What Happened in 1854

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Lincoln University, a black college, chartered (Oxford, Penn)
  • Jan 4 The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.
  • Jan 5 Steamship San Francisco wrecked-300 die
  • Jan 9 Astor Library opens in NYC
  • Jan 13 Anthony Foss patents accordion
  • Jan 18 Filibuster William Walker proclaims Republic of Sonora in NW Mexico
  • Jan 25 Aleksandr Ostrovsky's "Bednost ne Porok" premieres in Moscow
  • Jan 30 1st election in Washington Territory; 1,682 votes cast
  • Jan 31 Dutch KNMI established (Royal Meteorological Institute)
  • Feb 2 Pope Pius IX encyclical "On persecution of Armenians"
  • Feb 4 Alvan Bovay proposes name "Republican Party", Ripon, Wisc
  • Feb 6 Composer Robert Schumann is saved from suicide attempt into the Rhine
  • Feb 11 Major streets lit by coal gas for 1st time

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 16 Franz Liszt's symphony "Orpheus" premieres

Composer/Pianist Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
  • Feb 17 Britain recognises independence of Orange Free State (South Africa)
  • Feb 22 1st meeting of Republican Party (Michigan)
  • Feb 23 Great Britain & Orange Free state sign Convention of Bloemfontein
  • Feb 27 Composer Robert Schumann saved from suicide attempt in Rhine
  • Feb 28 Republican Party formally organized at Ripon, Wisc
  • Mar 1 SS City of Glasgow leaves Liverpool harbour with apprpx 480 passengers and crew; she was never seen again
  • Mar 1 German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; two years later his remains are found in a canal near Charlottenburg.
  • Mar 1 16th Grand National: John Tasker aboard Bourton wins
  • Mar 7 Charles Miller patents 1st US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 8 US Commodore Matthew C. Perry's second trip to Japan

Commodore of the US Navy Matthew C. Perry
Commodore of the US Navy
Matthew C. Perry
  • Mar 17 1st park land purchased by a US city, Worcester, Mass
  • Mar 28 Britain & France declare war on Russia (Crimean War)
  • Mar 31 Treaty of Kanagawa: Commodore Perry forces Japan to opens ports to US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens magazine, "Household Words"

Novelist Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
  • Apr 16 Franz Liszt's "Mazeppa" premieres
  • Apr 16 San Salvador destroyed by earthquake
  • Apr 16 Steamer "Long Beach" sinks off Long Beach NY, 311 die
  • May 1 Amsterdam begins transferring drinking water out of the dunes
  • May 5 English pirate Plumridge robs along pro-English Finnish coast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Frederic Mistral, Joseph Roumanille, and five other Provencal poets found Félibrige, a literary and cultural association

Provencal Poet Frederic Mistral
Provencal Poet
Frederic Mistral
  • May 24 Anthony Burns, slave, arrested by US Deputy marshals in Boston
  • May 24 Lincoln University, Penn, 1st Black college in US founded by John Miller Dickey and Sarah Emlen Cresson
  • May 27 Marine Telegraph from Ft Point to SF completed
  • May 30 Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed Missouri Compromise opens north slavery
  • May 30 Territories of Kansas & Nebraska created
  • Jun 10 Georg F B Reiman proposes that space is curved
  • Jun 10 The first class of the United States Naval Academy students graduate.
  • Jun 21 First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands (Crimean War)
  • Jun 23 Antwerp-Roosendaal railway goes into use
  • Jun 29 Netherlands allows corporal punishment
  • Jul 6 1st Republican state convention (Jackson, Mich)
  • Jul 13 US forces shell & burn San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua
  • Jul 13 In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon.
  • Jul 25 Walter Hunt is awarded the first U.S. patent for a paper shirt collar
  • Aug 4 The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships.
  • Aug 8 Smith & Wesson patents metal bullet cartridges

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 9 Henry David Thoreau publishes "Walden"

Naturalist/Pacifist Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
  • Aug 24 National emigration convention meets in Cleveland
  • Aug 29 Self-governing windmill patented (Daniel Halladay)
  • Sep 4 English/French assault on Petropavlovsk Kamchatka
  • Sep 14 Allied armies, including those of Britain & France, land in Crimea
  • Sep 19 Henry Meyer patents sleeping rail car
  • Sep 20 Battle of the Alma: first major battle of Crimean War. British and French alliance defeat the Russians
  • Sep 27 Steamship "Arctic" sinks with 300 people on board
  • Oct 1 The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 Abraham Lincoln made his 1st political speech at Illinois State Fair

