Greenland in History

Historical Events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1888-10-03 Explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his team complete first known crossing of Greenland interior, arriving in Godthaab

Arctic Explorer and Diplomat Fridtjof Nansen
Arctic Explorer and Diplomat
Fridtjof Nansen
  • 1924-07-10 Denmark takes Greenland as Norway ends claim
  • 1931-06-10 Norway occupies East Greenland
  • 1954-01-09 -87°F (-66°C), Northice Station, Greenland (Greenland record)
  • 1968-01-21 US B-52 bomber with nuclear bomb on board crashes in Greenland
  • 1968-01-28 Radiation alert following B-52 crash in Arctic air base of Thule in Greenland
  • 1979-05-01 Home rule introduced to Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland)
  • 1989-03-07 Partial eclipse of the Sun (Hawaii, NW North America, Greenland)
  • 2013-03-13 Aleqa Hammond’s Siumut party wins the Greenland parliamentary elections
  • 2016-08-11 A Greenland shark declared oldest vertebrate animal in the world at 392 years by international team of scientists
  • 2017-06-18 Rare magnitude-four earthquake causes a tsunami to hit Nuugaatsiaq in northwestern Greenland

Famous Birthdays

  • 1820-02-03 Elisha Kent Kane, US Arctic explorer (Kane Basin off NW Greenland)
  • 1870-01-15 Johan Peter Koch, Danish officer/explorer (Greenland)
  • 1923-04-23 James Kirkup, travel writer/poet/novelist (African in Greenland)
  • 1968-11-22 Rasmus Lerdorf, Greenlandic computer programmer

Famous Deaths


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1930-11-03 Alfred Wegener, German polar researcher and meteorologist (continental shift), dies while on an expedition to Greenland at 50 (date is approximate)

Meteorologist, Geologist, Astronomist Alfred Wegener
Meteorologist, Geologist, Astronomist
Alfred Wegener
  • 2010-10-28 Jonathan Motzfeldt, Greenlander statesman (b. 1938)