What Happened in 1856

Historical Events

  • Jan 8 Dr John A Veatch discovers borax, Tuscan Springs, Calif
  • Jan 23 Steamer Pacific, leaves Liverpool on final voyage (lost at sea, 186 on board)
  • Jan 25 Battle of Seattle; skirmish between settlers & Indians
  • Jan 29 Victoria Cross established to acknowledge valour in the face of the enemy (United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries)
  • Feb 1 Auburn University is chartered as the East Alabama Male College.
  • Feb 7 The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the first piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 18 The American Party (Know-Nothings) convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate its first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.

13th US President Millard Fillmore
13th US President
Millard Fillmore
  • Feb 19 Tin-type camera patented by Hamilton Smith, Gambier, Ohio
  • Feb 20 The steam packet-ship John Rutledge, en route from Liverpool to New York, struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 120 passengers and 19 crew; only one survivor (Thomas Nye of New Bedford)
  • Feb 22 1st national meeting of Republican Party (Pittsburgh)
  • Feb 27 18th Grand National: George Stevens aboard Freetrader wins
  • Feb 29 Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease
  • Mar 5 Covent Garden Opera House, London, destroyed in a fire
  • Mar 5 Georgia becomes 1st state to regulate railroads
  • Mar 9 Sigma Alpha Epsilon is founded in the Johnston Mansion House on the University of Alabama
  • Mar 25 A E Burnside patents Burnside carbine
  • Mar 26 New South Wales's first 1st-class game, v Victoria at Melbourne NSW won
  • Mar 30 Russia signs Peace of Paris, ending the Crimean War
  • Apr 3 Gunpowder in church explodes killing 4,000 in Rhodos
  • Apr 10 The Theta Chi Fraternity is founded at Norwich University.
  • Apr 11 Battle of Rivas; Costa Rica beats Wm Walker's invading Nicaraguans
  • Apr 18 Russian Chancellor Count Nesselrode resigns
  • Apr 29 Peace between Britain & Russia following the Crimean War
  • May 7 Argentina & Brazil sign a navigation pact
  • May 15 2nd SF Vigilance Committee organized
  • May 19 Sen Charles Sumner, Mass, spoke out against slavery
  • May 21 Lawrence, Kansas, is captured and sacked by pro-slavery forces
  • May 22 Violence in the US Senate, SC rep Brooks used a cane on Mass Sen Sumner
  • May 24 Pottawatomie Massacre took place in Kansas
  • May 27 Doctor William Palmer (the Rugeley Poisoner ) found guilty of poisoning in Stafford, England
  • Jun 3 Cullen Whipple patents a machine for making screws
  • Jun 8 Pitcairn Islanders arrive on Norfolk Island
  • Jun 9 500 Mormons leave Iowa City, Iowa and head west for Salt Lake City, Utah carrying all their possessions in two-wheeled handcarts.
  • Jun 17 Republican Party opens its 1st national convention in Philadelphia
  • Jul 15 Natal forms as a British colony separate from Cape Colony
  • Jul 16 Statue of Laurens Jansz Coster unveiled in Haarlem
  • Jul 17 The Great Train Wreck of 1856 between Camp Hill and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania kills over 60 people.
  • Jul 31 Christchurch, New Zealand, is chartered as a city.
  • Aug 6 The Great Bell is cast in the Great Clock of Westminster (Big Ben)
  • Aug 10 Hurricane washes away 2-300 revelers at Last Island, Louisiana
  • Aug 12 Anthony Fass patents accordion
  • Aug 20 Wilberforce University forms in Ohio
  • Aug 21 America's first consul to Japan, Townsend Harris, arrives in Shimoda. (Traditional Japanese date: July 21, 1856)
  • Sep 2 Tianjing's struggle Incident in Nanjing, China.
  • Sep 14 Battle of San Jacinto at Hacienda San Jacinto, Nicaraguan forces defeat American filibusters
  • Oct 7 Cyrus Chambers Jr patents folding machine that folds book & newspapers
  • Oct 8 The Second Opium War or second Anglo-Chinese War: begins with the Arrow Incident on the Pearl River
  • Oct 19 James Kelly & Jack Smith fight bareknuckle for 6h15m in Melbourne
  • Oct 20 Arnhem-Oberhausen railway in Netherlands opens
  • Oct 24 Constitution of South Australia adopted
  • Nov 3 A British fleet bombards Canton.

