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
  • 2018-07-14 Huge iceberg looming over Innaarsuit village, western Greenland prompts evacations in case it calves
  • 2018-11-14 Large impact crater, 31 km wide, from iron meteorite identified under Hiawatha Glacier in Greenland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2019-08-18 US President Donald Trump confirms he is interested in buying Greenland for the US

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2019-08-21 US President Donald Trump says Danish PM Mette Frederiksen was "nasty" to him over his interest in buying Greenland and cancels his trip to Denmark

Famous Birthdays

  • 1820-02-03 Elisha Kent Kane, US Arctic explorer (Kane Basin off NW Greenland)
  • 1870-01-15 Johan Peter Koch, Danish captain & explorer (Greenland), born in Vestenskov, Denmark (d. 1928)
  • 1879-06-07 Knud J. V. Rasmussen, Danish pole explorer (Thule), born in Jakobshavn, North Greenland, Kingdom of Denmark (d. 1933)
  • 1923-04-23 James Kirkup, English travel writer, poet and novelist (African in Greenland), born in England (d. 2009)
  • 1968-11-22 Rasmus Lerdorf, Greenlandic computer programmer

Famous Deaths


Person of interestAlfred Wegener

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

Polar Scientist, Geophysicist and Meteorologist Alfred Wegener
Polar Scientist, Geophysicist and Meteorologist
Alfred Wegener
  • 2010-10-28 Jonathan Motzfeldt, Greenlander statesman (b. 1938)