Tsar Peter commissioned a naval expedition to explore Pacific waters north and east of Kamchatka. He wanted to know if Asia and North America were joined by land, to determine the extent of Spain's control in the Pacific, and to extend Russia's power into the New World.
Bering concludes that Asia and North America were not joined
Russian fur merchants begin to arrive
Vitus Bering and Aleksei Chirikov set sail for Alaska
This is Bering's second expedition in search of Alaska.
Vitus Bering claims Alaska for Russia
Aleut population is thought to have been between 12,000-15,000 people.
Bering dies of Scurvy
December 8, 1741
Captain Cook reaches what we know today as Cook Inlet
British Captain James Cook sails north under order to find an ice free passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Russian fur trade becomes the richest fur enterprise in the world
Russians encounter Tlingit Native Alaskans
First white settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island
Alexander Barnov hired to run Russian America's dominant fur trading company
Baranov seemed the unlikely choice to run the Russia America's fur trading company given his failed company in Siberia. However, due to his aggressiveness and tough political skills, the empire prevailed.
George Vancouver chartered the Inside Passage
1791 - 1795
Vancouver became the first European to sight Mt. Foraker and Mt. McKinley from the area we know now as Cook Inlet.
Aleut males forced to work for the Russian-American Company
1799 - 1867
All Aleut males between the ages of 15-50 had to work for the Russian-American fur trading company, which monopolized the administration and exploitation of the colony.
Alexander Baranov establishes citadel in Sitka Bay
Baranov was also named first Russian governor in 1799
Aleut population decreases significantly due to European influence
Due to the introduction of small pox, measles, liquor, and fire arms by the Europeans, the Aleut population (as well as other Native groups like the Haida of the southeast) was found to be near 2,000; a reduction of 10,000-13,000 people.
Russian ships use Aleut hunters to hunt sea otters
Aleut hunters were used by the Russians to hunt sea otters as far south as Baja, California.
Baranov dies of fever en route to St. Petersburg
April 12, 1819
Baranov was known as "Lord of Alaska" because he helped Russia tap the New World's riches.
Russian agents establish an Interior fur trade in southwest Alaska
Athabascans of the region became contract trappers employed by the Russian-American Company.
Russian navy bars all foreign ships from Alaskan waters
Father Ivan Veniaminov travels as a missionary to Unalaska
Veniaminov respected local traditions and taught that Natives must receive Christian doctrine in their own tongue. Father Veniaminov preached in Aleut, prepared an Aleut dictionary, and grammar, laying the foundations of literacy among the Aleut people.
Russian agents establish an Interior fur trade in southwest Alaska
The Athabascans did well due to their traditions of mobility and solitary hardiness.
Veniaminov moves to Sitka to continue his work
Veniaminov gains the trust of the Tlingit Natives by inoculating them against a small pox epidemic in 1836.
American and French ships search for right whales
American and French ships sail north in search of whales due to the decline in numbers in the southern Pacific and Atlantic.
U.S. and England obtain training privileges in Alaska
Veniaminov named Bishop
Veniaminov was named the Innocent, Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile, and the Aleutian Islands". Soon after, a Cathedral and Bishop House was built in Sitka. Also in 1841, Vieniamnov, along with Aleut leader Ivan Pan'kov designed the Aleut alphabet.
Yankee Whalers begin commercial whaling in Alaskan waters
With the invasion came more fire arms, liquor, illness, and cash economy to the Inupiat Natives.
Last shot of Civil War fired in Alaskan waters
U.S. purchases Alaska
April 4, 1867
William H. Seward predicts Alaska should be admitted to union as separate states
Due to the size of Alaska, Secretary of State Seward predicts that the region might have to be admitted to the Union as several separate states. Today, some Alaska residents-far removed from the hub of state government in Juneau-might complain that his advice should've been followed.
First fish canneries built
Eleven years earlier, Veniaminov was named Metropolitan of Moscow, head of the entire Russian Church.
