1565 Spanish establish first permanent settlement at St. Augustine, Florida; First introduction of cattle, horses, pigs, and sheep into North America; Tobacco smoking introduced to Europe;
1579 Sir Francis Drake reaches San Francisco Bay;
1584 Roanoke Island colony established in North Carolina;
1587 First English child born in North America (Virginia Dare);
1602 English land in New England (Massachusetts);
1604 French establish colony in southeastern Maine; 1607 First permanent English colony established in North America at Jamestown, Virginia;
1609 First marriage in American colonies.


1610 First doctor arrives in Virginia;
1613 Dutch establish trading post on Manhattan Island;
1614 House of Burgesses established in Jamestown, Virginia;
1619 African slaves arrive in Virginia colony;
1620 Pilgrims reach Plymouth, Massachusetts (December 26th);
1621 First Thanksgiving;
1623 Dutch West Indian Company colonists settle along Hudson River;
1627 Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam) on Manhattan Island;
1626 Manhattan Island sold to Dutch for 60 guilders ($24.00);
1636 Harvard University founded;
1639 American post office established.


1640 First book printed in America;
1643 First restaurant opened in America (Boston);
1647 Rice first planted in America;
1650 Tea imported to America;
1656 Copernicus conceives sun-centered solar system;
1658 First hospital established in America (New Amsterdam);
1659 First elementary school established in America (New Amsterdam);
1664 New Amsterdam surrendered to English (becomes New York);
1681 Pennsylvania territory granted to William Penn;
1682 First European settlement in Texas (El Paso).

Did You Know?

Natives and newcomersTurkeys are native to the Americas? Turkeys were exported to Europe about 1523. Not knowing its Mexican name, uexolotl, the English called it the "turkie-bird." In France, it was named the coq d'Inde, and later, dinde or dindon. In Italy, turkey was called galle d'India and in Germany, indianische Henn. [2: 8]

Benjamin Franklin urged the adoption of the turkey as the national symbol? Over his objections, the bald eagle was chosen instead. [2: 9]

LibertyAmelia Simmons wrote the first cook book in America and published it in 1796? It is the first book that developed recipes for foods native to America. Her pumpkin puddings were baked in a crust and similar to present day pumpkin pies. Her stuffed turkey recipe has changed very little in over 200 years: To stuff a turkey --- Grate a wheat loaf, one quarter of a pound butter, one quarter of a pound salt pork, finely chopped, two eggs, a little sweet marjoram, summer savory, parsley and sage, pepper and salt (if the pork be not sufficient) fill the bird and sew up. [2: 10]

Ketchup, or catsup, originated in China in 1690 as a pickled fish sauce called ke-tsiap? English sailors brought the sauce back to England in the early 1700s, where they had to find substitutes for the spices that were not available in England at the time. Walnut and mushroom catsups were created first. These sauces, including later ones that used tomatoes, were made without sugar. These had a spicy and tart flavor, somewhat like Worcestershire sauce. Sugar appears in tomato catsup recipes only after the Civil War. Check the label on your ketchup bottle and see what's inside! [2: 11]

Cape Cod from SpacePineapples often appear in colonial wood carvings or paintings? Pineapples did not grow in New England. American sailors returning home brought them from the tropics. A pineapple placed on the doorstep meant that your loved one had returned safely. In this way, pineapples became associated with hospitality.
[2: 12]

The first oranges imported to Florida were small and sour? Seminole Indians sliced the tops off, made a hole, and filled them with honey for a tasty treat. Ponce de Léon could have brought oranges as early as 1513, for the Spanish explorers were instructed to carry citrus seeds with them and plant them wherever they went, so that citrus would be available as a cure for disease (later recognized as scurvy). Bitter oranges were first planted in Florida by de Soto in 1539, sweet oranges arrived later. [2: 13]

Map of New WorldDuring the 1630's the English colonists imported bees from Europe? The Indians called them "English flies," and the bees multiplied rapidly. A description of New York in 1670 claimed; "You shall scarce see a house, but the South side is begirt with Hives of Bees." [2: 14]

In England the word "biscuit" means cookie? The American English word "cookie," comes from the Dutch word "koekje," not from the English word "biscuit." An American-style "biscuit" is a type of round bread, similar to a muffin. [2: 15]


1690 First paper money issued in Massachusetts;
1692 Salem witchcraft trials;
1701 Yale university founded;
1702 First coffee house in America (Philadelphia);
1718 New Orleans founded by French settlers from Canada;
1719 First large scale potato cultivation in the American colonies (Londonderry, New Hampshire);
1731 First library in America established by Benjamin Franklin;
1732 First stage coach line established;
1741 Religious revival movement (Great Awakening);
1751 First sugar cane planted in America;
1752 Electrical experiments with lightning (Benjamin Franklin);
1754 Start of the French and Indian War.


1760 Bifocal lenses invented (Benjamin Franklin);
1762 Sandwich invented by John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich;
1765 Chocolate manufactured in North America; Stamp Act passed by English Parliament (March 22nd); Patrick Henry attacks Stamp Act in the House of Burgesses (May 29th); Stamp Act riot in New York City (November 1st);
1766 Stamp Act repealed by English Parliament (March 17th);
1768 British troops land in Boston;
1769 Spanish mission established in California


1770 Boston Massacre (March 5th);
1773 Tea Act passed by English Parliament (April 27th); Boston Tea Party (December 16th);
1774 Passage of the Intolerable Acts by British Parliament;
1775 Wilderness Road blazed through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky (Daniel Boone); American War of Independence begins (Battle of Lexington, April 19th); George Washington appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army; Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17th);
1776 Declaration of Independence approved (July 4th); Declaration of Independence signed (August 2nd).

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