Alexei Chirikof, with Bering expedition, sights land on July 15; the Europeans had found Alaska.
Russians Vitus Bering and Aleksi Cherikov 'discover' Alaska and bring back fur skins (Bering shipwrecked on return and died); the Fur Rush is on.
The lives of early Alaskans remained basically unchanged for thousands of years, until Russian sailors, led by Danish explorer Vitus Bering, sighted Alaska's mainland in 1741.
The Russians were soon followed by British, Spanish, and American adventurers. But it was the Russians who stayed to trade for the pelts of sea otters and other fur-bearing animals, interjecting their own culture and staking a strong claim on Alaska. Once the fur trade declined, however, the Russians lost interest in this beautiful though largely unexplored land.