First major Gold strike- Gold Creek (present day Juneau)
French-Canadian Joe Juneau and partner Richard Harris were led to the site by Chief Kowee of the Auk Tlingit clan.
John Muir's 800-mile canoe trip helped inaugurate Alaska tourism
John Muir is the founder of Sierra Club. By 1890 some 25,000 sightseers had traveled the upper Inside Passage.
First Organic Act
This act brought civil government to the last frontier, providing a district governor (presidentially appointed), that paved the way for a second reform of 1912, which made Alaska a U.S. territory with its own legislature.
Lt. Henry Allen completes a 1,500 mile journey in one season
March 29, 1885
Lt. Henry Allen crosses the Copper River's headwaters, then descends the Tanana River to the Yukon, then downriver to the Bering Sea. It was called the "greatest act of American exploration since Lewis and Clark crossed the Louisiana Purchase to reach the Pacific".
Tsimshian Natives arrive in Alaska
Led by Anglican lay-minister William Duncan, members of this group moved to Annette Island.
Population boom: 30,000-60,000
1890 - 1900
Due to the Gold Rush, the population of Alaska grew significantly in a decade.
Homestead Act extended to Alaska
Judge James Wickersham elected as nonvoting delegate
Organized sled dog racing began in Nome
The "Alaska Syndicate" is formed by J.P. Morgan and the Guggenheim brothers
J.P. Morgan and the Guggenheim brothers buy out Stephen Birch in order to build Alaska's first copper mine.
Wickersham serves as the region's voice in D.C.
1909 - 1921
Untrained and with no climbing experience, Tom Lloyd and six partners set off in the dead of winter. They did not reach the summit of Denali, they reached it's north peak (850 feet lower), but their exploit alone is still considered one of moutaineering's most astonishing feats.
Alaska Native Brotherhood founded
"Home Rule" act of 1912 wins territorial status
Under the law, Alaskans were finally allowed to elect a territorial legislature. Women in Alaska were granted to vote the following year, 1913.
First true summit of Mt. Denali
Hudson Stuck and three friends, including Stuck's Native sled driver, Walter Harper.
The Alaska Railroad is born- 400 miles from Seward to through the AK range
1915 - 1923
First bill for Alaska statehood drafted
Wickersham establishes Denali National Park
In the same year, Wickersham establishes the creation of the Agricultural College and School of Mines in Fairbanks (now the University of Alaska).
Roy Jones makes the first flight up the Inside Passage
Since the 1920s, Alaska has been in love with the airplane. Roy Jones flew from Seattle to Ketchikan, landing in the Tongass Narrows.
All Alaska Natives are granted citizenship
From 1867 onward, the government pledged to protect Native rights. Sadly, such promises were often largely a dead letter well into the 20th century.
Mushing captures world headlines during a diphtheria epidemic in Nome
Life-saving antitoxin was delivered by dogsled relay in five and 1/2 days from the railhead in Nenana, 674 miles away.
First polar flight from America to Europe
Carl Ben Eielson and George Hubert Wilkins flew from Barrow to Spitsbergen, Norway.
Matanuska colonists arrive at Palmer station
During the Great Depression, the federal government invited people from poor rural areas of the northern Midwest to help found an agricultural colony. The government promised land for as little as $5 an acre, and offered free transportation from the Lower 48 and housing for the colonists.
Indian Organization Act includes Alaska Native governments
First military bases lend-lease activities; Alaska highway completed
1939 - 1945
President Roosevelt authorizes construction of the Alcan
February 11, 1942
Alaska Canada Military Highway (Alcan)
Japanese fleet launches raid on Dutch Harbor
June 3, 1942
Japanese troops land on Attu and Kiska
June 7, 1942
11,000 American troops land on Attu
May 11, 1943
Alaska law ends legal segregation
Alaska Canada Military Highway (Alcan) opens to the public
Statehood bill passed through House of Representatives
Due largely to the efforts of Alaska's nonvoting delegate to congress, E.L. "Bob" Bartlett, a statehood bill passed for the first time in the House or Representatives.
