Indians in sunset river landscape 1100x799

Early America

  • Jan 1, 960

    Leif Ericson born

    Leif Ericson born
    His exact birthday is unknown. He was a Norweigian explorer and is credited with "discovering" what would become America about 500 years before Christopher Columbus.
  • Aug 3, 1492

    Christopher Columbus departs Spain

    Christopher Columbus departs Spain
    Christopher Columbus, with a fleet of three ships, left Europe in search of a sea route to India.
  • Oct 12, 1492

    Columbus and his crew site land.

    Columbus and his crew site land.
    The ships were named the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Land was first sited on this date in 1492. The land he saw is now called The Bahamas. Columbus made three more voyages to the "New World."
  • Jan 1, 1497

    Amerigo Vespucci claims new continent is bigger than expected

    Amerigo Vespucci claims new continent is bigger than expected
    Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer. Our country gets its name from him.
  • Squanto born

    Squanto born
    Exact birthdate unknown. Squanto helped the Pilgrims learn to fish, hunt, and grow crops. Without his help, it is not likely they would have survived. Squanto had been captured by Europeans and sold into slavery in Spain. He escaped to England where he learned to speak English. He returned home in 1619 only to learn his people had been wiped out by European diseases.
  • Pocahontas estimated birthday

    Pocahontas estimated birthday
    Exact date of birth unknown. She befriended settlers at Jamestown, Virginia. Accounts of saving John Smith's life are not known to be true, nor can they be proven as untrue. She was taken prisoner in 1613 after being lured aboard the ship of Sir Samuel Argall. She was treated well during captivity and converted to Christianity. She married John Rolfe. They had one son. They sailed to England in 1616. They planned to return to America, but she became ill and died on March 21, 1617 at age 21.
  • Pilgrims leave England for America

    Pilgrims leave England for America
    Passengers endured a grueling 66-day journey marked by disease. Two people died during the voyage.
  • Pilgrims go ashore at Plymouth Rock

    Pilgrims go ashore at Plymouth Rock
    From March 21 through 31, 1621, all surviving passengers, who had inhabited the Mayflower during the winter, moved ashore at Plymouth.
  • Mayflower returns to England

    Mayflower returns to England
    The Mayflower was a privately commissioned vessel. It returned to England leaving the Pilgrims and other passengers to fend for themselves in the new land. It was not an easy task.
  • Goody Glover hanged as a witch in Salem, MA

    Goody Glover hanged as a witch in Salem, MA
    Exact date unknown.
  • Salem Witch trials begin

    Salem Witch trials begin
    Young girls act strangely and accuse area people of witchcraft.
  • Salem Witch Trials draw to a close.

    Salem Witch Trials draw to a close.
    Over the course of several months, about 200 people were accused of witchcraft. Nineteen people were hanged. Several others died in prison or were stoned to death. Giles Coery was crushed to death for refusing to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Benjamin Franklin born in Boston, MA.

    Benjamin Franklin born in Boston, MA.
    Known as an inventor and a printer, he wrote Poor Richard's Almanack. In 1731 he founded the first libray in America. He was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence. He also signed the Treaty of Paris ending the Amerian Revolutionary War and the American Constitution.
  • Freidrick Wilhelm Von Sterben born

    Freidrick Wilhelm Von Sterben born
    Von Steuben was a Prussian military officer. He is credited with being one of the fathers of the Continental Army in teaching them the essentials of military drills, tactics, and disciplines.
  • George Washington born

    George Washington born
    George Washington was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army and became the first president of the United States of America.
  • Paul Revere born

    Paul Revere born
    Paul Revere was born in Boston, MA. He was a silversmith and a Patriot. He was captured when he warned Americans that "The British are coming" before the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
  • King George III born

    King George III born
    King George III was the ruler of England during the American Revolutionary War. He is sometimes remembered as "The King Who Lost America."
  • Betsy Ross born

