Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1831
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Former President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is elected as the Congressional representative from Massachusetts.
Government
Presidents: James A. Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the U.S. is born November 19 in Orange, Ohio.
Government
U.S. copyright law is amended to last for 28 years, renewable for 14.
War
The French Foreign Legion is founded.
Science
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) sails on the H.M.S. Beagle, a trip on which he conceives the idea of evolution.
Science
Michael Farraday (1791-1867) develops the electromagnetic generator.
Inventions
Chloroform is invented.
Inventions
An early version of the mechanical reaper is developed by Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884).
Technology
Airplanes: Thomas Walker (1804-1886) proposes a tandem-wing airoplane with the pilot and the propulsion system amidships. This would later influence Samuel Langley as he designed his aerodromes.
Education
Libraries: The Female Literary Society, the first social library for African-American women, is founded in Philadelphia.
Education
African American Education: Maria W. Miller Stewart (1803-1879), an African American orator, exhorts African Americans to become educated and fight for their rights; she speaks out at a time when very few women are able to speak in public.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Victor Hugo (1802-1885) publishes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Monroe, Elizabeth
James Monroe, fifth President of the U.S. dies in New York, New York (b. 1758).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Ware Webb (1831-1889), wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, is born August 28 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Economics
The Industrial Revolution focuses on textile mills.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Robert L. Stevens buys the British locomotive, the John Bull, and establishes America’s first steam railway.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The 3.5 ton De Witt Clinton hauls 5 stage coach bodies on railroad wheels at 25 mph on the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad between Albany and Schenectady.
Economics
Transportation: The Canadian paddle steamer, Royal William, cross the Atlantic with steam as the prime source of drift. However, her engines had to be stopped every few days because they had to be scraped from the accumulated salt deposits from the seawater used in her boilers.
Discovery
Scottish explorer James Ross (1800-1862) and his Uncle, Sir John Ross (1777-1856), determine the position of the magnetic North Pole.
Daily Life
This year sees the first use of the term “Old Glory” for the U.S. flag.
Sports
Horse Racing: A popular racing sheet, the "Spirit of the Times," is established by William Trotter; its aim is to improve the reputation of racing and other sports.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: The first showboat is built, called "The Floating Theatre."
Popular Culture
Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895) writes the words to "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
Social Issues
Immigration: German immigration to the U.S. is about 15,000.
Social Issues
Slavery: Nat Turner (1800-1831) leads an unsuccessful slave uprising.
Social Issues
Slavery: The term "underground railroad" becomes widely used.
Reform
Abolition Movement: William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) begins publishing his abolitionist periodical, The Liberator.
1832
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is re-elected President and Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is elected the 8th Vice President on the new Democratic Party ticket.
Politics
Third Parties: For the first time in American history, a third party challenges the major two parties. William Wirt (1772–1834) of the Anti-Masonic Party carries 8 percent of the vote and one state. Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), Democratic-Republican, is reelected President over National-Republican Henry Clay (1777–1852).
Government
John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) becomes the first Vice President to resign from office; he runs successfully for the Senate.
Government
States in the South begin a series of nullification acts, attempting to redefine their relationship to the federal government.
War
Indian Wars: U.S. troops fight the last Indian war north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi.
Science
Jane Kilby Welsh publishes her textbook, "Familiar Lessons in Mineralogy and Geology."
Medicine
The dissection of cadavers in medical schools is legalized in Massachusetts.
Medicine
Epidemics: A cholera epidemic sweeps through major American cities, killing over 7,000 people in New York and New Orleans.
Medicine
The disease later known as Hodgkin’s disease is described by English physician Thomas Hodgkin (1798-1866).
Inventions
The lawn mower is invented.
Inventions
Walter Hunt (1796-1859) invents a lock-stitch sewing machine.
Inventions
Cyrus McCormick invents the first commercially successful reaper.
Inventions
Louis Braille (1809-1852) invents the stereoscope.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) founds the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati.
Education
Special Education: Samuel Howe (1801-1876) founds the Perkins Institute, the first major school for the blind in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
The Boston Academy of Music offers free music lessons to children, adults, and teachers.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) finishes "Faust."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) publishes "The Lady of Shalott."
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) father dies of cholera.
Fillmore, Abigail
A daughter, Mary Abigail (1832-1854), is born to Abigail and Millard Fillmore in Buffalo on March 27.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary (1818-1882) is enrolled at Madame Victorie Mentelle’s select school for young ladies.
Garfield, Lucretia
Lucretia Rudolph (1832-1918), wife of James A. Garfield, is born on April 19 in Hiram, Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832-1892), wife of Benjamin Harrison, is born On October 1 in Oxford, Ohio.
Johnson, Eliza
Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born May 8.
Adams, Abigail
Thomas Boylston Adams, third son of John and Abigail Adams, dies at 59, probably of complications of alcoholism.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: "The Brother Jonathon" was the first locomotive in the world to have a four-wheel leading truck; it was designed by John B. Jervis for the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: "The American No. 1" was the first 4-4-0, the first of its class; it was designed by John B. Jervis (1795 –1885), Chief Engineer for the Mohawk & Hudson.
Economics
Transportation: The "Ann McKim," first of the American clipper ships, is launched in Baltimore.
Daily Life
Frances Trollope (1780-1863) publishes "Domestic Manners of the Americans."
Reform
The first work to treat women in a completely distinctive way, "The History of Women," is published.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The New England Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Boston.
Reform
Abolition Movement: African American women found the first Anti-Slavery society in Salem, Massachusetts.
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1833
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress gives President Jackson (1767-1845) the power to use the armed forces to enforce the tariff laws; South Carolina rescinds its nullification acts after a compromise on tariffs is reached.
Government
President: Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901), 23rd President of the U.S., is born.
Government
National Capital: The Treasury building burns to the ground in Washington, DC.
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is inaugurated as President and Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is inaugurated as the nation's 8th Vice President.
Science
Michael Farraday (1791-1867) coins the terms electrolysis, electrolyte, anode, and cathode.
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871) suggests the possibility of building an “analytical engine,” an early calculator.
Education
Education of Women: Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) admits black students to her girls’ school in Connecticut and is imprisoned for violating a law passed especially to prevent her from doing so.
Education
Higher Education; Education of Women: African American Education: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first college to admit Blacks and women.
Education
Children’s Books: Peter Parley's "Winter Evening Tales;" this delightful little book with its copperplate title page and frontispiece shows a less forbidding side of S. G. Goodrich (1793-1860).
Education
Libraries: The first tax-supported public library in the United States is founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Arts and Letters
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) writes the "Piano Concerto in E Minor."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "In Memoriam."
Daily Life
Transportation: The Canadian ship, S.S. Royal William crosses the Atlantic in 25 days.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "penny press," the "New York Sun," makes newspapers widely available, thus helping the spread of literacy.
Daily Life
Magazines: The first magazine for mothers, "Mother’s Magazine," is published and edited by Abigail Goodrich Whittelsey (1788-1858).
Daily Life
Magazines: Parley's Magazine for Children & Youth. This is a twice-monthly magazine, founded by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860). It emphasized geography, travel, natural history, and simple technology, along with Bible stories.
Sports
Baseball: An early form of baseball is played by the Olympic Ball Club in Philadelphia; most rules are like those of English cricket.
Popular Culture
The legend of Davy Crockett (1786-1836) is begun with the publication of "Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee."
Social Issues
Slavery: The British Empire abolishes slavery in its colonies.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The American Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Philadelphia by James Mott (1788-1868). Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), his wife, founds the Female Anti-Slavery Society.
Reform
Labor Movement: Shoemakers in Geneva, New York, go on strike; they win, but a later court case declares strikes to be illegal.
Reform
Labor Movement: The General Trades Union is formed in New York City.
1834
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: Anti-Jackson forces form the American Whig party; it lasts until 1852.
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) removes federal deposits from the Bank of the U.S. and deposits them in “pet” state banks around the country.
Government
The U.S. Senate censures Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) for taking federal deposits from the Bank of the U.S.; the censure is removed from the record the following year.
Government
The city of Toronto is incorporated.
Science
Amalgam (a mercury alloy) is introduced as a filling material for decayed teeth.
Medicine
An antidote for arsenic poisoning is discovered by Robert Bunsen (1811-1899).
Inventions
The mechanical reaper is patented by Cyrus H. McCormick (1809-1884).
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871)invents the principle of the "analytical engine," which is the forerunner of the computer.
Inventions
Jacob Perkins (1766-1849) invents an early refrigerator (really an early ice machine).
Education
Special Education: French teacher Louis Braille invents (1809-1852) a system of printed raised dots that enables the blind to read.
Education
Children''s Books: The fairy tale "The Three Bears" is popularized.
Arts and Letters
"The Last Days of Pompeii is published."
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) enters politics in the Illinois legislature at the age of 25.
Johnson, Eliza
Robert Johnson (1834-1869), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born February 22.
Adams, Louisa
John Adams II (1803-1834), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies an alcohol related death on October 23.
Economics
Twenty-eight million acres of public land are offered for sale to those who wish to move west.
Discovery
The first settlement is established in Oregon.
Daily Life
Tomatoes are begun to be eaten in the U.S.; before this, people thought they were poisonous and they were only used as ornamental “love apples.”
Sports
Baseball: The first printed rules for a game much like baseball are found in the Book of Sports.
Sports
Baseball: Robin Carver publishes the "Book of Sports," the first American book on baseball.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first modern Lacrosse games are played. Lacrosse will become a major new sports opportunity for women in the 1990's with many colleges offering scholarship dollars. The original game was played by North American Indians.
Popular Culture
Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) opens her wax museum in London.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Under an 1828 treaty, the U.S. orders the Seminole Indians to leave Florida.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Four thousand Oglala people relocate to Fort Laramie to boost their fur trade with white people.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Factory Girls Association is organized in the Lowell textile mills; women workers stage their first strike, which fails.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Anti-abolition riots occur in New York City and Philadelphia.
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1835
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress pays off the national debt.
War
Mexican Wars: American settlers defeat a Mexican cavalry in the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
War
Indian Wars: A new Seminole War begins in Florida after the escape of Seminole leader Osceola.
Science
Hailey's comet appears in its usual 75-year cycle.
Inventions
The revolver is invented by Samuel Colt (1814-1862).
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871) invents a mechanical calculator.
Education
African American Education: A school that enrolls 14 Black students in New Hampshire is burned to the ground.
Education
Education of Women: Harriet Hunt (c.1805-?) is accepted at Harvard Medical School, but the male students riot and she is forced to withdraw.
Education
Education of Women: Education for girls is established in Panama.
Education
Children''s Books: Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875) publishes a book of his "Fairy Tales."
Ideas
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) publishes his "Democracy in America," a work that is still quoted today.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) publishes "History of the Condition of Women."
Jackson, Rachel
Assassination: President Andrew Jackson survives the first-ever assassination attempt on a U.S. president.
Taylor, Margaret
Sarah "Knox" Taylor Davis (1814-1835), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies September 15 of malaria.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Eliza Kortright Monroe Hay (1786-1835), daughter of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies in France at age 49, shortly after converting to the Catholic faith. Cause of death is unknown
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: 1,096 miles of railroad tracks are in use in the U.S.
Economics
Native Americans: Gold is found on Cherokee lands in Georgia.
Economics
The first cast-iron bridge in America is built over Dunlap’s Creek in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Herald" is published as a penny-paper.
Sports
For a purse of $1,000, nine runners participate in a 10-mile foot race on Long Island; the winner’s time is 59 minutes, 44 seconds.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) begins his career as a showman in the U.S.
Popular Culture
A pseudoscience called “phrenology” becomes popular; it says that physiological features, especially of the head, determine character.
Religion
Women''s Firsts: Henrietta Hall Schuck becomes the first American female missionary in China at age 18.
Reform
Prison Reform: Mt. Pleasant Female Prison, the first American prison for women, is founded in New York.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Censorship efforts in Southern states expel abolitionists and forbid the mailing of antislavery propaganda.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Pro- and anti-slavery mobs clash in Charleston, South Carolina, in Boston, and in New York; in Boston, the pro-slavery attackers take William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) and parade him through the streets with a rope around his neck.
1836
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Andrew Jackson(1767-1845) nominates Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed by the Senate in 1836 and serves for twenty-eight years, the second-longest tenure of any Chief Justice.
Politics
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is elected as the 8th U.S. President and Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850) is elected as the nation's 9th Vice President.
Politics
Texas declares independence from Mexico.
Government
New State: Arkansas becomes the 25th state in the U.S.
Government
The Michigan territory is divided to create Wisconsin.
War
Mexican Wars: The battle of the Alamo takes placeover 13 days; less than 200 defenders are finally defeated by 2,500 Mexican soldiers.
Science
The first American botanical textbook, "Elements of Botany," is written by Asa Gray (1810-1888).
Science
Pepsin, the powerful ferment in gastric juice, is recognized by the German physiologist, Theodor Schwann (1810-1882).
Inventions
Francis Pettit Smith and John Ericcson (1803-1889) co-invent the propellor.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Wesleyan College is chartered to Georgia and is known for granting the first college degrees to women.
Education
Public Education: Child labor laws in Massachusetts require children to attend school for at least three months a year until they are 15.
Education
Special Education: Laura Bridgman (1829-1889) becomes the first deaf-mute taught to communicate at the Perkins Institute.
Education
Public Education: The first McGuffey readers are published.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Pickwick Papers."
Ideas
The first meeting of the Transcendentalist Club is held in Boston.
Madison, Dolley
James Madison (1751-1835) dies at the Madisons' home at Montpelier, and is buried there.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) enrolls for two more years at Ward’s academy.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) is elected again as a Representative to Congress; serves until 1839.
Pierce, Jane
Franklin Pierce Jr. (1836), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born February 2 and dies three days later on February 5.
Jefferson, Martha
Martha Washington Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies of apoplexy on October 10.
Economics
American Money: With minimum regulation, a proliferation of 1,600 local state-chartered, private banks now issue paper money.
Daily Life
The Arc de Triumphe, begun 30 years earlier, is finished.
Daily Life
Gas stoves are manufactured for the first time.
Sports
Cricket: Batting pads for Cricket are invented.
Religion
The first Mormon Temple is dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio.
Social Issues
Native Americans: A written Seneca Indian language is devised by missionaries Laura Wright (1809-1886) and her husband.
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas wins independence from Mexico and legalizes slavery. Free blacks and mulattos are forbidden from entering the state.
Reform
Labor Movement: At age 11, mill worker Harriet Jane Hanson Robinson leads her young co-workers out in support of older workers striking in protest over wage cuts.
Reform
Abolition Movement: There are 500 active abolitionist societies in the North.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Ladies' American Home Education Society and Temperance Union is founded.
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1837
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Membership on the Supreme Court is increased from seven to nine.
Government
President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) recognizes the Republic of Texas on his last day in office, thereby preventing its admission as a slave territory.
Government
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is inaugurated as the 8th U.S. President and Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850) is inaugurated as the nation's 9th Vice President.
Government
New State: Michigan becomes the 26th state in the U.S.
Government
Presidents: Grover Cleveland (1837-1906), 22nd President of the U.S., is born in Caldwell, New Jersey.
War
Indian Wars: General Zachary Taylor tricks(1784-1850) Seminole leader Osceloa (c.1804-1838) and captures him.
Science
French mathematician Simeon Denis Poissson (1781-1840) develops the rules of probability by studying the incidence of death from mule kicks in the French army.
Inventions
Alfred Lewis Vail (1807-1859), Samuel Morse’s (1791-1872) assistant, develops the “Morse Code” of dots and dashes that will be used by telegraphers everywhere.
Inventions
John Deere (1804-1886) invents the steel-toothed plow.
Inventions
English schoolmaster, Rowland Hill (1744-1833) invents the postage stamp.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Mount Holyoke Female Seminary is founded and is chartered in 1888(becomes the model for other colleges in the future years).
Education
Public Education: Horace Mann (1796-1959) becomes head of the newly formed Massachusetts State Board of Education. Edmund Dwight (1716-1755), a major industrialist, thinks a state board of education was so important to factory owners that he offered to supplement the state salary with extra money of his own.
Education
Freidrich Froebel (1782-1852) establishes the first kindergarten in Germany.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women's Colleges: Mary Mason Lyon (1797-1849) opens Mt. Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts, one of the first colleges for women.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (1804-1864) first work, "Twice-Told Tales" is published.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) publishes "The American Scholar."
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837-1880), wife of Chester A. Arthur, is born August 30 in Culpepper Court House, Virginia.
Economics
Transportation: The first British liner made of iron—the Great Britain—is launched.
Economics
The economic Panic of 1837 is felt across the nation. Many people are out of work.
Daily Life
Victoria (1819-1901) becomes Queen of Great Britain. She is the first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace.
Daily Life
Magazines: Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), author of "Mary Had A Little Lamb," begins editing the popular women''s magazine, "Godey''s Lady''s Book."
Sports
The first boat race, sponsored by the Castle Garden Boat Club, is held in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Sports
Women in Sports: Donald Walker's book, "Exercise for Ladies," warns women against horseback riding, because it deforms the lower part of the body.
Religion
American Presbyterians are split into the “old” and the “new.”
Reform
Abolition Movement: The first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women is held in New York.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Grimké sisters found the National Female Anti-Slavery Society, one of the first to admit women of color from the start.
1838
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Slavery: John Calhoun (1782-1850), Senator from South Carolina, introduces resolutions in the Senate affirming the legality of slavery.
War
Afrikaner (Boer) forces fight and defeat the Zulu at the Battle of Blood River in South Africa.
Science
The Royal Irish Academy elects astronomer Caroline Herschel to membership.
Science
The idea that cells are the basic building blocks of all living things is advanced.
Inventions
A one-day, brass movement clock is invented that is both accurate and inexpensive, giving rise to the term “Yankee ingenuity.”
Inventions
America’s first microscope is built by Charles A. Spencer (1813-1881).
Technology
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) gives the first demonstration of the telegraph.
Education
Education of Women: William Holmes MdGuffey (1800-1873) supports more liberal education for women.
Education
French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) gives the discipline of sociology its name.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Author James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes two novels criticizing American democracy; he is roundly criticized.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) writes "Ligeia," often called the first work of American science fiction.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby."
Harrison, Anna
William Henry Harrison (1802-1838), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 3.
Economics
Transportation: The British liner Great Western sails from England on her maiden voyage; she is the first to cross the Atlantic regularly.
Economics
Transportation: The British steamship Sirius crosses the Atlantic solely on steam power in 18 days, 10 hours.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Herald" is the first U.S. newspaper to employ European correspondents.
Daily Life
The coronation of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) takes place a year after she ascends the throne.
Popular Culture
Jenny Lynd (1820-1887), the "Swedish Nightingale," makes her debut.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Fifteen thousand Cherokee Indians remaining in Georgia are moved by federal troops 800 miles westward in what becomes known as "the Trail of Tears."
Reform
Women's Suffrage: Widows with school-age children are allowed to vote in school board elections in Kentucky.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Angelina Grimké becomes the first woman to ever address an American legislature, speaking on abolition in Massachusetts.
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1839
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Firsts: Mississippi becomes the first state to give the right to own property to women, although they must have their husbands’ permission.
Politics
Third Parties: The first anti-slavery political party, the Liberty Party, runs James Birney (1792-1857) for president. He loses.
Government
The kingdom of Belgium is recognized by all countries of Europe.