US President Abraham Lincoln
US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • Oct 6 The Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.
  • Oct 9 The siege of Sebastopol begins (Crimean War)
  • Oct 10 US Assay Office in NY City, NY opens
  • Oct 12 Lincoln University founded as Ashmun Institute

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 21 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War

  • Oct 23 The Times gives precise British positions in Crimea
  • Oct 25 Charge of Light Brigade (Battle of Balaclava, Crimean War), 409 die
  • Oct 25 Prince Menshikov of Crimea occupies British base at Balaclava
  • Nov 2 Cobblestone paving of Washington St between Dupont & Kearny starts
  • Nov 4 Lighthouse built on Alcatraz Island
  • Nov 5 Crimean War: British & French defeat Russian force of 50,000 at Inkerman
  • Nov 9 Franz Liszt's "Fest-Long" premieres
  • Nov 13 "New Era" sinks off NJ coast with loss of 300
  • Nov 15 In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is given the necessary royal concession.
  • Nov 28 Dutch army stops Chinese uprising in Borneo
  • Dec 3 Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.
  • Dec 5 Aaron Allen of Boston patents folding theater chair
  • Dec 8 Pope Pius IX proclaims Immaculate Conception, makes Mary, free of Original Sin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 9 Alfred Tennyson's poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" published

  • Dec 15 1st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia
  • Dec 19 Allen Wilson of Conn patents sewing machine to sew curving seams
  • Dec 26 Wood-pulp paper 1st exhibited, Buffalo
  • Dec 30 Pennsylvania Rock Oil Co, 1st in US, incorporated in NYC

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 105

  • Jan 1 James Frazer, Britain, anthropologist/author (The Golden Bough)
  • Jan 6 Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft, fictional detective (via Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • Jan 9 Jennie Jerome, American society beauty and mother of Winston Churchill (d. 1921)
  • Jan 10 Heinrich Köselitz [Peter Gast], German composer, born in Annaberg(d. 1918)
  • Jan 18 Thomas A Watson, needed by Bell, inventor assistant (Telephone)
  • Jan 29 Willem PC Knuttel, Dutch bibliographer/librarian
  • Feb 9 Aletta [Henriette] Jacobs, 1st Dutch female physician
  • Feb 9 Edward Carson, 1st Baron Carson, lawyer/leader (Irish Unionist Party)
  • Feb 16 Oscar Fetras, composer
  • Feb 17 Friedrich A Krupp, German arms manufacturer
  • Feb 20 Louis F M van Westerhoven, actor/singer/opera director (Youth)
  • Feb 24 Franz Courtens, Flemish painter (Golden Rain)
  • Feb 28 Juliusz Zarebski, composer
  • Mar 4 Sir Napier Shaw, British meteorologist (d. 1945)
  • Mar 8 Tom Felix Horan, cricketer (Ireland Pioneering Aust all-rounder)
  • Mar 14 Paul Ehrlich, Germany, bacteriologist (Nobel-1908)
  • Mar 14 Thomas Riley Marshall, (D) 28th VP (1913-21)
  • Mar 14 Alexandru Macedonski, Romanian writer (d. 1920)
  • Mar 14 John Lane, British publisher (d. 1925)
  • Mar 15 Emil Adolf von Behring, German physician; Nobel laureate (d. 1917)
  • Mar 21 Alick A C Bannerman, cricketer (bro of Charles, Australia 1878-1893)
  • Mar 23 Alfred Milner, Giessen Germany, British governor (Cape colony)
  • Mar 26 Braulio Dueno Colon, composer
  • Mar 31 Dugald Clerk, inventor (2-stroke motorcycle engine)
  • Apr 1 Bill Traylor, American artist (d. 1949)
  • Apr 5 Vicente Goicoechea Errasti, composer
  • Apr 9 Seaborn M Denson, composer
  • Apr 10 Jozef M T Orelio, baritone
  • Apr 11 Hugh Massie, cricketer (Australian batsman of the 1880's)
  • Apr 13 Richard T Ely, US economist (Hard Times)
  • Apr 21 Eusapia Palladino, Italian spiritual medium, born in Minervino Murge, Apulia (d. 1918)
  • Apr 21 Wladyslaw Rzepko, composer
  • Apr 21 William Stang, Roman Catholic Bishop (d. 1907)
  • Apr 22 Henri-Marie Lafontaine, Belgium, international lawyer (Nobel 1913)
  • Apr 29 Henri Poincaré, France, mathematician/astronomer/philosopher
  • May 5 Antonio Smareglia, composer
  • May 11 John Blackham, cricketer (Australia's 1st wicketkeeper)
  • May 11 Ottmar Mergenthaler, Hachtel Germany, inventor (linotype)
  • May 13 Louis H Chrispijn, Dutch director (Lost & Found, Silvia Silombra)
  • May 13 Paul Klengel, composer
  • May 18 Bernard Zweers, Dutch composer (To my Fatherland)
  • May 24 Louis Mountbatten, admiral (WW I)
  • May 24 John Riley Banister, American law officer and cowboy (d. 1918)
  • May 27 Georges Eekhoud, Belgian writer (Jeune Belgium)
  • Jun 8 Douglas Colin Cameron, Canadian politician (d. 1921)
  • Jun 9 Gerardus J P J Bolland, Dutch philosopher (Bolland Society)
  • Jun 13 Charles Algernon Parsons, British inventor (steam turbine)
  • Jun 14 Frederik Rung, composer
  • Jun 18 Edward Wyllis Scripps, publisher/journalist
  • Jun 19 Alfredo Catalani, composer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 26 Robert Borden, 8th Prime Minister of Canada (C: 1911-20), born in Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia (d. 1937)

