Timeline of Greenland

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This page is a historical timeline of the island known as Greenland or Kalaallit Nunaat.

Norwegian colonization and Colony[edit]

982: The Norwegian viking known as Eric the Red is banished from Iceland. He sails off and discovers the island. He decides to name it Greenland to make the island appear more attractive.

1000: Leif Erickson departs Greenland for his voyage to what is now Labrador. By now, Christianity is well established on the island.

1261: Becomes crown dependency of Norway.

c.1600: The last Norwegian settlements have vanished leaving only the Inuit.

Danish-Norwegian Colony[edit]

1721: The first Danish settlement is created near present-day Nuuk.

1776: Denmark assumes a full monopoly of trade with the island.

1800s: Greenland is explored and mapped in this period.

1814: Norway lost Greenland as a result of the Treaty of Kiel.

Danish Colony[edit]

1940: Denmark is occupied by Nazi Germany and Greenland is therefore cut off. The United States assumes custody over the island.

1945: Greenland is given back to Denmark but the US and NATO use the island as a base for operations.

1953: Greenland is now integrated with Denmark and has representation in Denmark's parliament.

1968: An American B-52 bomber crashes on the island. But the bomber had four nuclear bombs and the people claim that not all weapons were found.

Self Rule[edit]

1979: Greenland attains home rule.

1985: Greenland has fully left the European community.

2008: Greenland gains greater autonomy.

2010: Studies conclude that the Greenland ice-sheet is shrinking faster than scientists thought.


[1] "Timeline: Greenland." BBC News. BBC, 01 Oct. 2011 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1023448.stm