Chronography of the Faeroe Islands, Greenland

Page last modified 15 August 2023


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For main European events of World War Two see France-Germany

See also Russia for more events of Finland-Russia conflict 1939-40


1 � Faeroe Islands

1972, The Faeroe Islands voted not to join the EC.

1948, Denmark granted Home Rule to the Faeroe Islands.

19401945, British troops occupied the Faeroe islands, to forestall any Nazi invasion during World War Two.

1397, The Faeroe Islands, as part of Norway, became united to Denmark under the Union of Kalmar. They remained Danish when Norway and Denmark separated in 1814.

1848, A measles epidemic hit the Faeroe Islands. However Danish doctor peter panum found that 98 oolder people were immune to it. They were the survivors of an earlier epidemic back in 1781.

1035, The Faeroe islands formally became part of Norway.

800, The Vikings began to settle in the Faeroe Islands.

700s, First settlement of the Faeroe Islands, by Irish monks.


2 � Greenland, Svalbard/Spitsbergen, Arctic


Greenland separation from Denmark

21 June 2009, Greenland took steps towards further separation from Denmark; it took control of police, law enforcement, the legal system and natural resources.

25 November 2008, Greenland held a referendum on further autonomy from Denmark, with a result 75% in favour.

23 February 1982. Greenland, a Danish territory, with home rule, voted to leave the EC. It departed in 1985.

1 May 1979, Denmark granted Greenland home rule.

17 January 1979, By a 70% majority Greenland opted for home rule on domestic affairs, while remaining part of Denmark. At the time, Greenland had about 50,000 inhabitants.


Political integration with Denmark and Norway

1973, Greenland found itself taken into the EC, along with Denmark, despite voting not to join.

1953, A new Danish Constitution fully integrated Greenland with Denmark.

5 April 1933, The International Court at The Hague ruled that Greenland was a Danish possession, against Norway�s claim.

1929, Jan Mayen Island was formally incorporated into Norway.

16 June 1928, Arctic Norwegian explorer Roald Engelbregt Amundsen died in a plane crash whilst searching fro shipwreck victims.

1921, Norway established a weather station and radio transmitter on the uninhabited Jan Mayen Island.

1920, The Spitsbergen Treaty awarded soveriegnty of Svalbard to Norway, but allowed other signatories to exploit the coal deposits.

20 February 1920. Robert Peary, American Arctic explorer and first man to reach the North Pole in 1909, died in Washington DC.


Modern European exploration 1594-1909

6 April 1909.Commander Peary of the USA became the first person to reach the North Pole, with a Black assistant, Matthew Henson, and four Eskimos.. It was his sixth attempt in 15 years.

17 November 1907, Sir Francis McClintock, British Arctic explorer, died (born 8 July 1819).

6 December1905, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen landed at Fort Egbert, Alaska, after a 2 � year exploration of America�s Arctic coast.

16 July 1905. Commander Peary of the USA set out on his second expedition to the North Pole.

18 September 1902, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Robert Peary, Arctic explorer, arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, 4 years after having departed.

11 July 1897, The Swedish balloonist S A Andree set off from Spitsbergen with two companions to fly over the North Pole. After a few days all contact with them was lost; their remains were discovered in 1930 on White Island.

3 November 1879, The Arctic explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, was born.

1888, Fridjtof Nansen explored the interior of Greenland.

25 October 1888, Richard Byrd, US naval officer and polar explorer, was born in Winchester, Virginia. In 1926 he became the first person to fly over the North Pole.

30 October 1881, George Delong, US Arctic explorer, died (born 20 August 1844).

8 November 1871, Charles Hall, US Arctic explorer, died (born 1821).

10 October 1861, Fridjtof Nansen, Norwegian Polar explorer, was born near Oslo. He became the first person to cross Greenland overland in 1888.

6 May 1856, Robert Peary, American Arctic explorer, was born in Cresson Springs, Pennsylvania.

8 July 1855, Sir William Edward Parry, British explorer of the Arctic, died.

22 August 1844, George Delong, US Arctic explorer, was born (died 30 October 1881).

18 November 1832, Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiold, Arctic explorer, was born in Helsingfors.(died 12 August 1901 in Stockholm).

1 June 1831. Sir James Clark Ross located the Magnetic North Pole on his Arctic expedition with Admiral Parry.

25 April 1822, Sherard Osborn, Arctic explorer, was born (died 1875)

8 July 1819, Sir Francis McClintock, British Arctic explorer, wa born (died 17 November 1907)

30 September 1813, John Rae, Scottish Arctic explorer, was born in the Orkney Islands (died 1893)

19 December 1790, Sir Charles Parry, Arctic explorer, was born in Bath (died 8 July 1855 in Greenwich)

1775, The settlement of Julianehaab, southern Greenland (now known as Qaqortoq) was founded.

1733, Greenland was hit by a smallpox epidemic.

1728, The Danish explorer Vitus Bering discovered the Diomede Islands, midway between Siberia and Alaska.

3 May 1721, Hans Egede, Norwegian missionary, set sail from Bergen with the aim of converting the Norsemen of Greenland to Christianity. However on arrival he found no Norsemen, only Eskimo, whose language he did not understand. The Norsemen may have suffered disease or starvation, or migrated to America. He persisted, founding the settlement of Godthaab, until ill-health forced his return to Norway in 1736 where he became Principal of a seminary in Copenhagen.

1611, Jan Mayen Land, between Spitsbergen and Iceland, was discovered by the Dutch explorer Jan Mayen.

1596, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) was (re-) discovered by the Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who sighted the islands whilst searching for the Northern Sea Route. By the 1600s the importance of the whaling industry in the region attracted claims from the British and Danish, as well as The Netherlands.

1594, Explorer Willem Barents set sail for the Arctic, to find a northern sea route to east Asia. He believed the myth of a warm Arctic, first proposed by the ancient Greeks.


1585, John Davis visited Greenland and found no trace of any Norse colonists, just the Inuit. However a feew Inuit traditions bore some resemblance to old Norse customs.


Norse colonisation 982-1410

1410, The last recorded ship from Norway to Greenland returned to Norway this year. The support from Norway for the Norse colonists in Greenland gradually dwindled away as the Norway-Greenland shipping became a monopoly of the King of Norway in the mid-1300s, and these monarchs tended to send ships out to Greenland only at intervals of several years apart. Also the maritime trade of Norway was becoming more tied to the Hanseatic League, who had nointerest in Greenland.

16/9/1408, The last recorded event in Norse history in Greenland; a wedding at Old Hvalsey church. The Norse colonists may have been massacred by the Inuit, or more likely intermarried with them and were absorbed into their culture, see 1585.

1397, Greenland found itself joined to Denmark when the Union of Kalmar united Norway (along with Greenland) to Denmark. When Norway separated from Denmark in 1814, Greenland remained as part of Denmark.

1262, Greenland formally became a Norwegian possession.

1194, Spitsbergen was first discovered by Norsemen.

986, Erik the Red was banished from Iceland, and sailed to Greenland where he founded a new Viking colony. The name �Greenland� may have been chosen to attract new colonists to an inhospitable place where farming was only possible, with a short growing season, in the extreme south-west. The Vinking colony died out in the 1400s as climatic conditiins deteriorated.

982, Erik the Red set up a temporary Viking camp on Greenland, the first settlement by man there. This camp was replaced by a permanent colony in 986.


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