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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1778-10-03 Captain James Cook anchors at Alaska

Explorer James Cook
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
  • 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

FireworksEruption of Novarupta

1912-06-06 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska begins, the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century
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
  • 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 Two Russian reconnaissance flights over Alaska
  • 1964-03-27 Great Alaska Earthquake 9.2 magnitude and resulting tsunami kills 139, largest US earthquake, 2nd 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 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 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)

Famous Birthdays

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, Vermont, explorer (Alaska)
  • 1898-11-22 Wiley Post, Grand Plain Tx, aviator/parachutist (crashed in Alaska)

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, cricketer (South African leg-spinner of 30's)
  • 1919-08-18 Walter J Hickel, (Gov-R-Alaska)/US Secretary of Interior (1969-71)

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), born in Seattle, Washington
  • 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, actress (New Kind of Family), 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)
  • 1970-02-17 Tommy Moe, nordic skiier (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
  • 1973-12-07 Rea Marie Bavilla, Miss USA-Alaska (1997)

Person of interestJewel Kilcher

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], American actress (Law & Order, As the World Turns), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1977-09-30 Stacey Storey, Miss America-Alaska (1996), born in Eagle River, Alaska
  • 1979-06-20 Sydne Vogel, figure skater (1996 NW Pac Sr champ), born in Anchorage, Alaska
  • 1981-06-12 John Gourley, American musician, singer, and songwriter (Portugal. The Man), born in Wasilla, 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

  • 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 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
Will Rogers

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, cricketer (9 Tests for South Africa, 22 wkts), dies
  • 2003-10-06 Timothy Treadwell, American environmentalist (Grizzly Man), dies mauled and eaten by bears in Katmai National Park, Alaska at 46