8th Prime Minister of Canada Robert Borden
8th Prime Minister of Canada
Robert Borden
  • Jul 3 Leoš Janáček, Czech composer (d. 1928)
  • Jul 4 Heinrich Zollner, composer
  • Jul 4 Victor Babeş, Romanian bacteriologist (d. 1926)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 12 George Eastman, American inventor (Kodak camera) and founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, born in Waterville, New York (d. 1932)

Founder of the Eastman Kodak Company George Eastman
Founder of the Eastman Kodak Company
George Eastman
  • Jul 14 Alexander Alexandrovich Kopilov, composer
  • Jul 19 Daniel Josephus Jitta, Dutch High Court lawyer
  • Jul 29 Georg Kerschensteiner, German educator (Theory of Education)
  • Jul 31 Jose Canalejas contributes Mendez, premier of Spain (1910-12)
  • Aug 2 Francis Marion Crawford, British author
  • Aug 3 Fernand de La Tombelle, composer
  • Aug 10 J Scott Lidgett, theologist, born in London, England
  • Aug 12 Alfred Gilbert, sculptor/goldsmith
  • Aug 12 Johannes P Kelly, Dutch [Kellij], actor/operetta writer
  • Aug 22 Milan I, King of Serbia
  • Aug 23 Moritz Moszkowski, composer
  • Aug 24 Nikolay Vladimirovich Scherbachov, composer
  • Aug 26 Arnold Fothergill, England cricketer (d. 1932)
  • Sep 1 Engelbert Humperdinck, German opera composer (Hänsel und Gretel), born in Siegburg, Westphalia (d. 1921)
  • Sep 2 Hans Jæger, Norwegian writer and political activist (d. 1910)
  • Sep 8 Willem M van Rossum, Dutch cardinal/prefect of Propaganda File
  • Sep 10 Anton CR Dreesmann, German/Neth manufacturer (Vroom & Dreesman)
  • Sep 17 Hans Muller, music historian
  • Sep 17 David Dunbar Buick, American automobile pioneer (d. 1929)
  • Sep 23 Cornelis W Lely, Dutch engineer/gov of Suriname (1902-05)
  • Sep 28 Adam Sedgwick, Norwich England, English zoologist (Peripatus)
  • Sep 29 Martin Pluddemann, composer
  • Oct 3 William Crawford Gorgas, US, Surgeon-Gen, help cure yellow fever
  • Oct 7 Christiaan R de Wet, South African rebel leader, politician and general in the Boer War
  • Oct 10 Jeronimo Gimenez y Bellido, composer
  • Oct 16 Karl J Kautsky, Austrian marxist/socialist

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Oct 16 Oscar Wilde, [Fingal O'Flahertie Wills], (The Picture of Dorian Gray), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1900)

Writer/Poet Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
  • Oct 18 Bill Murdoch, cricketer (great pioneer of Australian Test cricket)
  • Oct 18 Salomon August Andrée, Swedish engineer, balloonist and polar explorer, born in Gränna, Sweden (d. 1897)
  • Oct 20 Alphonse Allais, French author/humorist (Pass the Bile)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Oct 20 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and adventurer (Illuminations), born in Charleville, France (d. 1891)

