From Leningrad, he and his crew of two, traveled through 5,000 miles of Siberian wilderness to the Kamchatka Peninsula, from there built a boat, and set out on their voyage.
Bering Sails Through the Bering Straight
Turns back to land somewhere in the Chukchi Sea, spots the Diomede Islands (but not the Alaskan Coast). Natives they met on their voyage tell him there is no connection between the two continents. On his return to Moscow to adress the Senate, he was told he failed his mission as he relied on the word of others. The result was the forfit of all his reward, no premotion, and a harsh delay of his payment; also, Bering's second expoiditon
Bering's Second Voyage
Takes a second sailor with him, Alexei Chirikov; they get seperated at the Alutiean Islands. Both ships made it to land; however, Alexei turned back after 18 of his men dissapeared (20 more died from scurvy) and Bering and many of his men, also weak from scurvy, starved to death. The ones who survived brought back many sea otter pelts and spawned a new wave of russian hunting and trapping.
Bering's Crew and Chirikov's Crew Bring Back Furs
Both crews brought back many furs, and news of the plethra of fur bering animals in Alaska. This, coupled with the overwhelming demand of fur from China, prompted a huge fur-trade.
First Russian Fur-Hunting Party Sails To Bering Island
For 20 years the flood of hunters did not cease, by that time they had reached Unalaska.
Russian's Have Established Themselves on the Aluetians
Began enslaving the Aleuts. They also forced them to hunt.
Aluets Begin Seriously Fighting Russian Invasion
Began killing Russian crews and destroying ships. Did not help the threat from the Russians. Instead, entire villages were destroyed and burned.
James Cook Sails for Alaska
Looking for the fabeled North West Passage.
Capt. James Cook Arrives in Alaska
Their charts of the arctic, combined w/ the Russians, gave a much more complete view of the area
Capt. Cook Dies in Hawaii
He was returned dismembered and burned. Crew attempted one more ill hearted mission to find the North West Passage in vain.
Spanish Expeditions to Alaska
Two ships commanded by Ignacio Atreaga.
Russians Establish Three Saints Bay on Kodiak
First Permanent russian settlement set up by Gregorii Shelikhov and his wife Natalia. There they enslaved the Natives and focred them to learn the Russian language and religion.
Russians Force Aluets to Hunt Sea Otters at Breeding Grounds
Force them to the Pribilof Islands, severely cuts otter population.
French Navigator Jean-Francois de Galaup Reaches Alaska
Also known as Comte de La Perouse, he was searching for the NorthWest Passage.
Chinese Develop Method to Make Sea Otter Fur Better
Method includes plucking coarse hairs from the pelt to make them more velevety, this caused a spur of hunting and trapping by the Russians to make more money.
187,000 Pelts Returned to Russia
From 1743 to 1799, over 187,000 pelts worth, 8 million rubbles ($6 million), boosted Russian economy.
Aleksandr Baranov Establishes the Russian American Company
He is also granted a monoploly over Alaska
Tlingit Natives Destroy Russian Fort
Tensions increase between natives and russians, in 1804 Russians tried to attack the Kiksadi Fort and lost.
Russians Establish Settlement in Northern California
Done after several unsuccessful attempts, they were disputed by both America and Britain and therefore pulled back to Alaska
Fort Yukon Established
Russia Goes through the Crimean War
nearly bankrupts Russia, they look towards the US at selling Alaska.
Russian Explorers Find Oil
Found while exploring Cook Inlet
Gold Strike at Stikine River
Rush to what became known as the Cassiar gold district by those who had been working their way up from California.
Congress Ratifies the Alaska Purchess by 1 Vote
Bought for 2 cents an acre, at a total of $7.2 million
Sitka Times Established
First Alaskan News Paper
Gold Discovered in Sitka
Leads to the first Alaskan mining district.
Gold Discovered Near Juneau
Rush of prospectors from Portland and San Fransisco.