War
The first Opium War between Britain and China begins.
Science
Ozone is discovered and named.
Inventions
The first electric clock is invented.
Inventions
The first bicycle is constructed by Scottish inventor Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813-1878).
Technology
Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) takes the first photograph of the moon.
Technology
Telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) makes the first daguerreotype portraits to be produced in the U.S.
Education
The Lowell Institute in Boston is founded to provide free lectures by eminent scholars.
Education
A College of Dental Surgery opens in Baltimore.
Education
Teacher Education: The first public normal school (teachers' college) is founded in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Ideas
The unofficial headquarters of the Transcendentalist Club is Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s (1804-1894) Boston bookshop.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) moves back to Montpelier to try farming.
Harrison, Anna
Carter Bassett Harrison (1812-1839), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies August 12.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) goes to live with her sister, Elizabeth Edwards (Mrs. Ninian), in Springfield, Illinois; she meets Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) there at a dance.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner Tyler (1820-1889) is the first President's wife to pose for a department store advertisement.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born August 27.
Economics
The manufacture of rubber is pioneered by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860).
Daily Life
Magazines: The Lowell mill girls begin publishing "The Lowell Offering," a monthly magazine of poetry, fiction, and essays that becomes internationally known.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Grand National horse race is run in Britain.
Sports
Baseball: Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) lays out the first baseball field and the first game is played.
1840
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) is elected the 9th President of the U.S., and John Tyler (1790-1862) is elected as the 10th Vice President on the Whig ticket.
Government
Upper and lower Canada are united by an Act of Parliament.
Government
Stamps: The first postage stamps appear in Britain, bearing Queen Victoria's (1837-1901) profile. The tiny stamps (3/4 by 7/8 inches) are printed using only black ink. Brazil is the second nation to have postage stamps.
Science
Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) publishes a work on the movements and effects of glaciers.
Science
The fundamentals of artificial fertilizer are discovered.
Science
James Joule (1818-1889) develops the idea that energy can be converted from one state to another, but cannot be destroyed.
Medicine
The American Society of Dental Surgeons is organized in New York City.
Inventions
Englishman John Herschel (1792-1871) invents the blueprint.
Education
Women’s Colleges: St. Mary-of-the-Woods College is founded in Indiana as the first of many women's institutions that are established by Catholic Sisters and is chartered in 1846.
Education
Public Education: Irish Catholics in New York City struggle for local neighborhood control of schools as a way of preventing their children from being force-fed a Protestant curriculum.
Ideas
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcentalist publication.
Harrison, Anna
Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born.
Adams, Abigail
"Selected letters" by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) on social, political, and other matters are published.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: There are 2,816 miles of railroad in operation in the U.S.
Economics
Transportation: The Cunard steamship line is established, the first with scheduled transatlantic sailings.
Economics
Population: The sixth national census shows a population of more than 17 million; 600,000 immigrants have arrived since 1830, 207,281 from Ireland.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894) becomes the first woman publisher in Boston and the U.S.
Daily Life
History of Toys: The first American dollmaker is granted a patent and dolls begin to be mass-produced in America for the first time.
Sports
The game of bowling (called nine pins) becomes popular in the U.S.
Popular Culture
The expression, "O.K." is first used; it refers to “Old Kinderhook,” birthplace of Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), and is also the name of a Democratic Club in New York City.
Popular Culture
The ritual of afternoon tea is introduced in Britain by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861).
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Pathfinder."
Social Issues
Native Americans: An increasing flow of emigrants to Oregon and California bring cholera, smallpox, and measles to the Indians as well as accelerated buffalo hunting for the fur trade.
Social Issues
Immigration: Over a million Irish immigrants arrive in the United States, driven out of their homes in Ireland by the potato famine.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves on the Spanish ship Amistad mutiny and sale the ship into a Connecticut harbor.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) and her husband, David Lee Child (1794-1874), edit the Anti-Slavery Standard until 1844.
Reform
Labor Movement: The 10-hour day is established for federal employees by a Presidential order.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Women's Rights Movement: William Lloyd Garrison refuses to speak at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London because women have been excluded from the meeting.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are chosen as delegates to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London.
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1841
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Slavery: Affirming a strong argument made by John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), the Supreme Court rules that the slaves who took over the Amistad may be freed. Thirty-five freed men return to Africa.
Government
President William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) dies in office and is replaced by Vice-President John Tyler (1790-1852) as the 10th U.S. president; no new Vice President is selected.
Government
Tyler’s cabinet resigns over his veto of a bill creating a national bank; Daniel Webster remains Secretary of State.
Government
New Zealand becomes a British crown colony.
War
Mexican Wars: Texas soldiers invade New Mexico and claim all land east of the Rio Grande. Their efforts are thwarted by Governor Manuel Armijo (1793-1853).
Medicine
James Braid (1795-1860), Scottish surgeon, investigates the use of hypnosis.
Inventions
Adolphe Sax (1814-1894) invents the saxophone.
Inventions
Cornstarch is patented by Orlando Jones.
Inventions
Samuel Slocum (1792- 1861) patents the stapler.
Technology
The first U.S. steam fire engine is tested in New York City.
Education
Education of Women: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first to grant college degrees to women.
Education
New England transcendentalists found the commune and school, Brook Farm.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "A Treatise on Domestic Economy."
Education
Children''s Books: Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) publishes a collection of children’s stories, "The Playfellow."
Education
Children’s Books: Unlike the early nineteenth-century Rousseauesque castaways, Victorian versions of the Crusoe story stressed adventure, manliness, and self-help. Well-known examples include Captain Marryat's reassuringly Evangelical Masterman Ready.
Education
Children’s Books: Frederick Marryatt (1792-1848), an ex-naval officer who wrote a whole series of shipboard novels. His Masterman Ready, or the Wreck of the Pacific, first published in three volumes in 1841-42.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) writes "Self Reliance."
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1764-1849) returns to Washington, DC.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Symmes Harrison (1775-1864) is the first President's wife to never get to see or live in the White House because her husband, William Henry Harrison, died before she could join him there. President Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address (105 minutes) on a very cold winter day and contracted pneumonia.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) is the First Vice President's wife to become First Lady at the death of the former president.
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born April 13.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Tribune" begins publishing, edited by Horace Greeley.
Popular Culture
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes the first detective story, "Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Deerslayer."
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Old Curiosity Shop."
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves aboard the U.S.S. Creole take over the ship and sail it to Nassau, where they become free.
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas gives its citizens the right and responsibility to apprehend runaway slaves and turn them over to the law so that they may be returned to their owners or sold at auction.
1842
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The border between the U.S. and Canada is established from Maine to the Great Lakes.
Government
American author Washington Irving (1783-1859) is appointed ambassador to Spain.
Government
Stamps: The first adhesive postage stamps are used in the U.S.
War
Indian Wars: After destroying the Seminoles’ crops and villages, U.S. troops force a peace treaty and move them to Indian Territory in eastern Oklahoma.
Science
The Doppler Effect is described by Christian Doppler (1803-1853).
Medicine
The first surgery using an anesthetic—ether—is performed by Dr. Crawford Long (1815-1878) of Georgia.
Inventions
Joseph Dart builds the first grain elevator.
Education
Women's Colleges: Augusta Female Seminary—later Mary Baldwin Seminary, then College) is founded by Presbyterians in Staunton, VA; it will become one of the best-known early 19th century schools for girls.
Arts and Letters
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra gives its first performance.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcendentalist publication.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) dies of a second stroke in the White House on September 10. She is the first First Lady to die during her husband's presidency.
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) are married on November 4 at her sister Elizabeth’s house in Springfield.
Harrison, Anna
Mary Symmes Harrison Thornton (1809-1842), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies November 16.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) maps the Oregon Trail and wagon trains begin to move west.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts.
Sports
Horse Racing: Horse races at the Union Course on Long Island attract thousands of fans.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891)exhibits the young midget, Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton, c. 1850).
Reform
Labor Movement: The landmark Supreme Court decision, Commonwealth v. Hunt, rules that trade union are not illegal, the striking for a closed shop is legal, and that unions cannot be held responsible for illegal actions by individuals.
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1843
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) enters politics as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention in Alabama.
Government
Diplomatic representatives are sent to Hawaii by the U.S.
Government
Presidents: William McKinley (1843-1901), 25th President of the U.S. is born in Niles, Ohio.
Government
The first town meeting is held in Boston at Faneuil Hall.
Inventions
A U.S. patent for a hand-cranked ice cream freezer is granted to Nancy M. Johnson.
Inventions
Alexander Bain (1818-1903) of Scotland invents the facsimile.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson, England, proposes the Aerial Steam Carriage in "Mechanics Magazine," the first known design for a propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "Morte d’Arthur" and "Locksley Hall."
Ideas
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) lays the foundations for existentialism by stressing the primacy of the individualand the inevitability of suffering.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) writes “The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women.”
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln’s(1809-1865) son Robert Todd (1843-1926) is born August 1 in Springfield, in the Globe Tavern, where the Lincolns lived for a time after their marriage.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies November 14 of typhoid fever; Franklin Pierce begins to wonder if God is taking his children.
Economics
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) starts to build a telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) crosses the Rocky Mountains into California.
Daily Life
Fashion: A new form of female dress--bloomers--is introduced by Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894).
Daily Life
The first use of the word “millionaire” occurs in newspapers.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Mansion of Happiness is developed by S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. It becomes the first board game sold in the United States.
Sports
Skiing begins as a sport in Norway.
Sports
Rowing is introduced at Harvard.
Popular Culture
American Theathre: The first minstrel show is performed in New York City.
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "A Christmas Carol."
Religion
The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith is founded.
Religion
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) becomes a traveling evangelical preacher.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Lowell Female Labor Reform Association wins the first investigation of labor conditions by a government agency.
Reform
Mental Health Movement: Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) pushes reforms in the way mental health patients are treated through the Massachusetts legislature.
1844
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is elected as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is elected as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Government
A plan to annex Texas is rejected by the Senate.
Government
The first treaty of peace, amity, and commerce is signed by the U.S. with China.
War
A gun on the new frigate Princeton, being demonstrated by the U.S. Navy, explodes, killing the Secretaries of State and the Navy, as well as other government officials.
Medicine
Nitrous oxide is first used in dentistry.
Inventions
Paper made from wood pulp is invented by Friedrich Keller.
Inventions
Englishman John Mercer (1829- 1897) invents mercerized cotton.
Technology
Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) receives a patent for rubber vulcanization.
Technology
Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) sends his first telegraph message to an associate 45 miles away: the message is, “What hath God wrought?”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) writes "The Three Musketeers."
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) writes of religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world…the opium of the people.”
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) sells Montpelier and is the first First Lady to be granted a permanent seat on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) buy a home from the Episcopal minister who had married them. This will prove to be the only home the couple ever own.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner (1820-1889) is the first woman to marry an American President while he was in office.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) mother, Maria Webb, moves her family to Delaware, Ohio, so that her sons, Joseph and James, can enroll in the newly formed Methodist college, Ohio Wesleyan University.
Economics
Morse’s (1791-1872) telegraph is used for the first time between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Daily Life
The first private bath in an American hotel is built in the New York Hotel.
Sports
Cricket: The first official international cricket match is played: Canada vs. United States.
Religion
Brigham Young (1801-1877) is chosen to replace Joseph Smith (1805-1844) as leader of the Mormons.
Religion
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in England.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: The Factory Act in England prohibits children under 13 from working more than 6 ½ hours a day.
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1845
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress establishes the first week in November for election day; the harvest is over but the roads are still passable.
Government
The U.S. Senate overrides a presidential veto for the first time.
Government
New State: Florida becomes the 27th state in the Union.
Government
New State: Texas becomes the 28th state in the Union.
Government
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is inaugurated as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is inaugurated as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Inventions
American Elias Howe (1819-1867) invents a sewing machine.
Inventions
Sarah Mather receives a patent for a submarine telescope.
Inventions
Rubber bands are invented.
Inventions
The first pneumatic tires are patented in England.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow (1799-1883) attempt to form the Aerial Transit Company, which (if only they had a practical airplane), would have been the world's first airline. To drum up support, they build and test a model of Henson's aerial carriage with a 20-foot wingspan. It makes brief glides, but does not sustain flight.
Education
The first written examinations in elementary schools begin in Boston.
Education
Higher Education: The U.S. Naval Academy opens at Annapolis, MD.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes his poem, “The Raven” with the famous line, “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.”
Ideas
Catherine Beecher writes An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism with Reference to the Duty of American Women to Their Country
Ideas
Margaret Fuller publishes Women in the Nineteenth Century, an expansion of her earlier essay calling for equality for women.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891) is the first First Lady to be "selected" by the previous President for her position (President Tyler told newly elected James Polk that he needed to get married and should marry Sarah). As a result of this selection, Sarah is the first First Lady to serve as her husband's personal secretary.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Harrison Taylor (1813-1845), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies July 5.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) attends classes at Ohio Wesleyan and receives some credits from the College, although female students are not officially enrolled there.
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th President of the U.S., dies at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Economics
Power looms for weaving carpets and tapestries are built by Erastus Bigelow (1814-1879).
Daily Life
The Eastern Hotel in Boston becomes the first steam-heated building in the U.S.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Scientific American Magazine" begins publication.
Religion
Children’s Books: "Letter to My Young Cousin" by American Sunday school Union. This is a book of religious advice on behavior in the family, written as from one teenage girl to another.
Social Issues
Immigration: The potato crop fails in Europe, hitting Ireland especially hard; Irish immigrants continue to flock to the U.S.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Industrial Congress of the U.S., one of the earliest labor unions, is organized.
1846
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Iowa becomes the 29th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican War: The U.S. declares war on Mexico over California. U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) defeat the Mexicans at Palo Alto, the Navy occupies Monterey, and the territory of New Mexico is annexed to the U.S.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) is awarded the King of Prussia’s Gold Medal for science.
Science
The planet Neptune is discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfied Galle.
Medicine
Dr. William Morton (1819-1868), a Massachusetts dentist, is the first to use anesthesia for tooth extraction.
Inventions
Elias Howe (1819-1867) receives a patent for his sewing machine.
Education
The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington, DC as a center for scientific research.
Education
Education of Women: The National Academy of Design accepts women students.
Ideas
Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "The Evils Suffered by American Women and American Children."
Lincoln, Mary
With Mary’s (1818-1882) encouragement, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, born on March 10 in Springfield.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 29.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies September 26.
Tyler, Julia
David Gardiner "Gardie" Tyler (1846-1927), the first son born to John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on July 12.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Sarah Bagley (1806-1848) becomes the first woman telegrapher in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first painted Christmas card is designed.
Sports
Baseball: New York surveyor Alexander Cartwrite codifies the rules of baseball.
Sports
Baseball: The first recorded baseball game is played in Hoboken, NJ.
Popular Culture
Edward Lear (1812-1888) publishes his "Book of Nonsense."
Religion
The Mormons under Brigham Young (1801-1877) move westward beyond the U.S. borders to the Great Salt Lake.
Religion
The American Missionary Association is founded, combining Protestant evangelicalism with abolitionism.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Mexican-American War, Mexico is defeated and forced to yield an enormous amount of territory to the United States. Americans then wrestle with a controversial topic: Should slavery be permitted in the new lands?
Reform
Capital Punishment: Michigan becomes the first state to outlaw capital punishment.
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1847
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
California comes under U.S. control.
Government
Liberia, colonized by American ex-slaves, becomes the first independent republic in Africa.
Government
Stamps: United States stamps debut. The first two feature George Washington (1732-1799) and Ben Franklin (1706-1790).
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) discovers a new comet which is named after her.
Science
Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) suggests that the environment affects changes (evolution) within a species.
Medicine
Childbirth assisted by anesthetic (chloroform) first takes place.
Medicine
The American Medical Association is organized in Philadelphia.
Medicine
Epidemics: Another world-wide epidemic of influenza occurs.
Medicine
Antiseptics are developed by Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), a Hungarian.
Inventions
The ophthalmoscope is invented by Charles Babbage (1791-1871) .
Education
Women's Colleges: Rockford Female Seminary (later College) is founded in Rockford, IL; it is called the “Mount Holyoke of the West.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Emily Bronte (1818-1848) writes "Wuthering Heights" and Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) writes "Jane Eyre."
Fillmore, Abigail
The Fillmore (1800-1874) family moves to Albany when Fillmore is elected state comptroller; the children are away at boarding school and college.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida Saxon (1847-1907) , wife of William McKinley, is born in Canton, Ohio on June 8.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born March 23.
Economics
Evaporated milk is made for the first time.
Daily Life
Disasters: Forty-seven of the eighty-seven members of the Donner Party die while trapped in the Sierra Mountains.
Daily Life
The California town of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The telegraph is used to transfer stories over great distances, thus making news more immediate.
Religion
The Mormons found Salt Lake City, Utah.
Social Issues
Immigration: The first Chinese immigrants arrive in the U.S.
Social Issues
Immigration: Irish immigration reaches 105,000, 3 times more than the year before.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Taos Rebellion against the U.S. military occurs.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) , escaped ex-slave, begins publishing his abolitionist newspaper, the North Star.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: Women and children in Britain may only work a 10-hour day.
1848
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is elected 12th President of the U.S. on the Whig ticket; Millard Fillmore is elected as the 12th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Former Democratic President Martin van Buren (1782-1862) becomes the presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Free-Soil Party. He wins 10 percent of the popular vote, and is credited with siphoning off enough votes from Democratic candidate Lewis Cass (1782-1866 ) to help Whig candidate Zachary Taylor (1784- 1850) win the election.
Government
New State: Wisconsin becomes the 30th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican Wars: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war with Mexico, the U.S. receives New Mexico and California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado for $15 million.
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) becomes the first woman to be elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Science
Hyperion, the eighth moon of Saturn, is discovered.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 5,000 deaths are caused by a cholera epidemic in New York City.
Inventions
Margaret (Mattie) Knight (1838-1914) (10) invents a stop-motion device to keep shuttles from sliding out of the looms and injuring workers.
Inventions
Chewing gum is invented by John B. Curtis (1827–1897) of Maine.
Inventions
Waldo Hanchett patents the dental chair.
Education
Libraries: Boston Public Library becomes the first publicly supported major urban library.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Moore College of Art is founded in Philadelphia (then called the Philadelphia School of Design for Women); it is the first and only women's visual arts college in the nation--and one of only two in the world.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts Reform School at Westboro opens, where children who have refused to attend public schools are sent. This begins a long tradition of "reform schools," which combine the education and juvenile justice systems.
Education
Public Education: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guarantees citizenship rights to everyone living in new American areas, mostly Mexicans and Native people. It also guarantees the continued use of the Spanish language, including in education. One hundred fifty years later, in 1998, California breaks that treaty, by passing Proposition 227, which would make it illegal for teachers to speak Spanish in public schools.
Education
Education of Women: A medical school for women opens with 12 students in Boston.
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) publish "The Communist Manifesto."
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on April 7.
Tyler, Letitia
Mary Tyler Jones (1815-1848), the first daughter born to John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies June 17.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Smith Taylor (1788-1852) is the only First Lady whose portrait does not hang in the White House. She refused to ever have it made.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) meets Rutherford B. Hayes for the first time when he is visiting her town with his mother. She begins college at the Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College this year as well.
Adams, Louisa
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), son of Abigail and John Adams, dies of a massive stroke on February 23.
