Native Americans for Kids
Not a lot is known about exact dates and events of the history of Native Americans before the arrival of the Europeans. On this page we begin our timeline with the first contact made by Christopher Columbus.
1492 - Christopher Columbus first makes contact with the native people. He calls them Indians because he thinks he has landed in the East Indies.
1513 - Juan Ponce de Leon explores Florida and comes into contact with Native Americans. He takes eight of them captive.
1539 - Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay, Florida and kills 100 Native American warriors.
1539 - The Spanish make first contact with the Pueblo Indians in the southwest.
1620 - Pocahontas marries Englishman John Rolfe.
1680 - The Pueblo Indians revolt against the Spanish and take back their homeland for 12 years.
1754 - The beginning of the French and Indian War between France and Great Britain. Indian tribes were involved on both sides. The war ended in 1763.
1764 - Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa led a rebellion against the British in the Ohio River Valley.
1810 - Tecumseh begins to put together his confederation of Native American Tribes in an effort to stop the expansion of the United States.
1811 - The Shawnee are defeated by William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
1812 - Native Americans under Tecumseh ally with the British against the United States in the War of 1812.
1817 - The First Seminole War is fought when Andrew Jackson invades Florida in order to catch runaway slaves.
1824 - The U.S. established the Office of Indian Affairs.
1830 - President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act into law.
1835 - The Second Seminole War starts when the U.S. tries to forcibly move the Seminole Indians from Florida to Oklahoma.
1838 - The Cherokee are forced to march from North Carolina to Oklahoma. Thousands of them die along the way in what will be known as the Trail of Tears.
1855 - The Third Seminole War is fought against legendary leader Billy Bowlegs.
1855 - The Nez Perce sign an agreement with the U.S. Government which would later be rescinded when gold was discovered on the Nez Perce land.
1862 - The Homestead Act is passed by the U.S. government opening Indian land in the Midwest to settlers.
1874 - The Red River War is fought in Northern Texas.
1876 - George Custer and the U.S. Army is soundly defeated at the Battle of Little Big Horn by Native Americans led by Sitting Bull.
1877 - The Nez Perce people led by Chief Joseph retreat from U.S. forces and travel 1,400 miles until they surrender in what would be known as the Nez Perce War.
1890 - Sitting Bull is killed by Indian Agents who fear he will support the Ghost Dancers.
1890 - The Wounded Knee Massacre takes place in South Dakota. Two hundred Native American women and children are killed.
1907 - Charles Curtis becomes the first Native American U.S. Senator. He would later become vice president of the United States.
1912 - Jim Thorpe wins two gold medals in the Olympics and is named the greatest athlete in the world.
1965 - Native American Maria Tallchief becomes the first American prima ballerina of the New York City Ballet.
1969 - All Native American Indians are declared citizens of the United States.
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