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Nov 4 James Buchanan elected 15th US president

15th US President James Buchanan
15th US President
James Buchanan
  • Nov 16 Amsterdam post office at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal opens
  • Nov 17 On the Sonoita River in present-day southern Arizona, the United States Army establishes Fort Buchanan in order to help control new land acquired in the Gadsden Purchase.
  • Dec 9 The Iranian city of Bushehr surrenders to occupying British forces.

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 109

  • Jan 6 Giuseppe Martucci, composer
  • Jan 9 Anton Askerc, Slavic priest/poet (Primoz Trubar)
  • Jan 9 Lizette Woodworth Reese, US poet (Branch of May, Tears)
  • Jan 9 Stevan Mokranjac, composer
  • Jan 11 Christian August Sinding, Kongsberg Norway, composer
  • Jan 12 John Singer Sargent, US, portrait painter (Wyndham Sisters)
  • Jan 14 J. F. Archibald, Australian journalist and publisher (d. 1919)
  • Jan 18 John Hyatt Brewer, composer
  • Feb 2 Makar Grigori Ekmalyan, composer
  • Feb 5 Otto Brahm, German critic/founder (Neue Deutsche Rundschau)
  • Feb 14 Frank Harris, England, journalist/writer (My Life & Loves)
  • Feb 15 Frank Harris, Galway England, writer
  • Feb 15 Emil Kraepelin, German psychiatrist (d. 1926)
  • Feb 16 Willem Kes, Dutch violinist/composer/conductor (Parkorkest Amsterdam)
  • Feb 16 Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur (d. 1944)
  • Feb 21 Hendrik P Berlage, architect (Stock exchange Amsterdam)
  • Feb 25 Charles Lang Freer, art collector; endowed Freer Gallery [or 1876]
  • Mar 1 Florimond Fonteyne, Flemish priest/politician (Volkseeuw)
  • Mar 4 Toru Dutt, English and French poet and author (d. 1877)
  • Mar 4 Alfred William Rich, English painter (d. 1921)
  • Mar 7 Matilde Serao, [Tuffolina], Italian writer (Land of Cockayne)
  • Mar 8 Bramwell Booth, the 2nd General of The Salvation Army (d. 1929)
  • Mar 8 Tom Roberts, Australian artist (d. 1931)
  • Mar 9 Eddie Foy, American singer and dancer (d. 1928)
  • Mar 16 E Louis YY Napoleon Bonaparte, French/English prince
  • Mar 17 Mikhail Vrubel, Russian painter (d. 1910)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 20 Frederick Winslow Taylor, American mechanical engineer and the father of scientific management, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1915)

Mechanical Engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor
Mechanical Engineer
Frederick Winslow Taylor
  • Mar 20 Sir John Lavery, Irish artist (d. 1941)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 21 Henry Ossian Flipper, American soldier, former slave and first African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1877, born in Thomasville, Georgia (d. 1940)

Soldier and Former Slave Henry Ossian Flipper
Soldier and Former Slave
Henry Ossian Flipper
  • Mar 26 David Alfred Thomas, Glamorganshire UK, 1st Viscount Rhondda
  • Apr 1 Acacio Gabriel Viegas, Indian physician (d. 1933)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 5 Booker T. Washington, American education pioneer and 1st African American on a US stamp, born in Hale's Ford, Virginia (d. 1915)

Education Pioneer Booker T. Washington
Education Pioneer
Booker T. Washington
  • Apr 11 Arthur Shrewsbury, cricketer (dominant England bat late 19th cent)
  • Apr 11 Constantly Lievens, Flemish missionary in India
  • Apr 12 William M Conway, English historian/explorer (Spitzbergen)
  • Apr 22 [Marie] Louise Hens, Flemish actress (Two Orphans)
  • Apr 24 Henri POBJ Pétain, French marshal (Verdun/Vichy regime)
  • Apr 26 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1930)
  • May 6 Robert Edwin Peary, US, arctic explorer (North Pole-Apr 6 1909)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 6 Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and father of psychology, born in Freiberg, Austrian Empire (d. 1939)