Constitution written and approved
The Marine Highway System is developed
The Marine Highway System, developed by the state's Department of Transportation to serve the ports of southeastern and southwestern Alaska.
AK Federation of Natives formed in Anchorage
First Iditarod Race successfully staged
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
President Nixon signs the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
December 18, 1971
According to the law, Natives receive title to 44 million acres- over 10 percent of the state. The landmark act also awarded Natives $962.5 million in compensation. All U.S. citizens of at least 1/4 Alaska Native ancestry born after December 18th, 1971, were eligible for benefits.
Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)
1974 - 1977
Congress adopts the Magnuson Act
The Magnuson Act created a 200-mile off-shore zone under strict U.S. control in order to regulate commercial fishing from foreign vessels.
The Alaska Permanent Fund is created
The oil boom fueled a huge increase in state spending, making possible the creation of a state-managed, public trust fund. The PFD started annual dividends in 1982.
AK moves to AK standard time
State purchases railroad from the federal government
Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound
Senator Ted Stevens named "Alaskan of the Century"
Bogoslof ("theologian") Island is born
On St. John's Day, officials of the Russian-American Company witness a volcanic eruption in the Bering Sea.
Anglo-Russian treaty establishes Alaska's borders
Mining Act of 1872, land claims rights
First important gold find in the Interior: Forty-Mile River
Klondike Gold Rush and founding of Dawson City
The find by George Washington Carmack, Skookum Jim, and Tagish Charlie led to the founding of Dawson City.
Gold found in Nome
Capital established in Juneau
Gold found in the hills of Tanana Valley-Fairbanks gets its name
A trading post was established on the Chena River, a tributary of the Tanana. Its boosters named it Fairbanks, after Indiana Senator Charles Fairbanks, who later became Teddy Roosevelt's VP.
Adjudication of Alaska-Canada border in southeast Alaska
Juneau replaces Sitka as the state's capital
From 1880-1890, Juneau's mines produced over $17 million in gold, trumping Sitka's fur industry.
Preservation of American Antiquities Act passed
An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities was passed by the U. S. Congress on June 8, 1906. (34 STAT.L.225) It provides penalties for the removal, defacement, etc. of antiquities on ground controlled by the Federal Government such as the National Parks, Monuments and Forests of Alaska. Fines of $500 and/or 6 months imprisonment are provided. (AFTC)
Secretary of the Interior allots homesteads to the Natives of AK
An Act Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to allot homesteads to the Natives of Alaska
Tongass and Chugach National Forest established
Copper mining begins
Alaska is made a U.S. territory
Novarupta vent beneath Mt. Katmai errupts
June 6, 1912
People in Juneau, 750 miles away, head the blast, and sulfuric fumes reached south to Vancouver, BC.
Anchorage is born
One year prior, surveyors traveled north to study routes for the Alaska railroad. Woodrow Wilson ruled in favor of extending the existing Alaska Central track.
Katmai named as National Park and Preserve
Between 1915-1919, botanist Robert Fiske Griggs led four expeditions into Katmai. Due to the vast basin of sulfur vents that looked like ash-covered moonscape, he nicknamed the area "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes." It was Griggs' reports to the National Geographic Society that led to President Wilson's declaration as a national monument.
The Tongass Timber Act
The Venetie and Arctic Village Reservation is formed, the largest in Alaska.
Alaska joins the union as the 49th state
January 3, 1959
Alaska was the first new state since Arizona in 1912, eight months ahead of Hawaii.
Alaska Natives protest "Project Chariot"
Alaska Natives organize to protest "Project Chariot" - a plan to use nuclear weapons to blast an artificial harbor into existence in Northwest Alaska.
Good Friday Earthquake
March 27, 1964
Oil discovered in Prudhoe Bay
Atlantic Richfield geologists discover a field with a capacity approaching 10 billion barrels- the country's greatest oil find.
