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U.S.  Timeline  –  1801  to  1900

Ancient Times - 3500 B.C.E to 1490

1491-1800    •    jump to 1901-1930    •    1931-1950    •    1951-1968

•   1969-2000    •    2001-2010    •    2011-2016    •    2017 to present

Manifest Destiny    •    Civil War Era    •    Reconstruction Era    •    Robber Baron Era


Manifest  Destiny

  • 1801 Jan 1: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland came into existence per the Act of Union of 1800, with George III as monarch. This included a redesign that created the present-day flag of the United Kingdom.
  • 1801 Feb 27: District of Columbia placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

  • 1802 March 16: Congress established the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York; signed same day by President Jefferson.
  • 1802 May 3: City of Washington, D.C. incorporated.

  • 1803 March 1: Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th state.
  • 1803 April 30: Purchase agreement for the Louisiana Territory completed between France and the U.S., for a price of $15 million.
  • 1803 May 25: Birthday of transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson in Boston, Massachusetts; he died in 1882.
  • 1803 Oct 20: Louisiana Purchase ratified by U.S. Senate.
  • 1803 Dec 8: 12th Amendment proposed to states for ratification.
  • 1803 Dec 20: Formal transfer of 800,000-square-mile Louisiana Territory by France to the U.S., which doubled the country's land area.

  • 1804 Feb 7: Birthday of inventor John Deere in Rutland, Vermont; he died in 1886.
  • 1804 Feb 21: First public demonstration of a working railway locomotive on a 9-mile-long tramway in Wales, built by civil engineer Richard Trevithick [1771-1833].
  • 1804 March 10: Formal ceremonies transferring Louisiana Territory from France to U.S. in St. Louis on the Mississippi River, attended by Lewis & Clark.
  • 1804 March 21: France officially adopted the Napoleanic Code as law; the basic premises are the founding principles of the laws of Louisiana (as opposed to a basis in English law).
  • 1804 May 14: Under orders from President Jefferson, Lewis & Clarke's 'Corps of Discovery' expedition set out by keelboat up the Missouri River.
  • 1804 May: Napoleon Bonaparte was declared Emperor of The French, although not crowned unitl December.
  • 1804 July 4: Birthday of Nathaniel Hawthorne in Salem, Massachusetts; he died in 1864 at age 59.
  • 1804 July 11: Pistol duel at Weehawken, New Jersey between U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr [1756-1836] and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton [1757-1804]; Hamilton died of his wounds the next day.
  • 1804 July 27: 12th Amendment ratified by states.
  • 1804 Sept 25: 12th Amendment went into effect.
  • 1804 Dec 2: Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of The French at Notre Dame de Paris.

  • 1805 April 27: An American-led force of Marines & mercenaries captured the city of Dema 'on the shores of Tripoli', during the First Barbary War.
  • 1805 Oct 21: A British fleet defeated a French-Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar (north and west of Gibraltar on the Spanish coast); the victorious Adm. Horatio Nelson died several hours after being hit by a rifle bullet.
  • 1805 Nov 7: Lewis & Clark reached Gray's Bay (in present-day Washington State) and assumed that they had reached the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1805 Dec 5: Lewis located a site for winter camp, called Fort Clatsop.
  • 1805 Dec 24: Ft. Clatsop completed, the Lewis & Clark party moved in.

  • 1806 March 23: Having stayed the winter on the Pacific Coast at Ft. Clatsop (near present-day Astoria, Oregon}, the Lewis & Clark Expedition set out for home.
  • 1806 Sept 23: Lewis & Clark arrived back at St. Louis.
  • 1806 Nov 15: Explorer Zebulon Pike sighted the mountain later named after him, Pike's Peak in present day Colorado.
  • 1807 Jan 19: Birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee in rural Virginia; he died in 1870.
  • 1807 Aug 3: Federal court in Richmond, Virginia began trial on charges of treason against former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr (he was acquitted).
  • 1807 Aug 19: Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat arrived in Albany, New York after two days of travel from New York City.
  • 1809 Jan 19: Birthday of author Edgar Allan Poe in Boston, Massachusetts; he died mysteriously in Baltimore, Maryland in 1849.
  • 1809 Feb 12: Birthday of Abraham Lincoln in Hardin County, Kentucky; he was assassinated in 1865.
  • 1809 Feb 12: Birthday of scientist Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England; he died in 1882.
  • 1809 Feb 20: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that no state can annul the judgments or determine the jurisdictions of federal courts.
  • 1810 July 5: Birthday of American showman P.T. Barnum in Bethel, Connecticut; he elevated the circus to entertainment extravaganza and died at age 80 in 1891.
  • 1810 Sept 16: Beginning of the decade-long Mexican War of Independence, when Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato) called for independence from Spain; now celebrated as Mexico Independence Day.

  • 1811 Jan 8–10: The German Coast Slave Revolt in Louisiana; hundreds of slaves marched toward New Orleans, 2 white men were killed, 95 slaves were shot or lynched.
  • 1811 March: Luddite protests began in England, lasting until 1816.
  • 1811 July 5: Venezuela declared independence from Spain, the first South American country to do so.
  • 1811 Oct 11: The first steam-powered ferryboat, the Julianna, built by John Stevens, began operation between New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey.
  • 1811 Nov 7: The Battle of Tippecanoe, in which Indiana Territorial Governor Wm. Henry Harrison defeated warriors from Tecumseh's Confederacy.
  • 1812 Feb 7: Birthday of British author Charles Dickens [1812-70] in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.
  • 1812 March 26: A double earthquake of magnitude 7.7 devastated Caracas, Venezuela; an estimated 26,000 residents died.
  • 1812 April 30: Louisiana was admitted to the Union as the 18th state.
  • 1812 June 4: Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory.
  • 1812 June 16: Founding of the City Bank of New York, still in business after 200 years and now called Citigroup, Inc.
  • 1812 June 18: At the urging of President Madison, Congress declared war against Britain by a vote of 98-62; the conflict is known as The War of 1812.
    1812 War With America  
    "1812: War With America" [2007]
    by Jon Latimer

    Belknap Press 15½x9¼ hardcover [9/2007] for $23.10
    War of 1812 Military History  "The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History" [1965]
    by J. Mackay Hitsman, updated by Donald E. Graves

    "The finest one-volume history of the War of 1812 ever published."
    Robin Brass Studio 9x6 pb [9/2000] for $16.88
  • 1812 July 12: U.S. forces led by Gen. William Hull invaded Canada, but were pushed back to Detroit.
  • 1812 Aug 15: Potawatami Indian warriors attacked the U.S. military garrison in the Battle of Fort Dearborn; the 100 or so occupants were either killed or taken prisoner.
  • 1812 Aug 16: Detroit fell to British & Indian forces.
  • 1812 Aug 19: The heavy frigate USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia, Canada and earned the nickname 'Old Ironsides'.
  • 1812 Sept 7: The Battle of Borodino outside Moscow, a temporary victory for French forces; the battle was commemorated by Tchaikowsky with his "1812 Overture".
  • 1812 Oct 25: The frigate USS Constitution under command of Stephen Decatur captured the British vessel HMS Macedonian.

  • 1813 June 1: The frigate USS Chesapeake was captured after a battle with the British frigate HMS Shannon; the American vessel's mortally-wounded Capt. James Lawrence became famous for giving his crew the order "Don't give up the ship."
  • 1813 Aug 12: Austria declared war on France.
  • 1813 Sept 10: An American naval force under Oliver H. Perry defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Erie.
  • 1813 Dec 19: British forces captured Fort Niagara, on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario.
  • 1813 Dec 30: British forces burned Buffalo, New York.
  • 1814 Aug 24: British forces invaded Washington, DC and set fire to the U.S. Capitol, the White House, and other buildings.
  • 1814 Sept 12: American forces slowed the advance of British troops on Baltimore at the Battle of North Point in Maryland.
  • 1814 Sept 14: Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing the bombardment by British gunboats of Fort McHenry in Maryland.
  • 1814 Dec 24: The War of 1812 officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, although fighting in the field continued thru February.
  • 1815 Jan 8: U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans; 71 Americans died versus 2,036 British deaths.
  • 1815 June 18: France's Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by British and Prussian troops at Waterloo, Belgium.
  • 1816: Publication in Germany of "Nussknacker und Mausekönig", the folk tale of 'The Nutcracker and The Mouse King' by E.T.A. Hoffmann [1776-1822].
  • 1816 April 21: Birthday of British author Charlotte Brontë in Thornton, Lancashire, England; she is best known for the novel 'Jane Eyre" [1847]; she died in 1855 at age 38.
  • 1816 Dec 11: Indiana was admitted to the Union as the 19th state.

  • 1817 Feb 17: First street in America to be lighted by natural gas from America's first gas company, in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 1817 July 12: Birthday of transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts; he died in 1862.
  • 1817 July 4: Construction began on the Erie Canal between Albany {on the Hudson River} and Buffalo {on Lake Erie}.
  • 1817 Dec 10: Mississippi was admitted to the Union as the 20th state.

  • 1818 Feb 4: Birthday of Emperor of The United States Norton I [1818-80] in England; he reigned in San Francisco, California from 1859 to 1880.
  • 1818 Feb 14: Birthday of Afro-American social reformer Frederick Douglass; he began life in Talbot County, Maryland as a slave; he escaped bondage in 1838 by fleeing to New York City; he died in 1895 at age 77.
  • 1818 April 4: Congress passed a law defining the U.S. flag as 13 red-and-white stripes and a blue field with 20 stars, with one star to be added for each additional state in the Union; a tradition developed that display of each new flag was delayed until July Fourth.
  • 1818 Dec 3: Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state.
  • 1819 Feb 22: Spain ceded Florida to the U.S. (Adams-Onís Treaty)
  • 1819 May 31: Birthday of poet Walt Whitman in Huntington, Long Island, New York; he died in 1892.
  • 1819 Aug 1: Birthday of author Herman Melville in New York City; he died in 1891.
  • 1819 Dec 14: Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state.

  • 1820: Publication of the novel "Ivanhoe: A Romance" by Scottish author Sir Walter Scott [1771-1832].
  • 1820 Feb 8: Birthday of William Tecumseh Sherman in Lancaster, Ohio; after serving as a general officer in the Civil War and in the Indian Wars, he died in 1891 at age 71.
    "Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman" [Random House 7/2014] by Robert L. O'Connell 9781400069729
  • 1820 Feb 15: Birthday of civil rights & women's rights leader Susan B. Anthony in Adams, Massachusetts; she died in 1906; the 'Susan B.' U.S. dollar coin was first struck in 1979.
  • 1820 March 15: Maine was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
  • 1820 Nov 18: U.S. Navy Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer and his crew discovered the frozen continernt of Antarctica.
  • 1821: The Santa Fe Trail opened.
  • 1821 Feb 24: Having secured a military victory over Spain, Mexican rebels proclaimed the 'Plan de Iguala' which set up a basis for Mexico's independence.
  • 1821 July 17: Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
  • 1821 July 28: Peru declared its independence from Spain.
  • 1821 Aug 10: Missouri was admitted to the Union as the 24th state.
  • 1821 Aug 24: Spain conceded Mexico's independence in the Treaty of Córdoba, which ratified the Plan de Iguala.

  • 1822: Englishman William Underwood set up a small condiment business on Russia Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts; his sons put Underwood's Deviled Ham on the market in 1868 (oldest U.S. trademark still in use).
  • 1822 Feb 23: Charter granted to Boston, Massachusetts to incorporate as a city.
  • 1822 March 30: Florida became a U.S. Territory.
  • 1823 Dec 2: President Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing further European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1823 Dec 23: Anonymous first publication of the holiday poem "Account of A Visit From St. Nicholas" in the Sentinel newspaper of Troy, New York; the work is better known as "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" and is attributed to college professor Clement Clarke Moore [1779-1863].
  • 1824 Dec 2: No candidate for U.S. President received the 131 electoral votes needed to be declared winner: Andrew Jackson of Tennessee had 99, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts had 84, ailing William Harris Crawford of Georgia had 41, and Henry Clay of Kentucky had 37.