    Betsy Ross born
    Betsy Ross is responsible for making one of America's first flags.. Her daughter, Rachel Fletcher, may have helped with the design.
  • Governor of Virginia orders French to abandon forts

    Governor of Virginia orders French to abandon forts
    Control of the Ohio River valley is what led to the French & Indian War.
  • French & Indian War ends

    French & Indian War ends
    France surrenders all of its former North American territories east of the Mississippi River to Britain, except New Orleans. Canada is also ceded to Great Britain. Spain, a late entrant into the war as an ally of France, surrenders Florida to Britain. As compensation, Britain returns Cuba, which it captured during the war, to Spain.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    This proclamation from King George III and Parliment stated that American colonists could not settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. Anyone already settled in the upper Ohio Country were ordered "forthwith to remove themselves." The sprawling frontier would be left to the Indians. The intent of this proclamation was to reduce the need for British troop protection against the Indians.
  • Britain taxes sugar in American colonies

    Britain taxes sugar in American colonies
    British Parliament passes the Sugar Act on the American colonies. This imposes new or higher taxes on several other non-British goods, such as coffee. These taxes are designed to raise revenue needed to cover the costs of recent wars and ongoing and expenses in the Colonies. American colonists will object to them as a form of taxation without representation, leading in 1776 to their Declaration of Independence.
  • British Parliment passes Stamp Act

    British Parliment passes Stamp Act
    This act meant that printed materials had to be printed on paper stamped in London. It cost the Americans money and people saw it as "taxation without representation." The purpose of the tax was to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years' War. The British government felt that the colonies benefited from British troops so they should help shoulder the expense. This tax was so unpopular in America, it was repealed the following year.
  • Townshend Acts approved by King George III

    Townshend Acts approved by King George III
    The Townshend Acts were a series of laws designed to raise revenue in the colonies. I set outrageously high taxes on paper, glass, paint, and tea. The money was to pay the salaries of governors and judges. These men would then be more loyal to Britain rather than the colonies. It was hoped that these laws would set a precedent so that the British Parliament had the right to tax the colonies. We all know how that worked out.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    British troops fired into a taunting mob on King Street in Boston, MA. They initially killed three civilian men. Two wounded men died later.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    In a rebellion against Britain, $18,000 worth of tea dumped into Boston Harbor at Griffin's warf. American colonists were angry because of Britain's tax on tea. This was an event leading up to the American Revolutionary War.
  • Paul Revere's Ride

    Paul Revere's Ride
    Revolutionary War begins when Paul Revere and William Dawes warn Patriots that the British are coming. The Battles of Lexington and Concord take place the next day.
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Battles of Lexington and Concord
    These battles mark the first shots fired between British and American troops. Concord was important because it had an arms depot. British troops passed through Lexington on their way to Concord. No one knows who fired first, but this was the day of "the shot heard 'round the world."
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    First major skrimish in the American Revolution. Neither side won. The British should have easily beaten the Patriots, but they fought hard and they fought well. Britain's goal was to squash a rebellion. The Americans were fighting for total freedom and independence.
  • Declaration of Independence signed

    Declaration of Independence signed
    The Declaration was written in Philadelphia, PA during June and July, 1776. Among important ideas in the Declaration is the idea that "all men are created equal" and they are entitled to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." American Patriots were tired of British tyranny and declared independence from their mother land.
  • Washington's troops arrive at Valley Forge, PA

    Washington's troops arrive at Valley Forge, PA
    One in three of Washington's troops had no shoes. About 2,500 people died during the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge.
  • Soldiers break camp at Valley Forge, PA

    Soldiers break camp at Valley Forge, PA
  • Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown

    Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown
  • American Revolutionary War ends

    American Revolutionary War ends
    Treat of Paris
  • George Washington becomes America's first president

    George Washington becomes America's first president
  • Benjamin Franklin dies

    Benjamin Franklin dies
  • George Washington dies

    George Washington dies
  • Paul Revere dies

    Paul Revere dies