AK History

  • Vitus Bering Travels to the Kamchatka Peninsula

    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.
  • ANCSA Established

    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.
  • ANILCA Established

    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.