Economics
Gold is first discovered in California, in Sutter's mill. After President Polk (1795-1849) announces the news in December, the gold rush begins soon after.
Daily Life
Niagara Falls stops flowing for the first time in history because of an ice jam in the Niagara River.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Oh, Susannah,” which becomes popular among the “49ers” and establishes his reputation as a song writer.
Religion
Spiritualism becomes popular in the U.S.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The California Gold Rush begins, increasing Western expansion across former Native American lands.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The National Convention of Colored Freedmen held in Cleveland, Ohio resolves that women should be elected delegates on an equal basis with men.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The first Women’s Rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, NY.
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1849
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is inaugurated as the 12th President of the U.S. and Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 12th Vice President.
Government
Thomas Ewing (1829-1896) of Ohio is appointed as the first Secretary of the Interior, a department created to meet the needs of western settlers.
Government
Congress establishes the Minnesota territory.
Science
Jeffries Wyman (1814-1874) describes the similarities between the skeletons of apes and humans.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Female doctors are permitted to practice medicine for the first time in the U.S., and Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) becomes the first woman physician in the U.S.
Inventions
The safety pin is invented by Walter Hunt (1796-1859) , trying to satisfy a $15 debt; he spends 3 hours bending wire into various forms.
Inventions
Mary Ann Woodward patents a fan that attaches to a rocking chair.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), builds a small glider designed to lift about 80 pounds of the ground. He refers to it as his Boy Glider. It is the first recorded manned (or boyed) fixed-wing aircraft. It lifts a 10-year old boy off the ground for a few yards on test runs. Cayley also flew it in a high wind like a kite, tethered to the ground.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881) is one of the most prolific Victorian writers for children, best known for such moral tales as "Grandmamma's Pockets."
Education
The Free Academy in New York City opens; it will become the College of the City of New York and offer free education to the children of New York’s working class.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) dies on July 12 at the age of 81.
Polk, Sarah
James K. Polk (1795-1849) is the first President to be photographed while in office; he dies on June 15 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fillmore, Abigail
The family moves to Washington.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) applies for a patent on a floating dry dock; he is the only U.S. President to do so.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) meets Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) , a student of her father’s in Cincinnati.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Tyler Spencer (1849-1871), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on December 25.
Economics
Seven thousand “49ers” invade California in a search for gold.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Pacific Railroad Company is chartered, the first railroad west of the Mississippi River.
Economics
Women''s Rights Movement: Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894) begins publishing "The Lily," moving it to Ohio in 1853 and employing female typesetters in spite of a strike by males on the staff.
Sports
The Pearl of Bermuda beats the U.S. yacht Brenda in the first recognized international yacht race.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The giant redwood trees in California are named Sequoias in honor of the Cherokee Indian Chief, Sequoya (c.1770-1843).
Social Issues
Slavery: California holds a convention, adopting a constitution that forbids slavery and requests admission to the Union.
Social Issues
Immigration: The California Gold Rush sparks first mass immigration from China.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Maryland slave Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) escapes to the North with some help from her friends.
1850
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 is passed after bitter debates about slavery in new territories and states.
Government
Vice President Millard Fillmore (1800-1847) becomes the 13th President of the U.S. on the death of Zachary Taylor. No new Vice President is selected.
Government
New State: California becomes the 31st state in the U.S.
Government
The city of Los Angeles is incorporated.
Government
New Mexico (which included present day Arizona, southern Colorado, southern Utah, and southern Nevada) is designated a territory, but denied statehood.
Science
The inner-most ring of Saturn is discovered.
Inventions
The continuous stitch sewing machine is invented by Isaac Singer (1811-1875).
Inventions
Joel Houghton is granted the first dishwasher patent in 1850.
Technology
Newspapers: Powerful, giant presses appear, and they are able to print ten thousand complete papers per hour.
Technology
The first clear photograph of the moon is made (a daguerreotype).
Education
Education of Women: The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded.
Education
Public Education: One of the first “free,” or public, schools in New Jersey is founded by Clara Barton (1821-1912).
Education
Children’s Books: "Three Little Kittens" and other stories from Mama Lovechild''s Series were issued by the American toy and game publisher, McLoughlin Brothers.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) writes "Sonnets from the Portuguese."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) writes "The Scarlet Letter."
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker Lincoln (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, dies of tuberculosis at age 3, on February 1.
Lincoln, Mary
William Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, is born on December 21.
Taylor, Margaret
President Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), 12th President of the U.S., dies of indigestion on July 9 in Washington D.C. after less than a year-and-a-half in office on .
Fillmore, Abigail
The first library in the White House is established by Abigail Fillmore (1798-1853); She used her furniture money to buy the books. In addition to the library, she also had the first White House bathtub installed and replaced the fireplace used for cooking with the first White House cookstove.
Tyler, Letitia
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Tyler Waller (1823-1850), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 1 from childbirth complications.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) is the first First Lady to earn a college degree from Cincinnati Wesleyan.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803-1850) President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies at the age of 47.
Grant, Julia
Fredrick Dent Grant (1850-1912), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born May 30.
Economics
Young Bavarian-American Levi Strauss (1829-1902) invents blue jeans.
Economics
Population: The population of the U.S. is 23 million (3.2 million black slaves).
Daily Life
Fashion: Crinolines become popular in the U.S., later to be replaced by hoop skirts.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "pictorial" weekly newspapers emerge; for the first time they feature extensive illustrations of news events.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) brings Jenny Lind (1820-1887) to sing in the U.S.
Popular Culture
Steven Foster (1826-1864) writes “Camptown Races.”
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "David Copperfield."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Silversmithing is introduced to the Navajo Indians, who make it an art form.
Social Issues
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 includes the Fugitive Slave Act, a law designed to assist in the recovery of runaway slaves by increasing federal officers and denying fugitive slaves a right to a jury trial.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Women gain the right to own land in Oregon.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) begins to lead slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. She makes 19 trips back to the South to free about 300 slaves.
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1851
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
American Money: Three-cent coins are authorized by Congress.
Government
National Capital: The dome on top of the Capitol Building is designed.
Science
Understanding of the rotation of the earth is advanced.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) sets up a small medical clinic in a New York City tenement district.
Medicine
The use of glass eyes is introduced; many think they will restore sight.
Education
Libraries: The first law allowing towns to support free libraries through taxes is passed in Massachusetts.
Education
Teacher Education: White American education pioneer Myrrilla Miner opens a teaching college for black women in Washington, DC, the Miner Normal School, amid threats, arson attempts, and stone-throwing mobs.
Education
Libraries: Fire at the Library of Congress burns two-thirds of its collection, 900 of which have still to be replaced.
Education
Public Education: State of Massachusetts passes its first compulsory education law. The goal is to make sure that the children of poor immigrants get "civilized" and learn obedience and restraint, so they make good workers and don't contribute to social upheaval.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Giuseppe Verdi’s (1813-1901) opera "Rigoletto" is first performed in Venice.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Herman Melville (1819-1891) publishes "Moby Dick."
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) asks Lucy Webb (1831-1889) to marry him; she accepts.
Tyler, Julia
Lachlan Tyler (1851-1902), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born December 2.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Times" begins publishing.
Daily Life
The first double-decker omnibus, drawn by horses, appears in England.
Daily Life
Fashion: Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) gives her name to “bloomers,” a split skirt designed by Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911) for bicycle riding.
Sports
In the America’s Cup race, the U.S. yacht America beats the British yacht Aurora on Cowes, England.
Sports
Baseball: The first baseball uniforms are worn by the New York Knickerbockers—straw hats, white shirts, and blue trousers.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) publishes “Old Folks at Home.”
Popular Culture
Children’s Books: The American abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1812-1896) was pirated and abridged to become a children's classic. Although the book presents both African-American and white characters through melodrama and stereotype, the novel has received increasing critical reappraisal in recent years.
Religion
The first Young Men’s Christian Association (WMCA) opens in Boston.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Sioux Indians give their Iowa lands, and most of their lands in Minnesota to the U.S.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Prohibition against liquor is begun in Maine and Illinois.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) gives her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
Reform
Native Americans: Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (1818-1888) arrives in New Mexico and establishes schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout the territory.
1852
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Democrat Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is elected as the 14th President of the U.S., defeating the Whig candidate, General Winfield Scott; William R. King (1786-1853) is elected as the 13th Vice President. The Whig party ceases to be a power.
Government
Napoleon III (1808-1873) becomes the Emperor of France.
Government
The South African Republic (Transvaal) is established.
Government
Stamps: The first pre-stamped envelopes are sold. Pre-stamped postcards (for a penny) appear 19 years later.
Science
Kerosene is discovered and named.
Medicine
A Dutch army surgeon creates the first cast for broken bones by injecting bandages with plaster.
Inventions
Elisha Gray (1835-1901) invents a safety device to prevent the fall of heavy machinery; his invention makes the development of the elevator possible.
Inventions
James Otis (died 1861) designs a passenger elevator.
Inventions
The non-rigid airship is invented by Henri Giffard.
Education
Education of Women: Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) publishes "The Laws of Life, with Special Reference to the Physical Education of Girls."
Education
Women's Colleges: The National Women’s Education Association is founded by Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) to provide help for women’s colleges, and promote the idea of women as teachers.
Education
The first effective school attendance law is passed in Massachusetts; it requires at least 12 weeks attendance for all children between 8 and 14, six of which must be consecutive.
Education
Libraries: The Boston Public Library is founded.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Mills College is founded in California; it is the oldest women's college in the western part of the United States.
Madison, Dolley
John Payne Todd (1792-1852), the biological son of Dolley Madison and the stepson of President James Madison, dies of typhoid fever. John''s life choices, made him a charlatan and constant disgrace to his parents.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) are married on December 30 in Cincinnati.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born August 6.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses Simpson "Buck" Grant Jr. (1852-1929), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born July 22.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (1775-1852) dies in Washington on May 15 at the age of seventy-seven; the U.S. Congress adjourns to attend her funeral, the first time this honor is conferred upon a woman.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor (1788-1852) dies near Pascagoula, Mississippi on August 18 at the age of sixty-four.
Economics
The Wells Fargo Company is founded.
Discovery
Livingstone (1813-1873) begins explorations of the Zambezi River in South Africa.
Daily Life
The U.S. imports sparrows from Germany as a defense against caterpillars.
Sports
The first intercollegiate rowing race is held between Harvard and Yale.
Popular Culture
The character of “Uncle Sam” appears for the first time in the "New York Lantern Weekly."
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Religion
American Catholics hold their first Plenary Council in Baltimore.
Social Issues
Immigration: Chinese immigration is encouraged in California, particularly to provide labor for building railroads.
Reform
Labor Movement: Ohio becomes the first state to regulate working hours for women.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Woman’s New York Temperance Society is formed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
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1853
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
With the Gadsden Treaty, the U.S. secures land from Mexico that completes its acquisition of land in the continental United States.
Government
The Washington Territory is formed from part of the Oregon Territory.
Government
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is inaugurated as the 14th President of the U.S., and William R. King (1786-1853) is inaugurated as the 13th Vice President. King dies soon after taking office, and is not replaced.
Medicine
Alexander Wood (1817-1884) uses hypodermic syringes for injections under the skin.
Medicine
Smallpox vaccinations are made compulsory in Britain.
Medicine
Chloroform is used by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) as an anesthetic in the birth of her 7th child; it becomes an accepted practice in England.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 3,000 perish from yellow fever in New Orleans.
Inventions
African American inventors: George Crum invents the potato chip.
Technology
Airplanes: The first heavier-than-air flying machine, a glider, flies across a valley for 500 yards carrying its frightened creator, George Cayley (1773-1857).
Education
Higher Education: Antioch College in Ohio opens.
Education
Women's Colleges: American educator Mary Easton Sibley (1800-1878) founds the Lindenwood Female College in Missouri.
Education
Children’s Books: From his weekly magazine, "Household Words," Charles Dickens (1812-1870) waxes nostalgic for the educationally-incorrect fairy tales and nursery rhymes of his youth, such as Aladdin or Jack the Giant-Killer.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Rosa Bonheur’s (1822-1899) painting, "The Horse Fair," establishes her reputation as an artist.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers Fillmore (1798-1853) dies of pneumonia at the Willard Hotel in Washington at the age of fifty-five.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Scott (1832-1892) graduates from the Oxford Female Academy. She begins teaching
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies tragically January 16 in a train accident before his parents' eyes.
Hayes, Lucy
Birchard Austin Hayes (1853-1926), son of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, is born November 4 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln’s son Thomas "Tad" (1853-1871) is born on April 4 in Springfield.
Tyler, Julia
Lyon Gardiner Tyler (1853-1935), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born in August.
Economics
American Money: Three-dollar gold pieces are authorized by Congress.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio railroad is completed as far as the Ohio River.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The New York Central railroad is formed, connecting New York City and Buffalo, NY.
Economics
The building of Steinway pianos is begun in New York City by Henry Steinway (1797-1871) and his three sons.
Economics
Tiffany and Company, jewelers, is established.
Economics
Condensed milk is introduced by Gail Borden (1801-1871).
Discovery
Commander Matthew Perry (1794-1858) sails into Japan’s Edo Bay, hoping to open Japan to trade with the west.
Religion
Women's Firsts: Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) becomes the first ordained minister of a recognized denomination, the Congregationalists.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Seventy-three women present a petition to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention urging women’s suffrage.
1854
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Political Parties: The Republican Party is formed in Ripon, Wisconsin; opposition to slavery is their central principle.
Politics
Third Parties: The Know-Nothing Party is formed; native white Protestants opposed to immigration and Catholicism run Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) for President.
Government
Clara Barton (1821-1912) becomes perhaps the first regularly appointed woman civil servant in the U.S. with a clerkship in a Washington, DC patent office.
Government
The Gadsden Purchase Treaty is ratified.
Medicine
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) introduces nurses and standards of cleanliness into military hospitals in the Crimea.
Inventions
The first form of the electric light bulb is invented by Heinrich Goebel (1818-1893) in Germany.
Inventions
The Smith and Wesson revolver is invented.
Technology
The use of the Bunsen burner is introduced.
Education
Special Education: The first state-supported school especially designed for the mentally retarded opens in Syracuse, NY.
Education
Education of Women: Emily Blackwell (1826-1910), Elizabeth Blackwell’s sister, earns a medical degree at Cleveland’s Western Reserve University.
Arts and Letters
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) writes "Walden," or "Life in the Woods."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "The Charge of the Light Brigade," a poem about a tragic battle in the Crimean War.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline (1832-1892)and Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) move to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Fillmore, Abigail
Mary Abigail (Abby) Fillmore (1832-1854) dies of cholera on July 27 at the age of 22.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy (1831-1889) and Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) and their family move into its own house in Cincinnati.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 8 of colic.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline and Benjamin Harrison’s son, Russell Benjamin Harrison (1854-1936), is born on August 12.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Immigration: 13,000 Chinese arrive, the beginning of large-scale Chinese immigration; they are employed largely in railroad building in the west.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Jeanne with the Light Brown Hair.”
Religion
Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) sets forth the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Congress sets aside the rulings from the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allows these two new territories to choose whether or not to allow slavery. Violent clashes erupt.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Northern resistance to the expansion of slavery increases.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Black temperance advocate Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) lectures for antislavery societies.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Susan B. Anthony collects 6,000 signatures on a petition for women’s rights.
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1855
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The first U.S. Court of Claims is established.
Government
Stamps: Prepayment of postage is required in United States
Inventions
Kerosene is patented by Abraham Gesner (1797-1864) .
Inventions
The printing telegraph is invented.
Inventions
The first patent for the production of rayon is obtained by George Audemars.
Education
The first German-language kindergarten in the United States is established by Margarethe Schurtz in Watertown, WI.
Education
A professorship of technology is created at Edinburgh University.
Education
Children’s Books: Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901) publishes the children's historical novel, "The Little Duke," and also "The History of Sir Thomas Thumb, a traditional folktale to which Yonge adds material from the Arthurian legends and from the German tales of the Brothers Grimm.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) writes "Hiawatha."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Walt Whitman (1819-1892) writes "Leaves of Grass."
Arts and Letters
The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra is organized.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) runs unsuccessfully for the Senate.
Van Buren, Hannah
Martin Van Buren (1812-1855), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren, dies in Paris on March 19.
Grant, Julia
Ellen Wrenshall "Nellie" Grant Sartoris Jones (1855-1922), daughter of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born July 4.
Economics
Transportation: The first Cunard liner crosses the Atlantic in 9 ½ days.
Economics
The first oil refinery in the U.S. is built in Pittsburgh.
Discovery
Missionary David Livingstone (1813-1873) discovers falls on the Zambezi River which he names Victoria Falls.
Sports
Horseback riding by women becomes popular; many riding academies are set up to help women learn.
Social Issues
Slavery: Fugitive slave Ann Wood leads a wagon load of armed boys and girls in a shootout with slave catchers; two are killed and the rest escape to the North.
1856
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Buchanan (1791-1868) , Democrat, is elected the 15th President of the U.S., and John C. Breckenridge (1821-1875) is elected as the nation's 14th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Former President Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) is selected to be the presidential candidate of the Know-Nothing or American Party.
Government
Presidents: Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) , 28th President of the United States, is born.
War
The Crimean War ends with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Science
A Neanderthal skull is found in a cave near Dusseldorf in Germany.
Inventions
Henry Bessemer (1813-1898) invents a process which makes it possible to mass-produce low-cost steel.
Inventions
A patent for a pencil with an attached eraser is granted to H.L. Lipman.
Inventions
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) invents the process of pasteurisation.
Technology
Railroad History: The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River is completed between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The first American copyright law is established because of the efforts of Dion Boucicault (1820-1890). In its earliest form, it only protects the title of the play.
Tyler, Julia
Robert Fitzwalter Tyler (1856-1927), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born March 12.
Lane, Harriet
Harriet Lane (1830-1903) serves as James Buchanan's hostess because he never married.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s second son, James Webb Hayes (1856-1934), is born on March 20th in Cincinnati.
Hayes, Lucy
Fannie Hayes Platt, Rutherford’s sister and Lucy’s great friend, dies of complications of childbirth.
Economics
The first street trains, powered by steam, begin running between Boston and Cambridge, MA.
Economics
The Western Union Company is established.
Discovery
Borax is discovered in California.
Sports
Boxing: The longest bare-knuckle boxing match in history pits James Kelly vs. Jack Smith in Melbourne, Australia; the fight lasts 6 hours and 15 minutes.
Sports
Women in Sports: Catherine Beecher (1800-78) publishes Physiology and Calisthenics for Schools and Families, the first fitness manual for women.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Pottawatomie Massacre takes place in Kansas.
Reform
Abolition Movement: An anti-slavery group led by John Brown (1800-1859) attacks a pro-slavery settlement in Franklin County, Kansas. Horace Greeley’s (1811-1872) "New York Tribune" calls the territory “Bleeding Kansas.”
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1857
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Slavery: In the Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court rules that slaves are not free just because they live in a free state, that blacks do not have the right to sue in federal court, and that Congress does not have the right to try to exclude slavery from the territories.
Government
Presidents: William Howard Taft (1857-1930) , 27th President of the United States, is born.
Government
National Capital: The House of Representatives moves into its current home in the south wing of the Capitol.
Government
James Buchanan (1791-1868) is inaugurated as the 15th President of the U.S., and John C. Breckenridge (1821-1875) is inaugurated as the nation's 14th Vice President.
