Alaska in History

Alaska: Anchorage

Historical Events

  • 1741-07-15 Alexei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
  • 1741-07-28 Capt Bering discovers Mount St Elias, Alaska
  • 1741-08-20 Alaska first sighted by Danish explorer Vitus Bering at head of Russian expedition
  • 1778-10-03 Captain Cook anchors at Alaska
  • 1784-09-22 Russian trappers established a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska
  • 1788-06-11 Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska.
  • 1794-08-08 Joseph Whidbey and George Vancouver lead an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska.
  • 1825-02-22 Russia & Britain establish Alaska-Canada boundary
  • 1867-03-30 US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 (2 cents an acre - Seward's Folly)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1867-06-20 US President Andrew Johnson announces purchase of Alaska

17th US President Andrew Johnson
17th US President
Andrew Johnson
  • 1867-10-05 Last day of Julian calendar in Alaska
  • 1867-10-16 Alaska adopts Gregorian calendar, crosses intl date line
  • 1867-10-18 US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia having paid $7.2 million
  • 1884-05-17 Alaska becomes a US territory
  • 1896-08-16 Gold first discovered in Klondike, found at Bonanza Creek, Alaska by George Carmack
  • 1898-07-08 The shooting death of crime boss Soapy Smith releases Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.
  • 1899-09-04 8.3 earthquake shakes Yakutat Bay Alaska
  • 1899-09-10 2nd quake in 7 days (8.6) hits Yakutat Bay Alaska
  • 1900-06-06 US Congress pass an act authorizing a civil code and government for the territory of Alaska after gold discoveries bring lawlessness and disorder to the area
  • 1900-10-09 8.3 magnitude earthquake shakes Cape Yakataga, Alaska
  • 1901-08-14 SS Islander hits iceberg near Alaska & sinks killing 70
  • 1903-10-20 US wins disputed boundary between District of Alaska & Canada
  • 1908-02-12 NY to Paris auto race (via Alaska & Siberia) begins in NYC George Schuster wins after 88 days behind the wheel
  • 1909-06-01 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opens in Seattle
  • 1909-11-13 Collier's magazine accuses U.S. Secretary of the Interior Richard Ballinger of questionable dealings in Alaskan coal fields.
  • 1910-04-03 Highest mountain in North America, Alaska's Mt McKinley claimed to have been 1st climbed by 4 local men
  • 1912-06-04 Cone of Mount Katmai (Alaska) collapses
  • 1912-06-06 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins. It is the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.
  • 1912-08-24 District of Alaska becomes an organized incorporated territory of the United States
  • 1915-06-27 100°F (38°C), Fort Yukon, Alaska (state record)
  • 1918-10-25 Canadian steamship "Princess Sophia" hit a reef off Alaska, 398 die
  • 1922-10-11 First woman FBI "special investigator" appointed (Alaska Davidson)
  • 1923-07-08 Harding becomes 1st sitting president to visit Alaska (Metlakahtla)
  • 1925-02-25 Glacier Bay National Monument established in Alaska
  • 1936-03-26 Mary Joyce ends a 1,000 mile trip by dog in Alaska
  • 1938-11-10 8.3 earthquake shakes East of Shumagin Islands, Alaska
  • 1942-03-09 Construction of the Alaska Highway began
  • 1942-10-29 Alaska highway completed
  • 1944-06-06 Alaska Airlines commences operations.
  • 1953-06-25 86°F in Anchorage Alaska
  • 1953-12-11 KTVA TV channel 11 in Anchorage (CBS) becomes Alaska's 1st TV station
  • 1957-03-09 8.1 earthquake shakes Andreanof Islands, Alaska

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958-07-07 President Eisenhower signed a bill approving Alaskan statehood

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1958-07-09 Giant splash caused by fall of 90 million tons of rock & ice into Lituya Bay, Alaska washes 1,800 feet up the mountain
  • 1959-01-03 Alaska admitted as 49th US state
  • 1959-07-04 America's new 49-star flag honoring Alaska statehood unfurled
  • 1963-03-13 2 Russian reconnaissance flights over Alaska
  • 1964-03-27 Earthquake strikes Alaska, 8.4 on Richter scale, 118 die
  • 1964-03-28 9.2 earthquake shakes Prince William Sound, Alaska
  • 1971-01-23 -80°F (-62°C) in Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska (US record)
  • 1971-09-04 Alaskan 727 crashes into Chilkoot Mountain, kills 109 (Alaska)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973-11-16 US Presidennt Richard Nixon authorizes construction of Alaskan pipeline

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • 1975-03-09 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.
  • 1977-05-31 Trans Alaska oil pipeline completed
  • 1977-06-20 Oil enters Trans-Alaska pipeline exits 38 days later at Valdez
  • 1977-07-28 1st oil through the TransAlaska Pipeline System reach Valdez, Alaska
  • 1982-10-12 38.6 cm (15.2") of rainfall, Angoon Alaska (state record)
  • 1985-05-17 Les Anderson, catches record 97 lb 4 oz Chinook Salmon, off Alaska
  • 1986-08-07 Daniel Buettner, Bret Anderson, Martin Engel & Anne Knabe begin cycling journey of 15,266 miles from Prudhoe Bay Alaska to Argentina
  • 1987-05-31 Saul Ballesteros drives 3 golf balls off Mt McKinley, Alaska
  • 1987-06-13 Daniel Buettner, Bret Anderson, Martin Engel & Anne Knabe complete cycling journey of 15,266 mi from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Argentina
  • 1989-03-24 Worst US oil spill, Exxon's Valdez spills 11.3 mil gallons off Alaska
  • 1994-06-13 A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blames recklessness by Exxon and Captain Joseph Hazelwood for the Exxon Valdez disaster, allowing victims of the oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.
  • 1995-09-22 E-3B AWACS crashed outside of Elmendorf AFB, Alaska after multiple bird strikes to two of the four engines soon after takeoff; all 24 on board killed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1995-11-29 US President Bill Clinton lifts ban on exports of oil from the Alaskan North Slope; the ban was imposed after the oil embargo by Arab oil producers in 1973

