Historical Events in 1855

  • Jan 9 Clipper "Guiding Star" disappears in Atlantic, 480 dead
  • Jan 23 The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge.
  • Jan 28 The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway.
  • Jan 31 Western railroads blocked by snow
  • Feb 3 Wisconsin Supreme Coutt declares US Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional
  • Feb 4 Soldiers shoot Jewish families in Coro, Venezuela

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Feb 6 British government of Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston forms

British Prime Minister Henry John Temple
British Prime Minister
Henry John Temple
  • Feb 8 The Devil's Footprints mysteriously appear in southern Devon.
  • Feb 10 US citizenship laws amended; all children of US parents born abroad granted US citizenship
  • Feb 11 Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam.
  • Feb 12 Michigan State University was established.
  • Feb 14 Texas is linked by telegraph to the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas.
  • Feb 24 US Court of Claims forms for cases against government
  • Mar 2 Aleksandr Romanov becomes tsar of Russia
  • Mar 3 US Congress approves $30,000 to test camels for military use
  • Mar 3 US Congress authorizes registered mail
  • Mar 6 Gustave Flaubert writes goodbye to Louise Colet
  • Mar 7 17th Grand National: John Hanlon aboard Wanderer IRE wins
  • Mar 8 1st train crosses 1st US railway suspension bridge, Niagara Falls
  • Mar 15 Louisiana establishes 1st health board to regulate quarantine
  • Mar 24 Manhattan Kansas founded as New Boston Kansas

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Mar 27 Abraham Gesner patents kerosene

Physician and Geologist Abraham Gesner
Physician and Geologist
Abraham Gesner
  • Apr 21 1st train crosses Miss River's 1st bridge, Rock Is Ill-Davenport Ia
  • Apr 26 Composer Gioacchino Rossini leaves Italy
  • Apr 28 1st veterinary college in US incorporated in Boston
  • May 3 Antwerp-Rotterdam railway opens
  • May 5 NYC regains Castle Clinton, to be used for immigration
  • Jun 1 US adventurer William Walker conquers Nicaragua, reestablishes slavery
  • Jun 2 The Portland Rum Riot occurs in Portland, Maine.
  • Jun 5 Anti-foreign anti-Roman Catholic Know-Nothing Party's 1st convention
  • Jun 13 Opera "Les Vêpres Sicilenne" is produced (Paris)
  • Jun 17 Heavy French/British bombing of Sebastopol, Crimea: 2,000+ killed
  • Jun 20 Commissioners appointed to lay out SF streets west of Larkin
  • Jun 28 The Sigma Chi Fraternity was founded at Miami University

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Jul 4 In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems, titled Leaves of Grass, is published.

  • Jul 20 1st train from Rotterdam to Utrecht in Netherlands
  • Jul 31 Hottest July in Stockholm since at least 1756 (21.4°C avg)
  • Aug 1 Castle Clinton in NYC opens as 1st US receiving station for immigrants
  • Aug 3 Rotterdam-Gouda railway opens
  • Aug 4 John Bartlett publishes "Familiar Quotations"
  • Aug 9 Battle of Acapulco during Mexican Liberal uprising
  • Sep 3 Indian Wars: In Nebraska, 700 soldiers under American General William S. Harney avenge the Grattan Massacre by attacking a Sioux village, killing 100 men, women, and children.
  • Sep 8 Crimean war - assault of Malakof Tower under Patrice de Mac-Mahon, Duke of Magenta
  • Sep 8 British and French troops capture Sevastopol from the Russians, effectively ending the Crimean War.
  • Sep 27 George F Bristow's "Rip Van Winkle", 2nd American opera, opens in NYC
  • Oct 9 Isaac Singer patents sewing machine motor
  • Oct 9 Joshua Stoddard of Worcester, Massachusetts, patents first calliope
  • Oct 17 Bessemer steelmaking process patented

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Oct 18 Franz Liszt's "Prometheus" premieres

Composer/Pianist Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 17 David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Physician and Explorer David Livingstone
Physician and Explorer
David Livingstone