Government
Stamps: Perforated U.S. stamps appear (Previously people had to cut apart sheets of stamps).
Science
Yeast is discovered to be a living plant.
Science
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) proves that fermentation is caused by living organisms.
Science
In a letter to Asa Gray (1810-1888) , Charles Darwin (1809-1882) first outlines his theories of evolution and natural selection.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) founds her own New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
Medicine
Epidemics: One of the worst epidemics of influenza begins this year and spreads around the world in the next two years.
Inventions
George Pullman (1831-1897) invents the Pullman Sleeping Car for train travel.
Technology
Airplanes: Jean-Marie Le Bris (1817-1872), a French sea caption, tests a glider modeled after an albatross. This "artificial bird" makes one short glide, but on the second glide it crashes and Le Bris breaks his leg.
Education
Children’s Books: Thomas Hughes (1822-1896), writes "Tom Brown's Schooldays," making Arnold's Rugby the model for what Victorian schoolboys expected their schools to be like.
Education
Libraries: The Watkinson Library is founded as a “a library of reference” for the community of Hartford, Connecticut.
Education
The National Education Association is founded in Philadelphia for the purpose of advancing the professionalism of teaching.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) publishes "Madame Bovary."
Ideas
'The Atlantic Monthly' is founded.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) takes great pleasure in her new sewing machine, a gift from her mother.
Lane, Harriet
Harriet Lane (1830-1903) is the first woman to have a federal steamship named after her.
Economics
E.G. Otis installs the first safety elevator.
Economics
The laying of the transatlantic cable begins.
Economics
A financial panic triggers a serious depression; thousands of businesses fail.
Daily Life
Central Park, in New York City, is designed.
Daily Life
Holidays: The first Mardi Gras pageant of decorated floats is held in New Orleans.
Daily Life
The American Chess Association is formed.
Sports
Baseball: Twenty-five teams form the first baseball association, the National Association of Baseball Players.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Married Women’s Property Bill passes in England.
1858
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
A treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce is signed between the U.S. and China.
Government
New State: Minnesota becomes the 32nd state in the U.S.
Government
Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) , 26th President of the United States, is born.
Government
Britain takes over the government of India from the East India Company.
Science
The cell is isolated by Berlin doctor Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) , who calls it the basic unit of all life.
Inventions
Hamilton Smith (1862-1943) patents the rotary washing machine.
Inventions
Jean Lenoir (1822-1900) invents an internal combustion engine.
Education
Children’s Books: Rev. Frederic William Farrar (1831-1903), a schoolmaster, writes the moralistic tale "Eric," or "Little by Little," about a boy who goes bad.
Education
A chemistry department and research lab are established by Harvard University.
Arts and Letters
The first public concert is performed by the New York Symphony Orchestra.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: “The Courtship of Miles Standish” is published by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s third son, Rutherford Platt Hayes (1858-1927), is born on June 24 in Cincinnati.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) is appointed to an unexpired term as city solicitor of Cincinnati in December.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes family has its first Christmas tree, decorated as a surprise by their German servants.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) runs for the Senate from Illinois against incumbent Democrat Stephen Douglas (1813-1861); he loses, but the Lincoln-Douglas debates form a part of U.S. history.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline and William Harrison’s first daughter, Mary Scott (1858-1930) is born on April 3.
Grant, Julia
Jesse Root Grant (1858-1934), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born February 6.
Economics
The transatlantic cable is completed, allowing telegraphic communication between the U.S. and Britain; the service ends after a month because the signal is too weak.
Economics
Transportation: Stagecoach service and mail delivery begin between San Francisco and St. Louis.
Economics
Macy’s Department Store opens.
Discovery
Lake Tanganyika in East Africa is first discovered by Europeans.
Daily Life
Princess Victoria (1840-1901) of England (daughter of Queen Victoria) chooses Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” and Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” for her wedding, thus beginning a tradition.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The first use of fingerprints as a means of identification occurs in India.
Sports
Baseball: The National Association of Baseball Players is organized.
Religion
Marie-Bernard Soubirous (1843-1879), later to become St. Bernadette of Lourdes, first sees a vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in France.
Religion
The Ladies’ Christian Association, forerunner to the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), is founded in New York City.
Religion
Another religious revival begins in New York and Pennsylvania and sweeps across the country; religious conversions are many.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves are sold at very high prices because of high demand for cotton, and southerners begin to talk about reopening the slave trade.
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1859
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court upholds the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850; Georgia prohibits the deathbed manumission of slaves and rules that free blacks can be sold back into slavery; tensions between North and South escalate.
Government
New State: Oregon becomes the 33rd state in the U.S.
Government
President James Buchanan (1791-1868) rules that the New Mexico territory should become a reservation for American Indians.
Government
National Capital: The Senate moves into the enlarged north wing of the Capitol, where it remains, today.
War
The first iron-clad armored warship, Britain’s HMS Warrior, is launched.
Science
Botanist Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps (1793-1884) is the second woman elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Science
Charles Darwin’s (1809-1882) "Origin of the Species" is published.
Inventions
The first practical storage battery is invented.
Inventions
The steamroller is invented.
Education
The Cooper Union in New York City is established, primarily for adult education in the arts and sciences.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The opera "Faust" is performed.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "A Tale of Two Cities."
Arts and Letters
Women's Firsts: Harriet E. Wilson (1827-1863), author of "Our Nig," becomes the first African-American novelist published in the U.S.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is elected to his own two-year term as city solicitor in Cincinnati.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes home is enlarged, with quarters for servants and a brick kitchen with a new range.
Economics
Work is begun on the Suez Canal.
Economics
The first commercial oil well is brought in at Titusville, PA.
Discovery
The first large silver deposit found in the U.S., the Comstock Lode, is found in Nevada.
Daily Life
Big Ben, the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London is started.
Sports
Baseball: The first intercollegiate baseball game in the U.S. is played by students from Amherst and Williams Colleges in Massachusetts.
Sports
The first national billiards champion wins a $15,000 prize.
Popular Culture
Daniel Emmett (1815-1904) writes “Dixie” and "Turkey in the Straw."
Popular Culture
Charles Blondin (1824-1897) walks across Niagara Falls on the tightrope; he is watched by 25,000 people.
Popular Culture
Wearing the body-hugging costume later named for him, Jules Leotard (1839-1870) performs the first flying trapeze act without a net at the Cirque Napoleon.
Reform
Abolition Movement: John Brown (1800-1859) seizes the armory at Harper’s Ferry to provide for his militia; he is later captured and hanged.
1860
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) of Illinois becomes the first Republican to win the United States Presidency; he becomes the 16th President and Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891) of Maine is elected as the 15th Vice President.
Politics
South Carolina secedes from the Union followed within two months by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Government
Stamps: By 1860, almost all countries have postage stamps.
Government
The U.S. Secret Service is established.
Science
The fact that the star Sirius is a double star is discovered.
Medicine
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) opens the world’s first school of nursing.
Inventions
The first practical gasoline engine is built.
Education
The first English language kindergarten is established in Boston by Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894).
Education
Olympia Brown (1835-1926) becomes the first woman to study theology with men—at St. Lawrence University.
Arts and Letters
Literature: George Eliot(1819-1880) (Mary Ann Evans) publishes "The Mill on the Floss."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Dion Boucicault (1820-1890) begins promotion of "combination companies". The company and players would travel with scenery for 1 play.
Arthur, Ellen
William Lewis Arthur (1860-1863), son of Chester Alan and Ellen Arthur, is born December 10.
Tyler, Julia
Pearl Tyler Ellis (1860-1947), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born June 20.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes’s (1831-1889) boys suffer from mumps, whooping cough, and measles.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and her husband take a long trip, by riverboat, to Canada, by rail and boat to Boston, to New England and home by way of New York City. Total cost: $310.77.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) begins 30 years of serving on the board of managers of the Indianapolis Orphans’ Asylum.
Wilson, Ellen
Ellen Louise Axson (1860-1914), first wife of Woodrow Wilson, is born in Savannah, Georgia on May 15.
Harding, Florence
Florence Kling DeWolfe (1860-1924), wife of Warren G. Harding, is born in Marion, Ohio on August 15.
Economics
Slavery: Cotton shipments are at an all-time high (2 billion pounds a year), which gives the South extra incentives to keep slavery.
Economics
The first Pony Express riders make it from Missouri to California in 10 days.
Economics
Population: The population of the United States (1860) is 32 million.
Daily Life
Fashion: Bustles begin to take the place of hoop skirts in American women’s fashion.
Daily Life
History of Toys: A chemistry set for children is offered for sale for $5.00.
Sports
Boxing: The longest prizefight in American history is held in Maine; it lasts for 4 hours and 20 minutes.
Sports
Croquet is introduced to the U.S. from England; it becomes very popular.
Sports
Golf: The first British Open Golf Championship is held.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) composes “Old Black Joe.”
Religion
The Seventh Day Adventist church is founded by William Miller (1782-1849) and his followers.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The U.S. Army's Fort Definace in New Mexico is attacked by 1,000 Navaho Indians; the Indians lose.
Social Issues
Immigration: Poland’s religious and economic conditions prompt immigration of approximately two million Poles by 1914.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton speaks to a meeting of the New York State Legislature on behalf of women’s suffrage.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Women are allowed to collect their own wages, to sue, and to inherit their husbands’ property in New York State; married women are allowed to be guardians of their children
Reform
Labor Movement: Six thousand shoemakers go on strike in Lynn, MA for higher wages; the companies grant higher wages but refuse to recognize the union.
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1861
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) is elected President of the Confederate States of America.
Politics
Virginia secedes from the Union, followed within five weeks by Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina, thus forming an eleven state Confederacy with a population of 9 million.
Government
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is inaugurated as the 16th President and Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891) is inaugurated as the 15th Vice President.
Government
New State: Kansas becomes the 34th state in the United States.
Government
The United States introduces the passport system.
Government
Congress passes the first income tax in the U.S. to support the war.
War
Civil War: The Union Army under Gen. Irvin McDowell (1818-1885) suffers a defeat at Bull Run 25 miles southwest of Washington.
War
Civil War: Pierre Beauregard (1813-1893) opens fire with 50 cannons upon Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina. The Civil War begins.
War
Confederates invade New Mexico from Texas.The Confederate Territory of Arizona is declared with the capital at La Mesilla.
War
Civil War; National Capital: The U.S. Capitol houses Union soldiers, providing medical attention and a place to sleep.
Inventions
Elisha Otis (1811-1861) patents elevator safety brakes, creating a safer elevator.
Inventions
Linus Yale (1821-1868) invents the Yale lock or cylinder lock.
Education
The first American doctor of philosophy degree is awarded by Yale University.
Education
Women's Colleges: Vassar College for women is founded in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: George Eliot (1819-1880) (Mary Ann Evans) writes "Silas Marner."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "Great Expectations."
Lincoln, Mary
The Lincolns (Abraham: 1809-1865 and Mary Todd: 1818-1882) move into the White House in March of 1861.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) joins the 23rd Ohio Volunteer infantry as a Major.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fourth son, Joseph Thompson (1861-1863), is born on December 21 in Cincinnati.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline (1832-1892) and Benjamin (1831-1901) Harrison’s third child and second daughter dies at birth.
Roosevelt, Edith
Edith Kermit Carow (1861-1948), wife of Theodore Roosevelt, is born in Norwich, Connecticut on August 6.
Taft, Helen
Helen Herron Taft (1861-1943), wife of William Howard Taft [1909-1913] is born in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 2.
Economics
American Money: Gold payments are suspended; greenbacks become the national currency.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Leland Stanford (1824-1893) hires Chinese laborers to help build the western part of the Central Pacific Railroad.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: There are 30,000 miles of railroad track in the U.S.
Economics
Telegraph wires are strung between San Francisco and New York.
Economics
Pencils are mass-produced in New York by Eberhard Faber.
Economics
American Money: Congress authorizes the United States Treasury to issue paper money for the first time in the form of non-interest bearing Treasury Notes called Demand Notes.
Daily Life
Daily weather forecasts are begun in Britain.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: A record balloon trip is made between Cincinnati, Ohio and the South Carolina coast is made in 9 hours.
Popular Culture
Wartime Music: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” is written during the Civil War by Julia War Howe for the Union.
Popular Culture
Wartime Music: “Battle Cry of Freedom” is written during the Civil War by George F. Root for the Union.
Popular Culture
Wartime Music: “Dixie Land” is written during the Civil War by Daniel Emmett for the Confederate.
1862
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Homestead Act is passed, decreeing that any American may have 160 acres of land in the west free, if he lives on it for five years.
Government
President Lincoln (1809-1865) issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves "henceforth and forever free."
Government
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is created by Congress.
Government
The Medal of Honor is authorized by Congress.
Government
Railroad History: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) signs the Pacific Railway Act, which authorizes the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.
Government
American Money: The Secretary of the Treasury is empowered by Congress to have notes engraved and printed, which is done by private banknote companies.
War
Civil War: The bloodiest battle of the Civil War occurs at Antietam; over 23,000 are killed or wounded.
War
Civil War: The Confederate Ironclad 'Merrimac' sinks two wooden Union ships then battles the Union Ironclad 'Monitor' to a draw. Naval warfare is thus changed forever, making wooden ships obsolete.
War
Civil War: Confederate surprise attack on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's (1822-1885) unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates.
War
Civil War: 75,000 Federals under Gen. John Pope (1874-1937) are defeated by 55,000 Confederates under Gen. Stonewall Jackson (1824-1863) and Gen. James Longstreet (1821-1904) at the second battle of Bull Run in northern Virginia.
Science
The speed of light is successfully measured.
Medicine
The first children’s clinic is opened in New York City.
Inventions
The Gatling (a 10 barrel, automatic firing) gun is invented by R.J. Gatling (1818-1903).
Inventions
A timepiece for split-second timing—the chronograph—is invented.
Inventions
Alexander Parkes (1813-1890) invents the first man-made plastic.
Inventions
Jean Lenoir (1822-1900) makes a gasoline engine automobile.
Education
Children’s Books: Christina Rossetti''s (1830-1894) long fantasy, "Goblin Market," about two sisters'' struggle to resist the tempting fruits of the goblin men, was long categorized as a children''s fairy tale, but is increasingly reread as a major poem of its period.
Education
Women's Firsts: In Ohio, Mary Jane Patterson receives a degree from Oberlin, becoming the first black woman to graduate from an American college.
Education
African American Education: One of the earliest and longest-lived freedmen’s schools, the Penn School on St. Helena Island, NC, is founded by Laura Matilda Towne (1825-1901).
Education
Women's Firsts: Geologist Florence Bascom (1862-1945) becomes the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University; she goes on to teach at Bryn Mawr.
Education
The Morrill Land-Grant Act endows colleges of agriculture and industry.
Arts and Letters
Literature; Victor Hugo (1802-1885) writes "Les Misérables."
Lincoln, Mary
The Lincolns’ son William Wallace (1850-1862) dies of typhoid fever at age 11 on February 20.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) raises a regiment for the Union in the Civil War (1,000 men from Indiana) known as the 70th Indiana Regiment.
Van Buren, Hannah
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), 8th President of the U.S., dies in Kinderhook, New York.
Tyler, Julia
John Tyler (1790-1862), 10th President of the U.S., dies in Richmond, Virginia.
Economics
American Money: Demand Notes are replaced by United States Notes.
Economics
1,000 guns a day are being produced by the Colt factory.
Economics
The first automobile with an internal combustion engine is constructed.
Economics
A process for concentrating fruit juice is patented.
Popular Culture
Julia Ward Howe's (1819-1910) poem, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is published and later set to music. The music for "Taps" is also composed.
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1863
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
President Lincoln (1809-1865) issues the final Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in territories held by Confederates and emphasizes the enlisting of black soldiers in the Union Army.
Government
New Mexico is divided in half, creating the Territory of Arizona.
Government
National Capital: The "Statue of Freedom" is place on top of the Capitol building and becomes the crowning feature of the dome.
Government
Congress establishes free mail delivery in cities.
Government
New State: West Virginia becomes the 35th state in the United States.
Government
President Lincoln (1809-1865) delivers the Gettysburg Address.
War
Civil War: The tide of war turns against the South as the Confederates are defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.
War
Civil War: The Battle of Gettysburg takes place.
War
Civil War: The Union institutes a draft to recruit soldiers for the Civil War.
Science
The National Academy of Sciences is founded in Washington, DC.
Education
Children’s Books: The Rev. Charles Kingsley’s (1819-1875) fairy tale "The Water-Babies" combines many of these enthusiasms in a tale of how a little chimney-sweep goes backward in evolution when he is wicked, and forwards when he does as he would be done by.
Arts and Letters
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) adopts the pen-name, Mark Twain.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Henry Wordsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) publishes the poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”
Pierce, Jane
Jane Means Appleton Pierce (1806-1863), wife of Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), dies of tuberculosis in Andover, Massachusetts on December 2 at the age of 57.
Arthur, Ellen
William Lewis Arthur (1860-1863), son of Chester Alan and Ellen Arthur, dies July 7.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fourth son, Joseph (1861-1863), dies of dysentery at the age of two on June 24.
Johnson, Eliza
Charles Johnson (1830-1863), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 4 in a horse accident.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889), her four sons, and her mother go to West Virginia to be with Rutherford (1822-1893) and his regiment.
Economics
American Money: The design of U.S. currency incorporates a Treasury seal, the fine line engraving necessary for the difficult-to-counterfeit itaglio printing, intricate geometric lathe work patterns, and distinctive linen paper with embedded red and blue fibers.
Economics
Transportation: The world''''s first underground railway service, London''''s Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon, is opened.
Economics
Traveler’s Insurance Company is founded in Hartford, CT.
Daily Life
Holidays: The first national Thanksgiving Day is proclaimed by President Lincoln (1809-1865) to be the fourth Thursday of November.
Daily Life
The first paper dress patterns are developed by Ebenezer Butterick (1826-1903).
Sports
The four-wheeled roller skate is patented by James Plimpton of New York.
Sports
Horse Racing: The Grand Prix horse race is first held in Paris.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) composes “Beautiful Dreamer.”
Religion
Olympia Brown (1835-1926) is ordained a minister by the Northern Universalists in Weymouth, MA.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Kit Carson (1809-1868) begins resettling Navajo and Apache Indians on reservations by force.
Social Issues
Slavery: The Emancipation Proclamation delivered by President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) decrees that all slaves in Rebel territory are free on January 1, 1863.
1864
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) nominates Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; he is confirmed by the Senate on the same day, and holds the position for eight years, until his death in 1873.
Politics
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is reelected for a second term as President of the United States, and Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) is elected as the nation's 16th Vice President.
Government
New State: Nevada becomes the 36th state in the United States.
Government
The territory of Montana is organized.
Government
Twenty-six nations sign the Geneva Conventions, an agreement to respect humanitarian rules of war with respect to prisoners, sick soldiers, Red Cross neutrality, and civilians in war zones.
Government
American Money: Congress authorizes the inscription, "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.
War
Civil War: General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) marches his Union army through Georgia, captures Atlanta and Savannah, and leaves a 300 mile path of destruction, 60 miles wide, all the way to the sea.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919) is appointed assistant surgeon in the Union Army.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Inventor Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894) patents a process for refining sugar that is used by sugar processing plants all over the world.
