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600Mil BC
The North American continent began to break apart in the middle and then stopped, leaving the area beneath the Mississippi River fractured and weak.
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220Mil BC
A long-snouted fish lived about this time. Fossils of the fish were later found in China. In 2015 a fossilized jawbone section of a related fish was found at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.
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150Mil BC
In 2008 the Bureau of Land Management in Utah announced a dinosaur find, calling the quarry near Hanksville "a major dinosaur fossil discovery." An excavation revealed at least four plant-eating dinosaurs and two carnivorous ones dating back to about 150 million BC.
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135Mil BC
In 2002 US Astronomers reported sighting a supernova dubbed SN2002bj, reported to be 135 million light years away and unique in that it died away in days rather than months.
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110Mil BC
In 2007 the fossils from Nigersaurus taqueti, a dinosaur of this time with a strange jaw designed to hoover-up food grazed in what became the Sahara Desert, went on display in Washington, DC.
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65Mil BC
Tyrannosaurus rex, a 40-50 foot, 6 ton dinosaur teeth up to 13 inches long lived during this time in North America. A 50-foot female T. rex of about this age was discovered on a Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota by Sue Hendrickson in 1990. The government seized the skeleton in 1992 and in 1997 it was put up for auction by Sotheby’s on behalf of Maurice Williams, a Sioux Indian and owner of the ranch where it was found. The proceeds were to be held in trust by the government.
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65Mil BC
T. rex "Sue" ate a Duckbill dinosaur about this time and was herself mauled by another T. rex in South Dakota. She died in a slow moving stream near the shore of a vast inland sea that bisected North America, and was buried under a protective layer of sand.
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55Mil BC
Alligators and palm trees inhabited Wyoming during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).
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40Mil BC
In 2006 scientists presented evidence that the Sierra Nevada mountain range rose about this time. Earlier estimates pegged the uplift at 3-5 million years BC.
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6Mil BC
5Mil BC
The carving of the Grand Canyon dramatically accelerated during this period. By modern times it stretched 277-miles, 18 miles at its widest point, with depths up to 6,000 feet. In 2008 evidence suggested that the canyon could be 17 million years old.
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1.76Mil BC
US and French researchers in 2011 identified Acheulian stone tools dating to about this time near the shoreline of Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
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740000 BC
The Red Mountain cinder cone at Flagstaff, Arizona, dated to this time.
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640000 BC
Volcanic eruptions in northwest Wyoming, extending to Idaho and Montana, created a caldera some 40 miles long and 30 miles wide. The surface collapsed thousands of feet into a magma pool and marked the area later known as Yellowstone. Continuing eruptions caused climactic changes around the world.
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120000 BC
In 2014 a bulldozer enlarging a reservoir near Snowmass, Colorado, uncovered a trove of fossil bones dating to about this time.
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10900 BC
Wildfires about this time broke out across the US and Canada after an object, roughly a kilometer across, grazed the Earth and broke up in the atmosphere depositing its oomph as heat. A mass extinction about this time occurred in parts of North America and coincided with the growing population of Indian hunters. Archeologists later identified a layer of charcoal and glass-like beads of carbon as evidence of the event. Fires melted substantial portions of the Laurentide glacier in Canada sending waves of water down the Mississippi that caused changes in the Atlantic Ocean currents. This started a 1,300-year ice age known as the Younger Dryas.
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9500 BC
In 2011 scientists identified the cremated bones, dating to about this time, of a 3-year-old child buried in the Tanana lowlands of central Alaska.
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6200 BC
The glacial lake Agassiz-Ojibway, body of water so vast that it covered parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Ontario and Minnesota, massively drained, sending a flow of water into the Hudson Strait and the Labrador Sea. The sudden flood of fresh water diluted the saltiness of the Gulf Stream weakening its flow.
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14 Feb 15
In California a woman and her 4 children were killed in their SUV near Riverdale after a driver in a minivan failed to yield at a stop sign.
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205 Jun 26
South Korea’s Birdie Kim holed a 30-yard bunker shot to birdie the 18th hole and win the US Women’s Open.
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800
Ohlone Indians occupied the cliffs near Mussel Rock, later Daly City, Ca., beginning from about this time.
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1190 Mar 16
An estimated 150 Jews were massacred in York, England. The Jewish population of York fled to Clifford’s Tower overlooking the rivers Ouse and Foss during an anti-Jewish riot. A crazed friar set fire to the tower and rather than be captured, the inhabitants committed mass suicide.
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1300
A drought pervaded the southwest of North America.
