Oregon Timeline

1500's - 1700's
  • (1543) Spanish explorer Bartolome Ferrello traveled along Oregon and Washington coastlines
  • (1579) Sir Francis Drake visited Oregon
  • (1765) First use of name "Ouragon" by Maj. Robert Rogers
  • (1778) Capt. Cook began fur trade on coast
  • (1792) Capt. Robert Gray traveled and named Columbia River
  • (1805) Lewis and Clark Expedition explored Snake and Columbia Rivers; established Fort Clatsop
  • (1811) John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company established Fort Astoria, first permanent white settlement in Oregon
  • (1818) U.S. and Great Britian agreed to Joint-Occupancy Treaty
  • (1819) Treaty with Spain set southern boundary of Oregon
  • (1827) Second Joint-Occupancy Treaty with Great Britian
  • (1843) First group of 900 emigrants arrived via Oregon Trail
  • (1847) Cayuse Indian War; Whitman massacre
  • (1848) Oregon Territory established
  • (1859) Oregon became 33rd state
  • (1861) Flood in Albany, water 36 feet higher than normal
  • (1869) Union and Central Pacific Railroads connected
  • (1872) Modoc Indian War
  • (1873) Great fire in Portland destroyed most of town
  • (1877) Nez Perce Indian war
  • (1878) Bannock-Paiute Indian war
  • (1885) Chief Joseph's Nez Perce tribes relocated to Colville Reservation
  • (1911) Oregon first U.S. state to hold primary elections
  • (1933) Tillamook Burn destroyed over 240,000 acres of forest
  • (1935) Fire destroyed state capitol building
  • (1936) Fire in Bandon killed eleven and destroyed the town
  • (1937) Bonneville Dam hydroelectric project on Columbia River completed
  • (1939) Tillamook Burn destroyed 190,000 acres of forest; rebuild of state capitol completed
  • (1942) Japanese submarine shells Fort Steves during World War II; Japanese airplane firebombed Siskiyou National Forest
  • (1945) Tillamook Burn destroyed 180,000 acres of forest
  • (1947) Plane crash killed Governor Snell, secretary of state, Farrell, and others
  • (1960) Maurine Neuberger, first woman Oregon senator, elected
  • (1964) Death penalty abolished
  • (1966) Astoria Bridge completed linking Oregon and Washington
  • (1978) Death penalty reinstated
  • (1984) Voters ratified Oregon lottery
  • (1991) Barbara Roberts elected, first woman governor
  • (2002) Record forest fire season burned 1,000,000 acres
  • (2004) Attorney Brandon Mayfield taken into custody by FBI in connection with March terror attacks in Madrid; Archdiocese of Portland first in US to declare bankruptcy, cannot meet cost of claims by people allegedly abused by priests
  • (2006) US Supreme Court upheld law allowing doctors in Oregon to help terminally ill patients die
  • (2010) 19-year old Somalian held for allegedly plotting car bomb attack in center of Portland
  • (2011) Former Native American students at Jesuit schools awarded settlements for abuse
  • (2011) Occupy protesters blocked work at three of Port of Portland terminals
  • (2012) Oregon Ducks won Rose Bowl after 94 years
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Oregon Photographs

Sir Francis DrakeNez Pierce IndiansJames CookOregon TrailTillamook BurnFort AstoriaFort VancouverBonneville Dam