  • 1825: The first Mountain Man Rendezvous at Henry's Fork, Wyoming.
  • 1825: Politician & inventor John Stevens [1749-1838] of New Jersey, USA designed and built a prototype 'steam carriage' for use on the New Jersey Railroad (the railroad was never built).
  • 1825 Feb 9: The Electoral College deadlock was decided by the U.S. House of Representatives: John Quincy Adams won on the first ballot, with 87 votes against 71 for Jackson and 54 for Crawford.
  • 1825 Aug 25: Uruguay declared independence from Brasil.
  • 1825 Sept 7: The Marquis de Lafayette [1757-1834], the French hero of the American Revolution, bade farewell to President John Quincy Adams at the White House at the end of Lafayette's triumphant 24-state tour.
  • 1825 Sept 27: The Locomotion, built by George Stephenson [1781-1848] of England, was the first railroad locomotive to pull paying passengers on the world's first public steam rail company, the Stockton & Darlington Railway in northeast England.
  • 1825 Oct 26: The 363-mile Erie Canal in New York was opened to traffic, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
  • 1827 Feb 28: Incorporation of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the first U.S. railroad chartered for both passengers & freight.
  • 1827 April 10: Birthday of soldier, politician & author Gen. Lew Wallace [1827-1905] in Brookville, Indiana; he is most famous for the 1880 novel "Ben-Hur".
  • 1828 Jan 12: The United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Limits, which defined the boundary between the two countries as the same as an 1819 treaty between the U.S. and Spain.
  • 1828 April 14: Publication of the first edition of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of The English Language".
  • 1828 July 4: Charles Carroll, the last-surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, participated in the ceremony laying the first stone of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
  • 1829: Founding of the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania – America's oldest brewery.
  • 1829 Feb 26: Birthday of Levi Strauss in Bavaria, Germany; he began manufacture of Levi's denim work pants in San Francisco, California in 1873; he died there in 1902.
  • 1829 June: Birthday of Apache tribal leader Geronimo (or Goyathlay); he died of pneumonia at age 80 in 1909 as a federal prisoner at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
  • 1829 Sept 14: Signing of the Treaty of Adrianople, ending the war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1829 Sept 29: Britain's Parliament enacted the Metropolitan Police Act which established what is now known as Scotland Yard.
  • 1829 Oct: The Liverpool & Manchester Railway staged the Rainhill Trials to determine who would build locomotives for their rail line; the clear winner was the Rocket steam locomotive built by George Stephenson's son Robert [1803-59].

  • 1830: Founding of Woolrich Outdoor Clothing in Woolrich, Pennsylvania.
  • 1830 April 6: Joseph Smith established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York.
  • 1830 April 9: Birthday of photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge [1830-1904] in Kingston-upon-Thames, London, England; after an amazing career in California, he died in Kingston at age 74.
  • 1830 May 24: First U.S. passenger railroad began service between Baltimore & Elliott's Mills, Maryland.
  • 1830 Aug 28: The Baltimore & Ohio RR demonstrator steam locomotive Tom Thumb, built by local iron-monger Peter Cooper [1791-1893], accepted the challenge and raced against a horse-drawn B&O passenger coach, and was clearly winning until a pulley belt slipped; nonetheless, investors were impressed with the machine's superior performance.
  • 1830 Dec 10th: Birthday of American poet Emily Dickinson in Amherst, Massachusetts; she died there in 1886 at age 55.

  • 1831: The Camden & Amboy Railroad of New Jersey imported the John Bull locomotive from England; the steam engine is now the oldest operative self-propelled vehicle in the world, on exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
  • 1831 March 3: Birthday of railroad tycoon George Pullman in Brocton, New York; after revolutionalizing railroad passenger travel with his Pullman Car system, he died at age 66 in Chicago, Illinois in 1897.
  • 1831 Aug 21: Nat Turner [1800-31] led a violent slave rebellion in Virginia; at least 55 white people died. 200 black people were beaten & killed by white militia and mobs; 56 black slaves were tried and executed for participating in the rebellion.
  • 1831 Sept 24: The Mohawk & Hudson Railroad of New York began operation using the locally-built DeWitt Clinton locomotive and several passenger coaches.
  • 1831 Nov 11: Nat Turner was executed for leading the slave rebellion in Virginia.
  • 1831 Dec 27: British naturalist Charles Darwin [1809-82] set out on a round-the-world voyage aboard the HMS Beagle (the expedition returned to England in October 1836).

  • 1832: Hot Springs, Arkansas was designated a 'National Preserve'; the town eventually received National Park status in 1921.
  • 1832 March 24: A mob in Hiram, Ohio attacked and tarred & feathered Mormon leaders Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.
  • 1832 May 21: Democratic National Party opened its first convention in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 1832 Nov: Matthias W. Baldwin [1795-1866] of Philadelphia, PA delivered the 2-2-0 steam locomotive Old Ironsides to the newly-chartered Philadelphia, Germantown & Norristown Railroad. (Baldwin Locomotive Works built over 70,000 more railroad locomotives before closing in 1972.)
  • 1832 Nov 26: Launch of public streetcar service in New York City.
  • 1833 Oct 21: Birthday of Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and creator of the prestigious Nobel Prizes; he died in Italy in 1896 at age 63.
  • 1834 June: Albert Mason displayed a working model of his 'aerial steamboat' in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • 1834 June 21: Cyrus Hall McCormick [1809–84] received a patent for his mechanical reaper.
  • 1835 June 27: Birthday of restaurant tycoon Frederick Henry 'Fred' Harvey in England; he established 84 Harvey House restaurants & hotels in America, and died in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1901.
  • 1835 Oct 2: Texican settlers fought Mexican soldiers at Gonzales, near the Guadalupe River; considered the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
  • 1835 Nov 30: Birthday of author / humorist Mark Twain in Hannibal, Missouri; he died in 1910.

  • 1836 Feb 23: Start of the seige at The Alamo near San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1836 Feb 25: Inventor Samuel P. Colt received an American patent for his six-shot revolver.
  • 1836 March 2: Texas declared its independence from Mexico.
  • 1836 March 6: The Alamo near San Antonio, Texas fell to Santa Ana's army after a 13-day siege.
    Blood of Heroes / Alamo 1836 book by James Donovan  "The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle For The Alamo - and The Sacrifice That Forged A Nation" [2012] by James Donovan
    Book claims to be 'the definitive account of this epic battle', based on exhaustive research among fresh primary sources in the U.S. and Mexico.
    Kindle Edition from Little, Brown & Co. [5/2012] for $14.99
    Little, Brown & Co. 9½x6 hardcover [5/2012] for $17.85

  • 1836 March 27: Dedication of the first Latter-Day Saints {Mormon} Temple in Kirtland, Ohio.
  • 1836 April 20: Congress established the Wisconsin Territory.
  • 1836 April 21: The Battle of San Jacinto (about 25 miles east of present-day Houston, Texas) was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. Hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed or captured, while there were only nine Texican casualties.
  • 1836 May 14: Mexican President Gen. Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco, granting the Republic of Texas independence from Mexico. (Mexico did not officially cede Texas until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War in 1848.)
  • 1836 June 15: Arkansas admitted to the Union as the 25th state.
  • 1836 Sept 5: Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.
  • 1836 Oct 2: British Navy vessel HMS Beagle returned to England from its four-year round-the-world scientific expedition, which included British naturalist Charles Darwin [1809-82].
  • 1836 Oct 22: Sam Houston was inaugurated as president of the Republic of Texas; he served for almost two years, followed by a second four-year term from 1841-44.

  • 1837 Jan 26: Michigan was admitted to the Union as the 26th state.
  • 1837 March 4: The town of Chicago, Illinois was incorporated with a population of 4,170.
  • 1837 May 10: Bank Panic of 1837, which caused an economic depression that lasted five years.
  • 1838 Jan 6: First public demonstration of the telegraph by Samuel F.B. Morse and Alfred Vail in Morristown, New Jersey.
  • 1838 April 21: Birthday of naturalist John Muir in Scotland; after saving the Yosemite Valley from development and founding the Sierra Club, he died in 1914 at age 76 in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1838 Sept 3: Afro-American social reformer Frederick Douglass [1818-95] escaped bondage in Maryland by fleeing to New York City.
  • 1839 July 2: 53 African-born captives being transported aboard the schooner La Amistad from Havana to slave markets in the U.S. escaped their chains and revolted and killed the ship's captain; they ordered the crew to return them to Africa, but the navigator brought them to Long Island in New York, where the vessel was captured by a U.S. revenue cutter.
  • 1839 July 22: Birthday of Colorado railroad tycoon David H. Moffat [1839-1911] in Washingtonville, New York.

  • 1840 January: The 53 African-born captives from the schooner La Amistad were acquitted of charges of mutiny and murder in Connecticut District Court, were designated free men, and were ordered to be returned to Africa; on orders of President Van Buren, the U.S. Attorney immediately appealed the decision.
  • 1840 April 11: Birthday of Edward S. Ellis in Geneva, Ohio; he wrote over 200 Western novels and many short stories and died at age 76 in 1916.
  • 1841 March 9: After 53 African-born captives were acquitted on charges of mutiny and murder aboard the schooner La Amistad, followed by two appeals by the U.S. Attorney, they were deemed not criminals and free men by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1842: Stephen Whitman opened a 'confectionery and fruiterer shoppe' in Philadelphia; the perennial Whitman's Sampler boxed candy was introduced in 1912.
  • 1842 Dec 7: First concert performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • 1843: Hand-cranked ice cream freezer patented by Nancy Johnson.
  • 1843: First commercial Christmas card published by British illustrator John Calcott Horsley.
  • 1843 Dec 19: First publication of the novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens [1812-70].
  • 1844: Publication in France of "Histoire d'un Casse-Noisette", the story of 'The Nutcracker and The Mouse King', adapted by Alexandre Dumas père [1802-70] from the 1816 German folk tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann [1776-1822].
  • 1844 April 30: Henry David Thoreau [1817-62] accidentally set 300 acres of Walden Woods on fire.
  • 1844 May 24: America's first telegraph line opened from Washington, DC to Baltimore, Maryland with inventor Samuel F.B. Morse transmitting the message 'What hath God wrought!'.
  • 1844 June 6: Founding of the Young Men's Christian Assn. in London, England.
  • 1844 June 27: Joseph Smith, leader of the Mormon church, was killed with his brother Hyrum in Carthage, Illinois.
  • 1844 June 15: Charles Goodyear received a patent for his process to strengthen rubber.
  • 1845 Jan 29: First publication of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven", in the New York Evening Mirror.
  • 1845 Jan 31: Cyrus Hall McCormick [1809–84] received a second patent for improvements to his mechanical reaper.
  • 1845 March 3: Florida was admitted to the Union as the 27th state.
  • 1845 Dec 29: Texas was admitted to the Union as the 28th state.

  • 1846 Feb 26: Birthday of Wm. F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody in Iowa; after world travels with his Wild West Shows, he died in Denver, Colorado in 1917 at age 70.
  • 1846 April 25: Beginning of the U.S. War with Mexico.
  • 1846 May: Founding of the Associated Press.
  • 1846 June 14: A group of U.S. settlers in Sonoma, California proclaimed the Republic of California.
  • 1846 June 27: Boston and New York City were linked with telegraph wires.
  • 1846 July 7: Mexican garrison at Monterey surrendered to U.S. forces, who then claimed annexation of California.
  • 1846 Aug 10: Congress established the Smithsonian Institution, named after donor James Smithson; signed into law same day by President James K. Polk.
  • 1846 Aug 13: The American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1846 Aug 18: U.S. forces led by Gen. Stephen W. Kearny captured Santa Fe, in present-day New Mexico.
  • 1846 Aug 22: U.S. Army Gen. Stephen W. Kearny proclaimed annexation of New Mexico (which included present-day Arizona).
  • 1846 Sept 10: Elias Howe received a patent for his sewing machine.
  • 1846 Sept 23: Discovery of the eighth planet Neptune by three European astronomers.
  • 1846 Sept 30: Boston dentist William Morton used ether as anesthetic for the first time in extracting an ulcerated tooth from a local merchant.
  • 1846 Oct 6: Birthday of business tycoon George Westinghouse, Jr. in Central Bridge, New York; he developed a safety brake for railroad cars and then made alternating current electricity the worldwide household standard; he died in New York City at age 67 in 1914.
  • 1846 Dec 28: Iowa admitted to the Union as the 29th state.

