What Happened in 1787

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Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 11 Titania & Oberon, moons of Uranus, discovered by William Herschel

Astronomer William Herschel
Astronomer
William Herschel
  • Jan 25 Shays' Rebellion suffers a setback when debt-ridden farmers, led by Capt Daniel Shays, fail to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Mass
  • Jan 28 Philadelphia's Free Africa Society organizes
  • Feb 2 Arthur St. Clair is elected the 9th President of the President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.
  • Feb 4 1st Anglican bishops of NY & Pennsylvania consecrated in London
  • Feb 4 Shays' Rebellion (of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers) fails
  • Feb 18 Austrian emperor Jozef II bans children under 8 from labor
  • Feb 28 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh is granted.
  • Apr 12 Philadelphia's Free African Society forms
  • Apr 16 1st American comedy, "The Contrast," made its debut in NYC
  • May 6 1st African American Masonic Lodge (African # 459) forms Prince Hall, Boston
  • May 10 British Parliament impeaches Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal
  • May 13 Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia

AgreementConstitution of the United States

May 14 Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US constitution

  • May 17 English slave ship Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba, capsizes killing hundreds

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 25 Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • May 29 "Virginia Plan" proposed
  • Jun 12 US Law passes providing a senator must be at least 30 years old
  • Jun 20 Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 2 Marquis de Sade shouts from Bastille that prisoners are being slaughtered

Philosopher and Writer Marquis de Sade
Philosopher and Writer
Marquis de Sade
  • Jul 6 French government proclaims end to stamp/land tax
  • Jul 6 Orange troops occupy Area at Duurstede
  • Jul 13 Congress establishes Northwest Territory (excludes slavery)
  • Jul 13 Ord of 1787-a territory can become 3 to 5 states at 60,000 population
  • Jul 15 Parliament of Paris banished to Troyes
  • Aug 2 Horace the Saussure reaches top of Mont Blanc
  • Aug 6 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia begins debate on the first draft of the Constitution

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 10 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his chamber piece "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"

Classical Musician and Composer Wolfang Amadeus Mozart
Classical Musician and Composer
Wolfang Amadeus Mozart
  • Aug 16 Turkey declares war on Russia (Russo-Turkish War 1787-92)
  • Aug 17 Jews are granted permission in Budapest Hungary to pray in groups
  • Aug 22 John Fitch's steamboat completes its tests, years before Fulton
  • Aug 24 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his violin and piano sonata in A, K526

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 12 American statesman George Mason suggests the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution modeled on previous state declarations, but the motion is defeated

American Statesman George Mason
American Statesman
George Mason
  • Sep 13 Prussian army moves into Netherlands
  • Sep 15 -16] Utrecht patriots flee to Amsterdam
  • Sep 17 Prussian troops conquer Gorinchem
  • Sep 17 US constitution adopted by Philadelphia convention
  • Sep 20 Prince Willem V returns to Hague
  • Sep 27 Constitution submitted to US states for ratification
  • Sep 28 Congress sends Constitution to state legislatures for their approval
  • Sep 30 1st US voyage around the world - Columbia leaves Boston
  • Oct 1 Russians under Suvorov defeat the Turks at Kinburn.
  • Oct 2 Maagden House opens in Amsterdam
  • Oct 10 Amsterdam surrenders to Prussian invasion army
  • Oct 17 Boston blacks, petition legislature for equal school facilities
  • Oct 26 "Federalist Papers" published, calls for ratification of United States' Constitution
  • Oct 27 Federalist letters start appearing in New York newspapers
  • Oct 29 Opera "Don Giovanni" is produced (Prague)
  • Nov 1 First free school in NYC (African Free School) opens
  • Nov 18 First Unitarian minister in US ordained, Boston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 21 Andrew Jackson admitted to the bar

US President & General Andrew Jackson
US President & General
Andrew Jackson
  • Nov 30 Spanish governor leaves the Philippines
  • Dec 6 Laurens Pieter van de Speigel appointed Dutch pension advisor
  • Dec 7 Delaware becomes 1st state to ratify the US constitution
  • Dec 12 Pennsylvania becomes 2nd state to ratify US constitution
  • Dec 18 New Jersey becomes 3rd state to ratify US constitution

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 5 John Burke, Irish genealogist (Burke's Peerage)
  • Jan 8 Johann Ludwig Bohner, composer
  • Jan 13 John Davis, 14th and 17th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1854)
  • Feb 13 James P Carrell, composer
  • Feb 16 Andreas Schelfhout, Dutch painter/etcher/lithographer
  • Feb 23 Emma Willard, US, opens school for young ladies (Hall of Fame)
  • Mar 6 Joseph von Fraunhofer, Germany, physicist (studied Sun's spectrum)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 8 Karl Ferdinand von Graefe, German surgeon who helped create modern plastic surgery, born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1840)