Technology
Airplanes: Count Ferdinand d’Esterno, France, publishes the first scientific observations of the effects of the wind on a wing in his pamphlet, "Du Vol des Oiseaux."
Education
Public Education: Native Americans: Indian Education: Congress makes it illegal for Native Americans to be taught in their native languages. Native children as young as four years old are taken from their parents and sent to Bureau of Indian Affairs off-reservation boarding schools, whose goal, as one BIA official put it, is to "kill the Indian to save the man."
Education
Women’s Firsts: Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1846-1922) becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) begins writing his epic, "War and Peace."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jules Verne (1828-1905) publishes "A Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775-1864) Harrison dies on February 25 in North Bend, Ohio, at the age of eighty-eight.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for Congress from Ohio and wins without ever leaving his troops.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fifth son, George Crook (1864-1866) is born on September 29 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Cleveland, Frances
Frances Folsom (1864-1947), wife of Grover Cleveland (1837-1906), is born in Buffalo, New York, on July 21.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Pennsylvania Railroad begins using steel for its rails.
Daily Life
Taking pictures that will be become famous as a record of the Civil War, New York photographer Matthew Brady (1822-1896) travels through the nation's battlefields.
Daily Life
Newspapers: In Louisiana, the New Orleans Tribune begins publication. It is one of the first African-American-run daily newspapers.
Social Issues
Immigration: European immigration to the U.S. increases, due in large part to the Homestead Act and also because immigrants are excluded from the draft.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Many Navahos die as they make the "Long March" through New Mexico to their grim reservation at Bosque Redondo.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The massacre of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians at Sand Creek, CO occurs.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first International Workingmen's Association is founded by Karl Marx (1818-1883) in London and New York.
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1865
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Thirteenth Amendment, forbidding slavery, is passed by the Congress, ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), 29th President of the United States, is born near Marion, Ohio.
Government
American Money: Gold Certificates are issued by the Department of the Treasury against gold coin and buillion deposits and are circulated until 1933.
Government
American Money: The Department of the Treasury establishes the United States Secret Service to control counterfeit money.
Government
Following the assassination of President Lincoln, his Vice-President, Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), becomes the 17th President of the United States. No new Vice President is selected.
War
Civil War: Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia; the Civil War ends.
War
Indian Wars: Escalation of the Plains War between the U.S. military and the Sioux and Cheyenne.
Science
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) proposes the laws of heredity.
Medicine
Antiseptic surgery is initiated by Joseph Lister (1827-1912) using carbolic acid.
Medicine
The Chicago Hospital for Women and Children is established, in part, by Dr. Mary Harris Thompson, one of the best-known surgeons of her era.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Dr. Mary Walker (1832-1919) becomes the first woman to receive the Medal of Honor, for her service during the Civil War.
Inventions
The coffee percolator is invented.
Education
Higher Education: The Universities of Maine and Kentucky, Purdue University and Cornell University are all founded.
Education
Higher Education: Yale University opens the first Department of Fine Arts in the U.S.
Education
Higher Education: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is founded.
Education
Women's Colleges: Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) is the first woman appointed as a professor of astronomy, at Vassar College.
Education
Children''s Books: Lewis Carroll''s (1832-1898) "Alice in Wonderland" is published.
Education
Children''s Books: "Hans Brinker," or "The Silver Skates" is written by Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905).
Education
Public Education (1865-1877): African Americans mobilize to bring public education to the South for the first time. After the Civil War, and with the legal end of slavery, African Americans in the South make alliances with white Republicans to push for many political changes, including for the first time rewriting state constitutions to guarantee free public education. In practice, white children benefit more than Black children.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Wagner’s (1813-1883) opera "Tristan and Isolde," premiers in Munich.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jules Verne (1828-1905) writes "From the Earth to the Moon."
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson Jr. (1808-1865), Andrew and Rachel Jackson's adopted son (he was one of the pair of twins born to a sibling of Rachel Jackson), dies.
Lincoln, Mary
Assassination: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC.
Johnson, Eliza
Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810-1876) is the first First Lady to teach her husband, Andrew Johnson, to read and write.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) and her family move to Chicago.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford (1822-1893) and Lucy (1831-1889) Hayes go to Washington for his first term in Congress. The children stay in Chillicothe with their grandmother.
Harrison, Caroline
General Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) and the 70th Indiana are mustered out of Federal service on June 8, 1865.
Economics
The Atlantic cable is completed.
Economics
The first oil pipeline is laid in Pennsylvania (6 miles).
Economics
The Union Stockyards open in Chicago.
Daily Life
The first carpet sweeper comes into popular use.
Daily Life
Transportation: George Pullman''s (1831-1897) railroad sleeping cars appear in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first fire department with paid firefighters is founded in New York City.
Sports
Billiard balls made out of a composition material replace balls made of ivory.
Sports
Boxing: Boxing's Queensbury Rules are laid out.
Sports
Women in Sports: Matthew Vassar opens Vassar College with a special School of Physical Training with classes in riding, gardening, swimming, boating, skating and "other physical accomplishments suitable for ladies to acquire ... bodily strength and grace."
Popular Culture
Another popular favorite published this year is Mark Twain's (1835-1910) short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."
Social Issues
Hate Groups: The Ku Klux Kan is founded in Tennessee.
Social Issues
Poverty: The Salvation Army is founded in England by William Booth (1829-1912).
1866
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting voter discrimination, is passed by the Congress.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: The Freedman’s Bureau Bill is established to provide assistance to freed slaves.
Government
American Money: Congress authorizes the issuance of the 5-cent piece, the “nickel.”
Government
Tennessee becomes the first state readmitted to the Union.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Despite the veto of President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the U.S. passes a Civil Rights Law, protecting the rights of citizenship for former slaves freed by the Thirteenth Amendment.
Inventions
Dynamite is developed by Swedish engineer Alfred Nobel (1801-1872).
Inventions
Englishmen Robert Whitehead (1861-1947) invents a torpedo.
Inventions
A 12-horsepower steam automobile is developed in Connecticut.
Technology
Battery Technology: Georges Leclanche (1839-1882), a French engineer, patents a new system, which is immediately successful. In the space of two years, twenty thousand of his cells are being used in the telegraph system.
Technology
Airplanes: The Aeronautical Society is founded in England.
Education
Women’s Firsts: Lucy Hobbs (1833-1910) becomes the first woman to graduate from dental school, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) writes "War and Peace."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Feodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) writes "Crime and Punishment."
Van Buren, Hannah
John Van Buren (1810-1866), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren dies October 13 of kidney failure while at sea.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) returns to Chillicothe in March; the older boys study German.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s fifth son, George Crook (1864-1866), dies of scarlet fever on May 24 at the age of 20 months.
Economics
American Money: National Bank Notes, backed by U.S. government securities, becomes predominant.
Economics
The first refrigerated railroad car is built in Detroit.
Economics
Laying of the second Atlantic cable is completed.
Daily Life
The first Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) opens in Boston.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: Vassar College fields the first two women''s amateur baseball teams.
Religion
An early congregation of Reform Jews builds the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Social Issues
Jim Crow Laws: The former Confederate States enact "Black code" (later known as Jim Crow) laws to counteract the thirteenth amendment.
Reform
Labor Movement: The National Labor Union is founded in Baltimore, the first such industrial trade-union confederation and a landmark in the U.S. labor movement.
Reform
Animal Rights Movement: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is founded in New York City.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Martha Coffin Pelham Wright, Lucretia Mott, and Ernestine Rose found the American Equal Rights Association, seeking both black and women’s suffrage.
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1867
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Dominion of Canada is established by The British North America Act.
Government
Education: The federal Office of Education is established to provide information on the condition of education in the United States.
Government
New State: Nebraska becomes the 37th state of the Union.
Government
Alaska is purchased from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million, approximately two cents an acre.
Medicine
Lister (1827-1912) publishes "Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery," based partly on Pasteur's work.
Inventions
The first motorcycle is invented.
Inventions
Christopher Sholes (1819-1890) invents the first practical and modern typewriter.
Inventions
Barbed wire is first patented by Lucien B. Smith of Ohio.
Inventions
Joseph Monier (1823-1906) of Paris first patents reinforced concrete.
Inventions
Elizabeth Hawks receives a patent for a stove with a separate “air chamber” for baking.
Education
Higher Education: The first U.S. dental school is established at Harvard.
Education
Higher Education: Howard University, the first predominantly Negro college to offer comprehensive university facilities, is chartered.
Education
Special Education: The Clark Institute for Deaf Mutes is chartered; it is the first U.S. school to teach the deaf using German principles of articulation and lip-reading.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) writes "Peer Gynt."
Arts and Letters
Opera: Charles Gounod’s (1818-1893) opera, "Romeo et Juliette," is performed in Paris.
Arts and Letters
Walt Whitman (1819-1992) circulates this fourth edition as four separately paginated books stitched together between two covers: a vastly re-edited version of the 1860 "Leaves of Grass," a reissue of "Drum-Taps," a reissue of the "Sequel to Drum-Taps," and a striking coda called "Songs Before Parting."
Ideas
"Das Kapital" is published by Karl Marx (1818-1883).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy and Rutherford Hayes’s first and only daughter, Fannie (1867-1950), is born in Cincinnati on September 2.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) resigns his seat in Congress, runs for Governor of Ohio, and wins by less than 3,000 votes.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) runs for Governor of Indiana; is defeated by the Democrats.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first elevated railroad is built in New York City.
Economics
The first paperback books are published in Leipzig, Germany.
Discovery
Diamond fields are discovered in South Africa.
Discovery
Gold is discovered in Wyoming.
Daily Life
Magazines: Mary Louise Booth (1831-1889) becomes editor of the new "Harper’s Bazaar" magazine.
Sports
Horse Racing: The Belmont Stakes horserace is run for the first time in New York.
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: St. Andrew''s in Scotland is the first ladies golf club.
Popular Culture
“The Blue Danube Waltz” is written by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899).
Popular Culture
The first of the popular “rags to riches” stories, "Ragged Dick," or "Street Life in New York" is published by Horatio Alger.
Religion
Children’s Books: Religious books for children are often more attractively produced, and also much gentler, even sentimental, in religious messages like "The Pretty Village."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Treaty of Medicine Lodge between the U.S. and the Cheyenne and Arapaho forces the two tribes to move to a reservation in Indian Territory, on land that was ceded by Indian tribes to the U.S. after the end of the Civil War.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Reservations in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) are set up by Congress for the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles).
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Congress gives blacks the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
1868
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Native Americans: A clause in the 14th Amendment “excluding Indians not taxed” prevents Native-American men from receiving the right to vote.
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting states from infringing on the rights of American citizens is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is elected as the 18th President of the United States, and the first from Ohio; Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885) is elected as the nation's 17th Vice President.
Politics
Impeachment: Current President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) is impeached by the House of Representatives, but escapes conviction by one vote.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Congress makes black suffrage mandatory for a Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.
Science
A Cro-Magnon skeleton (the first homo sapiens) is found in France.
Inventions
The air brake is invented by George Westinghouse (1846-1914).
Inventions
An electric voting machine is patented by Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
Inventions
George Westinghouse (1846-1914) invents the compressed air locomotive brake, which enables trains to be stopped with fail-safe accuracy.
Inventions
Railroad History: Major Eli Janney (1831 – 1912), a confederate veteran of the civil war, invents the knuckle coupler. This semi-automatic device locks upon the cars closing together without the rail worker getting between the cars.
Technology
Airplanes: Jean-Marie Le Bris (1817-1872) tests an improved version of his glider, making several unmanned glides before it crashes.
Technology
Airplanes: John Stringfellow, England, proposes a man-carrying triplane, similar to Henson’s aerial steam carriage. It captures the public’s imagination, although the model does not perform well when tested.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) writes "Little Women."
Arts and Letters
Brahams’ (1833-1897) “Lullaby” is published.
Lane, Harriet
James Buchanan (1791-1868), 15th President of the U.S. and the only bachelor to be elected President, dies June 1 at Wheatland (near Lancaster, Pennsylvania).
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) travels to Europe with her son, Tad.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is inaugurated as Governor of Ohio in January. His salary is $4,000.
Economics
The Armour meat-packing factory is opened in Chicago.
Daily Life
The world's first traffic lights, built near London's Parliament Square, begin operation.
Sports
The first recorded bicycle race is held in Paris.
Sports
Golf: Golf''s first recorded hole-in-one is scored in Scotland.
Sports
The game of badminton is invented in England.
Sports
The sport of skating is regulated at a meeting of an American skating congress in Pittsburgh.
Sports
The first indoor track and field meet is held in New York City.
Religion
Brigham Young (1801-1877) marries his 27th and final wife.
Religion
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” is written by Episcopal clergyman Phillips Brooks (1835-1893).
Social Issues
Immigration: Japanese laborers arrive in Hawaii to work in sugar cane fields.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first 8-hour day begins for government workers. Others continue to work long hours.
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1869
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women’s Firsts: Arabella Mansfield (1846-1911) is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer.
Law
In "Texas v. White," the U.S. Supreme Court rules that secession is illegal. Following this decision, Congress restores a republican government in Texas.
Law
The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, affirming the right to vote and forbidding states to deny that right based on race, color, or "previous condition of servitude," is passed by Congress.
Politics
Third Parties: The National Prohibition Party is formed in Chicago.
Government
The first Black U.S. diplomat, Ebenezer D. Bassett (1833-1908), becomes minister-resident to Haiti.
Government
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is inaugurated as the 18th President of the United States, and Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885) is inaugurated as the nation's 17th Vice President.
Government
Stamps: First U.S. pictorial stamps appear; this is the first time that U.S. stamps show something other than a dead person.
Inventions
Railroad History: George Westinghouse (1846-1914), an inventive Civil War veteran, develops the straight air brake.
Inventions
Ives W. McGaffey of Chicago patents an early suction type vacuum cleaner.
Inventions
Celluloid is invented by J.W. Hyatt.
Inventions
Chewing gum is patented by William F. Semple.
Inventions
Margarine is patented in France.
Education
Education of Women: Three women are admitted to the Chicago Medical College.
Education
Children’s Books: A beautiful Victorian illustrated "Cinderella" is published, along with a new versification of the story by Robert Willis, as "The Children''s Christmas Annual for 1869."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: There are 21 theatres in New York and 6 in Boston.
Ideas
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) writes "On the Subjugation of Women."
Grant, Julia
Julia Dent Grant (1826-1902) is the first President's wife to have the Inaugural Ball in the Treasury. She also had the first closets built in the White House, and was the first First Lady to close the White House grounds to the public.
Johnson, Eliza
Robert Johnson (1834-1869), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 22 by taking his own life.
Pierce, Jane
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), the 14th president of the United States, dies October 8 in Concord, New Hampshire.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for a second term as Governor of Ohio and is once again elected. Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) continues her role as First Lady of Ohio.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first trans-continental railroad is finished when the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads are joined on May 10.
Economics
The Suez Canal is opened, after more than 10 years of construction.
Economics
Gypsy moths are brought to Massachusetts to start a silk industry. They escape, however, and cause all kinds of problems around the country.
Economics
Transportation: The clipper ship, "Cutty Sark," is launched.
Sports
Soccer: Intercollegiate football (soccer) is begun by Rutgers and Princeton.
Sports
The first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: Frenchwomen enter cycling races at Bordeaux, France.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes his book "Innocents Abroad."
Religion
The first Vatican Council meets in Rome.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Transcontinental Railroad cuts across Native American lands.
Reform
Women’s Firsts: Arabella Mansfield (1846-1911) is granted admission to practice law in Iowa, making her the first woman lawyer.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony founds the American Women’s Suffrage Association. The newspaper she founds has the slogan “Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Wyoming Territory becomes the first state to grant women suffrage.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The National Temperance Convention meets in Chicago to form the Prohibition Party.
1870
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution affirming the right to vote and forbidding states to deny that right based on race, color, or "previous condition of servitude," is ratifiedby two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Hiram Revels (1827-1901) (Mississippi) becomes the first Black elected to U.S. Senate.
Politics
Jefferson Long (1836-1901) (Georgia) becomes the first Black elected to U.S. House of Representatives.
Government
Congress authorizes the registration of trademarks.
Government
The U.S. Congress readmits Texas to the Union.
Government
The U.S. Justice Department is created.
Medicine
Louis Pasteur (1822- 1895) and Robert Koch (1843-1910) establish the germ theory of disease.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the stock ticker.
Inventions
Mary Carpenter patents a sewing machine with a self-threading, self-setting needle.
Technology
Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins.
Technology
Airplanes: Alphonse Penaud (1850-1880), France, uses twisted rubber bands to power a miniature helicopter. It’s copied by dozens of toymakers in Europe in America.
Education
Education of Women: The first sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta, is established at De Pauw University.
Education
Education of Women: Ada H. Kepley (1847-1925) becomes the first woman to graduate from law school (at Union College of Law, Chicago).
Arts and Letters
Museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded in New York City.
Lincoln, Mary
Congress appropriates a pension for Mary Todd (1818-1882) Lincoln of $3,000, later raised to $5,000.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) successfully campaign for official Ohio state support for the establishment of a home for children orphaned by the Civil War.
Economics
Standard Oil Co. of Ohio is incorporated, with John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) as president and majority stockholder.
Economics
Census: The U.S. population is 39.8 million, including, for the first time, African Americans listed by name.
Economics
The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. (the A&P) is founded.
Discovery
Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) begins excavations on the site of Homer's Troy.
Daily Life
A donkey first appears in a cartoon to symbolize the U.S. Democratic Party.
Daily Life
The Marcel wave becomes a popular women’s hairstyle.
Popular Culture
Jules Verne (1828-1905) writes "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea."
Religion
The first Vatican Council declares the dogma of papal infallibility.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The American Anti-Slavery Society is dissolved.
Reform
Black Suffrage Movement: The 15th Amendment of the Constitution provides African-American males with the right to vote.
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1871
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The first Civil Service Commission is appointed by President Grant.
Science
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) writes "The Descent of Man," in which he asserts that all mammals descend from a single ancestor.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes leprosy is discovered.
Inventions
The first cable car is invented.
Technology
Airplanes: Alphonse Penaud (1850-1880) builds a planophore, a 20-inch long monoplane with a pusher propeller powered by a rubber band. It flies 131 feet in 11 seconds — the first flight of an inherently stable aircraft.
Technology
Airplanes: Francis Herbert Wenham and John Browning, England, invent the wind tunnel. They use it to prove that cambered wings produce more lift than other shapes.
Education
Children’s Books: Mother Goose is reprinted, with verses set to music.
Education
Parochial Education: The Archdiocese of New York receives $700,000 in public funds for schooling.
Education
Public Education: Michigan, New Hampshire, and Washington enact compulsory school attendance laws.
Arts and Letters
Opera: "Aida," by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), is performed in Cairo, where the opera is set; it is written in honor of the opening of the Suez Canal.
Arts and Letters
Literature: George Eliot (1819-1880) writes "Middlemarch."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James’ (1843-1916) first novel, "Watch And Ward", is written as he travela through Venice and Paris.
Ideas
Marx’s (1818-1883) "Communist Manifesto" appears for the first time in English.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) returns to the United States. Her son Thomas (1853-1871) dies of tuberculosis at age 18.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes’s sixth son, Scott Russell (1871-1923), is born in Columbus, Ohio on February 8. His sister Fanny calls him “little boy sister.”
