NOW OPEN.

April 23

Russian American Colony Singers present Music Without Borders (Anchorage, AK)

This unique program commemorates Alaska’s Sesquicentennial and celebrates the multicultural nature of Alaska through the ‘universal language’ of music.  The program incorporates Russian folk songs, Alaska Indigenous storytelling, and special appearances by world renowned Russian trio “Moscow Nights.”  It promises to touch each heart as we focus on values so vital to Alaska: respect for the diversity of its people, deep appreciation for their interwoven histories, and a shared love of this great land.

May

May-October

Lifeways in Interior Alaska in the 1860s Exhibit (Fairbanks, AK)

The event is co-hosted by the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North.

May 3

Sitka Speaker’s Series: Six Saints of Sitka (Sitka, AK)

Sitka has more saints than any other city in the United States. Presented by Father Michael Oleska, Harrigan Centennial Hall, 7 to 8pm.

May 8-14

Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee End of Chairmanship (Fairbanks, AK)

The Alaska Arctic Council Host Committee will be hosting  public education opportunities, policy and research activities and many other side events prior to and after the Arctic Council Ministerial, which occurs at the conclusion of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

May 10-20

Ocean Wave Quilters’ Sesquicennial-themed Quilt Show (Sitka, AK)

Held in Whitmore Hall on Sitka Fine Arts Campus. The Quilters will host a celebratory Mother’s Day Tea on May 14th.

May 13

Unveiling of Seward Statue and Celebration (Auburn, NY)

The Seward statue will be unveiled and the Treaty of Cession will be celebrated through a variety of events at the Seward House Museum.

May 16

Celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the Alaska Purchase and the Connection between Nebraska and Alaska (Lincoln, NE)

Wayne Jensen is giving a talk at the Lincoln Rotary Club in honor of Seward’s birthday. The event will be held at the Nebraska Club, 233 S. 13th St., 20th Floor. Noon.

May 17

Sitka Speaker’s Series: The Necessity of Truth in Reconciliation (Sitka, AK)

Presented by Tamie Parker Song, Sitka National Historical Park, 7 to 8pm.

Commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the Alaska Purchase (Seward, NE)

Rotary Club of Seward, Nebraska will be hosting this program.

May 19

Unveiling of the William H. Seward Statue (Lincoln, NE)

Program and unveiling of the Seward statue at the historic Kennard House, Nebraska Statehood Memorial, Nebraska Historical Society site, Lincoln, Nebraska.  11 a.m.

May 19-20

William H. Seward Statue on display at the Seward County Courthouse (Seward, NE)

 

May 21

William H. Seward Statue on display at the Seward County Historical Society Museum (Seward, NE)

May 31

Sitka Speaker’s Series: 150th 101 (Sitka, AK)

Presented by Steve Haycox, Sitka National Historical Park, 7 to 8pm.

June

June 15-19

Mining History Association Conference (Fairbanks, AK)

The 2017 Annual Conference of the Mining History Association (MHA) will be held at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Additional information can be obtained by Tom Bundtzen, bundtzen@mosquitonet.com / 907.458.8951

June 30

360 North public television in Juneau will rebroadcast the discussion of the legacy of U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward who negotiated the Alaska Treaty of Cession with Russia in 1867.  John Pugh, former University of Alaska Southeast chancellor moderates the discussion by Jonathon Ross, Terrence Cole, and Wayne Jensen (members Alaska Historical Commission), Steve Haycox (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UAA), and Ross Coen (Editor, Alaska History). Tune in at 8:00 pm AKST.

July 

July 3

Dedication and Reception for Seward Statue (Juneau, AK)

The event will consist of the dedication of Seward statue by sculptors, David and Judith Rubin, and a reception at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum. More information can be obtained from Wayne Jensen, wayne@jensenyorbalott.com.

August

Aug 9

Speaker’s Series: People and Stories of Castle Hill: at the intersection of archaeology, history, and global networks (Sitka, AK)

Margret Grover and Dan Thompson will present.

 

August 16

Speaker’s Series: Destination Sitka: ‘Special Correspondents’ and the Scramble to Report on the 1867 Transfer of Russian America to the United States (Sitka, AK)

Chris Allan will present.

 

September

September 15-17

Sesquicentennial United States Road Rally Challenge (Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula, AK)

The USRRC is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America, the Road Rally which has a team of Driver and Navigator, travels on public roads in search of checkpoints. The Centennial in 1967, held a Road Rally from Anchorage to Fairbanks. The event is for Cheechako (those new to sport) to Sourdoughs (experienced) rallyists. Road Rallying has been active in Alaska since before Statehood in 1958! Come join us!

Sept 20

Sitka Speaker’s Series: “Love at the time of Russian America”  (Sitka, AK)

Jenya Anichenko will give a presentation on relationships in the 1860s.

October

October-November

Emanuel Leutze’s painting of the Purchase of Alaska on display (Juneau, AK)

The painting will be on display at the Alaska State Museum.

October 6

Perceptions: The Alaska Treaty of Cession Intercurrent (Anchorage, AK)

This exhibition, held at the International Gallery of Contemporary Art, is centered on the perceptions and interpretations of artists, historians, writers, and performers responding to the Alaska Treaty of Cession. It is a contemporary response based on images, words, and actions; audible through spoken and unspoken communication.

October 13-16

Haa Shagòon, Yei Sh Natoosneix: A Conference of Tlingit Tribes and Clans (Sitka, AK)

Anyone interested in the indigenous peoples of Southeast Alaska is welcome to attend this unique biennial event, a multi-disciplinary three- to four-day conference that includes Alaska Native tradition bearers, elders, and fluent speakers of indigenous languages meeting with artists, academics, students and other learners. Our conference will add new perspectives, that of Alaska Natives, whose challenges to the so-called “Purchase of Alaska” were finally addressed in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

October 14

Sitka: A Transfer Story (Sitka, AK)

This one-act play about the transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States is by Zachary Desmond.

October 16

360 North public television in Juneau will rebroadcast the discussion of the legacy of U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward who negotiated the Alaska Treaty of Cession with Russia in 1867.  John Pugh, former University of Alaska Southeast chancellor moderates the discussion by Jonathon Ross, Terrence Cole, and Wayne Jensen (members Alaska Historical Commission), Steve Haycox (Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UAA), and Ross Coen (Editor, Alaska History). Tune in at 9:00 pm AKST.

October 18

Annual Alaska Day Parade & Transfer Ceremony at Castle Hill (Sitka, AK)

With a Memorial Service at the National Cemetery, tea at the Pioneer Home, and more.

October 27

Opening of Across the Shaman’s River exhibit (Haines, AK)

This exhibit will be held at the Sheldon Museum.

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