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Author Topic: Alaska Becomes the 49th State - January 3, 1959  (Read 3564 times)

Offline BigRog

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Alaska Becomes the 49th State - January 3, 1959
« on: January 03, 2005, 07:44:26 AM »
Alaska Becomes the 49th State


New Flag Unveiled; 7 Staggered Rows Have 7 Stars Each

By Richard E. Mooney
Special to The New York Times

Washington, Jan. 3 -- Alaska became a state today.

By the clock on the mantel in the Cabinet Room at the White House, it was two minutes past noon. In Juneau, capital of the forty-ninth state, it was 9:02 A.M., Pacific Standard Time.

President Eisenhower signed the document of proclamation at the long table at which he meets his Cabinet. He used six pens to inscribe his name and the date. Then he took another handful of pens from the drawer in front of him and signed an Executive order setting a new design of forty-nine stars for the official flag of the United States.

The new design has seven staggered rows of stars, with seven stars in each row, and the traditional thirteen stripes. It was chosen a week or so ago by a four-man selection commission and formally approved by the President yesterday. It will become official on July 4.

President Eisenhower told one of the guests at the ceremony today that it was not the design he had preferred, "but I was overruled by all my advisers." His choice was nine rows of stars, alternating five and six stars to a row.

After signing, the President spoke a brief informal greeting to the people of Alaska and their all-Democratic Congressional delegation standing beside his chair.

Then Lieut. Col. James S. Cook Jr., the chief of the heraldic branch of the Quartermaster Corps, unfurled the new banner, which the President held. They did it in such a way that the blue field with the stars commenced on the right. Thus pictures of the event showed the customary position of the flag reversed.

The President, one of the few persons who had seen the new design in advance, took another look after the unfurling today. Then he chatted a moment with the handful of invited guests, distributed the pens and left the room. History had been made with a minimum of ceremony and no pomp.

President Eisenhower flew to Washington by helicopter this morning from his farm at Gettysburg, Pa., for the statehood event. He flew back this afternoon for the rest of the weekend.

Today's proclamation came almost as an anti-climactic end to a forty-two-year struggle for statehood. The true climax came one hot night last June, when the Senate approved the statehood bill, 64 to 20.

The proclamation noted the action of Congress, the acceptance of statehood by Alaska voters on Aug. 26, and the certification of the election of her state and national officers on Nov. 25 and concluded that:

"The procedural requirements imposed by the Congress on the State of Alaska to entitle that state to admission into the Union have been complied with in all respects, and that admission of the State of Alaska into the Union on an equal footing with the other States of the Union is accomplished."

As the President wrote the date below his signature Speaker Sam Rayburn offered a reminder. He told the President to "be sure to make it 1959."

After the signing, President Eisenhower said that he felt "very highly privileged and honored" to welcome the forty-ninth state. He noted that there had been no such ceremony as the one this noon in "almost half a century."

President Williams Howard Taft signed the forty-eighth statehood proclamation--on Arizona--on Feb. 14, 1912.

President Eisenhower extended "best wishes and hope for prosperity and success" to the state and people of Alaska "on behalf of all their sister states."

Speaker Rayburn and Vice President Richard M. Nixon were seated beside the President. Behind them stood Senators-elect E. L. Bartlett and Ernest Gruening. Representative-elect Ralph J. Rivers, Acting Governor Waine F. Hendrickson, former Governor Mike Stepovich, Robert Atwood, for chairman of the Alaska Statehood Committee, and Fred A. Seaton, Secretary of the Interior.
"Lurch my good man,…what did you mean when you said just now that 'You've got better things to do than run my petty little errands'…….?"

Offline 1frozenhillbilly

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Alaska Becomes the 49th State - January 3, 1959
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 07:45:54 PM »
thanks I was looking for something along those lines.  we love our great american refrigerator here and hope you all come visit us someday.
vegetarian???  isn't green stuff for growing meat?
I'm now KL4GU on 2 and 10 meter ham radio!