City (pop., 2000: 30,711), capital of Alaska, U.S. Located in southeastern Alaska, it was settled in 1880 when Joe Juneau and Richard Harris discovered gold nearby. Mining was important until the Alaska-Juneau gold mine closed in 1944. Juneau was made the state capital in 1959. Fishing, forestry, and government activities are important, as is tourism. In 1970 Juneau merged with Douglas, on an island across the channel, to form the largest U.S. city in area (3,108 sq mi [8,050 sq km]).