Alaska's History: Education, the Land, and the People

Events

1740: Russian Fur Merchants arrive

1740

The Europeans introduced smallpox, measles, diseases, liquor, and firearms
Russian fur trade became largest and wealthiest in the world

1741: Vitus Bering sighted and claimed Alaskan land

1741

leading to European exploration

1741: Aleut population- 12,000-15,000 people

1741

1741: Grigory Shelikhov developed first Russian settlement

1741

First settlement was Old Harbor on Kodiak Island

1768: Stellar's sea cow became extinct

1768

1778: Captain James Cook reached bay at present day Anchorage

1778

Cook was searching for a passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic. He was killed in Hawaii.

1791: George Vancouver charted the Inside Passage

1791

1799: Alexander Baranov was appointed the first governor of the Alaskan territory

1799

1800: Aleut population remained at 2,000 people

1800

Europeans introduced disease, liquor, and firearms; Native Alaskan traditions and ways of life were disturbed

1820: Sea otter hunted to near extintion

1820

1820: Russians established interior fur trade and employed many Athapaskan trappers due to their skill

1820

1820: Father Ivan Veniaminov worked as Russian Orthodox priest and learned about Aleut way of life

1820

1830: Aleut worked as slaved labor to get sea otter pelts as far south as Baja California

1830

1850: gold discovered by Russians on Kenai peninsula

1850

1867: Seward Folly signed treaty with Russia to gain Alaskan territory

1867

Seward negotiated to purchase Alaskan territory from Russia for $7.2 million (two cents per acre)

1867: 50 Russian schools supported

1867

1869: Parrott & Company- created the first steamboat to run on the Yukon River

1869

1878: John G. Brody opened mission school in Sitka

1878

1879: John Muir "Father of National Parks" began trip to see glaciers in Alaska

1879

John Muir wanted to protect Alaska's wildlife in Glacier Bay

1880: Joe Juneau founded first major strike of gold at present day Juneau

1880

1881: Henry Glass required native children to attend school

1881

Henry Glass was a Navy commander. When he noticed attendance at schools decline, he contacted parents and began fining them if they didn't send their children to school. This boosted attendance.

1883: Cruises to Glacier Bay began after John Muir helped launch tourism

1883

Within 7 year, 25,000 people had visited

1884: Brody's mission school became first industrial training school

1884

it was opened to the native Alaskans in Sitka

1887: 17 Russian schools

1887

By 1887, there were still 17 Russian schools in the Alaskan territory.

1896: 8 Russian schools

1896

Only 8 Russian schools still remained in the Alaskan territory

1897: Klondike Stampede- 100,000 people headed to Klondike River in search of gold

1897

1898: Gold found in Nome

1898

1907: Copper discovered near Copper River, Cordova

1907

J.P. Morgan and Guggenheim brothers formed Alaska Syndicate company to mine copper. Richest and purest copper source in the world.

1912: Women and men were given the right to vote to elect representatives

1912

1912: James Wickersham first person elected to Congress in Alaska

1912

1912: Mount Novarupta in Katmai erupted

June 6, 1912

18 inches of ash covered Kodiak Island

1916: Last Russian school closed

1916

1923: Alaskan Railroad completed, running from Seward to the Alaskan Range

1923

President Harding commemorated the completion of the Railroad by placing the golden spike at Nenana.

1924: Ben Eielson first commercial flight in Alaska to fly U.S. mail

1924

1925: Glacier Bay became a National Monument

1925

John Muir, S. Hall Young, and a native seal hunter traveled to Glacier Bay where John Muir decided the land should be preserved.

1941: Kodiak Refuge Founded

1941

"To protect the native feeding and breeding grounds of the brown bear and other wildlife"

1942: Japanese troops landed on Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska

1942

Japanese built bases and defenses

1942: Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor

1942

1942: Construction of the Alaskan Highway began

1942

It was completed in about 8 months and was more than 1,400 miles long.

1943: Battle of Attu between American and Japanese troops

1943

U.S. tried to liberate islands

1959: Statehood Act passed

1959

Public school system for "all children of the state"

1959: Alaska gained Statehood

1959

The war helped boost Alaska's economy which helped to promote a local government

1963: Alaskan Marine Highway system created

1963

provides transportation and supports tourism within southeastern and southwestern Alaska

1964: Magnitude 9.2 earthquake

March 27th, 1964

The earthquake struck 78 miles east of Anchorage at 5:36 pm on Good Friday. 11 people were killed from the earthquake in Anchorage.

1964: A tsunami caused from the earthquake devastated Kodiak Island

March 27th, 1964

The tsunami hit Kaguyak and Old Harbor before hitting downtown Kodiak

1968: Prudhoe Bay oil field discovered- one of the largest in North America

1968

1972: Indian Education Act

1972

provided services that the Bureau of Indian Affairs could not. It recognized that American and Alaskan Indians have unique cultural needs that may affect their education.

1974: Trans-Alaska pipeline approved and construction began

1974

800 mile oil pipeline that stretches from Prudhoe Bay to the Gulf of Alaska

1974: oil boom brought more people to Alaska

1974

1980: Glacier Bay became a National Park

1980

1980: Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

1980

Signed by President Carter to create national parks, monuments, preserves, and wildlife refuges.

1989: Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound

1989

destroyed environment, contaminated water and animal habitats, killed animals

2017: More than one third of Alaskan jobs are supported by oil industry

2017