The U.S. Has Attempted To Buy Greenland Twice

In 2019, President Donald Trump was interested in buying Greenland from Denmark, but it wouldn’t be the first time a president has sought to buy the country. In 1946, President Harry S. Truman offered Denmark $100 million in gold bars ($1 billion today) for the world’s largest island. At the time, government officials thought it was a “military necessity.” That offer was supposed to be a secret and was only widely revealed in 1991, when declassified documents were discovered by a Danish newspaper. When the first offer was made, the U.S. had emerged from World War II victorious, but the Cold War was already brewing. Tensions with the Soviet Union were out in the open, including over U.S. presence in the Arctic. Buying Greenland would be the best way to solve the problem. It would also give the U.S. a substantial military advantage. In fact, it would be as valuable as Alaska during the next few years, before bombers with a 10,000-mile range were in use. U.S. officials also believed that Greenland could be a forward position for future rocket-launching sites. All Danish political parties rejected selling the island, and it wasn’t until 2019 that another offer would be made. In that case, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen rejected the idea of the United States buying Greenland from Denmark.