Alaska Timeline History

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during its eruptive phase 2005-06.

arrow Alaska Timeline History

arrow 1578: Cossack Chieftain Yermak Timofief journeyed eastward from Russia across steppes

arrow 1639: Cossack horsemen arrived; built first Russian village

arrow 1725: Vitus Bering explored Northwest coast; established Russia's claim

arrow 1728: Bering sailed through Bering Strait

arrow 1741: First Russian ships arrived; animal trappers began fur trade

arrow 1774: Juan Perez discovered Prince of Wales Island, Dixon Sound

arrow 1784 First white settlement established at Three Saints Bay

arrow 1802: Tlinglit Indians destoyed Russian fort at Old Sitka

arrow 1804: Russians attacked Kiksadi fort on Indian River; Russians lost

arrow 1847: Fort Yukon established

arrow 1853: Russian explorers found oil in Cook Inlet

arrow 1857: Coal mining began at Coal Harbor

arrow 1861: Gold discovered in Stikine River

arrow 1867: Russia sold present-day: Alaska to United States for $7.2 million about 2 cents per acre:

arrow 1868: Alaska designated Department of Alaska

arrow 1869: Sitka Times, first Alaskan newspaper, published

arrow 1872: Gold discovered near Sitka

arrow 1874: George Halt first white man to cross Chilkoot Pass in search for gold

arrow 1876: Gold discovered south of Juneau

arrow 1882: First commercial herring fishing began

arrow 1884: Steamships began bringing tourists

arrow 1888: More than 60,000 arrived in search for gold

arrow 1897 - 1900: Klondike gold rush occurred

arrow 1900: Capital moved from Sitka to Junean; White Pass and Yukon Railroad completed

arrow 1902: President Theodore Roosevelt established Tongass National Forest

arrow 1903: Alaska-Canada border was established

arrow 1912: Mt. Katmai exploded, created Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

arrow 1913: First Alaska Territorial Legislature convened; women granted voting rights

arrow 1914: Congress authorized construction of Alaska Railroad

arrow 1916: First bill for Alaska statehood introduced; Alaskans voted in favor of prohibition

arrow 1917: Treadwell Mine caved in

arrow 1924: Indians received U. S. citizenship; airmail delivery began

arrow 1926: 13-year old Benny Benson won contest for design of Alaska flag

arrow 1935: Matanuska Valley Project established; 900 gold mine workers struck for 40 days

arrow 1940: Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base established

arrow 1942: Japanese invaded Aleutian Islands

arrow 1943: American military forces retook Aleutian Islands from Japanese

arrow 1948: Alaska Highway opened to civilian traffic

arrow 1956: Alaska Constitution adopted

arrow 1959: Alaska became 49th state

arrow 1964: Good Friday earthquake occurred, property damage over $500 million; town of Valdez completely destroyed

arrow 1967: Chena River flooded Fairbanks

arrow 1977: Trans-Alaska pipeline completed; first oil arrived in Valdez

arrow 1980: Personal income tax repealed; Congress passed Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act

arrow 1982: Time zones changed to include all Alaska

arrow 1985: State purchased Alaska Railroad from federal government; oil price decline caused budget problems; Libby Riddles became first woman to win Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

arrow 1988: Two whales trapped by ice, rescued near Barrow; Anchorage population reduced by 30,000

arrow 1989: Oil tanker, Exxon Valdez, spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, 1,500 miles of coastline polluted; clean-up took more than three years

arrow 1990: Over 800,000 visitors came to Alaska

arrow 1992: Alaska Highway celebrated 50th anniversary; Spurr Volanco erupted three times; dumped ashes on Anchorage; Hillary Lindh won Olympic Silver Medal in downhill skiing

arrow 1993: Chairman of Alaskan Independence Party, Joe Vogler, mysteriously disappeared

arrow 1994: $5 billion verdict in Exxon Valdez case; Tommy Moe won Olympic Gold Medal in downhill ski competition; several Koyukuk River communities washed away by flooding

arrow 1996: Fire destroyed homes and property near Big Lake

arrow 1997: High winds caused Japanese ship to go aground, spilled 39,000 gallons of fuel

arrow 2002: State study showed glaciers melting at higher rate; earthquake damaged highways and rural homes

arrow 2004: Federal judge ordered Exxon to pay $6.75 billion for 1989 oil spill

arrow 2006: British Petrolum had 267,000 gallons oil spill at Prudhoe Bay; crew rescued from cargo vessel listing by Aleutian Islands

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