  • 1847: New England ship captain Hanson Gregory invented the hole in the doughnut, to improve his mother's deep-fried pastries; commemorated by a bronze plaque at his hometown of Rockport, Maine.
  • 1847 Feb 11: Birthday of inventor Thomas Alva Edison in Milan, Ohio; he died in 1931.
  • 1847 July 1: First official postage stamp of the U.S. issued at New York City.
  • 1847 July 24: Mormon leader Brigham Young brought his followers to the Great Salt Lake Valley in what later became Utah Territory.
  • 1847 Sept 14: U.S. forces under Gen. Winfield Scott took control of Mexico City.

  • 1848 Jan 24: James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill on the American River in California, leading to the 'Gold Rush' of 1849.
  • 1848 Feb 2: U.S. War with Mexico ended (Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo).
  • 1848 Feb 21: Karl Marx [1818-83] and Friedrich Engels [1820-95] published the pamphlet "Communist Manifesto" in London, U.K.
  • 1848 March 19: Birthday of lawman Wyatt Earp in Monmouth, Illinois; he died in 1929 in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1848 May 29: Wisconsin was admitted to the Union as the 30th state.
  • 1848 May 30: William G. Young of Baltimore, MD received a patent for an 'Ice Cream Freezer'.
  • 1848 July 18: First U.S. women's suffragist convention in upstate Seneca Falls, New York.
  • 1848 Aug 14: Creation of the Oregon Territory.
  • 1848 Aug 19: The New York Herald newspaper reported the discovery of gold in California (eight months after the event).
  • 1848 Dec 5: President James K. Polk set off the Gold Rush of 1849 when he confirmed the news that gold was discovered in California.

  • 1849 March 3: Congress established the Department of Interior.

  • 1850 Jan 27: Birthday of American labor leader Samuel Gompers in London, England; he died at age 74 in 1924.
  • 1850 April 4: Incorporation of the City of Los Angeles, California.
  • 1850 April 15: Incorporation of the City of San Francisco, California.
  • 1850 July 9: Zachary Taylor, 12th U.S. President, died after 16 months in office; he was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
  • 1850 Sept 9: California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state.
  • 1850 Sept 18: Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning slaves to their owners.
  • 1850 Sept 28: The U.S. Navy abolished flogging as a form of punishment.
  • 1850 Nov 13: Birthday of author Robert Louis Stevenson in Edinburgh, Scotland; he died in 1894 in Samoa.

  • 1851 Aug 14: Birthday of Western legend John Henry 'Doc' Holliday in Griffin, Georgia; he died in Glenwood Springs, Colorado in 1887 at age 36.
  • 1851 Aug 22: The schooner America outraced more than a dozen British vessels off the southern coast of England to win a trophy that became known as 'The America's Cup'.
  • 1851 Sept 18: First edition of the New York Times published.
  • 1851 Oct 18: British publication of "Moby-Dick: or, The Whale" by author Herman Melville [1819-91].
  • 1851 Nov 14: Herman Melville's masterpiece "Moby-Dick: or, The Whale" was published by Harper & Bros. in New York City.
  • 1851 Dec 24: A fire devestated the Library of Congress, destroying about 35,000 volumes.
  • 1851 Dec 29: Founding of the U.S. branch of the Young Men's Christian Assn. in Boston, Massachusetts.

  • 1852 Feb 16: Founding of the Studebaker Corporation in South Bend, Indiana (the company folded in March 1966).
  • 1852 March 13: First use of the Uncle Sam character, in the New York Lantern newspaper.
  • 1852 March 20: Publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin". [historical site]
    Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin  
    "The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin" [2006]
    Edited & with notes by Henry Louis Gates Jr. & Hollis Robbins

    W.W. Norton 10¼x8¾ hardcover [9/2006] for $26.37

  • 1853 March 2: Washington Territory was created from the Oregon Territory.
  • 1853 July 8: U.S. Navy expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo {Tokyo} Bay in Japan on a mission to open diplomatic & trade relations with the Emperor.
  • 1853 Aug 24: When railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt complained that his fried potatoes were too thick, the chef at Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York, an American Indian named George Crum, retaliated by slicing paper thin strips of potatoes and frying them to a crisp; Vanderbilt loved them, and 'Saratoga Chips' became an instant success.
  • 1853 Nov 26: Birthday of Western legend William Barclay 'Bat' Masterson [1853-1921] in Quebec, Canada; he died in 1921 at age 67 in New York City.
  • 1853 Dec 30: U.S. bought 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million, a deal known as the 'Gadsden Purchase'.

  • 1854 Feb 28: Anti-slavery political party created in Ripon, Wisconsin, which later became the Republican Party.
  • 1854 Aug 9: Henry David Thoreau published "Walden".
  • 1854 Aug 26: Launch of the last all-sail-powered U.S. warship Constellation, now a floating museum in Baltimore, Maryland. [Postage stamp issued 30 June 2004]
  • 1854 Oct 25: A battle in the Crimean War between Europe and Russia that became known as "The Charge of The Light Brigade", which was immortalized in a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

  • 1855 June 14: Birthday of Sen. Robert M. 'Fighting Bob' La Follette in Primrose, Wisconsin; he died in 1925 at age 70 in Washington, DC.
  • 1855 July 4: First edition of Walt Whitman's self-published "Leaves of Grass"; many revisions & additions until his death in 1892.
  • 1855 Nov 5: Birthday of labor leader Eugene V. Debs in Terre Haute, Indiana; he died at age 70 in 1926 in Elmhurst, Illinois.
  • 1856 May 15: Birthday of author L. Frank Baum in Chittenango, New York; he published "The Wizard of Oz" in 1900, wrote many sequels, and died at age 62 in 1919 in Hollywood, California.
  • 1856 May 21: A pro-slavery army led by U.S. Senator David Rice Atchison of Missouri shelled and sacked the abolitionist town of Lawrence, Kansas - considered the first skirmish in the War Between The States.
  • 1856 May 24: Men led by abolitionist John Brown captured five men from a pro-slavery settlement on Pottawatamie Creek (in Franklin County, Kansas) and hacked them to death with swords.
  • 1856 June 19: Birthday of author & philosopher Elbert Hubbard in Bloomington, Illinois; he and his wife Alice died at sea aboard the R.M.S. Lusitania, which was torpedoed by the Germans off the coast of Ireland in 1915.
  • 1856 July 9/10: Birthday of genius inventor Nikola Tesla in what is now Croatia; he died in 1943 in New York City.
  • 1856 July 26: Birthday of playwright George Bernard Shaw in Dublin, Ireland; he died in 1950 at age 94 in Hertfordshire, England.

  • 1857: Joseph C. Gayette of New York City invented toilet paper.
  • 1857 March 6: U.S. Supreme Court Dred Scott vs. Sanford decision, holding that a slave could not sue for his freedom in federal court.
  • 1857 July 30: Birthday of sociologist / economist Thorstein B. Veblen in Wisconsin; he died in California in 1929.
  • 1857 Aug 24: The failure of the Ohio Life Insurance & Trust Company (due to embezzlement in the New York branch) triggered further events that caused the Bank Panic of 1857, which spread around the world and lasted over two years.

  • 1857 Sept 11: One hundred forty men, women, and children from Northwest Arkansas were slaughtered by local Mormon settlers and their Paiute Indian allies about 40 miles southwest of present-day Cedar City, Utah; the event was covered up at the time, but is now known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
    Burying The Past  "Burying  The  Past:  Legacy  of  The  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre"
    [Patrick Film 2004]

    Historical documentary & re-enactment; produced, written & directed by Brian F. Patrick
    Patrick Film Prodns color DVD [4/2009] for $25.00 via producer
    full credits from IMDbofficial movie website
    Effigy   "Effigy: Mormons, Polygamy, Taxidermy, Love" [2007] by Alissa York
    A fictional account of a Mormon household in Utah, ten years after the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
    Thomas Dunne Books hardcover [9/2008] for $17.13
    Random House Canada hardcover [4/2007] out of print/used
    author's official website
    September Dawn movie  "September Dawn" [indep Aug 2007]
    Fictionalized re-enactment of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, where the Mormon landowner decides to slaughter a wagon train of 'gentiles' because his son is attracted to one of the women. Co-produced, co-written & directed by Christopher Cain; starring Jon Voight, Terence Stamp, Trent Ford, Jon Gries, Lolita Davidovich, Taylor Handley, Daniel Libman, Tamara Hope, Barbara Gates Wilson, Huntley Ritter & Dean Cain
    Sony widescreen color DVD [1/2008] for $19.94
    full credits from IMDbofficial movie site

  • 1857 Dec 3: Birthday of author Joseph Conrad in Berdychiv, Ukraine; he died in 1924 in England.

  • 1858: Founding of the U.S. branch of the Young Women's Christian Assn. in New York City.
  • 1858 April 6: President Buchanan declared Mormons in the Utah Territory rebels against the U.S. government.
  • 1858 May 11: Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state.
  • 1858 Aug 15: Birthday of author Edith Nesbit in London, U.K; she is most famous for the 1906 novel "The Railway Children" and died in 1924.
  • 1858 Aug 16: Transmission of a telegram from Britain's Queen Victoria to U.S. President James Buchanan over the recently-completed trans-Atlantic cable.
  • 1858 Aug 21: First of seven debates between Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1858 Oct 18: United States took formal possession of the Department of Alaska from Tsarist Russia; the remote region was dubbed "Seward's Folly" after expansionist U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward who negotiated the Alaska Purchase that gained 586,412 square miles of new United States territory for $7.2 million (about 1.9¢ per acre).
  • 1858 Oct 27: Birthday of Theodore Roosevelt in New York City; he served as Governor of New York [1899-1900], U.S. Vice President [1901] & U.S. President [1901-09], and died in 1919.
  • 1858 Oct 28: Dry goods retailer Rowland H. Macy opened his first store in New York City, at Sixth Avenue & 14th Street in Manhattan.
  • 1858 Nov 22: Founding of Denver City, then in Kansas Territory, nowadays the capitol of Colorado State.
  • 1858 Nov 30: Patent 22,186 issued to tinsmith John Landis Mason for metal screw-on lids for glass fruit jars; the distinctive rubber ring of the 'Mason jar' was added later.

  • 1859: The Great American Tea Company opened its first store; the name was changed to Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company in 1870; in 1912, the company began expanding into the A&P Economy Stores, America's first grocery chain.
  • 1859 Feb 14: Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.
  • 1859 March 1: Birthday of author / activist Charles Fletcher Lummis in Lynn, Massachusetts; he died in 1928 in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1859 May 22: Birthday of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of detective Sherlock Holmes; he died in 1930 at age 71.
  • 1859 May 24: The Brooklyn Bridge opened in New York City, allowing direct carriage & pedestrian traffic between Manhattan & Brooklyn.
  • 1859 Aug 27: Col. Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful U.S. oil well, near Titusville, Pennsylvania.
  • 1859 Sept 17: Joshua Abraham Norton [1818-80] declared himself Emperor of The United States; he reigned in San Francisco for twenty years.
  • 1859 Oct 16: Kansas abolitionist John Brown and 21 men captured the Armory at Harpers Ferry, {West} Virginia.
  • 1859 Oct 16: The insurrectionists led by John Brown were overtaken by U.S. Marines led by Lt.Col. Robert E. Lee & Lt. J.E.B. Stuart. Brown's men had killed six civilians and wounded nine; five of Brown's men escaped and ten were killed, including two of Brown's sons.
  • 1859 Oct 20: Birthday of pragmatist & educator John Dewey in Burlington, Vermont; he died at age 92 in 1952.
  • 1859 Nov 20: Birthday of outlaw William Bonney aka 'Billy the Kid' in New York City; he died in Fort Sumner, New Mexico in 1881 at age 21.
  • 1859 Nov 24: Publication of "On The Origin of Species" in London, U.K. by British naturalist Charles Darwin [1809-82].
  • 1859 Dec 2: Execution by hanging of abolitionist John Brown for his October raid at Harpers Ferry, along with six followers.



