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    Tuesday Documentary: Season 1969

    1969x44 The Day They Sold Alaska

    • 1969-12-22T23:00:00Z on BBC Two
    • 55m
    • United Kingdom
    • Documentary
    A film about the greatest sale on earth Produced and narrated by Roger Mills On sale was the oilman's moon-half a million acres of Arctic wilderness, and below it a great ocean of oil. For a day a small municipal hall in Anchorage, Alaska, was the centre of the world, as oil magnates - British and foreign - threw millions on to the table in a ferocious orgy of bidding. The events that surrounded that auction were on the same gargantuan scale. Man conquered the ice-locked North - West Passage, and began to push an 800-mile pipeline across mountains. Two Foreign Secretaries exchanged ' words ' - and notices began to appear which read ' Eskimo Power.' A century ago the United States paid the Tsar of Russia 2d an acre for Alaska. On the day of the great auction, 2d would scarcely have bought a square inch.