The Most Lucrative Real Estate Deal "Evah", Wasn't Done by Trump

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Nowadays we hear all the time about "amazing real estate deals." But there is one real estate deals that stand out as particularly audacious and lucrative - namely the 1867 US purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire for a mere $7.2 million . 

The idea of purchasing Alaska was first proposed by Sec. of State William Seward, who saw the strategic and economic potential of the territory that was up until then largely unexplored and considered a remote and inhospitable wilderness. Despite widespread ridicule, Seward persisted in his efforts to negotiate the deal and on October 18, 1867, the transfer of Alaska to the US was completed. 

While the purchase price of $7.2 million (~$125 million in today's currency) was seen by many as a foolish waste of taxpayer money. But almost immediately Alaska's potential began to be realized with the discovery of gold. In the decades that followed, Alaska's rich natural resources, including timber, fish, and oil, further fueled its economic growth and prosperity. All this without mentioning the state's collosal strategic role in terms of trade and in securing American interests globally. 

When the Alaskan territory was officially inducted into the United States as the 49th state in 1959, the National Geographic magazine honored the move with the first ever photograph on its cover that included Old Glory with a new star.