She's 50? I Dunno, Alaska!

10:00 AM -- The great state of Alaska celebrates its 50th anniversary as a dues-paying member of the Union today. On June 30, 1958, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act (which actually took effect the following January).

The self-styled "Last Frontier" state (we wish) was once known as "Seward's Folly," in tribute to Lincoln's madcap Secretary of State who negotiated its purchase from Russia for $24 worth of beads and trinkets.

It has since come to be known as "Stevens's Folly," which has been much more expensive.

As for the aboriginal inhabitants, we used to call them "Esquimaux" but now they're "Inuits." So everything is OK with them.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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