Father of Psychology Sigmund Freud
Father of Psychology
Sigmund Freud
  • May 13 Peter Henry Emerson, 1st to promote photography as an independent art
  • May 13 Tom O'Rourke, American boxing manager (d. 1938)
  • May 15 Lyman Frank Baum, NY, children's book author (Wizard of Oz)
  • May 20 Henri E Cross [Delacroix], French painter
  • May 25 Louis Franchet d'Espèrey, French general (d. 1942)
  • May 26 George Templeton Strong, composer
  • Jun 8 Natalia Janotha, composer
  • Jun 14 Andrey Markov, Russia, mathematician (Markov Chain)
  • Jun 19 Elbert Hubbard, US, editor/publisher/author (Message to Garcia)
  • Jun 22 Henry Rider Haggard, Norfolk, England, author (King Solomon's Mine, She, Dawn)
  • Jun 30 Gerrit Kalff, writer (history of Dutch writers)
  • Jul 6 Edward Anseele, Belgian minister of Rail/PTT
  • Jul 7 George Hearne, cricketer (brother of Frank and Alec, Test for England)
  • Jul 9 Daniel Guggenheim, US (Guggenheim Museum)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 10 Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American physicist, electrical engineer and inventor, developed alternating current and the Tesla Coil, born in Smiljan, Austrian Empire (now Croatia) (d. 1943)

Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Nikola Tesla
Electrical and Mechanical Engineer
Nikola Tesla
  • Jul 15 Owen Dunell, cricketer (South Africa's 1st Test captain)
  • Jul 21 Harry A P Eyres, British diplomat (Constantinople, Albania)
  • Jul 21 Louise Blanchard Bethune, 1st US woman architect
  • Jul 23 Arthur H Bird, composer
  • Jul 23 Bal Gangadhar Tilak, British-Indian Hindi leader
  • Jul 24 Charles Émile Picard, French mathematician (d. 1941)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 26 George Bernard Shaw, dramatist (Pygmalion-Nobel 1925), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1950)

  • Jul 30 Richard B Haldane, British viscount/lord-chancellor (Life of A Smith)
  • Aug 1 George Coulthard, Former Australian rules footballer and cricketer (d. 1883)
  • Aug 3 Alfred Deakin, 2nd Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1919)
  • Aug 10 Paul Geisler, composer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 10 Edward L. Doheny, American oil tycoon, born in Fond du lac, Wisconsin

Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny
Oil Tycoon
Edward L. Doheny
  • Aug 12 "Diamond Jim" Brady, American financier (d. 1917)
  • Aug 15 J Keir Hardie, 1st Labour representative in British Parliament
  • Aug 17 Violet Paget, [Vernon Lee], British author (Satan the master)
  • Aug 18 Charles Hutchison Gabriel, composer
  • Aug 18 Jan Karol Gali, composer
  • Aug 20 Innokenti F Annenski, Russian poet/interpreter (Laodania) [NS Sept 1]
  • Aug 20 Jakub Bart-Ćišinski, Sorbian writer (d. 1909)
  • Aug 24 Felix Mottl, Austrian conductor and composer (Agnes Bernauer), born in Unter Sankt Veit, (d. 1911)
  • Aug 27 Iwan Franko, Ukrainian writer and political activist, born in Nahuievychi, Galicia (d. 1916)
  • Aug 30 Carle David Tolmé Runge, German physicist (d. 1927)
  • Aug 31 Nikoghayos Fadeyi Tigranyan, composer
  • Sep 1 Sergei Winogradsky, Russian scientist (d. 1953)
  • Sep 2 Yang Hsiu-ch'ing, commander in chief of Taiping Rebellion

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 3 Louis Sullivan, American architect (father of skyscrapers), born in Boston, Massachusetts

Architect and Father of Skyscrapers Louis Sullivan
Architect and Father of Skyscrapers
Louis Sullivan
  • Sep 5 Jacobus C J Hermans, actor (7th Command)
  • Sep 12 Johann Heinrich Beck, composer
  • Sep 23 William Archer, Scotland, writer (Green Goddess)
  • Sep 28 Edward Herbert Thompson, Mass, archaeologist (Mayan civilization)
  • Sep 28 Kate Douglas Wiggins, author (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm)
  • Sep 30 Andrejs Jurjans, composer
  • Oct 15 R G Nivelle, French military man
  • Oct 25 Dragutin Gorjanovic-Kramberger, Croatian paleontologist (d. 1936)
  • Oct 28 Franz Xavier Arens, composer
  • Nov 3 Jim McCormick, Scottish-born American baseball player, born in Glasgow (d. 1918)
  • Nov 6 Nicholas Nikolajevitsj, ruler of Russia
  • Nov 7 Semyon Zonovyevich Alapin, Vilna, tied for chess 1st place (1878)
  • Nov 13 Louis D Brandeis, Mass, 68th Supreme Court Justice (1916-39)
  • Nov 13 Sigwart Aspestrand, composer
  • Nov 18 Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia (d. 1929)
  • Nov 22 Heber J Grant, Salt Lake City, 7th President of Mormon church
  • Nov 25 Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, Russia, composer (Oresteia)
  • Nov 28 Alexandr Dmitriyevich Kastal'sky, composer
  • Nov 29 Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, German Chancellor/premier Prussia

