Tuesday morning briefing: Basketball tournaments and a big buy

Good morning and welcome to the Freedom New Mexico Tuesday morning briefing.

Sports: It's January, and that means it's time for some Eastern Plains Athletic Conference basketball. The top seeds in the tournament, which starts tonight in Texico and finishes up with title games at Greyhound Arena, has Logan as the top boys seed and Melrose as the top girls seed.

Check the brackets here.

The icebox pays off: On Jan. 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signed a special proclamation admitting the territory of Alaska into the Union as the 49th state.

The European discovery of Alaska came in 1741, when a Russian expedition led by Danish navigator Vitus Bering sighted the Alaskan mainland. Russian hunters were soon making incursions into Alaska, and the native Aleut population suffered greatly after being exposed to foreign diseases. In 1784, Grigory Shelikhov established the first permanent Russian colony in Alaska on Kodiak Island.

Russian activity in the New World declined in the 1820s, and the British and Americans were granted trading rights in Alaska after a few minor diplomatic conflicts. In the 1860s, a nearly bankrupt Russia decided to offer Alaska for sale to the United States, which earlier had expressed interest in such a purchase. On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward signed a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward's folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." Nevertheless, the Senate ratified purchase of the tremendous landmass, one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States.

Read the rest of the story here.

Today's forecast from KVII's Steve Kersh: "Expect plenty of sunshine today as high temperatures warm back to near 60 degrees later today. Highs will stay in the 60s through Friday, then a cold front late Friday will usher in 40s and 50s for the weekend."

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