On July 15, 1741, the first Russians landed on the coast of North America. It was a research expedition led by Vitus Bering and Alexei Chirikov, which set sail from Kamachatka in May of that year. Bering sailed on a ship named St. Peter, and Chirikov on a ship named St. Paul.
The two ships separated along the way, and it was Chirikov who was the first to reach the North American coast with his ship. He is thought to have first spotted the island now called Prince of Wales Island in southwest Alaska. Chirikov sent a boat with several people ashore, and it was precisely these that were the first Europeans to ever land on the shores of Alaska.
Such a Russian venture was impressive, especially given the fact that these explorers were thousands of miles away from Moscow and St. Petersburg.