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1350
The Fremont Indians, who had lived in Utah’s Range Creek Canyon since about 200, disappeared from the archeological record.
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1400
Occupants of the Towosaghy site near New Madrid, Missouri, burned their temple about this time. Later evidence indicated that this coincided with a major earthquake in the area.
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1507 Apr 25
Martin Waldseemuller, a German geographer working at a small college in Eastern France, labeled the New World "America," for the first time in his book "Cosmographiae Introductio," and gave Amerigo Vespucci (d.1512) credit for discovering it. His map was the first to show North and South America as separate continents. Letters of 1504-1505 had circulated in Florence claimed that Vespucci had discovered the new World. Vespucci was in fact only a passenger or low officer on one of the ships captained by others. Vespucci was later believed to have been the brother of Simonetta Vespucci, the model for Venus in the Botticelli painting. In 2000 the US Library of Congress planned to acquire the original map for $14 million from the Prince Johannes Waldburg-wolfegg. A $10 million purchase was completed in 2003. In 2009 Toby Lester authored “The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the World, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name.”
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1537 Aug
Castaway Don Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca returned from Mexico to Spain where he wrote an account of his 3,000 mile journey through North American and his experiences with the Indians. In 2006 Paul Schneider authored “Brutal Journey: The True Story of the First Crossing of North America.” Schneider used de Vaca’s original memoir as well as an official report prepared by survivors of the Narvaez expedition.
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1538
Mercator (1512-1594), Flemish cartographer, used the name "America" for the first time.
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1540 Mar 9
Hernando de Soto reached southern Georgia. He found the Indians there raising tame turkeys, caged opossums, corn, beans, pumpkins, cucumbers and plums.
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1540 Oct 19
Hernando de Soto fought native Indians at the bloody battle of Mabila in present day Alabama.
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1541 May
The expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, having crossed the high plains of Texas, feasted on game and held a Mass of thanksgiving.
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1559 Aug 14
Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna entered Pensacola Bay, Florida. 1,500 Spanish settlers sailed from Vera Cruz to found a settlement on Pensacola Bay in Florida, but were repulsed by hostile Indians. The location of the Spanish settlement founded in the area of Pensacola, Fl., remained a mystery until 2016 when amateur archaeologist Tom Garner stumbled upon some shards of 16th century Spanish pottery.
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1559 Sep
A Spanish expedition was scuttled by a hurricane, shortly after the fleet arrived in Pensacola. Five ships sank.
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1566
Spanish conquistador Juan Pardo arrived the Spanish settlement at Santa Elena, on what later became known as Parris Island, South Carolina. He marched into the interior and founded Fort San Juan next to a Catawba town called Joara. Fort San Juan was burned down by the Catawba after about 18 months. Santa Elena was the first capital of Spanish colonial Florida.

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1570
Spanish Jesuits established the Ajacan mission on the York River, a few miles from Jamestown would be established 37 years later. The priests were all killed in 1571 and the site was abandoned.
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1598
Don Juan de Onate y Salazar (1550-1626), Spanish Conquistador, explorer, and colonial governor, led the first effort to colonize the New Mexico region, establishing Santa Fe de Nuevo México as a province of New Spain. Under Juan de Oñate and his son, the capital of the province was the settlement of San Juan de los Caballeros north of Santa Fe near modern Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.
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1602
Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary from Italy, created the first Chinese map to show the Americas, at the request of Emperor Wanli. The map identified Florida as "the Land of Flowers" and put China at the center of the world. Ricci was among the first Westerners to live in what is now Beijing in the early 1600s. He became known for introducing Western science to China. In October, 2009, one such Ricci maps, one of only two in good condition, was purchased by the James Ford Bell Trust for $1 million, making it the 2nd most expensive rare map ever sold.
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1605 Apr 16
New Mexico’s Gov. Don Juan de Onate y Salazar passed by the sandstone bluff of El Morro where he left his mark in the stone. He was returning from an expedition to the Gulf of California, which he called the South Sea.
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1607 May 13
English colonists landed near the James River in Virginia and founded a colony named Jamestown [see May 14]. In 1996 archeologist discovered the original Jamestown Fort and the remains of one settler, a young white male who died a violent death. In 2003 David A. Price authored "Love and Hate in Jamestown."
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1607 May 14
Some 104 men and boys filed ashore from the small sailing ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, onto what English adventurers came to call Jamestown Island in Virginia. Capt. John Smith (27) was among the Englishmen who founded Jamestown [see May 13].
