1711 - Russian traders learn of a "Great Land" to the east.
1725 - Peter the Great of Russia commissioned a Danish sea captain, Vitus Bering, to explore the Northwest coast of Alaska.
This feat is credited with the "official" discovery by Russia and the first reliable information on the land.
1728 - Vitus Bering sails through the Bering Strait.
1733 - Bering's second expedition, with George Wilhelm Steller aboard, the first naturalist to visit Alaska.
1741 - Alexei Chirikof, with Bering expedition, sights land on July 15; the Europeans had found Alaska.
Alaska's modern history is very short; it was not discovered by the developed world until halfway through the 18th century.
However, the indigenous peoples of Alaska have been here for quite some time.