First Commercial Herring Bussiness
Huge Gold Discovery on Douglas Island
Leads to the formation of the Alaska Treadwell Gold Mining Co. Before the mines flooded in 1917, they extracted over $67 million worth of gold.
Steamboats Bring the First.... Tourist...
Over 60,000 Come in Search of Gold
Precursor to the Klondike Gold Rush
Klondike Gold Rush Begins
80,000 people rush through the Yukon, Chikroot, and White Pass Trails. Over 1/3 turn back, and almost all of them were too late to stake any claims.
Three Lucky Sweedes Make Gold Discovery in Nome
While almost all people were too late, again, luckily there was placer gold found all along the beaches. A judge had set a ban on beach staking, therefore it was fair game to all. The first summer $2 million was extracted, by 1910, over $46 million had been combed from the beaches.
Capital Moved to Juneau
Moved from Sitka, the same year the Yukon Railroad was completed.
Gold Discovered in the Tanana Hills
DIscovered by Felix Pedro, an Italian immigrant. Led to the formation of Fairbanks. Although having to dig through almost 200 feet of ground and permafrost, the effort was rewarded, the gold excavation from the Fairbanks was more than from the Klondike.
Alaska Canada Border Established
Alaska named a territory of the U.S
Alaskan Territorial Legislature Covened.
Woman Granted Voting Rights.
Alaskan Railroad Construction Begins
Alaskan's Vote in Favor of Prohibition
Alaskan Railroad Completed
Cuts cost of transportation and of materials and helps develop coal mines around the state. Also, allowed easy access for heavy equipment to be brought into the interior.
Epidemic in Nome Prompts Sled Dog Race
20 teams traveled 674 miles in record cold and hurricane winds.
Alaska State Flag Established
Designed by contest winner, Benny Benson
Fairbanks Exploration Company Sets Up
Employed over 1/3 of Fairbanks population. These large companies replaced individual miners and took over most of the gold deposits in the state. Completion of the railroad boosted this.
Japanese Invasion of Alutian Islands of Attu and Kiska
U.S responds by sending an overwhelming military force to Alaska. This inculdes the Alaska-Canada Highway being built to transport troops. The next year, the islands are reclaimed.
Alaska Constitution Adopted
Alaska Named A State
Done after much debate and rallies by Alaskan citizens.
9.2 Earthquake Shatters Alaska
Second largest ever recorded in the world. Seward and Valdez almost completely destroyed, Anchorage heavily damaged, and damage was done all the way down to California
Oil Discovered at Prudhoe Bay
Plans to build the North Slope begins soon after
US Stops Fixing Price of Gold
Price shoots up to $800 an ounce (from $32) then settles around $250-$400. This caused a new surge of gold mining, and saw the reopening of many mines in the state closed for war-time efforts.
This was the first deal between Natives and the Federal Government where the Natives were able to express self-determination and the Bureau of Indian Affiars did not control what they got. The $1 billion and 44 million acres given to the natives are controled by the Native Board of Directors and Native Corporations. Today these corporations hold strong economic power in resource development, tourism, and construction. Some have even invested in and sponsered bussinesses in the lower 48.
Construction of the Alaskan Pipeline Begins
Work is finished in 1977.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act is passed. This sets aside 104 million acres of land in Alaska to be perserved. Also the act expanded existing wildlife refuges and created new ones. Although there were many loop holes in the act, and wilderness was allowed access into by plane, snowmachine, and motor-boats. Also it allowed oil surveying and "exploritory drilling" to be done in ANWR. Despite its faults, the bill laid a framework for conservation in Alaska.
Time Zones Changed to Include All of Alaska
Exxon Valdez Spills 11 Million Gallons of Crude in Prince William Sound
Spilt along 1,500 miles of coastline, the clean-up effort lasted 3 years and the impacts much longer.
Mt. Spurr Errupts.
BP Had a 267,000 Gallon Oil Spill at Prudhoe Bay
Went undedected for five days. 3rd largest in pipeline history, only surpassed by the bombing of it in 1978.