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1607 May 24
Captain Christopher Newport and 105 followers founded Jamestown on the mouth of the James River in Virginia. They had left England with 144 members, 39 died on the way over. The colony was near the large Indian village of Werowocomoco, home of Pocahontas, the daughter Powhatan, an Algonquin chief. In 2003 archeologists believed that they had found the site of Werowocomoco, where Powhatan resided from 1607-1609.
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1607 May 26
Some 200 Indian warriors stormed the unfinished stockade at Jamestown, Va. 2 settlers were killed and 10 seriously wounded before they were repulsed by cannon fire from the colonists’ 3 moored ships.
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1607 Jun 15
Colonists in North America completed James Fort in Jamestown. Hostilities with the Indians ended as ambassadors said their emperor, Powhatan, had commanded local chiefs to live in peace with the English.
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1608 Jan
John Smith met with the Indian emperor Powhatan at Werocomoco on the Pamunkey River. He studied the Powhattan language and culture. The Powhattans were an aggressive tribe and under Chief Powhatan’s leadership, they had conquered and subjugated more than 20 other tribes. Pocahontas was a Powhattan Indian girl of 10-11 years when she new Smith in Virginia. Records of the colony were kept by William Strachey, its official historian. The Powhattans were an aggressive tribe and under Chief Powhattan’s leadership, they conquered and subjugated more than 20 other tribes. Before coming to Virginia, John Smith had served as a mercenary in Hungary and was wounded, captured and sold into slavery by his Turkish adversaries; he escaped by killing his owner.
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1608 Sep 10
John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia. Records of the colony were kept by William Strachey, its official historian.
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1608 Oct 1
Some 200 new settlers arrived at the Jamestown colony, including Dutch and Polish glass-makers, artisans and the first European women in the colony.
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1608
Robert Hunt (b.1568), the 1st chaplain at Jamestown, Va., died. The remains of Hunt and 3 other Jamestown leaders were found in 2015 amid the ruins of a church on the site of Fort James. The others were identified as Capt. Gabriel Archer, Sir Ferdinando Wainman and Capt. William West.
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1609
Capt. John Smith returned to England from Jamestown (Virginia) after being wounded in an accidental explosion of gunpowder.
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1609
In 2013 the US Smithsonian Institution reported that settlers at Virginia's Jamestown Colony resorted to cannibalism to survive the harsh winter of 1609, dismembering and consuming a 14-year-old English girl.
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1610 Jun 10
English Lord De La Ware and his supply ships arrived at Jamestown allowing the colony to recover and survive.
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1611
The Jamestown settlement in Virginia pushed west with the establishment of Henricus (later Henrico) on the James River.
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1611
Don Diego de Molina, a Spanish spy, was taken prisoner in Jamestown. Molina managed to send reports about the colony to agents in London. When he eventually returned to Spain, Molina urged King Philip to eliminate the English presence in Virginia, but Philip again demurred.
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1612
French explorer Samuel de Champlain compiled a 17 by 30 inch map depicting the coast of New England and the Canadian maritime provinces.
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1613
The colonists at Jamestown kidnapped Pocahontas and held her for ransom to force her father to free some English hostages and to return some stolen tools.
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1614 Apr 5
American Indian princess Pocahontas (d.1617) married English Jamestown colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. Their marriage brought a temporary peace between the English settlers and the Algonquians.
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1614
English Jamestown colonist John Rolfe successfully cultivated tobacco for export to England. This guaranteed the colony’s economic survival.
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1616
John Smith authored “A Description of New England.” It described his exploration of new England following his departure from Virginia in 1614.
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1617 Mar 21
Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe) was buried at the parish church of St. George in Gravesend, England. As Pocahontas and John Rolfe prepared to sail back to Virginia, she died reportedly of either small pox or pneumonia. In 2003 Paula Gunn Allen authored "Pocahontas "Medicine Woman, Spy, entrepreneur, Diplomat."
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1619 Dec 4
A group of settlers from Bristol, England, arrived at Berkeley Hundred in present-day Charles City County, Va., where they held a service thanking God for their safe arrival. Some suggest this was the true first Thanksgiving in America, ahead of the Pilgrims' arrival in Massachusetts.
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1619
The Virginia Company of London, sponsor of the Jamestown settlement, built a blast furnace for working iron. Ruins of the furnace were found in 2007 along Falling Creek in Chesterfield County, Va.
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1620 Sep 16
The Pilgrims sailed from England on the Mayflower, finally settling at Plymouth, Mass. The Pilgrims were actually Separatists because they had left the Church of England. The 4 children of William Brewster, who arrived on the Mayflower, were named: Love, Wrestling, Patience, and Fear. In 2006 Nathaniel Philbrick authored “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War.”
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