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 Captain Vitus Bering discovers Mount St Elias, Alaska
  • 1741-08-20 Alaska first sighted by Danish explorer Vitus Bering at head of Russian expedition

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1778-10-03 Captain James Cook anchors at Alaska

Explorer James Cook
Explorer
James Cook
  • 1784-09-22 Russian trappers establish 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

Treaty of InterestAlaska Purchase

1867-03-30 Alaska Purchase: US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 ($109 million in 2018), roughly 2 cents an acre

Learn More
The check used by the United States to purchase Alaska at less than 2 cents an acre
The check used by the United States to purchase Alaska at less than 2 cents an acre
Learn More

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1867-06-20 US President Andrew Johnson announces the Alaska Purchase

17th US President Andrew Johnson
17th US President
Andrew Johnson
  • 1867-10-05 Last day of Julian calendar in Alaska

Gregory Conquers Julius CaesarGregory Conquers Julius Caesar

1867-10-16 Alaska adopts Gregorian calendar, crosses international date line

Read Article
Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
Read Article
  • 1867-10-18 Alaska Purchase: 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 in the Yukon, Canada 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

Volcanic EruptionEruption of Novarupta

1912-06-06 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins, the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century

Learn More
Ash drifts around Katmai village barabaras (sod houses) after the June 1912 eruption of Novarupta
Ash drifts around Katmai village barabaras (sod houses) after the June 1912 eruption of Novarupta
Learn More
  • 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" hits a reef off Alaska, 398 die
  • 1922-10-11 First woman FBI "special investigator", Alaska Davidson, appointed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1923-07-08 Warren G. Harding becomes 1st sitting US President to visit Alaska (Metlakahtla)

29th US President Warren G. Harding
29th US President
Warren G. Harding
  • 1925-02-25 Glacier Bay National Monument established in Alaska

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1928-10-20 Wien Alaska Airways, Inc. incorporated; the first airline in Alaska and one of the 1st in the US with Noel Wien as president

Aviation Pioneer Noel Wien
Aviation Pioneer
Noel Wien
  • 1929-03-07 First nonstop flight made from America to Asia across the Bering Strait (Nome to North Cape) by Noel Wien and Calvin Cripe for Wien Air 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 begins
  • 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 Two Russian reconnaissance flights over Alaska
  • 1964-03-27 The Great Alaska Earthquake (9.2 magnitude) and resulting tsunami kill 139 people in the largest US earthquake and second largest ever recorded
  • 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 President Richard Nixon authorizes construction of the 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 and 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 Exxon tanker Valdez spills 10.8 million gallons of crude oil in Prince William Sound, near Tatitlek, 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 crash 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

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
  • 2017-10-24 Dog doping scandal confirmed by officials of Iditarod, Alaskan dog sled race after dogs test positive for a banned substance
  • 2018-01-03 Previously unknown ancient Beringians group of people unearthed in Alaska, earliest known Native Americans at 11,500 years old
  • 2018-05-10 China announces plans for the world's largest weather-control mechanism, rain-inducing machines for the Tibetan Plateau (area the size of Alaska)
  • 2018-11-30 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska
  • 2019-07-04 Record temperatures in Alaska as Anchorage reaches 90F (32C)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1681-08-05 Vitus Bering, Danish explorer of Bering Strait and coast of Alaska, born in Horsens, Denmark (d. 1741)

Person of interestWilliam H. Seward

1801-05-16 William H. Seward, American politician (Secretary of State, 1861-69, Governor of New York, 1839-42), born in Florida, New York (d. 1872)

US Secretary of State William H. Seward
US Secretary of State
William H. Seward
  • 1871-12-13 Russell W. Porter, American artist and explorer (Alaska), born in Springfield, Vermont (d. 1949)

Person of interestWiley Post

1898-11-22 Wiley Post, American aviator (1st solo flight around the world), born in Corinth, Van Zandt County, Texas (d. 1935)

Aviator Wiley Post
Aviator
Wiley Post

Person of interestNoel Wien

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, South Africa cricketer (South African leg-spinner of 30's), born in Kimberley, Cape Province (d. 1994)
  • 1912-07-18 Henry Louis Miller, American Rear Admiral (WW II-Pacific), born in Fairbanks, Alaska (d. 1993)
  • 1919-08-18 Walter J Hickel, (Gov-R-Alaska)/US Secretary of Interior (1969-71)
  • 1923-11-18 Ted Stevens, American politician (U.S. Senator from Alaska, 1968-2009), born in Indianapolis, Indiana (d. 2010)

