I hope that the quotation in today’s front-page article on Alaska Day, to the effect that if it weren’t for Alaska Day we’d all now be speaking Russian, was intended as a bit of dramatic hyperbole, rather than as a comment on actual history.
The fact was that in the 1860s, Russia, for a number of good reasons, wanted to get shut of Alaska.
Essentially they had the choice of selling it to the United States, or risking having Britain seize it.
So, a much more plausible statement would be: “If it weren’t for Alaska Day, we would all be speaking Canadian right now.”
And wouldn’t even know what the words “government shutdown” meant . . .
William De Armond