FYI July 15, 2017

1741 – Aleksei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
Aleksei Ilyich Chirikov (Russian: Алексей Ильич Чириков) (1703 – November 1748) was a Russian navigator and captain who along with Bering was the first Russian to reach North-West coast of North America. He discovered and charted some of the Aleutian Islands while he was deputy to Vitus Bering during the Great Northern Expedition.

Life and work
In 1721, Chirikov graduated from the Naval Academy. In 1725–1730 and 1733–1743, he was Vitus Bering’s deputy during the First and the Second Kamchatka expeditions.

In May 1741 Chirikov in the St Paul and Vitus Bering in the St Peter left Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and headed east. Some time after 20 June they were separated by a storm and never saw each other again. On 15 July 1741 Chirikov saw land at Baker Island off Prince of Wales Island at the south end of the Alaska Panhandle. This is about 450 miles southeast of Bering’s landfall near Mount St. Elias at the north end of the panhandle. Unable to find a harbor he sailed north along Baranov Island past the later Russian base at Sitka. He sent out a longboat to find an anchorage. When it did not return after a week he sent out his second longboat which also failed to return. Now without any small boats Chirikov had no way of searching for the two longboats or landing on the coast to explore or replenish his supply of fresh water. After waiting as long as possible, he abandoned the longboats to their fate and on 27 July sailed west. He sighted the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island and Adak Island near the western end of the Aleutians. With water critically low he reached Petropavlovsk on 12 October 1741.

In 1742, Chirikov was in charge of a search party for Bering’s ship St. Peter. During this trip, he located Attu Island. Chirikov took part in creating the final map of the Russian discoveries in the Pacific Ocean (1746). Chirikov’s name is given to Capes of the Kyūshū Island, Attu Island, Anadyr Bay, Tauyskaya Bay, an underwater mountain in the Pacific Ocean, Chirikof Island and Cape Chirikof at the westernmost point of Baker Island.

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History of Alaska
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Alaska history” redirects here. For the academic journal, see Alaska History (journal).
For a topical guide to this subject, see Historical outline of Alaska.
Alaska in 1895 (Rand McNally). The boundary of southeastern Alaska shown is that claimed by the United States prior to the conclusion of the Alaska boundary dispute.

The history of Alaska dates back to the Upper Paleolithic period (around 14,000 BC), when wanderer groups crossed the Bering land bridge into what is now western Alaska. At the time of European contact by the Russian explorers, the area was populated by Alaska Native groups. The name “Alaska” derives from the Aleut word Alaxsxaq (also spelled Alyeska), meaning “mainland” (literally, “the object toward which the action of the sea is directed”).[1]

In the 1890s, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska. Alaska was granted territorial status in 1912 by the United States of America.

In 1942, two of the outer Aleutian Islands—Attu and Kiska—were occupied by the Japanese and their recovery for the U.S. became a matter of national pride. The construction of military bases contributed to the population growth of some Alaskan cities.

Alaska was granted U.S. statehood on January 3, 1959.

In 1964, the massive “Good Friday earthquake” killed 131 people and leveled several villages.

The 1968 discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and the 1977 completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline led to an oil boom. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in Prince William Sound, spilling between 11 and 34 million US gallons (42,000 and 130,000 m³) of crude oil over 1,100 miles (1,600 km) of coastline. Today, the battle between philosophies of development and conservation is seen in the contentious debate over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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1353 – Vladimir the Bold, Russian prince (d. 1410)
Vladimir Andreyevich the Bold (Russian: Владимир Андреевич Храбрый) (July 15, 1353 – 1410) was the most famous prince of Serpukhov. His moniker alludes to his many military exploits committed in the wars waged by his cousin, Dmitri Donskoi of Moscow.

A grandson of Ivan Kalita, Vladimir inherited Serpukhov, Borovsk, and a third part of Moscow from his brother at the age of 5. As his cousin Dmitry of Moscow was also a child, both princes had to be tutored by the Metropolitan Alexis who arranged a treaty stipulating Vladimir’s loyalty to his Muscovite cousin.

Pursuant to the treaty, Vladimir helped Dmitry to fight Tver (1375), Ryazan (1385), the Livonian Knights (1379), and the Republic of Novgorod (1392). Although he married a daughter of Algirdas of Lithuania in 1371, Vladimir still loyally supported Dmitry in his struggle against the Lithuanians.

In 1374, anxious to defend his capital, Vladimir built the first oaken kremlin in Serpukhov. In 1377, Vladimir sacked the Severian towns of Trubchevsk and Starodub. In the great Battle of Kulikovo (1380) Vladimir commanded cavalry which decided the Russian victory. When Tokhtamysh invaded Russia two years later, Vladimir defeated his force near Volokolamsk.

It is not clear why Vladimir quarrelled with his cousin in 1388. Although they made peace the same year, Vladimir was forced to leave Serpukhov for Torzhok following Dmitry’s death and enthronment of his son Vasily I. A year later, he returned to Serpukhov and concluded a treaty with Vasily, whereby he obtained the appanage towns of Volokolamsk and Rzhev. Later, he exchanged these towns for Gorodets[disambiguation needed], Uglich, and Kozelsk, while forfeiting his claims to Murom and Tarusa.

Vladimir’s last military campaign was to defend Moscow against the horde of Edigu in 1408. He died two years later and was interred in the Archangel Cathedral. His seven sons continued the lineage of Serpukhov princes until 1456. His granddaughter Maria of Borovsk married Vasily II and gave birth to Ivan the Great, who expelled the last princes of Serpukhov to Lithuania. The last of Vladimir’s male-line descendants died in 1521.


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