Civil  War  Era

War Film Festival - Civil War Movies

  • 1860 Jan 10: The Pemberton Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts collapsed and caught fire, killing up to 145 workers, mostly female immigrants from Scotland and Ireland.
  • 1860 April 3: Launch of the Pony Express mail service, with simultaneous first runs from St. Joseph, Missouri westward and from Sacramento, California eastward.
  • 1860 Aug 11: America's first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nevada,
  • 1860 Oct 31: Birthday of Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia; the founder of the Girls Scouts of the USA (in 1912) died in 1927.
  • 1860 Dec 20: South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, largely in reaction to Abraham Lincoln's election as President, and his statement that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free."
  • 1860 Dec 30: The state militia of secessionist South Carolina seized the Federal Arsenal in Charleston.

  • 1861 Jan 3: Prior to Georgia's secession, Gov. Joseph E. Brown ordered the state militia to seize Fort Pulaski.
  • 1861 Jan 9: Mississippi seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 Jan 9: The merchant vessel Star of The West attempted to deliver reinforcements and supplies to Fort Sumter in South Carolina, but retreated because of artillery fire from shore.
  • 1861 Jan 10: Florida seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 Jan 11: Alabama seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 Jan 19: Georgia seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 Jan 21: Jefferson Davis and four other Southerners resigned from the U.S. Senate.
  • 1861 Jan 26: Louisiana seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 Jan 28: Formation of the American Miners' Association at a convention in St. Louis, Missouri; the union broke apart circa 1868.
  • 1861 Jan 29: Kansas was admitted to the Union as the 34th state.
  • 1861 Feb 1: Texas voted to secede from the Union.
  • 1861 Feb 4: Delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, Alabama to form the Confederate States of America.
  • 1861 Feb 8: The Montgomery convention announced the establishment of the Confederate States of America and declared itself the provisional Congress.
  • 1861 Feb 9: Jefferson Davis was elected President of the C.S.A., with Alexander Stephens as his Vice President.
  • 1861 Feb 11: President-elect Lincoln departed Springfield, Illinois for Washington, DC.
  • 1861 Feb 18: Jefferson Davis & Alexander Stephens were sworn into office in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • 1861 Feb 28: Creation of the Territory of Colorado.
  • 1861 March 2: Creation of the Dakota Territory, which included present-day North & South Dakota and parts of present-day Wyoming and Montana.
  • 1861 March 4: Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as America's 16th President.
  • 1861 March 4: The Confederate States of America adopted the original 'Stars and Bars' flag, later revised.
  • 1861 March 11: The Confederate convention in Montgomery, Alabama adopted a constitution.
  • 1861 April 12: U.S. Civil War began when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
  • 1861 April 15: President Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops.
  • 1861 April 17: The Virginia State Convention voted to secede from the Union.
  • 1861 April 20: Col. Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. Army; he eventually became general-in-chief of the Confederacy's forces.
  • 1861 April 29: Maryland's House of Delegates voted 53-13 against secession from the Union.
  • 1861 May 6: Arkansas seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 May 20: The capital of the Confederacy moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1861 June 8: Tennessee seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 June 10: Confederate troops routed Union forces at the Battle of Big Bethel in Virginia.
  • 1861 July 18: Short skirmish near Manassas, Virginia prior to the Battle of Bull Run.
  • 1861 July 20: Congress of the Confederate States convened in Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1861 July 21: The First Battle of Bull Run was fought near Manassas, Virginia; won by Confederate forces, including a brigade of Virginians led by then-Colonel Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson; about 4,900 men were killed, wounded, or captured.
  • 1861 July 27: Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of The Potomac.
  • 1861 Aug 16: President Lincoln issued Proclamation 86, prohibiting states of the Union from engaging in commerce with states that were in rebellion.
  • 1861 Aug 30: Union Gen. John C. Fremont instituted martial law in Missouri and declared all slaves in the state to be free; President Lincoln countermanded the emancipation order.
  • 1861 Sept 6: Union forces under Gen. Grant occupied Padukah, Kentucky.
  • 1861 Sept 14: First naval engagement of the Civil War, off Pensacola, Florida: the USS Colorado attacked and sank the Confederate private schooner Judah.
  • 1861 Oct: The Pony Express mail service ended, due to the launch of the transcontinental telegraph.
  • 1861 Oct 4: Birthday of Western artist Frederic Remington in Canton, New York; he died in 1909 in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
  • 1861 Oct 24: First transcontinental telegraph message sent, from California to President Lincoln in Washington, DC.
  • 1861 Nov 1: President Lincoln named MajGen George B. McClellan to be General-in-Chief of the Union armies, replacing LtGen Winfield Scott.
  • 1861 Nov 6: Running unopposed, Davis & Stevens were re-elected to head the Confederacy.
  • 1861 Nov 7: Virginia-born former U.S. President John Tyler was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives; however, he died on November 18 before taking office.
  • 1861 Nov 28: The Confederate Congress admitted Missouri as the twelfth state in the Confederacy (a secessionist government had formed in Neosho, Missouri in opposition to the re-formed pro-Union provisional government in Jefferson City).
  • 1861 Dec 10: The Confederate Congress admitted Kentucky as the 23th state in the Confederacy (a secessionist government had formed in opposition to the pro-Union government in Frankfort).

  • 1862 Jan 24: Birthday of Pulitzer-winner Edith Wharton in New York City; she died in 1937 at home in France.
  • 1862 Feb 22: Jefferson Davis was formally re-inaugurated to a 6-year term as President of the Confederate States of America, as was Vice President Andrew Stevens.
  • 1862 March 26-28: The Battle of Glorieta Pass in northeast New Mexico Territory; Union forces included men & cannons of the Colorado Infantry, U.S. Infantry, U.S. Cavalry, and New Mexico militia, who whipped the smaller Confederate forces; the defeated Texas Mounted Rifles units fled south and back to Texas.
    Confederate Invasion of New Mexico book by Robert C. Jones  
    "The Confederate Invasion of New Mexico" [2013]
    by Robert C. Jones

    Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [5/2013] for $7.99
    CreateSpace 8½x5½ pb [4/2013] for $13.46

  • 1862 April 12: A party of 22 Yankees stole W&A Railroad locomotive "The General" at Kennesaw, Georgia and drove it northward, cutting telegraph wires, ripping up track, and attempting to burn bridges. Led by civilian scout James J. Andrews, the Andrews Raid ended 18 miles short of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Yankees were all captured within two weeks; eight men were court-martialed and hung, eight men escaped, and six were exchanged for Confederate prisoners-of-war.
  • 1862 April 25: A Union naval fleet commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut captured the City of New Orleans.
  • 1862 June 1: Confederate General Robert E. Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
  • 1862 June 19: Congress passed and President Lincoln signed a measure that outlawed slavery in all U.S. territories.
  • 1862 July 1: President Lincoln signed the first Pacific Railroad Act providing aid to builders of a telegraph line and a transcontinental railroad between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast.
  • 1862 July 12: Congress passed and President Lincoln signed a bill authorizing the U.S. Medal of Honor.
  • 1862 July 17: Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act declaring that all slaves taking refuge behind Union lines are to be set free.
  • 1862 Aug 17: Beginning of the Dakota Conflict of 1862; as many as 800 white squatters inside the Dakota reservations in Minnesota were killed; the U.S. Army captured over 1,000 Sioux/Dakota warriors. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hung in Mankato, Minnesota - the largest one-day execution in American history. (The reservations in Minnesota were abolished, and the tribal members expelled to Nebraska and South Dakota.)
  • 1862 Aug 28-30: Confederate forces led by Gen. Robert E. Lee defeated Union forces led by Maj. Gen. John Pope at the Second Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia.
  • 1862 Aug 30: Confederate forces beat the Yankee Army at the Battle of Richmond in Kentucky.
  • 1862 Sept 4: Confederate forces under Gen. Robert E. Lee invaded Maryland.
  • 1862 Sept 11: Birthday of author William Sydney Porter in Greensboro, North Carolina; he used the pen name O. Henry and is famous for creating "The Gift of The Magi" [1906] and The Cisco Kid; he died in 1910.
  • 1862 Sept 17: Battle at Antietam in Maryland: 3,600 men killed, many more wounded, captured or missing; the result was a draw, but effectively halted the Confederate force's advance into Maryland.
  • 1862 Sept 22: King William I of Prussia met with Otto von Bismarck, whom he decided to appoint minister president (Prussia's premier).
  • 1862 Sept 27: Formation in Union-controlled New Orleans of the U.S. Army's first all-black regiment, the self-described 'Chasseurs de Afrique (Hunters of Africa)'.
  • 1862 Nov 4: Inventor Richard J. Gatling received a patent for his rapid-fire gun.
  • 1862 Dec 13: Union forces suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg in Maryland.

  • 1863 Jan 1: President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves in rebel states to be 'forever free'.
  • 1863 Jan 8: California Governor Leland Stanford broke ground in Sacramento for the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad {which joined to the eastern portion in Utah in May 1869}.
  • 1863 April 20: President Lincoln signed a proclamation admitting the state of West Virginia to the Union, effective on June 30th.
  • 1863 April 29: Birthday of media mogul William Randolph Hearst in San Francisco, California; he died at age 88 in Beverly Hills, California in August 1951.
  • 1863 May 2: Confederate Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own troops in battle at Chancellorsville, Virginia; he died eight days later.
  • 1863 June 20: West Virginia split from Confederate Virginia and was admitted to the Union as the 35th state.
  • 1863 July 1: Beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, a Union victory (at the cost of roughly 23,000 killed or wounded or captured on each side).
  • 1863 July 4: The Union Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi ended as the Confederate garrison surrendered.
  • 1863 July 13: Rioting erupted in New York City against the military draft; the disturbance lasted three days and is considered the largest civil insurrection in American history; a minimum of 120 people were killed, including 11 Afro-Americans that were lynched, plus a minimum of 2,000 people were injured.
  • 1863 Oct 3: President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November a National Day of Thanksgiving.
  • 1863 Oct 6: Opening of the world's first 'Turkish' bath, in Brooklyn, New York.
  • 1863 Nov 19: President Lincoln delivered a short address at the dedication of the new Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania.

  • 1864 March 19: Birthday of Western artist Charles M. Russell; he died in 1926.
  • 1864 April 22: Congress authorized use of the phrase 'In God We Trust' on U.S. coinage.
  • 1864 May 28: Creation of the Montana Territory.
  • 1864 June 10: The Confederate Congress authorized military service for men between the ages of 17 and 70.
  • 1864 Aug 5: Union Adm. David G. Farragut led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay in Alabama.
  • 1864 Sept 2: Union Gen. Wm. T. Sherman's forces occupied Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 1864 Oct 19: Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Virginia and were defeated.
  • 1864 Oct 23: Union Army forces led by Gen. Samuel R. Curtis repelled Confederate Army forces led by Gen. Sterling Price at the Battle of Westport in Missouri.
  • 1864 Oct 31: Nevada was admitted to the Union as the 36th state.
  • 1864 Nov 29: Colorado militia killed at least 150 peaceful Cheyenne at the Sand Creek Massacre.
  • 1864 Dec 6: Birthday of silent movie cowboy star William S. Hart in Newburgh, New York; he died in Newhall, California in 1946.
  • 1864 Dec 20: Confederate forces evacuated Savannah, Georgia as Yankee Gen. Wm. T. Sherman continued his 'March To The Sea'.

  • 1865: Plywood was introduced to the United States from France; domestic manufacturing soon followed.
  • 1865 Jan 31: Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
  • 1865 Jan 31: Congress passed the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery, sending it to the states for ratification.
  • 1865 Feb 10: Birthday of New Mexico lawman Elfego Baca in Socorro, New Mexico; he died in 1945.
  • 1865 March 20: Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" became the first novel in history to sell a million copies.
  • 1865 April 3: Union forces under Grant & Meade occupied the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1865 April 9: U.S. Civil War ended as Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
  • 1865 April 14th: Actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC; Lincoln died early next day.
  • 1865 April 26: Union soldiers killed Booth at a farm near Port Royal, Virginia.
  • 1865 May 10: Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Georgia.
  • 1865 Nov 17: Publication of Mark Twain's short story "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" in the New York Saturday Press; the tale is often titled "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".
  • 1865 Dec 18: The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was declared to be in effect.
  • 1865 Dec 24: Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed an private social club in Pulaski, Tennessee and named it the Ku Klux Klan; prosecution for hate crimes forced the widespread informal group out of existence by 1874.
  • 1865 Dec 30: Birthday of British author Rudyard Kipling in Mumbai, British India; he died in London, U.K. at age 70 in 1936.

