In 1867 Alaska was called "Seward's Folly" and "The Ice-Box of the North" because Secretary of State William Henry Seward bought the land from Russia for $7,200,000 (7¢ per acre) and everyone knew it was a wasteland of ice and snow, inhabited only by wolves and Eskimos.

Last week Under Secretary of the Interior Harry Slattery defrosted the Ice-Box of the North. In 94 packed pages he reported to Secretary Harold L. Ickes that the planned development of Alaska "is an inescapable moral obligation" of the U. S., that its 590,884 square miles...

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