Historical Events in 1789

  • Jan 21 1st American novel, WH Brown's "Power of Sympathy" is published
  • Jan 23 Georgetown, 1st US Catholic college, founded
  • Jan 26 John Odell signs contract for £336 to build St Peter's church (Bronx)
  • Feb 1 Chinese troops driven out of Vietnam capital Thang Long
  • Feb 4 1st US electoral college chooses Washington & Adams as President and Vice-President
  • Mar 2 Pennsylvania ends prohibition of theatrical performances

AgreementConstitution of the United States

Mar 4 1st US Congress meets and declares constitution in effect (9 senators, 13 reps)

  • Mar 10 Franklin College founded

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 11 Benjamin Banneker and Pierre Charles L'Enfant begin to lay out Washington, D.C.

Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author Benjamin Banneker
Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author
Benjamin Banneker
Washington D.C. Architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant
Washington D.C. Architect
Pierre Charles L'Enfant
  • Apr 1 US House of Representatives 1st full meeting, NYC, F Muhlenberg 1st speaker
  • Apr 6 1st US Congress begins regular sessions, Federal Hall, NYC
  • Apr 8 First meeting of the US House of Representatives

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 16 George Washington heads for 1st presidential inauguration

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 21 John Adams sworn in as 1st US VP (9 days before Washington)

2nd US President John Adams
2nd US President
John Adams
  • Apr 23 President-elect George Washington moves into Franklin House, NY
  • Apr 28 Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny on HMS Bounty against its captain William Bligh
  • Apr 30 George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America
  • May 5 French Estates-General meets for the first time since 1614 at Versailles, summoned King Louis XVI
  • May 7 First US Presidential inaugural ball (for George Washington in NYC)
  • May 12 Society of St Tammany is formed by Revolutionary War soldiers. It later becomes an infamous group of NYC political bosses

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in UK House of Commons, reasons the slave trade morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice

Abolitionist William Wilberforce
Abolitionist
William Wilberforce
  • Jun 1 1st US congressional act becomes law (on administering oaths)
  • Jun 3 Alex Mackenzie explores Mackenzie River (Canada)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 8 James Madison introduces a proposed Bill of Rights in the U.S. House of Representatives.

4th US President James Madison
4th US President
James Madison
  • Jun 9 Spanish capture British schooner Northwest America near Vancouver Island
  • Jun 13 Mrs Alexander Hamilton serves ice cream for dessert to Washington
  • Jun 14 Capt William Bligh reaches Timor
  • Jun 17 3rd Estate in France declared itself a national assembly
  • Jun 20 Tennis Court Oath (for a new constitution) in France made at Versailles
  • Jul 4 1st US tariff act signed by President Washington
  • Jul 14 Bastille Day - the French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille Prison
  • Jul 15 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, is named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.
  • Jul 27 US Congress establishes Department of Foreign Affairs (State dept)
  • Aug 1 US Customs begins enforcing Tariff Act
  • Aug 4 French National Meeting ending feudal system
  • Aug 7 US Congress creates Department of War & Lighthouse Service
  • Aug 27 French National Assembly issues "Declaration of Rights of Man & Citizen"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 28 William Herschel discovers Saturn's moon Enceladus

Astronomer William Herschel
Astronomer
William Herschel
  • Sep 2 US Treasury Department established by Congress

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 11 Alexander Hamilton appointed 1st Secretary of Treasury

1st US Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton
1st US Secretary of Treasury
Alexander Hamilton
  • Sep 13 1st loan to US government (from NYC banks)
  • Sep 15 US Department of Foreign Affairs, renamed Department of State
  • Sep 17 William Herschel discovers Mimas, satellite of Saturn
  • Sep 18 1st loan is made to pay salaries of the presidents & Congress
  • Sep 22 US Congress established the Postal Service, initially requiring the first Postmaster General to report to the President through the Secretary of the Treasury
  • Sep 24 US Congress establishes Post Office Department following the new constitution
  • Sep 24 US Federal Judiciary Act is passed & creates a six-person Supreme Court

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 24 President George Washington nominates John Jay the 1st Chief Justice

Ist US Chief Justice John Jay
Ist US Chief Justice
John Jay
  • Sep 24 US Attorney General Office is created
  • Sep 25 US Congress proposes the Bill of Rights
  • Sep 26 4th US Postmaster General: Samuel Osgood of Mass takes office

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 26 Thomas Jefferson appointed 1st US Secretary of State; John Jay becomes 1st US Chief Justice

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
Ist US Chief Justice John Jay
Ist US Chief Justice
John Jay
  • Sep 26 Edmund J Randolph becomes 1st US Attorney General
  • Sep 29 US War Dept established a regular army
  • Oct 2 George Washington transmits the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification
  • Oct 3 Washington proclaims 1st national Thanksgiving Day on Nov 26
  • Oct 5 French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles in the March on Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris
  • Oct 6 French Revolution: Louis XVI returns to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women on 5 October
  • Oct 15 1st presidental tour-George Washington in New England
  • Nov 5 Fleeing slaves under Bonni attack military post on Suriname
  • Nov 5 French National Meeting declares all citizens equal under law
  • Nov 6 Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.
  • Nov 8 Bourbon Whiskey 1st distilled from corn (by Elijah Craig, Bourbon, Ky)
  • Nov 13 Ben Franklin writes "Nothing . . . certain but death & taxes"
  • Nov 20 New Jersey is 1st state to ratify Bill of Rights
  • Nov 21 North Carolina ratifies constitution, becomes 12th US state
  • Nov 26 1st national Thanksgiving in America