What Happened in 1776

Historical Events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 Gen George Washington hoists Continental Union Flag

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • Jan 2 1st revolutionary flag displayed
  • Jan 2 Austria ends interregation torture
  • Jan 5 Assembly of New Hampshire adopts its 1st state constitution

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 10 "Common Sense" Pamphlet by Thomas Paine, published advocating American independence

Voice of the American Revolution Thomas Paine
Voice of the American Revolution
Thomas Paine
  • Jan 16 Continental Congress approves enlistment of free blacks
  • Jan 18 James Wright, Royal Governor of Georgia, is placed under house arrest by Major Joseph Habersham
  • Jan 24 Henry Knox arrives at Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the artillery that he has transported from Fort Ticonderoga.
  • Feb 8 Wolfgang von Goethe's "Stella" premieres in Hamburg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 17 1st volume of Gibbon's "Decline & Fall of Roman Empire" published

Historian Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
  • Mar 2 Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston
  • Mar 3 American commodore Esek Hopkins occupies Nassau, Bahamas
  • Mar 4 The American War of Independence: The Americans capture Dorchester Heights dominating the port of Boston, Massachusetts.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 9 Publication of the influential economics book "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith

Economist and Philosopher Adam Smith
Economist and Philosopher
Adam Smith
  • Mar 17 British forces evacuate Boston to Nova Scotia during Revolutionary War
  • Mar 25 Continental Congress authorized a medal for George Washington
  • Mar 28 Juan Bautista de Anza finds the site for the Presidio of San Francisco.
  • Apr 1 Friedrich von Klinger's "Sturm und Drang" premieres in Leipzig
  • Apr 3 George Washington receives honorary Ll.D. degree from Harvard College
  • Apr 7 Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captures the Edward.
  • Apr 12 Halifax resolution for independence adopted by North Carolina
  • Apr 15 Duchess of Kingston found guilty of bigamy
  • May 1 Adam Weishaupt founds secret society of Illuminati
  • May 2 France & Spain agreed to give weapons to American rebels
  • May 4 Rhode Island declares independence from Britain
  • May 12 Turgot, French minister of Finance, resigns
  • Jun 7 Richard Lee (VA) moves Declaration of Independence in Continental Congress

AgreementUnited States Declaration of Independence

Jun 11 Continental Congress creates committee (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston) to draft a Declaration of Independence

  • Jun 12 Virginia adopts Declaration of Rights
  • Jun 28 Final draft of Declaration of Independence submitted to Continental Congress
  • Jun 28 Charleston, SC repulses British sea attack
  • Jun 29 Mission Dolores founded by San Francisco Bay

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 29 Virginia state constitution adopted and Patrick Henry made governor

American Revolutionary and Founding Father Patrick Henry
American Revolutionary and Founding Father
Patrick Henry
  • Jul 1 1st vote on Declaration of Independence for Britain's North American colonies
  • Jul 2 NJ Jersey gives the right to vote to all adults who could show a net worth of 50 pounds
  • Jul 2 Continental Congress resolves "these United Colonies are & of right ought to be Free & Independent States"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 2 At the Continental Congress, John Dickinson abstains from the votes that declare independence

Founding Father of the United States John Dickinson
Founding Father of the United States
John Dickinson
  • Jul 4 According to popular legend the Liberty Bell rings for the Second Continental Congress
  • Jul 4 US Congress proclaims the Declaration of Independence and independence from Britain
  • Jul 6 American Declaration of Independence announced on front page of "PA Evening Gazette"
  • Jul 8 Col John Nixon gives the 1st public reading of the Declaration of Independence to an assemblage of citizens in Philadelphia
  • Jul 9 Declaration of Independence is read to George Washington's troops (NY)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 11 Captain James Cook begins his third voyage

