Historical Events in 1839

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Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 2nd 1st photo of the Moon (French photographer Louis Daguerre)

Photographer and Inventor Louis-Jacques Daguerre
Photographer and Inventor
Louis-Jacques Daguerre
  • Jan 6th 2 day storm off Irish & English coast immortalized as "Big Wind"
  • Jan 9th Daguerrotype photo process announced at French Academy of Science
  • Jan 9th Thomas Henderson measures 1st stellar parallax (Alpha Centauri)
  • Jan 10th Tea from India 1st arrives in UK
  • Jan 11th Earthquake at Martinique destroys half of Port Royal - 700 die
  • Jan 12th Anthracite coal 1st used to smelt iron, Mauch Chunk, Penn
  • Jan 19th Aden conquered by British East India Company
  • Jan 20th In the Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats a Peruvian and Bolivian alliance.

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Jan 24th Charles Darwin elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 7th Henry Clay declares in Senate "I had rather be right than president"

Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay
  • Feb 12th Aroostoock (or "Pork & Beans) War: Boundary dispute between Maine & New Brunswick
  • Feb 18th Detroit Boat Club forms (& still exists)
  • Feb 20th Congress prohibits dueling in District of Columbia
  • Feb 24th Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia
  • Feb 25th Seminoles & black allies shipped from Tampa Bay Florida, to West
  • Feb 26th 1st Grand National: Jem Mason aboard Lottery wins
  • Mar 9th Prussian government limits work week for children to 51 hours
  • Mar 23rd 1st recorded use of "OK" [oll korrect] (Boston's Morning Post)
  • Mar 26th 1st Henley Royal Regatta
  • Apr 17th Guatemala forms republic
  • Apr 19th Treaty of London constitutes Belgium an independent kingdom & Luxembourg a Grand Duchy
  • May 4th The Cunard Steamship Company Ltd forms San Bonifacio
  • Jun 7th Hawaiian Declaration of Rights is signed
  • Jun 14th First Henley Regatta held (it became the Henley Royal Regatta in 1851)
  • Jun 17th In the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha III issues the Edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics the freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace is later established as a result
  • Jul 1st Abdul-Medjid succeeds Mahmud II as Sultan of Turkey
  • Jul 2nd Slaves aboard a Spanish schooner La Amistad revolt to secure their freedom while being transported from one Cuban port to another
  • Jul 3rd 1st state normal school in US opens, Lexington, Mass, with 3 students
  • Jul 27th Chartist riots break out in Birmingham, England
  • Aug 8th Beta Theta Pi is founded in Oxford, Ohio.
  • Aug 19th Details of Louis Daguerre's 1st practical photographic process are released in Paris
  • Aug 23rd British capture Hong Kong from China
  • Sep 2nd Salon of Varietes opens in Amsterdam
  • Sep 5th The First Opium War begins in China
  • Sep 6th Cherokee Nation unites and ratifies constitution at Tahlequah, Oklahoma
  • Sep 6th Great fire in New York
  • Sep 9th English scientist and astronomer John Herschel takes 1st glass plate photograph
  • Sep 11th 1st Canadian track & field meet held (Caer Howell Grounds)
  • Sep 20th 1st railroad in Netherland opens (Amsterdam-Haarlem)
  • Oct 10th British troops under General Charles Napier occupy Beirut
  • Nov 3rd 1st opium war - 2 British frigates engage several Chinese junks
  • Nov 3rd Palace of Gulhane Turkey, freedom of religion proclaimed
  • Nov 4th The Newport Rising is the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain.
  • Nov 11th The Virginia Military Institute is founded in Lexington, Virginia.
  • Nov 13th 1st US anti-slavery party, Liberty Party, convenes in NY

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Nov 17th Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Oberte Conti Di" premieres in Milan

Composer Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
  • Nov 25th A cyclone slams India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying the port city of Coringa (never to be entirely rebuilt again). The storm wave sweeps inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths result from the disaster.
  • Nov 27th American Statistical Association organizes in Boston
  • Dec 18th 1st celestial photograph (of Moon) made in US, John Draper, NYC