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Bering, Vitus Jonassen

Born: 1681 AD
Died: 1741 AD
Nationality: Danish
Categories: Explorer

1861 – Vitus Jonassen Bering was born in Horsens, Denmark. Danish-Russian Arctic navigator whose exploration of the Bering Strait and Alaska prepared the way for a Russian foothold on the North American continent.

1703 – He joined the Russian Navy and served in the Baltic Fleet during the Great Northern War.

1710-1712 – Served in the Azov Sea Fleet in Taganrog and took part in the Russo-Turkish War.

1715 – Married a Russian woman.

1725 – He went overland to Okhotsk, crossed to Kamchatka, and built the ship Sviatoi Gavriil (St. Gabriel).

         – He was selected by Czar Peter I (Peter the Great) to explore far northeastern Siberia and seek a Northeast Passage through the Arctic to China.

         – Bering left St. Petersburg on February 5th leading an expedition that traveled across Siberia and set up a base in Kamchatka.

1728 – He sailed through the strait that now bears his name, proving that indeed America and Asia were separate continents.

         – Bering discovered Bering Strait.

1729 – Searched for mainland eastward, rediscovering one of the Diomede Islands (Ratmanov Island).

1730 – Bering returned to St. Petersburg.

1941 – Bering sighted the volcano Mount Saint Elias, and sailed past Kodiak Island.

         – On 19th of December, Vitus Bering died at Bering Island, near the Kamchatka Peninsula.