Captain/Explorer James Cook
James Cook
  • Jul 12 Captain Cook departs with Resolution for 3rd trip to Pacific Ocean
  • Aug 2 Formal signing of the US Declaration of Independence by 56 people (date most accepted by modern historians)
  • Aug 10 American Revolutionary War: word of the United States Declaration of Independence reaches London.
  • Aug 27 British defeat Americans in Battle of Long Island
  • Aug 29 Americans withdraw from Manhattan to Westchester
  • Aug 30 Continental Army evacuates Long Island and falls back to Manhattan, NYC
  • Sep 6 Hurricane hits Martinique; 100 French and Dutch ships sink; 600 die
  • Sep 6 1st (failed) submarine attack: David Bushnell's "Turtle" attacks British sailboat "Eagle" in Bay of NY
  • Sep 6 Hurricane hits Guadeloupe, killing more than 6,000.
  • Sep 9 Congress officially renames the country as the United States of America (Was the United Colonies)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 10 George Washington asks for a spy volunteer, Nathan Hale volunteers

US Patriot and Soldier Nathan Hale
US Patriot and Soldier
Nathan Hale
First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • Sep 12 Nathan Hale leaves Harlem Heights Camp (127th St) for spy mission
  • Sep 15 British forces capture Kip's Bay, Manhattan, during Revolution
  • Sep 17 The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.
  • Sep 21 5 days after British take New York, a quarter of the city burns down
  • Sep 21 Nathan Hale, spied on British for American rebels, arrested
  • Sep 24 First St Leger horesrace held at Doncaster
  • Oct 9 Mission Dolores founded by SF Bay
  • Oct 11 Brig Gen Arnold's Lake Champlain fleet defeated by British
  • Oct 12 British Brigade begins guarding Throgg Necks Road in Bronx
  • Oct 18 In a bar decorated with bird tail in Elmsford, New York, a customer requests a glassful of “those cock tails” from bartender Betsy Flanagan
  • Oct 18 Battle of Pelham: Col John Glover & Marblehead regiment meet British Forces in Bronx

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 26 Benjamin Franklin departs for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin
  • Oct 28 Battle of White Plains; Washington retreats to NJ
  • Nov 1 Mission San Juan Capistrano founded in California
  • Nov 16 1st gun salute for an American warship in a foreign port - US Andrew Doria at Fort St Eustatius (Dutch Caribbean isalnd)
  • Nov 16 British troops captured Fort Washington during American Revolution
  • Nov 18 Hessians capture Ft Lee, NJ
  • Nov 30 Captain Cook begins 3rd & last trip to Pacific (South Sea)
  • Dec 5 First US fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa (William & Mary College), forms
  • Dec 8 George Washington's retreating army crosses Delaware River from NJ
  • Dec 19 Thomas Paine published his 1st "American Crisis" essay, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls"
  • Dec 23 Continental Congress negotiates a war loan of $181,500 from France
  • Dec 23 Thomas Paine writes "These are the times that try men's souls"
  • Dec 25 Washington crosses Delaware & surprises & defeats 1,400 Hessians
  • Dec 26 George Washington defeats Hessians at Battle of Trenton in American Revolutionary War
  • Dec 31 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 6 Ferdinand von Schill, Prussian officer/rebel
  • Jan 24 Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, German writer/judge/composer (Undine)
  • Feb 11 Ioannis Kapodistrias, Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and first head of state of independent Greece (d. 1831)
  • Feb 18 John Parry [Bardd Alaw], Welsh composer and harpist, born in Denbigh (d. 1851)
  • Feb 21 Vincenzo Lavigna, composer
  • Feb 23 John Walter II, chief proprietor (The Times, 1812-47), born in London, England
  • Mar 10 Luise, Queen of Prussia/wife of Frederik Willem III
  • Mar 16 Johan G Verstolk van Soelen, Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 1 Sophie Germain, French mathematician, born in Paris, France (d. 1831)

