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Alberta History Timeline

1600s - 1700s
  • (1679) Hudson Bay Company given exclusive rights in Rupert's Land, including most of Alberta
  • (1754) Anthony Henday, first European arrives
  • (1778) Peter Pond expedition set up trading posts
  • (1788) Permanent trading posts established in Peace River district
  • (1792) Fort George built by North West Company
  • (1795) Fort Edmonton built
  • (1803) U. S. bought part of Alberta in Louisiana Purchase
  • (1821) North West Company, Hudson Bay Company merged, created fur trade monopoly covering one-quarter of North America
  • (1837) Two-thirds of Blackfoot Indians died from smallpox epidemic
  • (1843) Father Thibault established mission
  • (1857) Captain John Palliser commissioned by British Government to explore Canadian West
  • (1867) British North American Act created Dominion of Canada
  • (1869) Hudson Bay Company sold Rupert's Land to Dominion of Canada; Crowfoot became chief of Blackfoot tribe
  • (1872) Free homestead of 160 acres offered due to passage of Dominion Act
  • (1874) 49th Parallel surveyed
  • (1876) Treaty No. 6 signed - Crees and Assiniboine surrendered lands in central Alberta to government
  • (1877) Treaty No. 7 - Blackfoot, Blood, Peigan, Sarcee, Tsuu, Stoney indians ceded lands in southern Alberta to government
  • (1881) Commercial ranching began in foothills, annual leases offered for one cent per acre
  • (1882) Northwest Territories divided into four districts: Alberta, Assiniboia East, Assiniboia West, Saskatchewan; Provisional District of Alberta created
  • (1883) Canadian Pacific Railway reached Calgary
  • (1887) Government set land aside near Banff, established first National Park
  • (1896) Western Settlement Campaign brought many immigrants to Alberta
  • (1899) Beaver, Chipewyan, Cree, Slavey indians ceded lands in northern Alberta to government
  • (1903) Frank Slide occurred, dammed the Crowsnest River, destroyed coal mines, infrastructure, buried houses and buildings, 76 killed
  • (1905) Province of Alberta created; Edmonton named provisional capital
  • (1910) Explosion at Bellevue Coal Mine killed 31
  • (1912) Alberta Provincial Legislature officially opened
  • (1914) Hillcrest coal mine explosion killed 139; oil discovered in Turney Valley
  • (1915) Prohibition began - sale and consumption of alcohol banned
  • (1916) Alberta became third province to grant women right to vote in provincial elections
  • (1918) Spanish flu epidemic struck Alberta, wearing face masks in public was mandatory; women received right to vote in federal elections
  • (1919) Coal Mine and Railway Workers strike caused by poor working conditions, socioeconomic inequalities; influenza epidemic killed 4,000
  • (1929) Group of Albertans (the Famous Five) gained official recognition for women as people from federal government
  • (1938) Metis Betterment Act passed - land set aside for Metis nation
  • (1947) Oil fields discovered at Leduc
  • (1950) Interprovincial pipeline constructed
  • (1953) Oil field discovered at Pembina
  • (1964) Exploration began of Athabasca tarsands
  • (1971) Progressive Conservatives won election, ended 36 years of Social Credit rule
  • (1973) Oil boom began
  • (1974) Ralph Steinhauer, first native to hold vice-regal office
  • (1980) National Energy Program - federal government took control of energy resources, established new prices and taxes on sale of oil
  • (1981) West Edmonton Mall opened, became world's largest shopping center
  • (1988) Winter Olympics held in Calgary
  • (1999) 243 mentally challenged people compensated for being sterilized against their will
  • (2000) Tornado at Pine Lake campground killed 12, critically injured over 100
  • (2003) Mad Cow disease discovered
  • (2005) Heavy rainfalls caused flooding, evacuation of 1,500 Calgarians, washed out bridges, damaged 40,000 homes
  • (2006) Jeremy Steinke killed 12-year old girlfriend's parents, brother
  • (2009) Outdoor stage collapse at country music festival killed one, injured 15; man scaled fence, mauled by tiger at Calgary Zoo
  • (2010) Largest dinosaur graveyard ever documented discovered near Hilda
  • (2011) 116 fires reported burning in the province, 34 out of control

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.