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Jun 5 Industrialist Samuel Colt (41) weds philanthropist Elizabeth Hart Jarvis (29)

Inventor/Industrialist Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 5 Pierre J David, [David d'Angers], French sculptor, dies at 67
  • Jan 11 Nikolai I Nadezjdin, Russian archaeologist, dies [NS=Jan 23]
  • Jan 12 Ľudovít Štúr, Slovak politician, author of Slovak language, (b. 1815)
  • Jan 16 Thaddeus William Harris, American naturalist (b. 1795)
  • Jan 17 Thomas Attwood Walmisley, composer, dies at 41
  • Jan 24 Rabbi Yechezkel of Kuzmir, Polish Hasidic leader (b. 1775)
  • Feb 8 Agostino Bassi, Italian entomologist (b. 1773)
  • Feb 17 Heinrich Heine, German poet, dies at 58 in Paris
  • Feb 17 John Braham, English tenor singer and composer, dies at 81
  • Mar 11 James Beatty, Irish railway engineer (b. 1820)
  • Mar 28 Pyotr Ivanovich Turchaninov, composer, dies at 76
  • Apr 11 Juan Santamaría, national hero of Costa Rica (b. 1831)
  • May 3 Adolfo Fumagalli, composer, dies at 27
  • May 3 Adolphe Charles Adam, French composer/critic (Giselle), dies at 52
  • May 6 William Hamilton, metaphysicist, dies
  • May 12 Jacques Philippe Marie Binet, French mathematician (b. 1786)
  • Jun 11 Friedrich H von der Hagen, German germanist, dies at 76
  • Jun 15 David Cox, English painter (Treatise on Landscape Paint), dies at 73
  • Jun 23 Ivan Kireevsky, Russian literary critic and philosopher (b. 1806)
  • Jul 4 Istvan Ferenczi, Hungarian sculptor, dies at 64

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 9 Amedeo Avogadro, Italian scientist who contributed to molecular theory, including what is known as Avogadro's law (6.022 x 10 ^ 23), dies at 79

Scientist Amedeo Avogadro
Amedeo Avogadro
  • Jul 9 James Strang, Mormon splinter group leader (b. 1813)
  • Jul 15 Margaretha J de Neufville, author (The Kidnap), dies at 81
  • Jul 29 Robert A Schumann, German pianist/composer (Humoresque), dies at 46
  • Aug 4 Johann Gottlieb Schneider, composer, dies at 59
  • Aug 5 Robert Lucas Pearsall, English composer, dies at 61
  • Aug 14 William Buckland, dean (Westminster)/geologist, dies
  • Aug 14 Constant Prévost, French geologist (b. 1787)
  • Aug 19 Charles Frédéric Gerhardt, French Chemist, dies at 39
  • Aug 20 Philipp Jakob Riotte, composer, dies at 80
  • Aug 21 Peter Joseph von Lindpaintner, composer, dies at 64
  • Aug 29 Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, British Christian writer (b. 1778)
  • Aug 30 Gilbert Abbott à Beckett, English writer (b. 1811)
  • Sep 24 Henry, 1st viscount Hardinge of Lahore, gov-gen of India, dies
  • Oct 10 Michal Wielhorski, composer, dies at 67
  • Oct 19 William Sprague III, American politician from Rhode Island (b. 1799)
  • Oct 29 Carel SW van Hogendorp, colonial director, dies at 68
  • Nov 4 Hippolyte Delaroche, French painter (b. 1797)
  • Nov 17 William Knyvett, composer, dies at 77
  • Nov 20 Farkas/Wolfgang Bolyai, Hungarian mathematician, dies at 81
  • Dec 20 Francesco Bentivegna, Italian revolutionary (b. 1820)