  • 1866: Vernor's Ginger Ale soft drink invented by pharmacist James Vernor in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1866 April 10: Founding of the A.S.P.C.A. - American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  • 1866 May 16: Congress enacted the creation of a copper-nickel alloy 5-cent piece to replace the smaller silver-copper 'half-dime' 5-cent coin (which was terminated in 1873).
  • 1866 July 27: Completion of the second - and first successful - underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe by Cyrus W. Field.
  • 1866 Aug 20: President Johnson formally declared the Civil War to be over.
  • 1866 Dec 21: The Fetterman Massacre of U.S. Cavalry troops near Fort Phil Kearny; around 80 soldiers were killed, and most were mutilated; Native Americans call the event The Battle of 100 Slain.



Reconstruction  Era

  • 1867 Feb 7: Birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder [1867-1957] in Pepin County, Wisconsin; she wrote the beloved Little House On The Prairie' books and died in 1957 at age 90.
  • 1867 March 1: Nebraska was admitted to the Union as the 37th state.
  • 1867 March 29: Britain's Parliament created the Dominion of Canada by passing the North America Act.
  • 1867 March 30: U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million.
  • 1867 June 8: Birthday of visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Richland Center, Wisconsin; he died in 1959.
  • 1867 July 1: Canada became a self-governing dominion as Britain's North America Act took effect; since celebrated as Canada Day national holiday.
  • 1867 Aug 12: President Andrew Johnson suspended Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, sparking a move in Congress to impeach Johnson.
  • 1867 Oct 18: United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.

  • 1868: Founding of McIlhenny Company, producer of Tabasco® brand products, at Avery Island, Louisiana.
  • 1868 Feb 23: Birthday of Afro-American activist W.E.B. Dubois in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; he died in Ghana, Africa in 1963 at age 95.
  • 1868 Feb 24: The House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson for attempting to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
  • 1868 May 16: The impeachment trial of President Johnson ended with acquittal by the Senate on all charges.
  • 1868 May 28: Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton resigned his office.
  • 1868 July 25: Congress created the Territory of Wyoming.
  • 1868 July 28: 14th Amendment, guaranteeing due process of law, was declared to be in effect.
  • 1868 Sept 3: The Japanese capitol city of Edo was renamed Tokyo.
  • 1868 Dec 25: President Andrew Johnson granted a universal and unconditional 'full pardon and amnesty' to all participants in the Southern rebellion {the U.S. Civil War}.

  • 1869
    • Founding of Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Co. in Camden, New Jersey; renamed Campbell's Soup Company in 1922.
    • Founding of the Illinois candy company that invented natural-flavor Jelly Belly Candy in 1976.
    • Cornelius Swarthout patented the first U.S. waffle iron.
  • 1869 Jan 19: Birthday of Western author Eugene Manlove Rhodes in Tecumseh, Nebraska; he died at age 65 in Pacific Beach, California in 1934.
  • 1869 Feb 4: Birthday of 'William Dudley 'Big Bill' Haywood in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory; he co-founded the I.W.W. and other labor organizations, served time in prison, and exiled himself in 1921 to Russia, where he died in 1928.
  • 1869 April: George Westinghouse, Jr. [1846-1914] received his first patent for a 'fail-safe' air brake system for use on railroad cars.
  • 1869 May 10: Completion of the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad noted with a ceremonial 'Golden Spike' driven at Promentory Point, Utah.

    American Experience Iron Road video from PBS   "American Experience: The Iron Road" [P.B.S./WGBH Nov 1991]
    The building of the railroad between Sacramento, California and Omaha, Nebraska from 1862 to 1869, a feat of engineering and backbreaking labor that opened up the riches of the West and turned America's dream of manifest destiny into a reality. Produced & directed by Neil Goodwin; narrated by Lief Ancker; DVD/Blu-ray not available
    PBS Home Video color VHS [3/2000] out of prodn/used
    WGBH Home Video color VHS [1992] out of prodn/used
    full credits at IMDbP.B.S. official movie site
    Modern Marvels Transcontinental Railroad video from History Channel  "Modern Marvels: Transcontinental Railroad" [History Channel Jan 1995]
    The transcontinental railroad project was unprecedented in both size and scope, from the time the first spike was driven into the ground to the modern rail transportation system as we know it today. Narrated by Harlan Saperstein
    A&E Home Video color DVD [12/2006] for $22.49
    full credits at IMDb
    American Experience Transcontinental Railroad video from PBS   "American Experience: Transcontinental Railroad" [P.B.S. Jan 2003]
    A fascinating look at one of the most spectacular engineering feats of the XIXth Century, as legions of tireless workers toiled for six years to realize the vision of imaginative engineers and shady entrepreneurs. Co-produced, written & co-directed by Mark Zwonitzer: co-directed by Michael Chin; narrated by Michael Murphy
    PBS Home Video color DVD [6/2006] for $22.49
    PBS Home Video color VHS [2/2003] out of prodn/used
    full credits at IMDbPBS official movie site

  • 1869 Sept 24: Wall Street's 'Black Friday' panic after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market.
  • 1869 Oct 2: Birthday of peace activist Mahatma Gandhi in Porbandar, Gujarat, India; he was assassinated in 1948.
  • 1869 Nov 17: Opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt.
  • 1869 Dec 10: Women gained the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory.

  • 1870 Jan 10: Formation of Standard Oil Corporation in Ohio by John D. Rockefeller [1839-1937] and partners Henry M. Flagler [1830-1913], Stephen V. Harkness [1818-88], Oliver Burr Jennings [1825-93], William Rockefeller [1841-1922], and Henry H. Rogers [1840-1909].
  • 1870 Jan 26: Virginia was readmitted to the Union.
  • 1870 Feb 12: Women gained the right to vote in the Utah Territory.
  • 1870 Feb 23: Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
  • 1870 March 30: 18th Amendment, giving black men the right to vote, declared to be in effect.
  • 1870 March 30: Texas was readmitted to the Union.
  • 1870 April 13: Founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (which opened in 1872).
  • 1870 Feb 9: Congress established the U.S. Weather Bureau.
  • 1870 June 22: Congress established the Department of Justice.
  • 1870 June 26: First section of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey was opened to the public.
  • 1870 July 15: Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.
  • 1870 Nov 1: First official meteorological observations by the U.S. Weather Bureau.
  • 1870 Dec 12: Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina was sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first black U.S. Congressman.

  • 1871 Jan 18: Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia was proclaimed Emperor of Germany in Versailles, France.
  • 1871 Oct 8: Beginning of the Great Chicago Fire, which lasted three days; cause was never determined (the 'Mrs. O'Leary's cow' myth was concocted by a newspaper reporter); an estimated 200-300 people died, and at least 100,000 were left homeless.
  • 1871 Oct 9: Completion of the Grand Central Depot in New York City.
  • 1871 Nov 10: British-American explorer-reporter Henry Morton Stanley located Scottish missionary & explorer David Livingston near Lake Tanganyika in central Africa; the latter had not been heard from for six years.

  • 1872 Jan 31: Birthday of Western author Zane Grey in Zanesville, Ohio; he died in 1939 in Altadena, California.
  • 1872 Feb 20: Opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (founded in April 1870).
  • 1872 March 1: Congress passed and President Grant signed a law creating Yellowstone National Park, the world's first.
  • 1872 April 5: George Westinghouse, Jr. [1846-1914] received a patent for an improved air brake system for use on railroad cars (not made mandatory until 1893).
  • 1872 May 18: Birthday of philosopher Bertrand Russell in Monmouthshire, Wales; he died in 1970.
  • 1872 Nov 9: The Great Boston Fire destroyed 776 buildings over 65 downtown acres; at least 30 people died in the fire.
  • 1872 Dec 11: Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback took office as Acting Governor of Louisiana, becoming America's first Afro-American governor.

  • 1873: U.S. coinage of the silver-copper alloy 'half-dime' 5-cent piece was halted (already replaced by the larger 1866 copper-nickel 5-cent piece).
  • 1873 March 3: Passage of the Comstock Act – named for moralist U.S. Postal Inspector Anthony Comstock [1844-1915] – that made sending 'obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious' materials through the mail a federal offense. Unfortunately, the intention and usage of the Act was to prevent delivery of suffragist & contraceptive information (and materials); these laws are mostly still in effect, though the definition of obscenity was greatly modified in 1965.
  • 1873 May 20: Wholesaler Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis received a patent for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets of denim work pants.
  • 1873 July 1: Birthday of cinema pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché in Paris, France; she ran the Solax Studios in New Jersey from 1910-1920; she died in 1968.
  • 1873 Sept 20: The financial 'Panic of 1873' swept the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of railroad bond defaults and bank failures, triggering the worldwide Long Depression that lasted 65 months (until March 1879).

  • 1874: Invention of the ice cream soda in Philadelphia.
  • 1874 Feb 3: Birthday of author-feminist Gertrude Stein in Allegheny, PA; she died in 1946 in Paris, France.
  • 1874 March 26: Birthday of poet Robert Frost in San Francisco, California; he died at age 88 in Boston Massachusetts in 1963.
  • 1874 Nov 30: Birthday of British statesman Sir Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, U.K.; he died in London in 1965 at age 90.



Robber  Baron  Era

  • 1875 Jan 22: Birthday of cinema pioneer D.W. Griffith; he died in 1948.
  • 1875 Jan 24: Birthday of painter Maynard Dixon in Fresno, California; he died in 1946.
  • 1875 Jan 26: Dr. Green received a patent for the first electric dental drill.
  • 1875 May 17: Running of the first Kentucky Derby horserace in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • 1875 Sept 1: Birthday of author Edgar Rice Burroughs in Chicago, Illinois; the creator of Tarzan died in 1950.
  • 1875 Dec 4: William Marcy 'Boss' Tweed, head of New York City's corrupt Tammany Hall political organization, escaped from jail and fled the country.

  • 1876
    • Founding of Adams Sons & Co., makers of chicle-based chewing gum; added licorice flavoring in 1884, introduced Adams' Black Jack Gum, the first flavored gum in America.
    • Founding of Chase Candy Co., which in 1918 created the Cherry Mash® candy bar.
    • Melville Bissell of Grand Rapids, Michigan invented the carpet sweeper; patent received & company founded same year.
    • Hires Root Beer soft drink introduced by pharmacist Charles Hires in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1876 Feb 2: Founding of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs in New York.
  • 1876 March 7: Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.
  • 1876 March 10: First voice transmission by telephone, as Alexander Graham Bell's lab assistant heard him say "Mr. Watson, come here."
  • 1876 June: Publication of Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer".
  • 1876 June 25: Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana Territory: Sioux & Cheyenne warriors wiped out LtCol George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry troops.
  • 1876 Aug 1: Colorado was admitted to the Union as the 38th state.
  • 1876 Aug 2: Frontiersman 'Wild Bill' Hickok was shot and killed from behind while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory; Hickock's poker hand of all-black aces and eights has entered Western lore as the 'dead man's hand'.
  • 1876 Aug 8: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison received a patent for his mimeograph duplicator.

  • 1877 Feb 2: Birthday of Canadian author Frank L. Packard in Montreal, Quebec; he died in 1942 at age 65.
  • 1877 Nov 21: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison announced his invention of the phonograph.