42nd US President Bill Clinton
42nd US President
Bill Clinton
  • 2000-01-31 Alaska Airlines flight 261 MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 persons aboard.
  • 2001-10-07 Crude oil resumes flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline after workers welded shut a bullet hole that caused 260,000 US gallons of oil to spill out
  • 2008-01-21 The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies.
  • 2009-03-22 Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska began erupting after a prolonged period of unrest.
  • 2013-07-07 10 people are killed after an air taxi crashes in Soldotna, Alaska

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2015-08-31 President Obama officially re-designates Alaska’s Mt. McKinley as Denali, its native American name

44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama
  • 2015-08-31 US President Barak Obama arrives in Alaska on a 3 day tour highlighting climate change
  • 2015-09-02 US President Barak Obama becomes the first president to visit the Arctic Circle at Kotzebue, Alaska

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2016-03-26 US primary elections: Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders wins Washington, Hawaii and Alaska

US Senator Bernie Sanders
US Senator
Bernie Sanders

Famous Birthdays

  • 1801-05-16 William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State, bought Alaska at 2 ¢/acre (d. 1872)
  • 1871-12-13 Russell W Porter, Vermont, explorer (Alaska)
  • 1898-11-22 Wiley Post, Grand Plain Tx, aviator/parachutist (crashed in Alaska)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1899-06-08 Noel Wien, American aviation pioneer (Wien Air Alaska), born in Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin (d. 1977)

Aviation Pioneer Noel Wien
Aviation Pioneer
Noel Wien
  • 1910-10-15 Xenophon Balaskas, cricketer (South African leg-spinner of 30's)
  • 1919-08-18 Walter J Hickel, (Gov-R-Alaska)/US Secretary of Interior (1969-71)
  • 1927-10-14 Roger Moore, actor (Alaskans, Maverick, Saint), born in London, England
  • 1930-05-13 Mike Gravel, (Sen-R-Alaska)
  • 1943-01-01 Tony Knowles, 9th Governor of Alaska
  • 1952-10-02 George Meegen, England, walked 19,019 miles from Argentina to Alaska
  • 1957-10-18 Doug Isaacson, Alaskan politician
  • 1962-03-17 Janet Patricia Gardner, Juneau Alaska, rocker (Vixen-Rev It Up)
  • 1965-10-17 Connie Ann Hearn, Anchorage Alaska, actress (New Kind of Family)
  • 1966-03-08 Holly Ann Salo, Keani Alaska, Miss Alaska-America (1991)
  • 1967-03-28 Ed[ward] Grose, Juneau Alaska, rower (Olympics-1996)
  • 1970-02-17 Tommy Moe, Anchorage Alaska, nordic skiier (Olympic-gold/silver-1994)
  • 1970-10-14 Nina Kemppel, Anchorage Alaska, cross country skier (Olympics-1994)
  • 1972-05-05 Janelle Lynn Canady, Miss Alaska USA (1996)
  • 1973-12-07 Rea Marie Bavilla, Miss USA-Alaska (1997)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1974-05-23 Jewel Kilcher, American singer-songwriter (Pieces of You), born in Payson, Utah

Singer-Songwriter Jewel Kilcher
Jewel Kilcher
  • 1975-02-08 Joshua Morrow, Juneau Alaska, actor (Nicholas Newman-Young & Restless)
  • 1975-05-05 Christine Buschur, Eagle River Alaska, Miss America-Alaska (1997)
  • 1975-07-30 Annie Parisse [Anne Marie Cancelmi], Anchorage, Alaska, American actress (Law & Order, As the World Turns)
  • 1977-09-30 Stacey Storey, Eagle River Alaska, Miss America-Alaska (1996)
  • 1978-11-25 Laurie Miller, Miss Alaska Teen USA (1997)
  • 1979-02-02 Brandee Dawn McCoskey, Miss Alaska Teen USA (1996)
  • 1979-06-20 Sydne Vogel, Anchorage Alaska, figure skater (1996 NW Pac Sr champ)
  • 1981-09-28 Vincent Kartheiser, actor (Hairy Bird, Alaska, Untamed Heart)

Famous Weddings

  • 2012-10-28 Bristol Palin's former fiance Levi Johnston (21) weds Sunny Oglesby (20) at Settlers Bay Lodge in Wasilla, Alaska

Famous Deaths

  • 1837-12-13 Herman of Alaska, Russian Orthodox hermit (b. 1756)
  • 1935-08-15 Wiley Post, aviation pioneer, killed in plane crash in Alaska at 36

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1935-08-15 Will Rogers, humorist, killed in plane crash in Alaska at 55

Humorist Will Rogers
Will Rogers

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1977-07-19 Noel Wien, American aviation pioneer (Wien Air Alaska), dies at 78

Aviation Pioneer Noel Wien
Aviation Pioneer
Noel Wien
  • 1982-02-11 Victor Jory, Alaskan actor (Kings Row, Manhunt), dies at 79
  • 1994-05-12 Xenophon Balaskas, cricketer (9 Tests for South Africa, 22 wkts), dies