North Slope oil ease sale brings $900 million
Marine Mammal Protection Act becomes law
The Marine Mammal Protection Act becomes law with the important provision that Alaska Native would be able to continue traditional use of marine mammals.
Alaska National Interest Lands and Conservation Act (ANILCA) passed by Congress
This law helped settle land claims by the state and Natives related to statehood in 1959 and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.
Berger Launches ANCSA Hearings
Amendments to ANCSA take affect
50th anniversary of statehood
First mission school for Eskimos at Nushagak
First Gospel printed in Aleut
Petropavlovsk Seminary relocated in Sitka-renamed the New Archangel Seminary
The New Archangel Seminary opened with 54 students, three teachers, and a library. 23 of the students were Alaska Natives and the curriculum included six years of Native languages- Aleut, Tlingit, and Yupik.
New Archangel Seminary transferred to Yakutsk
The move from Sitka to Yakutsk was made to strengthen the missionary effort in that area.
Second mission school at Kwikpak
Church-based schools established throughout Alaska
The Swedish Evangelical, Moravian, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Congregational, and Roman Catholic Churches establish schools throughout Alaska
Churches filled public education gap with missionary schools
1867 - 1884
From 1867-1884, Alaska had a barely existing civic government. Jackson became convinced that Natives could only be sheltered from liquor and exploitation via wholesale political and educational reform for whites and Natives alike.
First appropriation from Congress for education in the Territory
The funds were never put into use as no agency was found to administer them.
First school in Alaska established at Three Saints Bay-Kodiak Island
First School in Alaska established by the Russians at Three Saints Bay-Kodiak Island.
Sheldon Jackson founds missionary school at Wrangell
Along with Jackson were Amanda R. McFarland, a white lay worker, and Sarah Dickinson. Dickinson was a Tongass Tlingit Native woman that translated for S. Hall Young and was educated by William Duncan, and later became a Christian educator so as to help their people face the challenges visited on them.
Tillie Kinnon and Louis Francis Paul commissioned to open a school in Klukwan
The couple was commissioned by the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions to open a school in Klukwan, 30 miles from the Willards' mission where Sarah Dickinson was a translator/teacher.
Funds for education in Alaska appropriated
Funds for education in Alaska appropriated to be distributed among the existing mission schools
Sheldon Jackson named federal education agent for Alaska
For the next 20 years, Jackson's goal was to protect young Natives within a framework of law and, through education, prepare them to cope with modern times.
Society of Friends establish a school at Kotzebue
Use of English in Indian schools
Board of Education in AK directed to give course study for all gov't schools
The Board of Education in Alaska was directed to prescribe a course of study for all government schools.
Supplemental Report on Indian Education
Frances Willard as assistant teacher at the Sitka Industrial Training School
Frances (Fannie) Willard, a Tlingit woman whom missionaries named for the famous Presbyterian worker active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
Tillie Paul made assistant matron at the Sitka Industrial Training School
Federal Bureau of Education took over most mission schools
Subsidizing of mission schools discontinued. Federal Bureau of Education took over most mission schools.
Local communities authorized to set up school boards.
Local school board established at Nome
First school opens in Fairbanks
Nelson Act establishes school for white children
First teachers' conference held in Juneau
Alaska School Service develops course of study for schools of AK
The Alaska School Service developed a tentative course of study for the schools of Alaska.
First boarding schools established by Catholic, Moravian, and Lutheran Churches
1917 - 1919
1917-1919 The first boarding schools established by Catholic, Moravian, and Lutheran Churches. Federal boarding school was established at White Mountain.
U.S. government closes the Orthodox school on St. Paul Island by force
This was a significant act in what the Orthodox perceive as a government-sponsored and supported campaign against Orthodox and Native culture in Alaska. This suppression of Orthodox and Native culture teachings would continue without letup until the 1970s.
Boarding school at White Mountain renamed "Industrial School"
A policy and programming of industrial training for boarding pupils was initiated.