  • 1878: The first telephone directory was published in New Haven, Connecticut; it contained 50 names.
  • 1878 Jan 11: The start of milk delivery in sterilized glass bottles, celebrated each year as National Milk Day.
  • 1878 Jan 28: The first commercial telephone switchboard began operation in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1878 Feb 19: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison received a patent for his phonograph.
  • 1878 June: Photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge [1830-1904] took a series of still photographs of the horse Sallie Gardner running at a gallop past a dozen cameras, which are considered the direct predecessor to motion pictures. { watch video of those 1878 still photographs }
  • 1878 Aug: A second yellow fever epidemic (after 1873) panicked the citizens of Memphis, Tennessee; about 18,000 people died, and so many fled the area that the city lost its charter until recovery in 1893.
    Fever Season / Terrifying Epidemic book by Jeanette Keith  
    "Fever Season: The Story of A Terrifying Epidemic and The
    People Who Saved A City" [2012] by Jeanette Keith

    Kindle Edition from Bloomsbury Press [10/2012] for $13.19
    Bloomsbury Press 9¼x6¼ hardcover [10/2012] for $19.14
  • 1878 Aug 21: The American Bar Assn. was founded in Saratoga, New York.
  • 1878 Sept 20: Birthday of muckraker Upton Sinclair in Baltimore, Maryland; he died in 1968.

  • 1879: F.W. Woolworth opened his first store in Lancaster City, Pennsylvania; the chain folded in 1997.
    Remembering Woolworth's  "Remembering Woolworth's: A Nostalgic History of The World's Most Famous Five-and-Dime" [1999] by Karen Plunkett-Powell
    St. Martin's Griffin 9x7 pb [7/2001] out of print/used
    St. Martin 9¼x7¼ hardcover [12/99] out of print/used
  • 1879 March: End of the worldwide Long Depression that lasted 65 months (triggered by the New York Stock Exchange Panic of September 1873).
  • 1879 March 14: Birthday of physicist Albert Einstein in Ulm, Germany; he died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1955.
  • 1879 May 5: U.S. Supreme Court decided Reynolds vs. U.S., finding that religious beliefs, such as polygamy, are not a defense in criminal prosecutions.
  • 1879 July 20: The first Uncle Remus plantation fable was published in the Atlanta Constitution newspaper; the first 34 stories by Joel Chandler Harris [1848-1908] were published in book form in 1880.
  • 1879 Sept 19: Birthday of author Louis Joseph Vance in New York City; he died there mysteriously in 1933.
  • 1879 Oct 21: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
    Light's Diamond Jubilee TV special from 1954  "Light's Diamond Jubilee" [4-network simulcast Oct 1954]
    2-hour simulcast on the four U.S. networks: ABC, CBS, NBC & Dumont; credited directors include Christian Nyby, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, William A. Wellman & Bud Yorkin; credited writers include G.K. Chesterton, Ben Hecht, producer David O. Selznick, Irwin Shaw, Max Shulman, John Steinbeck, and Mark Twain; featuring Judith Anderson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Benchley, Walter Brennan, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Dandridge, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Gobel, Helen Hayes, Guy Madison, Harry Morgan, David Niven, Kim Novak, Erin O'Brien-Moore, Debbie Reynolds
    DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDb
    partial videos at YouTube: Part 1 [5:20]Part 2 [12:25]

  • 1879 Nov 4: Birthday of American humorist Will Rogers in Oologah, Indian Territory (Oklahoma); he died at age 55 in a plane crash in Point Barrow, Alaska Territory in 1935.
  • 1879 Nov 4: Brothers James & John Ritty of Dayton, Ohio received a patent for the first cash register machine.
  • 1879 Dec 20: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison privately demonstrated the incandescent electric light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
  • 1879 Dec 31: First public demonstration of Edison's incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey.

  • 1880: Samuel Bath Thomas purchased a bakery in Manhattan and featured Thomas' English muffins (which were unknown in England).
  • 1880 Jan 6: Birthday of silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix in Mix Run, Pennsylvania; he died in Florence, Arizona in 1940.
  • 1880 Jan 17: Birthday of silent-era studio head Michael 'Mack' Sennett in Danville, Quebec, Canada; he died at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California in 1960.
  • 1880 Jan 27: Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
  • 1880 Jan 29: Birthday of vaudeville & movie comedian W.C. Fields in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; he died in Pasadena, California in 1946.
  • 1880 March 26: Birthday of travel writer Duncan Hines [1880-1959] in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
  • 1880 Sept 12: Birthday of author / curmudgeon H.L. Mencken in Baltimore, Maryland; he died there in 1956.
  • 1880 Oct 4: Birthday of sportswriter & author Damon Runyon in Manhattan, Kansas; he died in 1946 in New York City at age 66.
  • 1880 Oct 15: Birthday of mystery author Arthur B. Reeve in Patchogue, Long Island, New York; he wrote the Prof. Craig Kennedy mystery novels & stories and died in 1935.
  • 1880 Oct 27: Theodore Roosevelt married his first wife, Alice Lee.
  • 1880 Nov 12: Harper & Brothers, New York published the novel "Ben-Hur" by Gen. Lew Wallace [1827-1905].

  • 1881 Feb 19: Kansas prohibited the manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages within the state.
  • 1881 March 8: Silver spike ceremony in Deming, New Mexico joining the Second Transcontinental Railroad (Southern Pacific from the west, AT&SF from the east).
  • 1881 March 28: Formation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus by the merger of P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show On Earth with the Cooper & Bailey Circus; later purchased by the Ringling Brothers (1907), and finally merged as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1919.
  • 1881 May 21: Clara Barton [1821-1912] founded the American Red Cross.
  • 1881 July 2: Charles J. Guiteau shot President James A. Garfield at the Washington, DC railroad station; Garfield died the following September.
  • 1881 July 8: Druggist Edward Berners of Two Rivers, Wisconsin served the first 'ice cream sundae', putting ice cream in a dish and pouring flavoring syrup for soda water (not allowed on Sundays) on top.
  • 1881 Sept 19: President Garfield died of his wounds, 2½ months after being shot by an assassin; Vice President Chester A. Arthur became President.
  • 1881 Oct 26: 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral' took place in Tombstone, Arizona; Ike Clanton's gang fought against U.S. Deputy Marshal Virgil Earp, his deputized brothers Wyatt & Morgan, and dentist 'Doc' Holliday; three Clantons were killed and Doc, Virgil & Morgan were wounded.
  • 1881 Dec 31: Mayor James R. Toberman switched on new electric street lighting in Los Angeles, California.

  • 1882 Jan 18: Birthday of A.A. Milne [1882-1956] in Kilburn, London, England; he created "Winnie The Pooh" as stories for his son.
  • 1882 March 22: Congress passed a law outlawing polygamy, which was signed by President Arthur.
  • 1882 April 3: Outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back of the head by gangmember Robert Ford in St. Joseph, Missouri.
  • 1882 July 22: Birthday of painter Edward Hopper in Upper Nyack, New York; he died in 1967.
  • 1882 Sept 5: The first Labor Day Parade, in New York City.
  • 1882 Sept-Dec: Railroad hireling Roscoe Conklin gave purjured testimony during the San Mateo County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case.
  • 1882 Nov 6: Birthday of silent era studio head Thomas H. Ince in Newport, Rhode Island; he died mysteriously in 1924 in Beverly Hills, California.

  • 1883
    • Oscar Mayer opened a butcher shop in Chicago with his brother; company acquired by General Foods in 1981.
    • Legend has it that when a printer in Cheyenne, Wyoming ran out of white paper for the local telephone directory, he used yellow paper and thus invented the Yellow Pages.
    • The original Edco electric fan went on the market.
  • 1883 Jan 16: The U.S. Civil Service Commission was created by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.
  • 1883 Feb 2: Birthday of pulp author Johnston McCulley in Ottawa, Illinois; the creator of caped crusader
    El Zorro (in 1919) died in Los Angeles, California in 1958.
  • 1883 Feb 3: Birthday of author Clarence E. Mulford [1883-1956] in Streator, Illinois; the creator of Western hero Hopalong Cassidy died in Maine in 1956.
  • 1883 Jan 16: The U.S. Civil Service Commission was established.
  • 1883 May 23: Birthday of silent movie star Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. in Denver, Colorado; he died in Santa Monica, California in 1939.
  • 1883 May 24: New York's Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan Island, opened to traffic.
  • 1883 June 5: Birthday of economist John Maynard Keynes in Cambridge, England; he died in 1946.
  • 1883 Aug 26-27: The island volcano Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia) began eruptions and then exploded the next day, killing as many as 36,000 people. The noise of the event was heard 3,000 miles away, and ash and smoke circled the globe, some say for several years.
  • 1883 Sept 8: The third major transcontinental railroad, the Northern Pacific Railway, was completed; the ceremonial gold spike was driven at Gold Creek, Montana Territory.
  • 1883 Nov 18: The General Time Convention, a system of standard time zones, went into effect in the U.S. & Canada replacing local time settings.

  • 1884: Creation of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat by 17-year-old John A. 'Bud' Hillerich, whose father owned a woodworking shop.
  • 1884 Jan 2: Birthday of pioneer filmmaker Oscar Micheaux in Metropolis, Illinois; he died in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1951.
  • 1884 March 13: Standard Time went into effect across the United States.
  • 1884 May 8: Birthday of Harry S. Truman in Lamar, Missouri; he served as U.S. Vice President [1945] and U.S. President [1945-53], and died in 1972 in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • 1884 June 5: Civil War leader Gen. William T. Sherman refused the Republican nomination for President with the classic statement, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."
  • 1884 June 15: Birthday of silent movie comedy star Harry Langdon in Council Bluffs, Iowa; he died in Los Angeles, California in 1944.
  • 1884 Dec: Publication in U.K. of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" novel by American author Mark Twain [1835-1910]; U.S. publication February 1885.
  • 1884 Dec 6: Army engineers completed the Washington Monument obelisk by placing an aluminum capstone at its peak.

  • 1885: Charles Alderton of Waco, Texas invented the Dr. Pepper™ soft drink; the Dr. Pepper Museum opened in 1991.
  • 1885 Feb 7: Birthday of author Sinclair Lewis in Sauk Centre, Minnesota; he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Novel in 1926 (but refused it) and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930; he died in Rome, Italy in 1951 at age 65.
  • 1885 Feb 18: U.S. Publication of Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".
  • 1885 Feb 21: Dedication of the Washington Monument cenotaph.
  • 1885 March 26: Eastman Dry Plate & Film Company of Rochester, New York manufactured the first commercial motion picture film.
  • 1885 June: Arrival of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor from France, aboard the sailing ship Isere.
  • 1885 July 29: Birthday of silent movie actress Theda Bara in Cincinnati, Ohio; she quit acting in 1926 and died in 1955 in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1885 Sep 22: Birthday of Erich von Stroheim in Vienna, Austria-Hungary; the director of "Greed" [1924] died in 1957 near Paris, France.
  • 1885 Nov 7: Canada's transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway was completed at a 'last spike' ceremony at Craigellachie, British Columbia.

  • 1886: Opening of the first golf course in the U.S. by John Hamilton Gillespie in Sarasota, Florida.
  • 1886 Feb 9: Milton Hershey founded a candy company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • 1886 May 4: 'The Haymarket Massacre' of labor strikers in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 1886 May 8: Pharmacist John Styth Pemberton of Atlanta, Georgia invented the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola® soft drink.
  • 1886 May 10: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in "Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company" that corporations are 'persons' having the same rights as human beings, based on the 14th Amendment (which was intended to protect the rights of former slaves). [story]
  • 1886 Sept 4: Apache leader Geronimo and his followers surrendered to Gen. Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona Territory.
  • 1886 Oct 10: Debut of the tuxedo dinner jacket at the Autumn Ball in Tuxedo Park, New Jersey.
  • 1886 Oct 28: Dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor by President Cleveland.
  • 1886 Nov 18: Birthday of Hollywood screenwriter Frances Marion in San Francisco, California; she died in 1973.
  • 1886 Dec 1: Birthday of mystery author Rex Stout in Noblesville, Indiana; the creator of Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin died in 1975.
  • 1886 Dec 8: The Federation of Organized Trades & Labor Unions was reorganized as the American Federation of Labor, in Columbus, Ohio; Samuel Gompers [1850-1924] was president for over 40 years.
  • 1886 Dec 24: Birthday of movie director Michael Curtiz in Budapest, Austria-Hungary; he died in Hollywood, California in 1962.

