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

Historic Event

1778-10-03 Captain James Cook anchors at Alaska

  • 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

Alaska Purchase

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

Historic Event

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

  • 1867-10-05 Last day of Julian calendar in Alaska

Gregory Conquers Julius Caesar

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

  • 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

Eruption of Novarupta

1912-06-06 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins, the 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" hits a reef off Alaska, 398 die
  • 1922-10-11 First woman FBI "special investigator", Alaska Davidson, appointed

Historic Event

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

  • 1925-02-25 Glacier Bay National Monument established in Alaska

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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)

Historic Event

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

  • 1975-03-09 Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System begins.
  • 1977-05-31 Trans-Alaska oil pipeline completed, one of the world's largest pipeline systems
  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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

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

Election of Interest

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

  • 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)

William H. SewardWilliam H. Seward (1801-1872)

1801-05-16 American politician (Secretary of State, 1861-69, Governor of New York, 1839-42), born in Florida, New York

  • 1871-12-13 Russell W. Porter, American artist and explorer (Alaska), born in Springfield, Vermont (d. 1949)

Wiley PostWiley Post (1898-1935)

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

Noel WienNoel Wien (1899-1977)

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

  • 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)

Roger MooreRoger Moore (1927-2017)

1927-10-14 British actor (The Saint, James Bond), born in London

  • 1930-05-13 Mike Gravel, American politician (US Senator (D) - Alaska, 1969-81), and peace activist (Pentagon Papers), born in Springfield, Massachusetts (d. 2021)
  • 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

Jewel KilcherJewel Kilcher (48 years old)

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

  • 1975-02-08 Joshua Morrow, American actor (Nicholas Newman-Young & Restless), born in Juneau, Alaska
  • 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)

Wiley PostWiley Post (1898-1935)

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

Will RogersWill Rogers (1879-1935)

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

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

Noel WienNoel Wien (1899-1977)

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

  • 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