Mckinley, Ida
Katherine "Katie" McKinley (1871-1875), the first child of William and Ida McKinley, is born December 25.
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Herndon "Nell" Arthur (Pinkerton) (1871-1915), daughter of Chester Alan and Ellen Arthur, is born November 21.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Tyler Spencer (1849-1871), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies May 8 from childbirth complications.
Economics
The S.S. Oceanic, the first of the White Star Line luxury liners, is launched.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Chicago Fire burns down about three and one half miles of the city.
Sports
The National Rifle Association is founded by Union Army officers
Sports
Women in Sports: Miss Carrie A. Moore demonstrates a variety of roller skating movements at the Occidental Rink in San Francisco. Later in the same day, she exhibits her skill on a velocipede.
Popular Culture
“The Greatest Show on Earth”—P.T. Barnum’s (1810-1891) circus—opens in Brooklyn, NY.
Popular Culture
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) writes "Through the Looking Glass."
Popular Culture
The poem, “The Owl and the Pussycat” is written by Edward Lear (1812-1888).
Religion
The hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” is composed.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Indian Appropriation Act is passed by Congress, making Native Americans wards of the federal government.
Reform
Labor Movement: Labor unions are legalized in Britain.
1872
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is elected for a second term, and Henry Wilson (1812-1875) is elected as the nation's 18th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties; Women's Firsts: The Equal Rights Party nominates Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) as the first woman candidate for President and African American leader Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) as her running mate.
Government
Presidents: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th President of the United States, is born in Plymouth, Vermont.
Government
Congress abolishes the income tax it had imposed during the Civil War.
Science
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) shows that fermentation is caused by microorganisms.
Science
Bacteriology is established as a science.
Science
"Popular Science Monthly" begins to be published.
Inventions
The doughnut cutter is patented by John F. Blondel of Maine.
Inventions
A crude forerunner of the movie projector—the “zoopraxiscope”—is invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Elijah McCoy (1843-1929) invents an oiling devise that allows machines to be oiled while in motion.
Education
Public Education: Connecticut enacts compulsory school attendance laws.
Education
Parochial Education: About 30,000 children attend Lutheran parochial schools.
Education
Public Education: The Tileston Normal School is opened in Wilmington, NC as one of the first free schools in the area open to poor students.
Education
Children’s Books: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) writes a books of shorter verses for young children entitled "Sing-Song."
Arts and Letters
Painting: James Whistler (1834-1903) paints a portrait of his mother.
Ideas
The Granger Movement is formed, a forerunner of the populist movement of the 1890s.
Wilson, Edith
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (1872-1961), second wife of Woodrow Wilson is born in Wytheville, Virginia on October 15.
Economics
Montgomery Ward opens in Chicago.
Economics
Railroad History: George Westinghouse (1846-1914) patents the first automatic air brake. This is basically the same system as is used by today's railroads.
Daily Life
Yellowstone, the world's first National Park, is opened.
Daily Life
Disasters: The American ship "Mary Celeste" is found abandoned in the Atlantic en route to Genoa.
Daily Life
The Brooklyn Bridge is opened.
Sports
Soccer: The first English Football Association (F.A.) Cup final is played at the Kennington Oval in London.
Sports
Soccer: The first international soccer game is held when England plays Scotland.
Sports
The first U.S. ski club is founded in New Hampshire.
Religion
The International Bible Students Association, which evolved into the Jehovah’s Witness religious sect, is founded.
Social Issues
Birth Control: The “Comstock Law” forbids the transport of contraceptives in the United States.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and other feminists are arrested for trying to vote in the presidential election.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Congress guarantees equal pay for equal work in federal jobs.
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1873
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The American Granger movement, which organizes U.S. farmers in the midwest to counter monopolistic transportation practices by the railroads, reaches its peak membership.
Government
The North West Mounted Police are formed in Canada, later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Government
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) is inaugurated for a second term, and Henry Wilson (1812-1875) is inaugurated as the nation's 18th Vice President.
Science
The American Metrological Society, the first organization to improve the system of weights and measures, is formed.
Science
Astronomer Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) founds the Association for the Advancement of Women.
Medicine
Dr. Mary Jane Safford (1834-1891) joins the faculty of the newly opened Boston University School of Medicine as a professor of women’s diseases.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis Latimer (1848-1928) invents a water closet (toilet system) for railroad cars.
Technology
The first color photographs are developed.
Education
Author Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, a.k.a. Susan Coolidge (1835-1905), revolutionizes school story books by blending imaginary and real-life episodes.
Education
Public Education: William T. Harris (1835-1909), Superintendent of the St. Louis school system, incorporates kindergarten into the schools
Education
The discipline of sociology is established with Herbert Spencer’s (1820-1903) "The Study of Sociology."
Education
Women’s Firsts: Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911), the first woman to be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earns her B.S. degree. She becomes the first female professional chemist in the U.S.
Education
Libraries: Chicago Public Library opens.
Education
Women’s Colleges: The College of Notre Dame of Maryland is founded.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Mark Twain (1835-1910) and Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) write "The Gilded Age;" the phrase becomes a descriptor for the era.
Ideas
“Set theory” in mathematics is established.
Hayes, Lucy
His second term as Governor over, Lucy (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) move to Spiegel Grove, an estate in N.W. Ohio.
Hayes, Lucy
Manning Force Hayes (1873-1874), seventh son of Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes, is born on August 1.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida McKinley (1873), daughter of William and Ida McKinley, is born April 1 and dies 4 months later in August. After the birth of her namesake, First Lady Ida McKinley is stricken with a litany of lifelong illnesses that included epileptic seizures and phlebitis.
Economics
Jay Cooke & Co.'s Wall Street banking house fails, and the American economy collapses into a sharp depression.
Economics
American Money: The U.S. goes on the gold standard, eliminating all silver currency.
Economics
E. Remington & Sons, gunmakers, begin to manufacture typewriters.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Daily Graphic" becomes the first illustrated daily newspaper.
Daily Life
San Francisco’s first cable streetcar goes into operation.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Jesse James and his gang rob their first passenger train.
Sports
Football: The first American Football rules are formulated at a meeting in New York attended by delegates from Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Yale.
Sports
The modern game of lawn tennis is invented in England.
Sports
Women in Sports: 10 young women compete in a mile-long swimming contest in the Harlem River. Miss Deliliah Goboess wins the prize, a silk dress worth $175.
Popular Culture
Jules Verne publishes "Around the World in Eighty Days."
Religion
The Reform Union of Hebrew Congregations is organized in Cincinnati.
1874
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President U.S. Grant (1822-1885) nominates Morrison R. Waite (1816-1888) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed two days later and serves for fourteen years.
Government
Presidents: Herbert Hoover (1875-1964), 31st President of the United States, is born in West Branch, Iowa.
War
Federal troops stationed in New Orleans during Reconstruction quell a revolt led by the White League against Louisiana's black state government.
Medicine
The streptococci and staphylococci bacilli are discovered.
Medicine
The field of osteopathy is founded in Kansas; Dr. Andrew Still becomes its first practitioner.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928) co-invents an improved water closet, or bathroom, for trains.
Technology
The process of pressure cooking is introduced as a method of canning foods.
Technology
Airplanes: Felix Du Temple builds a man-carrying steam-powered monoplane. With a young French sailor at the controls, it makes a ski-jump take-off and a brief hop but cannot sustain flight.
Education
The Chautauqua movement begins in an effort to bring greater educational opportunity to America's isolated farmers and small towns through traveling lectures and correspondence-school courses.
Arts and Letters
Painting: A group of French Impressionists, including Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, and August Renoir, hold their first show. Rejected by a formal gallery, the exhibit was held by the artists themselves.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), 13th president of the United States, dies on March 8 in Buffalo, NY. He is only the second vice president to succeed on the death of the incumbent president.
Hayes, Lucy
Manning Force Hayes, seventh son of Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes, dies at the age of 13 months, probably of dysentery, in Fremont, Ohio on August 28.
Grant, Julia
White House Weddings: Nellie Grant (1856-1922), daughter of Julia (1826-1902) and Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) marries Algernon Sartoris, a British diplomat, in the White House.
Cleveland, Frances
Oscar Folsom Cleveland (1874-?), son of Grover Cleveland and a widow, Maria Croftis Halpin, is born. Unsubstantiated reports suggest that Oscar died in his late 20's of alcoholism.
Tyler, Letitia
Tazewell Tyler (1830-1874), the youngest of John and Letitia Tyler's children, dies January 8 as a result of alcoholism.
Hoover, Lou
Lou Henry (1874-1944), wife of Herbert Hoover, is born in Waterloo, Iowa, on March 29.
Economics
The first electric streetcar begins operation in New York City.
Economics
Stockholders of the Union Pacific railroad form a phony development bank, the Credit Mobilier. Several members of President Ulysses S. Grant’s (1822-1885) administration, including his vice president, are implicated in the scandal, though no one is ultimately indicted.
Daily Life
The first American zoo is established in Philadelphia.
Daily Life
Republican Party is first symbolized by an elephant. – drawn by Thomas Nast (1840-1902), in "Harper’s Weekly."
Sports
Women in Sports: Tennis is introduced to the U.S. by Mary Outerbridge, who saw it played in Bermuda.
Popular Culture
The original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng (1811-1874), die. Born in Thailand of Chinese parents and joined at the chest, they were sold and exhibited in Europe and America.
Popular Culture
New York's Madison Square Garden opens under the name Barnum’s Hippodrome.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: The Rhode Island legislature passes a women’s suffrage amendment to its constitution.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded in Cleveland, Ohio.
Reform
Labor Movement: Police on horses break up a demonstration of the unemployed in New York's Tompkins Square Park, injuring hundreds who came to protest the intense poverty resulting from the depression of the 1870s.
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1875
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Suffrage Movement: In "Miner v. Hoppersatt," the Supreme Court rules that women are “persons” under the 14th Amendment, but are not entitled to vote.
Politics
Ex-political boss and New York politician William Marcy “Boss” Tweed (1823-1878) escapes from jail, flees to Cuba. He is apprehended, returned to New York, and dies in prison three years later.
Government
Rebellion in Cuba leads to deterioration of U.S.-Spanish relations.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, guaranteeing blacks equal rights in public places and banning their exclusion from jury duty.
Government
British prime minister Disraeli (1804-1881) maneuvers to bring the Suez Canal, which was completed in 1869, under British control.
Medicine
The London Medical School for Women is founded.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes lumbar pneumonia—pneumococcus— is discovered.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents a duplicating process that uses a wax stencil, an early version of the mimeograph machine.
Inventions
An electric dental drill is patented.
Technology
The world’s first radio is operated by American Elihu Thomson (1853-1937).
Education
Women's Colleges: Wellesley College for women, founded by Henry and Pauline Durant, opens in Wellesley, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first performance of French composer Georges Bizet's (1838-1875) opera "Carmen" takes place at the Opera Comique, Paris.
Arts and Letters
The first Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "Trial by Jury," is written.
Mckinley, Ida
Katherine "Katie" McKinley (1871-1875), the first child of William and Ida McKinley, dies June 25 from typhoid fever.
Taylor, Margaret
Anne Margaret Mackell Taylor Wood (1811-1875), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies December 2.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln’s (1818-1882) son Robert (1843-1926) has her declared insane; she manages to get herself released from the mental hospital, and goes to live with her sister in Springfield, Illinois.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for his third term as Governor of Ohio, and wins.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), 17th President of the U.S., dies July 31 in Carter's Station, Tennessee.
Economics
Luxury hotels are opened in Saratoga Springs, New York, and San Francisco, marking the development of a luxury-seeking elite in the United States.
Economics
The first factory using the Bessemer steel-making process is built by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Times" of London becomes the first newspaper to print a daily weather chart.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Kentucky Derby is held at Churchill Downs, Kentucky, won by Aristides.
Sports
Capt. Matthew Webb (1848-1883) becomes the first person to swim across the English Channel.
Sports
The first roller skating rink is opened in London.
Sports
Women in Sports: Baseball: The "Blondes" and "Brunettes" play their first match In Springfield, IL on Sept. 11. Newspapers heralded the event as the "first game of baseball ever played in public for gate money between feminine ball-tossers."
Religion
Mary Baker Eddy’s (1821-1910) "Science and Health" is first published.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Comanche chief Quanah Parker (1850-1911) ends his resistance to white settlement of Texas, enabling American expansion to proceed rapidly.
Social Issues
Jim Crow Laws: Segregation: Tennessee passes a "Jim Crow" law segregating blacks and whites on railroads (which are private, and so not covered by the Civil Rights Act).
1876
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is elected the 19th President of the U.S., and William A. Wheeler (1819-1887) is elected as the nation's 19th Vice President. The election is so close that it is not finally concluded until 1877.
Government
New State: Colorado becomes the 38th state of the United States
War
Indian Wars: At the Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand), Sioux Indians led by Chief Crazy Horse routed the U.S. 7th Cavalry led by Col. Custer (1839-1876).
War
Indian Wars: In one of the final periods of intense Native American resistance to American expansion, Apache leader Geronimo (1829-1909) begins a 10-year reign of war and terror against white settlers in the American Southwest.
Science
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) establishes Menlo Park as America’s first research laboratory.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes anthrax is discovered by Robert Koch (1843-1910).
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) patents the first telephone.
Inventions
The first carpet sweeper is patented by inventor Melville Bissell (1843-1889), of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) patents the mimeograph machine.
Education
Higher Education: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore opens.
Education
The Kindergarten exhibit at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia enhances kindergarten’s popularity.
Education
Libraries: The American Library Association is founded.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) operatic Ring cycle opens in Germany.
Johnson, Eliza
Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810-1876) dies of tuberculosis in December at her daughter's, Martha Patterson, house.
Van Buren, Hannah
Smith Thommpson Van Buren (1817-1876), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren dies.
Lincoln, Mary
A second jury finds Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) sane. Later she travels again to Europe and spends most of her time in France.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) runs for President of the U.S. His election is in dispute until January of 1877 because of contested election results in several states.
Economics
Railroad History: All Southern Pacific and Central Pacific passenger cars converted to air brakes.
Daily Life
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized.
Sports
Baseball: The Chicago Cubs hold their first National League game, beating Louisville 4-0.
Sports
Baseball: The U.S. National Baseball League is established
Sports
The first tennis tournament in the U.S. is held.
Sports
Polo is introduced to the U.S. from England.
Sports
Women in Sports: Ten percent of the members of the newly created Appalachin Mountain Club are women.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes his book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.
Social Issues
Immigration: California Senate committee investigates the “social, moral, and political effect of Chinese immigration.”
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: A Declaration of the Rights of Women is distributed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Gage.
Reform
Prohibition: An early Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution is proposed in the House of Representatives.
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1877
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
British imperialism is nearing its zenith as Britain annexes the South African Republic, and Queen Victoria (1819-1901) is proclaimed empress of India.
Government
Women's Suffrage Movement: The House of Representatives defeats a bill to amend the Constitution to allow women to vote where they are taxed.
Government
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) is inaugurated as the 19th President of the U.S., and William A. Wheeler (1819-1887) is inaugurated as the nation's 19th Vice President.
War
Indian Wars: The Nez Perce tribes in the northwestern United States battle with American troops after years of passive noncompliance with treaties. The tribes ultimately surrender; their leader, Chief Joseph (1840-1904), gives a surrender speech considered one of the finest statements on Native American displacement.
Science
U.S. astronomer Asaph Hall (1829-1907) discovers Deimos, ("panic" in Greek) a satellite of Mars, at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
Medicine
The process for staining bacteria so as to see them under a microscope is invented by Robert Koch (1843-1910).
Inventions
Copper wire is invented.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the phonograph and makes the first sound recording.
Education
Libraries: Women's Firsts: Minerva Saunders is the first librarian to end age restrictions on borrowing books and to create a seperate childern's section.
Education
The YWCA in New York City establishes the first known typing course for women.
Education
Women's Firsts: Education of Women: Helen McGill(White) becomes the first woman in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. degree; it is from Boston University, and her field is Greek drama.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Sewell (1820-1878) is known only for one book, the perennial favorite "Black Beauty, the Autobiography of a Horse."
Education
Public Education: Reconstruction ends in 1877 when federal troops, which had occupied the South since the end of the Civil War are withdrawn. Whites regain political control of the South and lay the foundations of legal segregation.
Arts and Letters
Drama: American Theatre: Henrik Ibsen writes "Pillars of Society," an early example of the Realism in theatre that begins to compete with melodrama. With the advent of early realism, the role of the regisseur, or strong director, begins to develop.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Tchaikovsky's (1840-1893) ballet "Swan Lake" is first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Painting: The third Impressionist exhibition is held in Paris.
Tyler, Letitia
Robert Tyler (1816-1877), the first son of John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies December 3.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) celebrate their 25th anniversary in the White House.
Hayes, Lucy
A newspaper first refers to the wife of the President as the "First Lady." Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) is also the first Presidential wife to take the Oath of Office in the White House.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) oversees the first Easter egg-rolling contest at the White House.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury's bureau of Engraving and Printing starts printing all U.S. currency, although other steps are done outside.
Economics
A drink called root beer is first made and distributed by Charles Elmer Hires (1851-1937).
Economics
Railroad History: Four feuding American railroads cease their price wars and join together to cut wages, prompting the great railroad strike of 1877. Federal troops end the strike, but only after killing some workers and injuring many.
Discovery
British explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) reaches the mouth of the Congo River.
Daily Life
The first public telephones are installed in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first Westminster Dog Show is held.
Sports
Cricket: The first cricket match between Australia and England is played in Melbourne, the home side winning by 45 runs.
Sports
The first Wimbledon tennis championships are held.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first women's field hockey club is started in Surrey, England.
Social Issues
Immigration: United States Congress investigates the criminal influence of Chinese immigrants.
Social Issues
Immigration: A mob in San Francisco sets fire to two dozen Chinese laundries in the city, sparking months of anti-Chinese violence.
Social Issues
Racism: Reconstruction in the South ends, and with it any effort of the Federal government to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments in the South for nearly 100 years.
1878
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The Greenback-Labor Party is formed by labor organizations and advocates cheap money.
Politics
For the first time in twenty years, Democrats win control of both houses of Congress.
War
Indian Wars: Lincoln County War erupts in southeast New Mexico.
Medicine
Epidemics: The last great epidemic of yellow fever kills more than 13,000 in the lower Mississippi valley.
Inventions
The microphone is invented by David Hughes (1831-1900).
Inventions
The phonograph, invented by Thomas Edison (1847-1931), is patented.
Inventions
Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) is the first person to invent a practical and longer-lasting electic lightbulb.
Technology
Airplanes: Bishop Milton Wright (1828-1917), then living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, brings home a rubber band-powered Penaud-type helicopter for his sons. They build several successful copies. Orville tells his schoolteacher that he and his brother Wilbur plan to build a large enough machine to carry the both of them. But when they try to build a larger model, it doesn’t fly.
Technology
The first private connection by telephone in Great Britain was made on the Isle of Wight when Queen Victoria (1819-1901) spoke to Thomas Biddulph.
Education
Women's Colleges: Physicist Sarah Frances Whiting (1846-1927) opens the second undergraduate physics laboratory in the U.S. at Wellesley College.
Education
Public Education: Kindergarten is incorporated into the San Francisco public school system.