Person of interestRoger Moore

1927-10-14 Roger Moore, British actor (The Saint, James Bond), born in London (d. 2017)

  • 1930-05-13 Mike Gravel, (Sen-R-Alaska)
  • 1933-03-13 Frank H. Murkowski, American politician (U.S. Senator from Alaska, 1981-2002; Governor of Alaska, 2002-06), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1943-01-01 Tony Knowles, 9th Governor of Alaska
  • 1949-08-23 Norah Ellen O'Neill, first woman pilot for Alaska Central Air (1974), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 1952-10-02 George Meegan, British adventurer who walked 19,019 miles from Argentina to Alaska, born in London
  • 1956-04-18 Anna Kathryn Holbrook, American actress (Another World), born in Fairbanks, Alaska
  • 1957-05-22 Lisa Murkowski, American politician (U.S. Senator from Alaska), born in Ketchikan, Territory of Alaska
  • 1957-10-18 Doug Isaacson, Alaskan politician
  • 1958-09-08 Michael Lardie, American rock keyboard player, guitarist and producer (Great White; Night Ranger), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1961-05-05 Mike Dunleavy, American politician, Governor of Alaska (2018-), born in Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • 1962-03-17 Janet Gardner, American rock singer, and rhythm guitarist (Vixen - "Rev It Up"), born in Juneau, Alaska
  • 1962-12-20 Thomas Newberry, NFL guard (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Onalaska, Wisconsin
  • 1965-10-17 Connie Ann Hearn, actress (New Kind of Family), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1966-01-25 Mark Schlereth, American NFL guard (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1966-11-14 Curt Schilling, pitcher (Philadelphia Phillies), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1967-03-28 Ed[ward] Grose, Juneau Alaska, rower (Olympics 1996)
  • 1969-04-13 Harold Pruett, American actor (Sybil, Embrace of the Vampire), born in Anchorage, Alaska (d. 2002)
  • 1970-02-17 Tommy Moe, American nordic skier (Olympic-gold/silver-1994), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1970-10-14 Nina Kemppel, cross country skier (Olympics 1994), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1971-02-08 William "Will" Turpin, American musician (Collective Soul) and producer (Gooey Music), born in Fairbanks, Alaska
  • 1972-08-03 Travis Hall, NFL defensive tackle (Atlanta Falcons), born in Sodoltna, Alaska

Person of interestJewel Kilcher

1974-05-23 Jewel Kilcher, American Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter ("Pieces Of You"; "You Were Meant For Me"; "Standing Still"), born in Payson, Utah

Singer-Songwriter Jewel Kilcher
Singer-Songwriter
Jewel Kilcher
  • 1975-02-08 Joshua Morrow, Juneau Alaska, actor (Nicholas Newman-Young & Restless)
  • 1975-07-30 Annie Parisse [Anne Marie Cancelmi], American actress (Law & Order, As the World Turns), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1979-06-20 Sydne Vogel, figure skater (1996 NW Pac Sr champ), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1979-12-23 Scott Gomez, American ice hockey player, born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1981-06-12 John Gourley, American musician, singer, and songwriter (Portugal. The Man), born in Wasilla, Alaska
  • 1984-09-25 Matt Carle, American ice hockey player, born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1989-01-30 Khleo Thomas, American actor & rapper, born in Anchorage, Alaska

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

  • 1741-12-19 Vitus Bering, Danish navigator and explorer (explored Bering Strait and Alaska coast), dies after being shipwrecked at 60
  • 1837-12-13 Herman of Alaska, Russian Orthodox hermit (b. 1756)

Person of interestWiley Post

1935-08-15 Wiley Post, American aviator (1st solo flight around the world), killed in plane crash in Alaska at 36

Aviator Wiley Post
Aviator
Wiley Post

Person of interestWill Rogers

1935-08-15 Will Rogers, American humorist and actor (Judge Priest), dies in a plane crash in Alaska at 55

Humorist Will Rogers
Humorist
Will Rogers
  • 1949-02-22 Russell W. Porter, American artist and explorer (Alaska), dies at 77

Person of interestNoel Wien

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, Canadian actor (Kings Row, Manhunt), dies at 79
  • 1994-05-12 Xenophon Balaskas, South Africa cricketer (9 Tests for South Africa, 22 wkts), dies at 83
  • 2003-10-06 Timothy Treadwell, American environmentalist (Grizzly Man), dies mauled and eaten by bears in Katmai National Park, Alaska at 46
  • 2010-08-09 Ted Stevens, American politician (U.S. Senator from Alaska, 1968-2009), dies at 86