  • 1887 Jan 10: Birthday of poet Robinson Jeffers in Allegheny, Pennsylvania; he died alone at Tor House in Carmel, California in 1962.
  • 1887 Jan 20: U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.
  • 1887 March 11: Birthday of movie director Raoul Walsh in New York City; he died in Simi Valley, California in 1980.
  • 1887 March 22: Birthday of Leonard 'Chico' Marx in New York City; the oldest member of 'The Marx Brothers' comedy team died in Hollywood, California in 1961.
  • 1887 March 24: Birthday of silent movie comedy star Roscoe Conkling 'Fatty' Arbuckle in Smith Center, Kansas; he died in New York City in 1933.
  • 1887 Oct 4: The New York Herald newspaper founded its Paris Herald edition in France, which later became the International Herald Tribune, operated since 2003 as the Global Edition of The New York Times.
  • 1887 Nov 15: Birthday of painter Georgia O'Keeffe near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; she died in 1986 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • 1888 June 13: Congress established the Department of Labor.
  • 1888 July 23: Birthday of mystery author Raymond Chandler in Chicago, Illinois; he died in Laguna Beach, California in 1959.
  • 1888 Sept 4: George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film camera and registered his Kodak trademark.
  • 1888 Oct 9: The public was first admitted to the Washington Monument.
  • 1888 Oct 15: Birthday of Willard Huntington Wright, in Charlottesville, Virginia; he wrote the Philo Vance mystery novels under the pseudonym S.S. Van Dine and died in New York City in 1939.
  • 1888 Oct 16: Birthday of playwright Eugene O'Neill in New York City; he died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1953.
  • 1888 Nov 23: Birthday of Arthur Adolph 'Harpo' Marx in New York City; the second member of 'The Marx Brothers' comedy team died in Los Angeles, California in 1964.

  • 1889
    • Founding of McCormick Spice Co. in Baltimore, Maryland.
    • First U.S. pedestrian killed by an automobile, when Arthur Smith ran over Henry Bliss at the corner of 74th Street and Central Park West in New York City.
    • The first coin-operated telephone was installed at a bank in Hartford, CT.
    • First experiments with true motion pictures on film by inventor William K. Dickson at Edison's lab in New Jersey. {Watch "Monkeyshines" clips [1:10] at YouTube.}
  • 1889 Jan 5: First printed mention of the hamburger sandwich, in a Walla Walla, Washington newspaper.
  • 1889 April 15: Birthday of painter & muralist Thomas Hart Benton in Missouri; he died there in 1975.
  • 1889 April 16: Birthday of silent film star Charles Chaplin in London, England; he died in 1977 in Switzerland.
  • 1889 April 20: Birthday of Adolf Hitler in Braunau am Inn, Austria.
  • 1889 July 8: First publication of The Wall Street Journal.
  • 1889 July 17: Birthday of mystery author Erle Stanley Gardner in Malden, Massachusetts; the creator of defense lawyer Perry Mason died at his ranch near Temecula, California in 1970.
  • 1889 Nov 2: North and South Dakota were admitted to the Union as the 39th & 40th states.
  • 1889 Nov 8: Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state.
  • 1889 Nov 11: Washington was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state.
  • 1889 Nov 14: Departure of Nellie Bly, intrepid reporter for the New York World newspaper, inspired by Jules Verne's 1873 novel to travel around the world in less than eighty days; she completed the trip in 72 days.
  • 1889 Nov 15: Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brasil was overthrown and the country declared itself a republic.
  • 1889 Nov 23: The first jukebox made its debut at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, California.

  • 1890
    • George Bayle, Jr. invented peanut butter.
    • Founding of the American Biscuit Co. by Adolphus Green in Chicago; the New York Biscuit Co. was formed by merger of 8 companies; those two and United States Baking Co. merged in 1898 to form the National Biscuit Co.; first used Nabisco trademark in 1901.
    • Kennard Novelty Co. of Baltimore began selling the Ouija Board 'game'.
  • 1890 Jan 1: The first 'Tournament of Roses' Parade was held in Pasadena, California.
  • 1890 Jan 25: Founding of the United Mine Workers of America.
  • 1890 Feb 26: Birthday of silent movie cowboy star Fred Thomson in Pasadena, California; he died in Beverly Hills, California in 1928.
  • 1890 April 16: Birthday of Gertrude Chandler Warner in Putnam, Connecticut; after a career as a schoolteacher, she revived her 1924 children's novel "The Boxcar Children" and wrote 18 more books from 1949 to 1976; she died in Putnam at age 89 in 1979.
  • 1890 April 26: Birthday of comic actor Edgar Kennedy in Monterey County, California; after a career spanning 500 films, he died at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, California in 1948.
  • 1890 July 3: Idaho was admitted to the Union as the 43rd state.
  • 1890 July 10: Wyoming was admitted to the Union as the 44th state.
  • 1890 July 29: Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh died at age 37 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.
  • 1890 Sept 24: President Wilford Woodruff of the Church of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints (Mormons) issued a manifesto renouncing the practice of polygamy; the policy change was formally accepted by the church a month later.
  • 1890 Sept 25: President Benjamin Harrison signed the law establishing Sequoia National Park.
  • 1890 Oct 2: Birthday of Julius Henry 'Groucho' Marx in New York City; the middle member of 'The Marx Brothers' comedy team died in Los Angeles, California in 1977.
  • 1890 Oct 9: Birthday of radio evangalist Aimee Semple McPherson near Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada; she died in Oakland, California in 1944.
  • 1890 Oct 11: Founding of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC.
  • 1890 Dec 5: Birthday of movie director Friedrich Christian Anton 'Fritz' Lang in Vienna, Austria; he died in Beverly Hills, California in 1976.
  • 1890 Dec 15: Sioux leader Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed by Indian Police at Grand River, South Dakota.
  • 1890 Dec 29: 'Wounded Knee Massacre' of 300 Sioux Indians in South Dakota, killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.

  • 1891: William Wrigley, Jr. began selling powdered soap, then baking powder; he added chewing gum packs as an incentive; introduced first Wrigley chewing gum brands in 1892.
  • 1891 March 6: The Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant opened near Ophir, Colorado. The world's first hydroelectric plant provided alternating current electricity that was transmitted 2.6 miles to a motor-driven stamp mill at a gold mine; the plant is still in use today.
  • 1891 April 10: Birthday of cowboy movie & circus star Tim McCoy in Saginaw, Michigan; he died in 1978 at age 86 at his ranch in Arizona.
  • 1891 May 6: Irwin H. 'Ike' Hoover began installing the first electric wiring in the White House; he later accepted a full-time position as White House electrician.
  • 1891 Aug 24: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison filed patents for the Kinetograph 35mm camera & the Kinetoscope viewer.
  • 1891 Sept: Launch of the American factory producing rennet for cheesemaking in Little Falls, New York, a branch of a Danish company founded in 1874; the company is now Junket Desserts.

  • 1892: Founding of Geo. A. Hormel & Co. as a small retail store in downtown Austin, Minnesota.
  • 1892 Jan 1: Formal opening of the Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York Harbor.
  • 1892 Jan 3: Birthday of author J.R.R. Tolkien in South Africa; he wrote the beloved "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy and other 'high fantasy' fiction, and died at age 81 in 1973.
  • 1892 Jan 18: Birthday of movie comedian Oliver Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Georgia; he died in North Hollywood, California in 1957.
  • 1892 Jan 28: Birthday of movie director Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin, Germany; he died in Hollywood, California in 1947.
  • 1892 May 28: Founding of the Sierra Club in San Francisco, California by naturalist John Muir and others.
  • 1892 May 29: Birthday of author & poet Frederick Schiller Faust in Seattle, Washington; his primary pen name was Western author Max Brand; he died in combat in Italy in 1944.
  • 1892 Summer: Earliest documented ice cream sundae, advertised by the Platt & Colts Soda Fountain in Ithaca, New York after invention by owner Chester Platt & Rev. John Scott.
  • 1892 June-Oct: The Homestead Strike at the Carnegie Steel Mill.
  • 1892 July 1: Birthday of 'hard-boiled' mystery author James M. Cain in Annapolis, Maryland; he died in 1977.
  • 1892 Aug: The Pledge of Allegiance was created by socialist Francis Bellamy.
  • 1892 Aug 23: Birthday of movie cowboy star Hoot Gibson in Tekamah, Nebraska; he died in 1962 at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California.
  • 1892 Aug 23: The first version of "The Pledge of Allegiance", written by Rev. Francis J. Bellamy, appeared in The Youth's Companion Magazine.
  • 1892 Sept 7: James J. Corbett knocked out John L. Sullivan in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight title.
  • 1892 Oct 5: The Dalton Gang train robbers were nearly wiped out in their attempt to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.
  • 1892 Oct 18: Formal opening of the first long-distance telephone line, between Chicago and New York City (it could handle only one call at a time).
  • 1892 Oct 23: Birthday of Milton 'Gummo' Marx in New York City; the fourth member of 'The Marx Brothers' comedy team died in Palm Springs, California in 1977.
  • 1892 Dec 18: World première of "The Nutcracker" ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky [1840-93] at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

  • 1893
    • William Wrigley, Jr. introduced chewing gum brands Spearmint & JuicyFruit.
    • Good & Plenty® candy - oldest branded candy in the United States - introduced by Quaker City Confectionery Co. in Philadelphia, PA.
    • The U.S. Census Bureau declared 1893 as the year that 'The American Frontier' ended.
  • 1893 Jan 17: A group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate, ending Hawaii's monarchy.
  • 1893 Feb: Genius inventor Nikola Tesla lectured on the principles of 'wireless telegraphy' [broadcast radio] at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1893 Feb 1: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey.
  • 1893 March 2: Congress passed the Safety Appliance Act making automatic air brakes mandatory on all railroad cars; the accident/injury rate dropped 60% within a year.
  • 1893 April 20: Birthday of silent movie comedy star Harold Lloyd in Burchard, Nebraska; he died in Beverly Hills, California in 1971.
  • 1893 May 1: Opening of the Chicago World's Fair {aka Columbian Exposition), which introduced Aunt Jemima's Pancake Mix, Cracker Jack® snacks, the Ferris Wheel, and AC electric lighting {constructed by inventor Nikola Tesla}; 28 million people attended the Fair, which ended in October.
    Images of America 1893 World's Columbian Exposition book by Chaim M. Rosenberg  
    "Images of America: America At The Fair - Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition" [2008] by Chaim M. Rosenberg
    Kindle Edition from Arcadia Publng [2008 edition] for $6.49
    Arcadia Publng 9x6½ pb [2/2008] for $18.24

  • 1893 May 9: First public demonstration of Edison's Kinetoscope in Brooklyn, New York.
  • 1893 June 13: Birthday of British author Dorothy L. Sayers [1893-1957] in Essex, U.K.
  • 1893 June 20: Founding of the first U.S. industrial labor union, the American Railway Union in Chicago, led by Eugene V. Debs.
  • 1893 June 27: The financial 'Panic of 1893' was a crash of the New York stock market caused by a run on the gold supply, the worst economic crisis to hit the nation in its history to that point.
  • 1893 Aug: Invention of the 'black cow' root beer float by miner & brewer Frank Wisner in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
  • 1893 Aug 22: Birthday of author & wit Dorothy Parker in Long Branch, New Jersey; she died in 1967.
  • 1893 Aug 29: Founding of Southern California Fruit Exchange by independent citrus growers in California; brand name Sunkist introduced in 1908.
  • 1893 Sept 16: Over 100,000 eager settlers stormed the Cherokee Strip during the Oklahoma Land Rush.
  • 1893 Sept 21: First short test drive in Springfield, Massachusetts of the horseless carriage built by brothers Frank & Charles Duryea.
  • 1893 Oct 6: Introduction of Cream of Wheat® brand farina hot cereal, by Diamond Milling Co. of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
  • 1893 Oct 20: Birthday of silent movie actor-director Charley Chase in Baltimore, Maryland; he died in Hollywood, California in 1940.
  • 1893 Oct 30: The U.S. Senate approved repeal of the faulty Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1990.
  • 1893 Nov 7: Women gained the right to vote in Colorado.