  • Mar 10 William Etty, English painter (nudes)
  • Mar 11 Ivan Nabokov, Russian general (d. 1852)
  • Mar 16 Georg Simon Ohm, Erlangen, Brandenburg-Bayreuth, German physicist (discovered Ohm's Law)
  • Mar 17 George Simon Ohm, physicist (discovered Ohm's Law)
  • Apr 13 John Robertson, U.S. politician (d. 1873)
  • Apr 19 Deaf Smith, American frontiersman and revolutionary (d. 1837)
  • Apr 26 Ludwig Uhland, German writer, born in Tübingen, Württemberg (d. 1862)
  • May 7 Jacques Viger, French Canadian politician, first mayor of Montreal (d. 1858)
  • Jun 4 Constant Prévost, French geologist (d. 1856)
  • Jun 27 Thomas Say, USA, American naturalist and father of descriptive entomology, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jun 28 Henry G W Smith, leader of British-Indian forces
  • Jun 28 Sir Henry George Wakelyn (Harry) Smith, Wittlesea England, governor at the Cape Colony
  • Aug 15 Alexander Aliabiev, Russian composer, born in Tobolsk, Siberia (d. 1851)
  • Aug 24 James Weddell, Ostend England, Antarctic explorer (Weddell Sea)
  • Sep 1 John Bake, classical composer
  • Sep 5 François Sulpice Beudant, French mineralogist and geologist (d. 1850)
  • Sep 10 John Jordan Crittenden, MC (Union), (d. 1863)
  • Sep 18 Johann D Passavant, German historian/painter/graphic artist
  • Oct 4 Francois P G Guizot, French historian/politician
  • Oct 30 Karl Guhr, German composer (d. 1848)
  • Nov 4 Edmund Kean, England, actor (Edmund Kean's Masonic Career)
  • Nov 17 Michele Carafa, composer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 18 Sojourner Truth [Isabella Baumfree], African-American abolitionist and feminist, born in Swartekill, New York (d. 1883)

Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate Sojourner Truth
Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate
Sojourner Truth

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 18 Louis-Jacques Daguerre, French inventor and photographer, born in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France (d. 1851)

Photographer and Inventor Louis-Jacques Daguerre
Photographer and Inventor
Louis-Jacques Daguerre
  • Nov 21 Samuel Cunard, founder (1st regular Atlantic steamship line)
  • Nov 25 Franz Xaver Gruber, Austria, organist/composer ("Silent Night")
  • Nov 27 Christian Rummel, composer
  • Nov 27 Jacob earl van Rechteren van Appeltern, governor of Gelderland
  • Dec 1 Pavel Ivanovich Dulgorukov, composer
  • Dec 9 John Dobson, English architect (d. 1865)
  • Dec 10 Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, pioneer of educating the deaf, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 14 Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Empress of Austria and queen of Hungary and Bohemia (d. 1816)
  • Dec 15 Charles Cowden Clarke, English editor/Shakespearean critic
  • Dec 16 Mary Russell Mitford, English writer (d. 1855)
  • Dec 22 Rasmus Rask, Denmark, language scholar
  • Dec 28 Hermanus J Abbring, Dutch writer/engineer on Curacao

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

Mar 11 Naval officer Horatio Nelson (28) weds Frances Nisbet at Montpelier Estate on the island of Nevis

British Admiral Horatio Nelson
British Admiral
Horatio Nelson

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 Arthur Middleton, US farmer (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 44
  • Feb 12 Ruggiero Boscovich, Italian physicist/astronomer/philosopher, dies at 75
  • Feb 13 Ruđer Bošković, Croatian scientist and diplomat (b. 1711)
  • Feb 13 Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, French statesman and diplomat (b. 1717)
  • Mar 2 Jean SOME Allamand, French theologist/natural philosopher, dies at 73
  • Mar 11 Maximilian JLP Gardel, French ballet dancer/choreographer, dies at 45
  • Apr 1 Floyer Sydenham, English classical scholar (b. 1710)
  • Apr 2 Thomas Gage, British general (b. 1719)
  • May 10 William Watson, English physician and scientist (b. 1715)
  • May 13 Johann Michael Malzat, composer, dies at 38
  • May 28 Johann Georg Leopold Mozart, Austrian composer, dies at 67
  • Jun 20 Carl Friedrich Abel, German/British viola player/composer, dies at 63
  • Jul 4 Charles, prince de Rohan-Soubise, marshal of France, dies at 71
  • Aug 1 Alfonsus M de' Liguori, Italian theologist/bishop/saint, dies at 90
  • Aug 13 Isaac de Pinto, merchant/lender/Dutch States-general, dies
  • Oct 5 Thomas Stone, US attorney/signer (Dec of Ind), dies at about 44
  • Oct 7 Henry Muhlenberg, German-born founder of the U.S. Lutheran Church (b. 1711)
  • Oct 30 Ferdinando Galiani, Italian economist/philosopher/diplomat, dies at 58
  • Nov 3 Robert Lowth, British bishop and grammarian (b. 1710)
  • Nov 15 Christoph W Ritter von Gluck, composer (Iphigénie Tauride), dies at 73
  • Nov 23 Anton Schweitzer, composer, dies at 52
  • Dec 18 Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)