1775: Spaniard Don Bruno de Heceta lands near the mouth of the Quinalt River and claims area for Russia.
1792: Captain Robert Gray found and named the Columbia River.
1792 -1794: British explorer George Vancouver maps the coast of Washington.
1804-1805: Lewis and Clark, sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Purchase and find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean, built Fort Clatsop on the Columbia River. They sent word that there were many fur-bearing animals.
1811: First American settlement in eastern Washington is established at Okanogan by David Stuart for the Pacific Fur Company.
1846: The Oregon Treaty settled a major boundary dispute between The United States and Great Britain.
1847: Native Americans in eastern Washington massacre a missionary settlement in the Walla Walla Valley formed by Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. The massacre became known as the Whitman Massacre.
1850-1858: American military forces defeat Native Americans in the region in the Cayuse and Yakima Wars, opening the region to mass settlement.
1850 -1870’s: Settlers using the Oregon Trail descend upon the Puget Sound region and settle. The region’s lumber and fur trades, combined with the discovery of gold in the Fraser River, attract thousands.
1853: Seattle, originally called Duwamps, is founded.
1889: Washington becomes the 42nd state.
1897: The Klondike Gold Rush reaches Seattle, making the city a major supply and transportation center. Seattle is instantly transformed into a thriving city.
1926: Bertha Knight Landes is elected mayor of Seattle making it the first major city to elect a woman as mayor.
1971: Starbucks is founded in Seattle by two teachers and a writer.
1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen form Microsoft Corp.
1980: Mount St. Helens erupts flattening many miles of forests and killing 57 people. The eruption was so powerful that ash was deposited in eleven states and the ash column reached a height of 12 miles. The eruption was the most destructive in American history and was the equivalent of 800 billion tons of TNT.