  • Oct 24 Hendrik W Bakhuis Roozeboom, chemist (Heterogenen Gleichgewichte)
  • Oct 26 August T C Kiehl, Dutch actor (Pearl of Zaandam)
  • Oct 26 C. W. Post, American entrepreneur (d. 1914)
  • Oct 27 Sir William Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys' Brigade (d. 1914)
  • Oct 31 Georg A Erman, German Egyptologist (Grammar of Ancient Egypt)
  • Nov 3 Jokichi Takamine, Takaoka Toyama, Japanese-American Biochemist who isolated adrenalin (epinephrine), which causes the body to respond to emergencies, the first pure hormone isolated from natural sources
  • Nov 5 Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
  • Nov 5 Alphonse Desjardins, founder of the Caisses populaires Desjardins (d. 1920)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 6 John Philip Sousa, march king (Stars & Stripes Forever), born in Washington, D.C.

  • Nov 8 Johannes Rydberg, Swedish physicist (d. 1919)
  • Nov 9 Joseph Miroslav Weber, composer
  • Nov 13 George Whitfield Chadwick, Lowell Mass, composer (Judi Van Winke)
  • Nov 16 Jules van de Heuvel, Belgian lawyer/politician
  • Nov 17 Louis HG Lyautey, French minister of Defense (1916-17)

Famous Weddings

  • Apr 24 Austria's Franz Joseph I marries Elisabeth A E "Sissi"

HeartWedding of Interest

Jun 29 English Novelist and author of "Jane Eyre" Charlotte Brontë marries curate Arthur Bell Nicholls

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 8 William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician (b. 1768)
  • Jan 9 Filippo Traetta, [Philip Trajetta], Italian composer, dies at 77
  • Jan 18 Juda Turo, American philanthropist, dies
  • Feb 4 Carl Ludwig Cornelius Westenholz, composer, dies at 66
  • Feb 17 Hugues F R de Lamennais, French priest/writer, dies at 71
  • Feb 17 John Martin, English painter (b. 1789)
  • Mar 6 Caspar GC Reinwardt, German/Dutch biologist, dies at 80
  • Mar 6 Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, British soldier and politician (b. 1778)
  • Mar 11 Willard Richards, American religious leader (b. 1804)
  • Apr 6 William Strickland, US architect, dies
  • Apr 11 Karl Adolph von Basedow, German DR (Ziekte van Basedow), dies at 55
  • Apr 15 Arthur Aikin, English chemist, mineralogist, and writer (b. 1773)
  • Apr 17 Gottlob Wiedebein, composer, dies at 74
  • Apr 18 Joseph Antoni Frantiszek Elsner, composer, dies at 84
  • Apr 19 Robert Jameson, Scottish naturalist (b. 1774)
  • Apr 22 Nicolás Bravo, Mexican politician and soldier (b. 1786)
  • Apr 29 Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general (b. 1768)
  • May 3 William Beale, composer, dies at 70
  • May 31 Vatroslav Lisinski, composer, dies at 34
  • Jun 7 Charles Baudin, French admiral (b. 1792)
  • Jul 4 Karl F Eichhorn, German law historian, dies at 72
  • Jul 6 Georg Ohm, German physicist and mathematician (Ohm's law), dies at 65
  • Jul 15 Wincenty Studzinski, composer, dies at 39
  • Jul 18 Abbas Hilmi I, viceroy of Egypt, dies at about 41
  • Aug 9 Frederik Augustus II, king of Saxon (1836-54), dies at 57
  • Aug 11 Macedonio Melloni, Italian physicist (b. 1798)
  • Aug 16 Duncan Phyfe, furniture maker, dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 20 Friedrich WJ von Schelling, German philosopher, dies at 79

  • Oct 22 Jeremias Gotthelf [Albert Bitzius], Swiss writer (The Black Spider), dies at 57
  • Oct 28 James P Carrell, composer, dies at 67
  • Nov 5 Soimonov, Russian general, dies in battle of Inkermann
  • Nov 18 Edward Forbes, English Naturalist and pioneer in the field of biogeography, dies of an illness at 39
  • Nov 19 Alberich Zwyssig, composer, dies at 46
  • Nov 25 John G Lockhart, [scorpion], English biographer, dies at 60
  • Nov 26 Matthijs Siegenbeek, literature (Defeated German Spelling), dies
  • Dec 9 Almeida Garrett, Portuguese writer (b. 1799)