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Continental Congress of the 13 British colonies (future United States of America) passes the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

On July 4, 1776, Britain's 13 American colonies, governed by England through the Continental Congress, pass the Declaration of Independence. This founding document of the United States of America, dr...

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British explorer Captain James Cook names Cape Flattery on March 22, 1778.

On March 22, 1778, Captain James Cook (1728-1779) names Cape Flattery. The Cape, home to the Makah Indians, and now part of the Makah Reservation, is the northwesternmost point in the continental Uni...

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English fur trader John Meares names Cape Disappointment on July 6, 1788.

On July 6, 1788, English fur trader John Meares (1756?-1809) names the northern side of the entrance to the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment. The name reflects Meares' chagrin at not finding the Co...

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Spain and Great Britain sign the Nootka Convention on October 28, 1790.

On October 28, 1790, Spain and Great Britain sign the Nootka Convention, which ends Spanish claims to a monopoly of settlement and trade in the Pacific Northwest. Nootka Sound, an inlet of the sea on ...

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Captains Robert Gray and George Vancouver meet off the Washington coast on April 28 or 29, 1792.

On April 28 (or 29), 1792, two of the first non-Indian navigators to explore significant parts of what is now Washington meet on the high seas off Cape Flattery, just south of the entrance to the Stra...

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Mexican and Spanish settlers complete Neah Bay settlement in May 1792.

In May 1792, Mexican and Spanish settlers commanded by Salvador Fidalgo complete the first permanent European settlement in present-day Washington at Neah Bay near the northern tip of the Olympic Peni...

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Captain Robert Gray enters Grays Harbor on May 7, 1792.

On May 7, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) enters Grays Harbor, a large natural harbor on the Pacific coast south of the Olympic Peninsula in present-day Grays Harbor County. Gray, o...

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Captain George Vancouver names Port Townsend on May 8, 1792.

On May 8, 1792, British Royal Navy Captain George Vancouver (1757-1798) names an extensive bay at the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula for the Marquis of Townshend, a British general. The "h"...

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Captain Robert Gray becomes the first non-Indian navigator to enter the Columbia River, which he later names, on May 11, 1792.

On May 11, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) enters the major river of the Pacific Northwest in his ship the Columbia Rediviva. Indian peoples have lived and navigated along Wimahl ("...

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Captain Robert Gray explores Grays Bay and charts the mouth of Grays River in May 1792.

Around May 14 through 17, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) explores Grays Bay on the Columbia River shore of present-day Wahkiakum County, and charts the outlet of Grays River where i...

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George Vancouver begins British survey of Puget Sound on May 19, 1792.

On May 19, 1792, the British sloop-of-war Discovery drops anchor between Bainbridge and Blake islands. The following morning, Capt. George Vancouver (1757-1798) dispatches Lt. Peter Puget and Master J...

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Captain George Vancouver drops anchor off Elliott Point (future Mukilteo) at midnight, May 30, 1792.

At midnight on May 30, 1792, British explorer George Vancouver (1758-1798), sailing on the Discovery, drops anchor at Elliott Point, the site of present-day Mukilteo. The following morning crew mem...

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