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Apart from the brief visit of the Scandinavians in the early eleventh century, the Western Hemisphere remained unknown to Europe until Columbus's voyage in 1492. However, the native peoples of North and South America arrived from Asia long before, in a series of migrations that began perhaps as early as forty thousand years ago across the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska.
Oregon History Timeline
Important Dates, Events, and Milestones
Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in Oregon history.
1728 - Bering discovered straits between the continents
1788 - Marcus Lopez, cabin boy of Captain Robert Gray, first person of African descent known to have set foot on Oregon soil.
1803 - Louisiana purchased from France
1805 - York, William Clark's slave, comes west with Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.
1813 - Astoria becomes Fort George under British flag
1819 - Treaty with Spain fixing northern boundary of California at 42 degree north
1837 - Whitman and Spalding Missions established
1845 - Reorganized Provisional Government
1849 - August 14 - Oregon Territory established (Aug 14, 1848). Federally-appointed Governor Joseph Lane proclaim that Oregon is now a Territory of the United States. Began government March 3, 1849
1853 - Washington Territory established; Pacific railroad surveys authorized
1854 - Oregon's Exclusion Law is repealed.
1858 - First state officials elected. Including Governor "Honest John" Whiteaker
1862 - Oregon adopts a law requiring all blacks, Chinese, Hawaiians, and Mulattos (an archaic term referring to people of mixed ethnic heritage) residing in Oregon to pay an annual tax of $5
1863 - Idaho Territory established
1866 - Oregon's citizens do not pass the Fourteenth Amendment, granting citizenship to blacks.
1869 - Union and Central Pacific Railroads connected, May 10 (Promontory Point, Utah)
1870 - The Fifteenth Amendment, granting black men the right to vote, is added to the US Constitution despite failing to pass in both Oregon and California. This federal law supersedes a clause in the Oregon State Constitution banning black suffrage.
1874 - Caves discovered and located in Oregon Caves National Monument are carved within solid marble.
1880 - The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse constructed, and is currently used as the site of the final resting place of up to 467,000 cremated individuals.
1884 - Railroad south from Portland reaches Ashland, May 5, (Completed Dec 7, 1887)
1902 - Mr. W. E. Richards of Albany built a steam engine car. This was the first automobile built in Oregon and ran 12 miles per hour.
1905 - Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition at Portland
1907 - Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway constructed
1910 - John Burkhart is second man in Oregon to build and fly his own airplane. The old fair grounds race horse track was used as the landing field.
1913 - South Jetty at mouth of Columbia River completed
1914 - The Portland chapter of the NAACP, the oldest continually chartered chapter west of the Mississippi River, is founded.
1918 - Armistice signed, November 11th
1926 - Oregon repeals its exclusion law, amending the state constitution to remove it from the Bill of Rights.
1987 - Legislature designated the Oregon sunstone as the official state gemstone.
State History Timelines
State History Timelines
Chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in United States history from discovery to present
What is the past, and why is it important? How do we learn about events in the past?
Study history will allow students to gain a frame of reference for understanding history and for recognizing that the past is different depending on who is remembering and retelling it.