Arts and Letters
Dance: "Swan Lake" is first performed at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Gilbert and Sullivan write "H.M.S. Pinafore."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) writes "Return of the Native."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Actress Ellen Terry (1848-1928) becomes a part of the Irving Company at London's Lyceum Theatre.
Ideas
Charles Pierce (1839-1914) publishes "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," developing the philosophy of Pragmatism.
Harrison, Anna
John Scott Harrison (1804-1878), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies May
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) becomes widely known for her concern for and help to those in need in Washington, especially Civil War veterans and their families.
Economics
American Money: The Department of the Treasury is authorized to issue Silver Certificates in exchange for silver dollars.
Economics
Women's Firsts: Emma Nutt becomes the first woman telephone operator when she goes to worl for Edwin Holmes and his Telephone Dispatch Company in Boston, Massachusetts.
Economics
The name "Vaseline," a brand of petroleum jelly, is trademarked by Robert A. Chesebrough (1856-?).
Economics
The first commercial telephone switchboard goes into operation in New Haven, Connecticut.
Economics
The first bicycles are manufactured in the U.S.
Discovery
The largest yellow diamond ever discovered is found in the Kimberly Mine of South Africa. It is purchased by New York's Tiffany & Co. and becomes known as the Tiffany Diamond.
Daily Life
The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, CT.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first full-page newspaper advertisements appear.
Sports
Women in Sports: Woman pedestrian Ada Anderson walks 3,000 quarter-miles in 3,000 quarter hours over the course of a month in New York' Mozart Hall, kicking off a series of "lady walker" matches.
Sports
The National Archery Association is organized.
Popular Culture
A London tunesmith introduces the word jingoism into the British parlance in the lyric: "We don't want to fight, but by jingo if we do/We've got the men, we've got the ships, we've got the money too." The word would characterize an era of British imperialism.
Popular Culture
Showboats, which had shut down during the Civil War, are revived as entertainment centers on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
Religion
Pittsburgh minister Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), who will go on to found the Watchtower Society associated with the Jehovah''s Witnesses, preaches that the second coming happened invisibly in 1874 and that the world will end in 1914.
Religion
Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) graduates as the only woman in her class in Boston University's divinity school; when she applies for ordination, her application is denied and her license to preach repealed
Social Issues
Abortion: Anthony Comstock, head of the New York Society for the Suppression fo Vice, entraps New York abortion provider and brothel owner Madame Restell into giving him abortifacients and contraceptives by telling her his wife is pregnant and they cannot afford another child. He then exposes her, slapping her with a lawsuit. Fearing conviction, she commits suicide.
Social Issues
Racism: The relocation of former slaves to Kansas, called the "Exoduster Movement," begins. Within the year, 30,000 blacks migrate to Kansas.
Reform
Labor Movement: Labor struggle intensifies in the United States when the Atchison, Topkea, and Santa Fe railraod cuts engineers' pay 10 percent. Striking workers shut the railroad down for five days. The militia is called in, and after a militiaman kills a bystander, labor leaders are arrested.
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1879
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women’s Firsts: Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Politics
Irish nationalist Michael Davitt (1846-1906) founds the Irish Land League to resist absentee landlords and fight for a more equitable distribution of land in Ireland and independence from Britain.
Politics
Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck (1862-1890) engineers an Austro-German alliance in which either side will offer the other aid in the event of an attack from Russia. It's one of a series of alliances that prefigure the battle lines of World War I.
Government
President Hayes (1822-1893) tries to reform the Civil Service, and to settle the question of Indian lands; large numbers of native Americans visit with him in Washington to argue their need for justice.
Government
National Capital: Electric lighting is installed in the Capitol building.
Government
Immigration: A bill to restrict Chinese immigration is vetoed by President Hayes (1822-1893).
War
The Zulu War: The Zulu War begins between the British of the Cape Colony and the natives of Zululand.
Science
Russian pathologist demonstrates by using dogs that the stomach will produce gastric juices even if there is no food, suggeting that reflexes are learned and conditioned, not natural, and that people can be taught to respond to anything.
Science
The discovery of saccharin is reported.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Mary Mahoney(1845-1926) becomes the first black professional nurse in the U.S.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
Technology
An internal combustion engine is used to power a "horseless carriage" by George Selden (1846-1922).
Technology
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) gives the first public demonstration of an eletric incandescent lamp in Menlo Park, New Jeresy.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first class at what was to become Radcliffe College, then called "The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women," begins.
Education
American educator Anna Hallowell(1831-1905) establishes free kindergartens in poor neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: The Carlisle Indian School is founded in Pennsylvania, in an aggressive U.S. government campaign to "civilize" Indian children.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Among Henry James' (1843-1916) masterpieces is "Daisy Miller," in which the young and innocent American, Daisy, finds her values in conflict with European sophistication.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) writes "The Brothers Karamzov."
Arts and Letters
Opera: "Evgeny Onegin," or "Eugene Onegin," best known opera by Russian composer Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), receives its first performance at the Maily Theater in Moscow.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Henrik Ibsen's (1828-1906) modern classic about the erosion of traditional domestic roles, "A Doll's House," is performed for the first time in Copenhagen.
Arts and Letters
"The Pirates of Penzance"(or "The Slave of Duty"), an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, has its first performance in New York City.
Ideas
American economist Henry George (1839-1897) writes "Progress and Poverty," in which he observes increasing economic inequality in the United States.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies March 12.
Coolidge, Grace
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (1879-1957), wife of Calvin Coolidge, is born in Burlignton, Vermont on January 3.
Taylor, Margaret
Richard Taylor (1826-1879), son of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies April 12.
Economics
The first five-and-dime store is founded by Frank Woolworth (1852-1919) in Utica, New York; it later moves to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the same year.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Henry Grady (1850-1889) takes over the "Atlanta Constitution," in the pages of which he begins to exhort the South to attract northern capital and transform itself into a modern industrial region--to little avail.
Daily Life
Electric arc lamps are installed on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by Charles Brush (1849-1929).
Sports
The first major skiing contest occurs in Norway.
Popular Culture
Annie Oakley (1860-1926) defeats Frank Butler in a shooting match; they later marry and tour the country in Wild West shows.
Religion
St. Patrick's Cathedral opens in New York after twenty-six years of work.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) establishes the Church of Christ, Scientist, becoming the first woman to found a major religion, Christian Science.
Social Issues
Immigration: California adopts a new constitution which, in part, prohibits the employment of Chinese workers.
Social Issues
Racism: With federal Reconstruction over and national troops out of the South, political repression of southern blacks starts to intensify.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Frances Willard (1839-1898) becomes president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, campaigning also for women's rights with the motto, "Do Everything."
1880
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court rules that the exclusion of Blacks from jury duty is unconstitutional.
Politics
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) beats President Ulysses Grant (1822-1885) in a hotly contested election and becomes the 20th President of the U.S.; Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) is elected as the 20th Vice President.
Medicine
Rubber gloves are introduced in hospital operating rooms after nurse Caroline Hampton developed a skin allergy to the antiseptic solutions used; when postoperative infections dropped dramatically, such gloves became part of the surgical team’s standard uniform.
Medicine
The parasite that causes malaria is discovered.
Inventions
The British Perforated Paper Company invents a form of toilet paper.
Inventions
Englishman, John Milne (1850-1913) invents the modern seismograph.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is granted a patent for his incandescent light.
Technology
Airplanes: Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), Germany, begins to test cambered wing surfaces and measures their lifting capability.
Technology
The first large furnace for making steel is developed by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Technology
The first wireless telephone message is sent by Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) through a “photophone,” a devise that transmits sound on a beam of light.
Education
Libraries: The initial funding of buildings for public libraries is begun by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).
Education
Public Education: Kindergarten is incorporated into the Chicago public school system.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) publishes "The Brothers Karamazov," a year before he dies.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Lew Wallace (1827-1905) writes "Ben Hur."
Arts and Letters
Sculpture: Rodin’s (1840-1917) sculpture, “The Thinker,” is exhibited in model form.
Arts and Letters
Gilbert and Sullivan produce "The Pirates of Penzance" in London. It runs for over 300 performances.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) accepts the national presidency of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, a group that helps poor women and children.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) spend 72 days touring the west, the first such trip by a sitting President.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) returns to the United States in 1880 and again goes to the Edwards' home in Springfield to live. She is slowly going blind.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is elected to the U.S. Senate from Indiana. He and Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) move to Washington, DC.
Harding, Florence
Eugene Marshall "Pete" DeWolfe (1880-1915), son of Warren and Florence Harding, is born September 22.
Garfield, Lucretia
Lucretia Rudolph Garfield (1832-1918) is the first President's wife to be kissed by her husband at his inauguration.
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837-1880), wife of Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), dies of pneumonia on January 10, ten months before her husband is elected as Vice President of the United States.
Economics
Newspapers: Newspaper growth continues unabated in the postwar years. An astounding 11,314 different papers are recorded in the census.
Economics
The De Beers Mining Corp. is founded by Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) and Albert Beit (1853-1906) , both 27 years old. Rhodes will eventually acquire a near-total monopoly on the South African diamond industry.
Economics
The population of Los Angeles, California, doubles between 1870 and 1880, a sign of the urbanization of the American west.
Economics
Census: The U.S. population is 50.1 million people, including about 2.8 million immigrants.
Daily Life
The first canned fruits and vegetables appear in stores.
Daily Life
The first telephone box for public use goes into service.
Daily Life
Electricity first lights the street lights in New York City.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first photographs are seen in newspapers that are printed using halftones.
Popular Culture
J.C. Harris publishes his “Uncle Remus” stories.
Popular Culture
The game of bingo is developed from an Italian lotto game.
Religion
Women Firsts: Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) is the first woman ordained by the Methodist Church.
Religion
Frances Cabrini (later Mother Cabrini) (1850-1917) founds the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Italy.
Social Issues
Poverty: The American Salvation Army is established in Philadelphia.
Social Issues
Immigration: Italy’s troubled economy, crop failures, and political climate begin the start of mass immigration with nearly four million Italian immigrants arriving in the United States.
Reform
Labor Movement: The word boycott comes into use when Irish tenant farmers refuse to harvest crops on an estate managed by British army captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832-1897).
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1881
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The United States Supreme Court rules that the Civil War income tax law of 1861 is constitutional.
Politics
Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) is imprisoned for agitating for home rule. From prison, he continues to direct tenant farmers to withhold rent as a means of gaining self-government.
Government
The assassination of Czar Alexander II in 1881 prompts civil unrest and economic instability throughout Russia.
Government
James A. Garfield (1831-1881) is inaugurated as the 20th President of the U.S.; Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) is inaugurated as the 20th Vice President.
Government
Vice President Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886) becomes the 21st President of the United States upon the assassination of James A. Garfield (1831-1881). No new Vice President is selected.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) develops an anthrax vaccine, and vaccinates a herd of sheep against the disease.
Medicine
"Angel of the battlefield" Clara Barton (1821-1912) founds the American Association of the Red Cross.
Medicine
The idea that mosquitoes are the carriers of yellow fever is proposed.
Inventions
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) invents the first crude metal detector.
Technology
Airplanes: Louis Moulliard, France, writes another milestone in aeronautics, Empire of the Air, in which he proposes fixed-wing gliders with cambered wings, like birds.
Technology
Battery Technology: Leclanche's (1839-1882) battery is quite heavy and prone to breakage; the idea of encapsulating both the negative electrode and porous pot into a zinc cup is patented by J.A. Thiebaut in 1881.
Technology
The first color photographs are produced by Frederick E. Ives.
Education
Higher Education: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) organizes the Normal and Industrail Institute for Negroes, which later becomes Tuskeegee Institute.
Education
Rachel Bodley, dean of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania conducts a statistical survey about the careers of her school’s graduates, published as the pamphlet The College Story, one of the earliest studies of women in the professions.
Education
Children’s Books: The very first appearance, under a pen-name, of Robert Louis Stevenson’ s(1850-1894) first and best-known children's adventure story, "Treasure Island," os published in the penny weekly, "Young Folks, A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature."
Education
Women’s Colleges: Spelman College is founded in Georgia as the first black women's college.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry James (1843-1916) writes "The Portrait of a Lady," in which, again, a young American woman becomes a victim of her provincialism during her travels in Europe.
Arts and Letters
D’Oyly Carte (1844-1901) builds the electrified Savoy Theatre in London.
Arts and Letters
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is founded.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) and Rutherford (1822-1893) leave the White House at the end of his term and move to their home at Spiegel Grove in Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) begins his term in the U.S. Senate. Caroline Harrison suffers a bad fall “and her health was delicate after that.”
Garfield, Lucretia
James Abram Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the U.S., is assassinated on July 2 and dies from the assault on September 19 in Elberon, New Jersey.
Daily Life
The first electric tram goes into public service in Germany, near Berlin.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Brothers Wyatt (1848-1929) and Virgil Earp (1843-1905) lead the shootout of Western movie fame against Ike Clanton''s gang at the O.K. Corral in Arizona territory.
Sports
The first U.S. Lawn Tennis Championship is held.
Popular Culture
The first vaudeville theatre to feature family entertainment is opened in New York City.
Popular Culture
Twenty-one-year old William Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid (1859-61 exact year unknown-1881), escapes imprisonment but is hunted down and shot. Though he had killed 21 people, he becomes a legend, and pop retellings of his life story are hawked only weeks after his death.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "The Prince and the Pauper."
Religion
The Vatican archives are opened to scholars.
Social Issues
Native Americans: "A Century of Injustice" is published by Helen Hunt Jackson, about mistreatment of Indians.
Social Issues
Segregation: Tennessee legislature passes a law mandating that black passengers be segregated on railroads. "Jim Crow" legislation is soon imitated throughout the South.
Reform
Labor Movement: The American Federation of Labor is formed.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Susan B. Anthony finances and publishes The History of Women’s Suffrage, which eventually totals six volumes
1882
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Rights Movement: Two U.S. judges decide that women may sue their husbands for assault and battery.
Government
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act, which bars Chinese laborers from coming to the United States, goes into effect.
Government
Presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), the 32nd President of the United States, is born in Hyde Park, New York.
Government
The 3-mile limit for territorial waters is agreed upon at the Hague Convention.
Medicine
Robert Koch (1843-1910) discovers the tuberculosis bacillus and establishes that the disease is communicable.
Medicine
Hypnosis is used to treat hysteria, signaling the beginning of psychoanalysis.
Medicine
Surgical sutures made from catgut thread are replaced with silk ones.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822- 1895) develops a rabies vaccine.
Inventions
The electric fan and the electric flat iron are invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Lewis H. Latimer (1848-1928) patents the carbon filament for electric light bulbs.
Technology
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) designs the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, WI.
Technology
The first motion picture is made, using a “rifle-camera” that shoots 12 images in one second.
Education
Children''s Books: Children''s classic "Pinocchio" is written by Italian author Carlo Collodi (1826-1890).
Education
Education of Women: The American Association of University Women is founded by Alice Elvira Freeman Palmer (1855-1902).
Arts and Letters
Opera: Wagner's (1813-1883) opera "Parsifal" is first performed, at Bayreuth, western Germany.
Arts and Letters
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) writes the "1812 Overture."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: David Belasco (1853-1931) apprenticed in San Francisco, moves to Madison Square Theatre in New York as stage manager and becomes an independent producer in 1895.
Cleveland, Frances
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is elected Mayor of Buffalo and then Governor of New York, as a Democrat. He wins reputation for uncovering political corruption.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) dies of “paralysis” at her sister Elizabeth’s house on July 15 in Springfield, Illinois.
Economics
American rail magnate William Vanderbilt (1856-1938) eliminates mail trains from Chicago, because they are not profitable.
Economics
John D. Rockefeller's (1839-1937) Standard Oil Trust brings 95 percent of the American petroleum industry under the control of a nine-man board.
Economics
Commercially supplied electrical power is inaugurated in New York City.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: After more than 15 years of robbing banks, outlaw Jesse James (1847- 1882) is shot in the back at St Joseph, Missouri, by Robert Ford, one of his own gang.
Daily Life
Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) writes "The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning."
Daily Life
Holidays: The first Labor Day celebration is held in New York City.
Sports
Baseball: The American Baseball Association is founded.
Sports
Boxing: John L. Sullivan (1858-1918) wins the heavyweight boxing championship.
Sports
The National Croquet Association is founded.
Sports
Women in Sports: At the YWCA in Boston, the first athletic games for women are held.
Popular Culture
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "Treasure Island."
Popular Culture
Jumbo the elephant appears in P.T. Barnum's (1810-1891) Barnum and Bailey Circus; he is advertised as the "largest elephant in or out of captivity."
Popular Culture
Clan warfare between the Hatfields and McCoys breaks out in southern Appalachia. The bloodbath, which has its roots in lingering Civil War tensions, lasts for six years until Kentucky authorities seize some of the members of the Hatfield family.
Religion
The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization of Catholic men, is founded in Connecticut.
Social Issues
Immigration: Russia’s May Laws severely restrict the ability of Jewish citizens to live and work in Russia. The country’s instability prompts more than three million Russians to immigrate to the United States over three decades.
Social Issues
Immigration: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspends immigration of Chinese laborers under penalty of imprisonment and deportation.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: Two U.S. judges decide that women may sue their husbands for assault and battery.
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1883
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court declares the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional (except for jury duty), ruling that the government can protect political, not social, rights.
Government
The United States adopts standard time.
Government
The U.S. Civil Service Commission is established by the Pendleton Act.
War
Congress orders the building of ships that begin the modern U.S. Navy.
Science
The fact that an electrical current can be sent through space—the basis of electronics—is discovered by Thomas Edison (1847-1931).
Medicine
The bacillus that causes diphtheria is discovered.
Inventions
English engineer Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) invents the fully automatic machine gun.
Inventions
Young German-American entrepreneur Julius Schmidt invents a modern version of the condom.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852-1889) patents a machine that can make up to 700 shoes a day.
Technology
The Brooklyn Bridge, the world's first suspension bridge, opens to pedestrian traffic, linking Manhattan to Brooklyn.
Technology
The first “skyscraper” is built in Chicago: it has 10 floors.
Technology
Airplanes: John J. Montgomery (1858-1911) of California builds a monoplane glider and makes the first gliding flight in America.
Technology
Airplanes: Charles Parsons, England, inventor of the turbine motor, tests a small 1/4 horsepower steam turbine engine in a model airplane, propelling it for approximately 300 feet. Although Parsons experiments had little effect on the development of aviation, some consider this to be the first jet aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Poet Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) publishes the sonnet “The New Colossus,” which will be inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Ideas
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's (1844-1900) "Thus Spake Zarathustra" appears in print.
Hayes, Lucy
The Hayes family is happy in retirement at Spiegel Grove. Lucy Hayes (1831-1889) spends a lot of time in the garden, and supervising the farm. She also continues to correspond with national figures and to give parties.
Johnson, Eliza
Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, dies April 19.
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, dies September 1.
Economics
Railroad History: The Northern Pacific and Southern Pacific are completed.
Economics
Railroad History: The Northern Pacific Railroad across the United States is completed.
Economics
A deep drought begins on the western plains of the United States. The suffering of farmers produces radical political activity, such as the Farmer''s Alliance, one of the first demonstrations of Populism as a movement in the 19th century.
Daily Life
Magazines: "The Ladies’ Home Journal" is founded.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Life Magazine" is established.
Sports
Matthew Webb (1848-1883), first man to swim the English Channel (in 1875) drowns while attempting to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls.
Sports
The first annual New York Horse Show is held in New York City.
