1775: Spaniard Don Bruno de
Heceta lands near the mouth of the Quinalt River
and claims area for Russia.
1792: Captain Robert Gray found and named the Columbia
-1794: British explorer George Vancouver maps
the coast of Washington.
1804-1805: Lewis and Clark, sent by Thomas Jefferson
to explore the Louisiana Purchase and find a northwest
passage to the Pacific Ocean, built Fort Clatsop
on the Columbia River. They sent word that there
were many fur-bearing animals.
1811: First American settlement in eastern Washington
is established at Okanogan by David Stuart for the
Pacific Fur Company.
1846: The Oregon Treaty settled a major boundary dispute
between The United States and Great Britain.
1847: Native Americans in eastern Washington massacre
a missionary settlement in the Walla Walla Valley
formed by Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. The massacre
became known as the Whitman Massacre.
1850-1858: American military forces defeat Native Americans
in the region in the Cayuse and Yakima Wars, opening
the region to mass settlement.
-1870's: Settlers using the Oregon Trail descend upon the
Puget Sound region and settle. The region's lumber
and fur trades, combined with the discovery of
gold in the Fraser River, attract thousands.
1853: Seattle, originally called Duwamps, is founded.
1889: Washington becomes the 42nd state.
1897: The Klondike Gold Rush reaches Seattle, making
the city a major supply and transportation center.
Seattle is instantly transformed into a thriving
1926: Bertha Knight Landes is elected mayor of Seattle
making it the first major city to elect a woman as
1971: Starbucks is founded in Seattle by two teachers
and a writer.
1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen form Microsoft Corp.
1980: Mount St. Helens erupts flattening many miles
of forests and killing 57 people. The eruption was
so powerful that ash was deposited in eleven states
and the ash column reached a height of 12 miles.
The eruption was the most destructive in American
history and was the equivalent of 800 billion tons