  • 1894: While experimenting with shredded wheat cereal, the Kellogg brothers accidentlally invented flaked wheat cereal; they created flaked corn cereal in 1898; they founded Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906.
  • 1894: Founding of Robinson-Danforth Commission Co. to produce animal feed; line of Purina human food products introduced in 1898; company name changed to Ralston Purina in 1902.
  • 1894: Publication of the story collection "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936].
  • 1894 Jan 7: Early motion picture experiment at Thomas Edison's studio in West Orange, New Jersey filmed employee Fred Ott taking a pinch of snuff and sneezing. {Watch 3-second 48-frame clip at Archives.org}
  • 1894 Feb 1: Birthday of film director John Ford in Cape Elizabeth, Maine; he died in Palm Desert, California in 1973.
  • 1894 Feb 3: Birthday of illustrator Norman Rockwell in New York City; he died in 1978 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1894 Feb 8: Birthday of movie director King Vidor in Galveston, Texas; he died at his ranch in Paso Robles, California in 1982.
  • 1894 March 25: Protest march of 100 men led by Jacob S. Coxey left Massillon, Ohio bound for Washington, DC to make demands of the federal government to create jobs; 500 men arrived in DC five days later; the group was nicknamed "Coxey's Army".
  • 1894 May 27: Birthday of mystery author Dashiell Hammett in Maryland; he died in New York City in 1961.
  • 1894 May-Aug: The Pullman Strike in Illinois.
  • 1894 June 24: Congress passed a bill making Labor Day a national holiday, on the First Monday of September; soon signed into law by President Garfield.
  • 1894 July 4: The Republic of Hawai'i declared itself into existence (to be annexed by the United States four years later).
  • 1894 Aug 18: Congress established the Bureau of Immigration.
  • 1894 Oct 14: Birthday of American poet E.E. Cummings in Cambridge, Massachusetts; he died at age 67 in 1962.
  • 1894 Oct 15: French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus [1859-1935] was arrested on charges of treason.
  • 1894 Dec 8: Birthday of humorist James Thurber in Columbus, Ohio; he died in 1961 in New York City.
  • 1894 Dec 22: French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus [1859-1935] was convicted at a secret court martial on charges of treason; a public outcry against injustice and alleged anti-Semitism roiled the country; Dreyfus was pardoned in September 1899 and released; he lived in obscurity until July 1906, when he was exonerated by the military and returned to active duty with a promotion to Major.

  • 1895: Charles William Post introduced cereal-based Postum coffee substitute; introduced Grape-Nuts ready-to-eat cereal in 1897; introduced corn flakes cereal in 1908, later renamed Post Toasties; purchased Jell-O Company in 1925; company renamed General Foods on 24 July 1929.
  • 1895: Introduction of condensed canned soup by Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Co.
  • 1895: Publication of the story collection "The Second Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling [1865-1936].
  • 1895 Feb 6: Birthday of George Herman 'Babe' Ruth, Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland; he died in 1948.
  • 1895 May 6: Birthday of Silent Era sex symbol Rudolph Valentino in Castellaneta, Italy; he died at age 31 in New York City in 1926.
  • 1895 June 4: Henry Ford made a successful test run in his 'quadricycle' horseless carriage thru the pre-dawn streets of Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1895 July 12: Birthday of inventor / thinker R. Buckminster Fuller in Milton, Massachusetts; he is most famous for inventing the geodesic dome, and died in Los Angeles, California in 1983.
  • 1895 Oct 4: Birthday of film comic Buster Keaton in Piqua, Kansas; he died at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California in 1966.
  • 1895 Oct 15: Patent for shredded wheat awarded to Henry D. Perky of Denver, Colorado; credited as the first mass-produced & nationally-distributed ready-to-eat cereal.
  • 1895 Nov 8: German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen [1845-1923] produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays or Röntgen rays.

  • 1896
    • Ice cream cone invented by New York City street vendor Italo Marchiony; received a patent for a cone-making mold in 1903.
    • Leo Hirschfield introduced a chewy, chocolate-flavored candy at his store in New York City, named for his daughter 'Tootsie'.
    • The Rueckheim brothers trademarked their Cracker Jack® snack made of popcorn, molasses, and peanuts.
  • 1896 Jan 4: Utah was admitted to the Union as the 45th state.
  • 1896 Jan 5: An Austrian newspaper reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen of a type of radiation that became known as X-rays.
  • 1896 April 20: The first time people paid to see a movie in the United States, at Koster & Bial's Music Hall in New York City.
  • 1896 April 23: First public demonstration of Edison's Vitascope movie projection system at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City.
  • 1896 June 7: The U.S. Supreme Court decided in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 that the principle of 'separate but equal' racial segregation was Constitutional. (The decision was overturned in 1954.)
  • 1896 July 9: William Jennings Bryan delivered his 'cross of gold' speech at the Democratic Party's National Convention in Chicago.
  • 1896 Aug 17: Discovery of gold in Alaska, touching off the Klondike Gold Rush.
  • 1896 Aug 29: The chef to visiting Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang invented the Chinese-American dish 'chop suey' in New York City.
  • 1896 Sept 10: Launch of the King Arthur Flour brand.
  • 1896 Sept 24: Birthday of author F. Scott Fitzgerald in St. Paul, Minnesota; he died in 1940 in Hollywood, California.
  • 1896 Dec 27: Birthday of novelist & eco-activist Louis Bromfield [1896-1956] in Mansfield, Ohio.

  • 1897: Jerome Monroe Smucker [1858-1948] began selling prepared apple butter in Orrville, Ohio; incorporated J.M. Smucker Co. in 1921; introduced preserves & jellies in 1923.
  • 1897 Jan 3: Birthday of Marion Cecilia Douras in Brooklyn, New York City; she became actress Marion Davies and the mistress/companion of media mogul Wm. Randolph Hearst [1863-1951]; she died at age 64 in Beverly Hills, California in September 1961.
  • 1897 May 18: Birthday of movie producer-director Frank Capra in Bisacquino, Sicily, Italy; he died in La Quinta, California in 1991.
  • 1897 May 28: Introduction of Jell-O® fruit-flavored gelatin dessert in LeRoy, New York.
  • 1897 Sept 20: The New York Sun newspaper ran its famous editorial that declared "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus".
  • 1897 Sept 25: Birthday of author William Faulkner in New Albany, Mississippi; he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1955 & 1962; he died in 1962 in Byhalia, Mississippi.
  • 1897 Nov: Ransom E. Olds received a patent for his 'horseless carriage'.
  • 1897 Dec 12: The pioneering comic strip "The Katzenjammer Kids" by Rudolph Dirks debuted in the New York Journal newspaper.

  • 1898
    • Merger of eighteen West Coast canning companies (including the Del Monte brand) to form the California Fruit Canners Association, which merged with three more canners in 1916 to form California Packing Corp.
    • Pharmacist Caleb Bradham invented a new soft drink called Brad's Drink; renamed it Pepsi-Cola™ the same year; Pepsi-Cola™ soft drink was trademarked in June 1903.
    • Book publication in England of "The War of The Worlds" by H.G. Wells (after then-standard serial-ization in Pearson's Magazine, April-December 1897).
  • 1898 Jan 1: The five boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens & Staten Island were consolidated to form New York City.
  • 1898 Jan 13: French author Emile Zola published his defense of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, the essay "J'Accuse".
  • 1898 Jan 23: Birthday of cinema master Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein in Latvia; he died in Moscow, Soviet Union in 1948.
  • 1898 January 23: Birthday of actor Randolph Scott in Orange County, Virginia; he died in 1987 in Beverly Hills, California.
  • 1898 Feb 15: The U.S. battleship Maine mysteriously blew up in the harbor at Havana, Cuba; over 260 crewmen were killed.
  • 1898 April 11: President McKinley asked Congress to authorize military intervention in Cuba.
  • 1898 April 12: Polish physicist and chemist Marie Sklodowska-Curie [1867-1934] published her first paper on radioactivity, with the help of Prof. Gabriel Lippmann in Paris, France.
  • 1898 April 24: Spain declared war on the U.S. after America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.
  • 1898 April 25: The U.S. declared war on Spain.
  • 1898 July: Marie Curie and her husband Pierre published a paper announcing the discovery of the radioactive element polonium {atomic number 84}.
  • 1898 July 1: Teddy Roosevelt and his 'Rough Riders' charged up Kettle and San Juan hills in Cuba.
  • 1898 July 4: The Republic of Hawai'i was annexed by the United States.
  • 1898 July 25: The United States invaded Puerto Rico.
  • 1898 Aug 12: Peace protocol was signed ending the Spanish-American War; fighting ended the next day.
  • 1898 Aug 29: Birthday of filmmaker Preston Sturges in Chicago, Illinois; he died in 1959 in New York City.
  • 1898 Sept 26: Birthday of composer George Gershwin in Brooklyn, New York; he died in 1937 at age 38 in Hollywood, California of a brain tumor.
  • 1898 Oct 18: American flag raised over Puerto Rico.
  • 1898 Nov 29: Birthday of British author C.S. Lewis in Belfast, Ireland; he is most famous for the seven 'Narnia Chronicles' novels [1950-56], and died at Oxford, England in 1963 at age 64.
  • 1898 Dec 10: Spanish-American War officially ended (Treaty of Paris).
  • 1898 Dec 26: Marie Curie and her husband Pierre published a paper announcing the discovery of a second new radioactive element {atomic number 88}, which they named radium.

  • 1899: Introduction of Dentyne® gum by New York druggist Franklin V. Canning.
  • 1899 Feb 6: The peace treaty ending the Spanish-American War was ratified by Congress.
  • 1899 April 11: The treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
  • 1899 July 7: Birthday of movie director George Cukor in New York City; he died in Los Angeles, California in 1983.
  • 1899 July 11: Birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer E.B. White in Mount Vernon, New York; he died at home in North Brooklin, Maine in 1985 at age 86.
  • 1899 July 21: Birthday of author Ernest Hemingway in Oak Park, Illinois; he died in 1961 in Ketchum, Idaho.
  • 1899 Sept 19: After a great public outcry, wrongly-convicted French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus [1859-1935] was pardoned and released.
  • 1899 Nov 25: Birthday of author W.R. Burnett in Springfield, Ohio; he died in 1982 in Santa Monica, California.
  • 1899 Dec 18: #6 worst one-day Dow-Jones Industrial Average decline of 8.72%.
  • 1899 Dec 25: Birthday of actor Humphrey Bogart in New York City; he died in Los Angeles, California in 1957.

    America 1900 The Turning Point book by Judy Crichton  
    "America 1900: The Turning Point" [1998] by Judy Crichton
    Companion book to 3-hour documentary on "The American Experience" that aired in November 1998.
    Holt Paperbacks 9x7¼ pb [5/2000] out of print/used
    Henry Holt & Co. 9¼x7½ hardcover [11/98] out of print/50+ used

  • 1900 March 14: Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.
  • 1900 May 1: The Winter Quarters Mine near Scofield, Utah exploded due to accumulation of coal dust; at least 200 miners were killed, and possibly as many as 246; worst U.S. mining disaster at the time, now ranks fifth. {Wikipedia}
  • 1900 June 29: Birthday of author & aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry [1900-44] in Lyons, France; he is most famous for writing "The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)" [1943].
  • 1900 July 24: Birthday of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald in Montgomery, Alabama; she died in a fire at a mental hospital in Asheville, North Carolina in 1948.
  • 1900 July 29: An anarchist assassinated Italy's King Humbert I, who was succeeded by his son, King Victor Emmanuel II.
  • 1900 Sept 8: Hurricane and flooding in Galveston, Texas killed an estimated 8,000 people, which remains the worst single-day disaster event in U.S. history.
  • 1900 Oct 3: Birthday of author Thomas Wolfe in Asheville, North Carolina; he died in 1938.
  • 1900 Oct 14: Birthday of management visionary Dr. Wm. Edwards Deming in Sioux Ciy, Iowa; he died in Washington, DC in 1993.
  • 1900 Dec 23: Reginald A. Fessenden of Canada broadcast the first known transmission of speech over the radio, for a distance of about one mile.
  • 1900 Dec 27: First public destruction of a saloon by militant prohibitionist Carry A. Nation [1846-1911], the bar at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.

Ancient Times - 3500 B.C.E to 1490

1491-1800    •    1801-1900 { top of this page }    •   next: 1901-1930    •    1931-1950

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