Sports
Women in Sports: Mrs. M. C. Howell wins her first archery title. She will win the national championship for women 17 times between 1883 and 1907.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Life on the Mississippi."
Popular Culture
Howard Pyle (1853-1911) writes (and illustrates) "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood."
Popular Culture
The first vaudeville theater, the Gaiety Museum, opens in Boston.
Popular Culture
William F. Cody (1846-1917) organizes his first “Wild West Show.”
1884
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) runs for president as the candidate for the Equal Rights Party; she loses.
Politics
Third Parties: The Anti-Monopoly Party and the Greenback-Labor Party join to form People's Party, supporting many liberal measures including a graduated income tax.
Politics
Democrat Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) defeats the Republican "plumed knight" James Blaine (1830-1893), becoming the first Democratic president of the United Staes since before the Civil War, and the 22nd President of the U.S. Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885) becomes the nation's 21st Vice President.
Government
The Bureau of Labor and the Department of the Interior are created by Congress.
Government
National Capitol: The capstone is placed on the Washington Monument.
Government
Presidents: Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) , 33rd president of the United States (1945- 53), is born in Lamar, Missouri.
Medicine
The bacillus that causes tetanus is discovered.
Inventions
Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899) invents the Linotype machine, the first mechanized printing typesetter, which will speed up the presses for newspapers.
Inventions
The first practical turbine engine is invented.
Inventions
The first accurate adding machine is invented.
Inventions
The first coin-operated weighing machine is patented by Percy Everitt.
Technology
The first practical fountain pen is manufactured by Lewis E. Waterman (1837-1901).
Technology
Airplanes: Alexander F. Mozhaiski, Russia, builds a steam-powered monoplane and tests it at Krasnoye Selo, near St. Petersburg. It takes off on a jump ramp and flies for approximately 100 feet before crashing. This is the second power-assisted take-off in history.
Technology
Airplanes: Horatio F. Phillips, England, experiments with cambered wings in a wind tunnel and lays down the scientific foundation for modern airfoil design. He is the first to discover that when the wind blows across a curved surface, it creates a low pressure area on top of the surface and high pressure beneath it. This, in turn, generates lift.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: Educational policy regarding Native Americans is articulated at the Lake Mohonk Conference.
Education
The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
Education
The National Education Association forms a kindergarten department.
Education
Women's Colleges: The first state-supported college for women, Mississippi State College for women is chartered.
Roosevelt, Eleanor
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is born in New York City on October 11.
Roosevelt, Edith
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), only child of first marriage of Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, is born February 12.
Daily Life
The Statue of Liberty is presented to America by the people of France.
Daily Life
The first roller coaster opens at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York City.
Sports
Baseball: Baseball gets new rules and goes on to become an extremely popular sport in America. Its growth is also linked to the development of cities and urban culture.
Sports
Baseball: The first U.S. baseball championship is won by Providence (RI) of the National League, beating the New York Metropolitans, 3-0.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women's singles tennis competition is added to Wimbledon. Maud Watson wins in both 1884 and '85.
Popular Culture
American author Mark Twain (1835-1910) publishes "Huckleberry Finn."
Religion
Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) founds the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (which led to the Jehovah''''s Witnesses in the United States).
Social Issues
Native Americans: The novel "Ramona" is written by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) dramatizing the oppression of Indians in the American west.
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1885
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Immigration: The Contract Labor Act prohibits the importing of laborors who then work for the cost of transit; skilled, domestic, and professional workers are exempted.
Government
National Capitol: The Washington Monument is dedicated.
Government
Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) is inaugurated as the 22nd President of the United Staes and Thomas A. Hendricks (1819-1885) in inaugurated as the nation's 21st Vice President.
Government
President Cleveland (1837-1906) proposes the suspension of the minting of silver dollars, fearing that silver is undermining the nation’s gold reserves.
War
Indian Wars: Apache Indians leave their reservation in Arizona and continue their war against Whites under Geronimo.
Science
In memory of ornithologist James Audubon (1785-1851), the National Audubon Society is founded in the United States to study bird species.
Science
Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) establishes the uniqueness of fingerprints.
Medicine
The first appendectomy in the United States is performed in Davenport Iowa, by Dr. William Grant.
Medicine
Vaccines: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) administers the first anti-rabies vaccine to a nine-year-old schoolboy.
Inventions
The first motorcycle is patented, built by Gottlief Daimler in Germany.
Inventions
Karl Benz (1824-1929) builds the world's first gasoline-powered vehicle. It has a traveling speed of nine miles per hour.
Inventions
The first modern bicycle is built. Bikes are a craze in America and Europe until the end of the century.
Inventions
The dictaphone, the electric transformer, the electric drill, and the thermos bottle are invented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Women’s Firsts: Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folds up into a cabinet.
Education
Children’s Books: Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), writes "Little Lord Fauntleroy."
Education
Children's Books: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) publishes "A Child’s Garden of Verses."
Education
The Bryn Mawr School for Girls in Baltimore, later joined by Bryn Mawr College for Women near Philadelphia, is founded.
Arts and Letters
"The Mikado," the comic operetta by William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), premieres at the Savoy Theatre, London.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Theatrical lighting with electricity is made available to theatrical productions.
Truman, Bess
Elizabeth Virginia Wallace Truman (1885-1982), wife of Harry S. Truman, is born in Independence, Missouri, on February 13.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), 18th President of the United States, dies July 23 in Mount McGregor, New York.
Economics
The first commercially operated electrical streetcar begins operation in Baltimore.
Economics
Railroad History: The Santa Fe Railroad is completed.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola Crayons: Edwin Binney (1866-1934) and cousin, C. Harold Smith, begin the partnership of Binney & Smith in Peekskill, N.Y. Early products include red oxide pigments for painting red barns and carbon black for car tires.
Daily Life
Special delivery mail service begins in the United States.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman (1867-1922), writing as Nelly Bly, becomes a reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, reporting on poor working conditions in factories, problems of working girls, slums, divorce, and political corruption.
Sports
Golf: Golf is introduced to the U.S. from Scotland by John M. Fox of Philadelphia.
Sports
A weight-lifting strongman is reported to have lifted 3,239 pounds with a harness.
Popular Culture
H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925) writes the adventure novel, "King Solomon’s Mines."
Popular Culture
"A Thousand and One Nights" is translated by Richard Burton (1821-1890); it includes the stories of “Sindbad the Sailor,” “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”
Religion
The U.S. Salvation Army is officially organized.
Religion
The Mormons divide into polygamous and monogamous factions.
1886
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment refers not only to individuals but also to corporations.
Government
The U.S. Forestry Service is established as part of the Dept. of Agriculture.
Government
A new Presidential Succession Act is passed providing the presidential succession to go to the Vice President, and then to Cabinet officers in the order that their departments were created.
War
Indian Wars: The last large-scale Indian war in the United States ends when American troops capture Apache chief Geronimo (1829-1909) after four years of warfare on the Mexican border.
Science
Fluorine is first produced by French chemist Henri Moissan (1852-1907).
Inventions
German motor pioneer Karl Benz (1844-1929) is granted a patent for the first successful gasoline-powered car.
Inventions
Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) invents the dishwasher.
Inventions
Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) builds the world's first four-wheeled motor vehicle.
Inventions
John Pemberton (1814-1881) invents Coca Cola.
Technology
Hydroelectric plants are begun at Niagara Falls.
Technology
Wax disks are developed to use with the phonograph.
Technology
Sewing machines are made with electric motors.
Education
Children’s Books: Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), provides the illustrations for Hallam Tennyson's (1852-1928) curious hexameter version of "Jack and the Bean-stalk."
Education
Libraries: The main library and the first four branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library open in Baltimore, providing service to users of all races.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Ideas
Karl Marx’ (1818-1883) "Das Capital" is published in English.
Washington, Martha
Martha Washington (1731-1802) becomes the first woman to be portrayed on U.S. paper money.
Adams, Louisa
Charles Frances Adams (1807-1886), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies of a stroke on November 21 at the age of 79.
Arthur, Ellen
Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), 21st President of the U.S., dies November 18 in New York, New York.
Cleveland, Frances
White House Wedding: Frances Folsom (1864-1947) marries U.S. President Grover Cleveland (1837-1906) in the White House.
Wilson, Ellen
Margaret Woodrow Wilson (1886-1944), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born April 30.
Economics
Johannesburg is founded in South Africa. The gold-mining town will eventually mine the vast majority of the world's gold.
Economics
Catering to farmers far from large stores, Richard Sears (1863-1914) establishes a successful mail-order house in Minneapolis, first selling watches. He hires A.C. Roebuck (1864-1948) as a watch repairmen the next year in Chicago.
Economics
The first Coca-Cola is sold in Atlanta, advertised as a hangover remedy containing coca leaves and African kola nut extract.
Economics
Aluminum is first produced independently in the U.S. and in France.
Daily Life
The first Tournament of Roses is held in Pasadena, California.
Daily Life
The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York Harbor.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The first BB gun is created. Made for children, it scares many parents because it is actually a working gun that can cause injury. The BB gun is a descendant of the cap gun, which was invented soon after the Civil War, when some shotgun manufacturers converted their factories to make toys. Penny pistols and other authentic looking toy guns also began to appear in the 1880s.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: A bill granting women suffrage is passed by the Vermont legislature
Reform
Settlement House Movement: The first settlement house is established in New York City.
Reform
Labor Movement: Chicago police officers shoot four strikers at a May 1st rally for the eight-hour day. The Knights of Labor holds a rally in Haymarket Square to protest the shootings; a bomb goes off, killing a policeman, and the police open fire on the crowd, killing many workers.
Reform
Labor Movement: Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), a cigar maker, founds the American Federation of Labor.
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1887
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Women's Firsts: Susanna Medora Salter (1820-1906) is elected the first U.S. woman mayor, in Argonia, Kansas.
Government
Congress creates Yellowstone National Park to be a refuge for buffalo and big game.
Government
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the British throne.
Government
Congress passes the Interstate Commerce Act, enabling the federal government to regulate railroad rates for the first time.
Government
Native Americans: The Dawes Act, which provides for the allotment of reservation land for individual Native American families, is passed by Congress.
War
Congress renews the U.S.-Hawaii Treaty, giving the U.S. exclusive rights to build a naval base at Pearl Harbor.
Medicine
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) and Jules-Francois Jourbert (1834-1910) of France first demonstrate the antibiotic effect.
Inventions
Celluloid film is invented.
Inventions
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) invents the record player.
Technology
Paris and Brussels become the first two capital cities to be linked by telephone.
Education
Special Education: Twenty-year-old teacher Anne Sullivan (1866-1936) begins to teach blind-and-deaf child Helen Keller (1880-1968) at the request of Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922). Helen soon learns to communicate.
Education
Higher Education: Women's Colleges: The Smith College Observatory is founded.
Education
The Hatch Act appropriates federal money to study agriculture in any state with a Land Grant College.
Education
Higher Education: Libraries: Melville Dewey (1851-1931) establishes a State Library School in Albany, NY.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Verdi's (1813-1901) opera "Othello" is first performed in Milan, Italy.
Ideas
Polish philologist Lazurus Ludwig Zemenhof (1859-1917) invents Esperanto, hoping that an international language will forestall war and bring about better communication between the peoples of the world.
Wilson, Ellen
Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre (1887-1933), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born August 28.
Roosevelt, Edith
Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt (Jr.) (1887-1944), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born September 13.
Economics
The Pennsylvania Railroad runs an electrically lighted train between New York and Chicago.
Economics
The first successful electric trolley line is built in Richmond, VA.
Daily Life
Mail is delivered free in all cities with a population of at least 10,000.
Daily Life
Disasters: Terrible blizzards devastate America''s nothern plains. Families are found frozen to death in tar-paper shacks.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The speaking doll, which had first been invented by Johann Maelzel in 1820, is improved when Thomas Edison combines his phonograph technology with a doll, allowing it to speak.
Sports
Softball: Softball is invented by George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade.
Sports
Women in Sports: Ellen Hansell is crowned the first Women's Singles tennis champion at the US Open.
Sports
The first national women's tennis tournament is held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Popular Culture
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) publishes his first Sherlock Holmes mystery, "A Study in Scarlet."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Dawes Act divides tribal land into individual allotted tracts, destroying tribal relations in an attempt to promote assimilation into white culture.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Utah repeals women's suffrage.
Reform
Nellie Bly (1867-1922) is hired by the New York World; her reporting lays the groundwork for the reform-minded muckracking journalists who come after her.
1888
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) nominates Melville Weston Fuller (1833-1910) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed by the Senate and serves for twenty-one years.
Politics
Political anthems: A Belgian woodcarver publishes the song "L'Internationale," with lyrics written during the Paris Commune uprising: "Arise, ye prisoners of starvation/ Arise, ye wretched of the earth...." The song is adopted by the Communist Party.
Politics
Belva Ann Lockwood (1830-1917) once more runs for the president for the Equal Rights Party; once again, she loses.
Politics
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is elected as the 23rd President of the U.S., and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) is elected as the nation's 22nd Vice President.
Government
Congress creates the Department of Labor.
Government
National Capitol: The public is first admitted to the Washington Monument.
Science
Weather fronts are first described; speculation considers thier relationship to storms.
Inventions
Artifical straws for drinking are patented.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Granville T. Woods (1856-1910) patents a system for overhead communication between trains and railroad stations.
Inventions
John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921) takes out a patent for his pnuematic bicycle tire.
Inventions
Croation-American Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invents an alternating-current electronic motor. He also develops early radio technology, but he gets little financial reward for his achievements.
Inventions
George Eastman (1854-1932) invents the Kodak camera.
Technology
Emile Berliner (1851-1929) gives the first demonstration of flat disc recording and reproduction before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Technology
Incubators are used for premature infants.
Technology
The first seismograph in the U.S. is installed in California.
Technology
Airplanes: Augustus Herring, New York, builds and tests a glider. It fails to fly.
Education
A women's annex to Columbia University is voted by the trustees.
Education
Native Americans: Indian Education: Red Cloud invites the Jesuits to the reservation to establish a school for Lakota children in order to avoid sending children off the reservation.
Education
The National Geographic Society is established and publishes the first issue of its journal.
Arts and Letters
Sculpture: Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) finshes his sculpture "The Thinker" in an enlarged size.
Arts and Letters
Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) composes "Sheherazade."
Arts and Letters
John Phillips Sousa (1854-1932) writes "Semper Fidelis" for the Marines.
Ideas
American socialist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) writes "Looking Backward," a utopian science-fiction novel depicting the United States in the year 2000.
Daily Life
Disasters: The famous "Blizzard of''88" occurs, lasting 36 hours and killing 400 people.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: New York state establishes electrocution for murderers sentenced to die.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: The body of Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols and Annie Chapman, the first two victims of murderer "Jack the Ripper," are found in London. Five more London prostitues are found disemboweled and a rumor circulates that Queen Victoria is responsible for their deaths to distract the public from scandals surrounding her son.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women join bicycling clubs in Chicago and tennis clubs in New York City.
Sports
Softball: Softball moves outdoors, played on a diamond smaller than baseball''s, and called Indoor-Outdoor Baseball.
Popular Culture
The world's first beauty contest takes place at Spa in Belgium. The first prize is awarded to Bertha Soucaret. an 18-year-old Creole from Guadeloupe.
Popular Culture
"Casey at the Bat" is recited for the first time in public.
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1889
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Four states are admitted to the Union and include North and South Dakota as the 39th and 40th states, Montana as the 41st state, and Washington as the 42nd state.
Government
Native Americans: Indian lands in Oklahoma are made available to white settlers.
Government
Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) is inaugurated as the 23rd President of the U.S., and Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) is inaugurated as the nation's 22nd Vice President.
Science
The origin of insulin in the pancreas is discovered.
Inventions
An inexpensive method of producing aluminum is patented by Charles Hall of Ohio.
Inventions
Joshua Pusey invents the matchbook.
Inventions
Sir James Dewar (1842-1923) and Sir Frederick Abel co-invent Cordite - a type of smokeless gunpowder.
Technology
The Eiffel Tower is completed in Paris.
Technology
Airplanes: Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), Australia, builds the first rotary airplane engine. It runs on compressed air and Hargrave uses it to power his model aircraft.
Technology
The first celluloid movie in the U.S. is made.
Education
Barnard College, a women's college affiliated with Columbia University and named after Columbia's president Frederick Barnard (1809-1889) is founded in New York.
Education
Catholic Univeristy opens in Washington D.C.
Education
Clinical training is established as part of medical education at John Hopkins University Medical School.
Education
Children’s Books: The Scottish-born poet, classicist, folklorist, and critic Andrew Lang (1844-1912) writes "The Blue Fairy Book."
Education
Women's Firsts: Marie Louise Baldwin becomes the first black school principal in Massachusetts; she supervises 12 white teahcers and more than 500 children, 98% of them white.
Arts and Letters
Painting: In a frenzy of activity, Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) finishes several famous paintings, including "The Starry Night," one of his last works.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) writes "The Master of Ballantrae."
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) dies of a major stroke on June 25, while sewing as she watches a tennis match at Spiegel Grove, Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) tries to get Congress to appropiate funds to enlarge the White House; she fails, but does succeed in getting them to provide money for renovations.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820-1889) dies of a stroke in Richmond, Virginia on July 10.
Harrison, Caroline
Electric lights are installed at the White House, but President Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) and his wife, Caroline (1832-1892) refuse to touch the swithces, so the lights must be turned on by an employee at night, then turned off in the morning.
Wilson, Ellen
Eleanor "Nellie" Randolph Wilson McAdoo (1889-1967), daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson, is born October 16.
Taft, Helen
Robert Alphonso Taft (1889-1953), son of William Howard and Helen Taft, is born September 8.
Roosevelt, Edith
Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943), son of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt, is born October 10.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Powers Fillmore (1828-1889), son of Millard and Abigail Fillmore, dies November 15.
Economics
"The man who dies rich dies disgraced." writes steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), displaying the contradictory attitudes towards wealth characteristic of the American Gilded Age.
Economics
Isaac Singer (1811-1875) markets an electric sewing machine.
Economics
The first anti-trust laws are passed in Kansas, North Caolina, Tennessee, and Michigan.
Daily Life
The first premixed self-rising pancake mix is marketed in the U.S.
Daily Life
Disasters: The Johnstown flood occurs in Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Wall Street Journal" begins publishing.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Cosmopolitan Magazine" is founded.
Sports
Softball: George Hancock publishes the first set of Indoor-Outdoor Baseball (softball) rules.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first women's six-day bicycle race ends at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Sports
Football: The first All-American Football Team is chosen by coach Walter Camp (1859-1925).
Sports
Boxing: The last bare-knuckled boxing championship occurs in Mississippi.
Popular Culture
Mark Twain (1835-1910) writes "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
Popular Culture
John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932) composes the "Washington Post March."
Popular Culture
Nelly Bly (1867-1922) circles the globe in 72 days, beating by 8 days the record of the fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Land in Oklahoma, formerly in Indian hands, is opened to white settlers; about 50,000 settlers rushed in on the first day.
Reform
Settlement House Movement: Jane Addams (1860-1935) opens Hull House in Chigago. It''s part of the settlement-house mevement to help immigrant populations adjust to American life both materially and culturally.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: M. Carey (1857-1935) Thomas leads the group of feminists who secure admission of women students to the John Hopkins Medical School as a condition of a large gift to its endowment.