K-8 more formal course of study produced
A more formal and permanent course of study for the first eight grades in Alaska
Benny Benson creates Alaska state flag
The American Legion, Department of Alaska, announced a contest in school grades 7-12 to design a flag for Alaska. Benny Benson’s design was winner in a field of 142 and in May, 1927 The Territorial Legislature made it official. Benny received $1,000 which he spent on his education and an inscribed watch which later he gave to the State Museum.
Federal Bureau of Education moves to Juneau from Seattle
Federal Bureau of Education field administrative headquarters moved from Seattle, Wash. to Juneau, Alaska
Tillie Paul Tamaree made an elder
After the Presbyterian General Assembly held in Cincinnati in 1930 declared women eligible to be elected church elders, the Native Presbyterian Church of Wrangell made Tillie Paul Tamaree an elder. Thus she became one of the first women in the U.S. to hold such a position.
Alaska Indian Service established
Control of education among the Natives of Alaska was transferred to the Office of Indian Affairs. Became known as the Alaska Indian Service.
Wrangell Institute Boarding School opened - Alaska Indian Service School.
An Act establishing February 16 as "Elizabeth Peratrovich Day"
Elizabeth grew up with them in Petersburg and Ketchikan, Alaska. She attended Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, and the Western College of Education in Bellingham, Washington (now part of Western Washington University).
Mt. Edgecumbe opens as a boarding school for Alaska Natives
Mt. Edgecumbe, a former military installation is opened as a boarding school for Alaska Natives, operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Johnson O'Malley Act
Johnson O'Malley Act provides for the transfer of schools in Alaska to the administrative control of the Territory.
Education specialists placed in district offices
to improve consultant services to teachers.
First edition of "We Teach in Alaska" issued for BIA teachers
First edition of "We Teach in Alaska" issued to provide a manual for BIA teachers in Alaska's remote schools.
First area-wide-in-service training program held
First area-wide in-service training program for Principal-Teachers emphasizing community relations and development of Native leadership.
First secondary level program in a BIA day school established
First secondary level program in a BIA day school established with opening of 9th grade at Unalakleet.
Complete school lunch provisions established
Supplemental nutrition program changed to provide complete school lunch. Agreement that education is a State and local responsibility.
Tundra Times is born
The Tundra Times established, the first state wide newspaper devoted to representing the views and issues of Alaska Natives.
First report: "An Overall Education Plan for Rural Alaska" issued
Governor's Committee issues first report entitled "An Overall Education Plan for Rural Alaska" as a basis for cooperative relationship of BIA and State of Alaska.
English as a second language area-wide workshop
Area-wide workshop for primary teachers with emphasis on teaching English to children as a second language.
William E. Belz School opens- first state-operated boarding high school
William E. Beltz School opens as first State-operated regional boarding high school. Teacher aides provided in BIA day schools. Special education program introduced at Hooper Bay.
Advisory School Boards established.
Area-wide workshop on linguistic teaching methods for ESL
Area-wide workshop for all education personnel emphasizing the linguistic method in teaching English as a Second language.
Kindergarten program initiated
Educational TV available in Barrow Day School
School Boards contract for instruction in cultural and linguistic heritage
Bilingual education inaugurated at primary level
Full high school program at Kotzebue Community School established
Mt. Edgecumbe-Wrangell Parent School Board established
Bureau's first pre-school programs for 2- and 3-year-olds. Administration of program funding at Agency level established.
Rural Education Attendance Areas are created for rural Alaska
Modeled in many respects on the urban school districts in state with the allowance of local school boards to set many policies in their schools.
Tobeluk vs. Lind settled
The so-called "Molly Hootch" (Tobeluk vs. Lind) case is settled with the commitment by the state to provide local schools for Alaska Native communities as it had in predominately white communities in the state.
Bilingual Conference in Anchorage
Stephen E. Cotton re-caps Molly Hootch Case and Native education programs