Mathematician Sophie Germain
Sophie Germain
  • Apr 8 Thaddaus Weigl, composer
  • Apr 25 Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh (d. 1857)
  • Apr 26 Joan M Kemper, Dutch lawyer (designed civil code law book)
  • May 4 Johann Friedrich Herbart, Germany, philosopher/psychologist
  • May 10 George Thomas Smart, composer
  • May 12 Juan Bros y Bertomel, composer
  • May 13 Charles Ots, Belgian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1845)
  • May 13 Rodrigo Ferreira da Costa, composer
  • Jun 1 John George Schetky, composer
  • Jun 11 John Constable, England, landscape painter (Hay Wain)
  • Jul 13 Caroline of Baden, queen of Bavaria (d. 1841)
  • Aug 4 Wenzel Sedlak, composer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 9 Amedeo Avogadro, Italian scientist who contributed to molecular theory, including what is known as Avogadro's law (6.022 x 10 ^ 23), born in Torino, Italy (d. 1856)

Scientist Amedeo Avogadro
Amedeo Avogadro
  • Aug 15 Gottlieb Schick, German painter (Apollo under the Hirten)
  • Aug 15 Ignaz Xaver von Seyfried, composer
  • Aug 16 Philipp Jakob Riotte, composer
  • Sep 27 Maria E J Versfelt, actress/mistress (General Moreau & Marshal Ney)
  • Nov 14 Henri Dutrochet, discovered & named process of osmosis
  • Dec 3 Johann Spurzheim, German neuroscientist (d. 1832)
  • Dec 6 Paul Friedrich Struck, composer
  • Dec 16 Johann Wilhelm Ritter, German physicist (d. 1810)
  • Dec 27 Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811)
  • Dec 29 Charles Macintosh, Scotland, patented waterproof fabric

Famous Weddings

  • Oct 7 Crown Prince Paul of Russia marries Sophie Marie Dorothea of Württemberg.

Famous Deaths

  • Mar 5 Yeongjo of Joseon, ruler of Korea (b. 1694)
  • Mar 10 Élie Catherine Fréron, French critic (b. 1719)
  • Mar 10 Niclas Sahlgren, Swedish merchant and philanthropist (b. 1701)
  • Mar 24 John Harrison, English clockmaker (b. 1693)
  • Mar 26 Samuel Ward, American politician (b. 1725)
  • Apr 19 Jacob Israel Emden, [Jacob ben Tswi], German rabbi, dies at 78
  • Apr 22 Johann Adolph Scheibe, German music theorist and composer, dies at 67
  • Apr 24 Carolus van de Abeele, Flemish Jesuit, dies at 84
  • Apr 24 Giuseppi Paolucci, composer, dies at 49
  • Apr 29 Edward Wortley Montagu, English traveler and writer (b. 1713)
  • May 4 Jacques Saly, French sculptor (b. 1717)
  • May 6 James Kent, English composer, dies at 76
  • May 13 Anton de Haen, medical Ratio medendi, dies at 71
  • Jun 10 Leopold Widhalm, Austrian luthier (b. 1722)
  • Jun 20 Benjamin Huntsman, English inventor and manufacturer (b. 1704)
  • Jun 27 Thomas Hickey, plan to hand George Washington to British, executed
  • Jun 28 Thomas Hickey, American sergeant convicted of treason, hanged
  • Jul 1 Francis Salvador, 1st Jew to die in American Revolutionary War
  • Jul 7 Jeremiah Markland, English classical scholar (b. 1693)
  • Jul 10 Richard Peters, English-born clergyman (b. 1704)
  • Aug 2 Louis François I, Prince of Conti, French military leader (b. 1717)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 25 David Hume, Scottish philosopher and historian (A Treatise of Human Nature), dies of abdominal cancer at 65

Philosopher David Hume
David Hume


Sep 22 Nathan Hale, US captain/patriot/spy, hanged by the British for spying at 21

US Patriot and Soldier Nathan Hale
US Patriot and Soldier
Nathan Hale
  • Oct 17 Pierre François le Courayer, French theologian (b. 1681)
  • Nov 17 James Ferguson, British astronomer (b. 1710)
  • Nov 22 Johann Caspar Simon, composer, dies at 75
  • Nov 26 Dov Baer of Mezhirech, hassidic rabbi, dies
  • Dec 26 Johann Gottlieb Rall, Hessian colonel/mercenary, dies in battle in American Revolutionary War