1879 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 1 John Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major premieres in Leipzig
  • Jan 2 British battleship Thunder explodes in Gulf of Ismid, 9 die
  • Jan 2 Dr Benjamin E Mays, named president of Atlanta Board of Education
  • Jan 9 Cheyenne prisoners led by Dull Knife revolt at Ft Robinson
  • Jan 9 Kirland Warbler discovered on Andros Island in Bahamas
  • Jan 11 Zulu war against British colonial rule in South Africa begins
  • Jan 12 British Zulu War begins: Lt-General Chelmsford invades Zululand
  • Jan 16 January record 13" of snow falls in NYC (broken Jan 7, 1996)
  • Jan 20 British troops under Lord Chelmsford set camp at Isandlwana
  • Jan 21 Henrik Ibsen's "Et Dukkehjem" premieres in Copenhagen
  • Jan 22 Zulu warriors attack British Army camp in Isandhlwana, South Africa
  • Jan 22 James Shields (D) elected US senator from Missouri after previously serving as US senator from Illinois & Minnesota
  • Jan 22 Battle of Rorke's Drift: British garrison of 150 holds off 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven Victoria Crosses and a number of other decorations were awarded to the defenders.
  • Jan 25 The Bulgarian National Bank is founded.

BattleBattle of Interest

Jan 29 Custer Battlefield National Monument, Mont established

  • Jan 30 French President Patrice de Mac-Mahon resigns
  • Feb 5 Joseph Swan demonstrates light bulb using carbon glow
  • Feb 8 Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.
  • Feb 10 1st electric arc light used (California Theater)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 10 Henry Morton Stanley departs for the Congo

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley
  • Feb 12 1st artificial ice rink in North America (Madison Sq Garden, NYC)
  • Feb 12 News about slaughtering of Isandlwana reaches London
  • Feb 14 Chilean troops occupy Antofagasta
  • Feb 15 US Congress authorizes women lawyers to practice before Supreme Court
  • Feb 18 Arabs capture Egyptian premier Nabar Pasha

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 18 Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi is awarded a patent for his design for the Statue of Liberty

  • Feb 22 1st 5 cent & 10 cent store opened by Frank W. Woolworth in Utica, New York (failed almost immediately)
  • Feb 25 US Congress passed 1st Timberland Protection Act
  • Feb 27 Constantine Fahlberg discovers saccharin (artificial sweetener)
  • Feb 28 "Exodus of 1879" southern blacks flee political/economic exploitation
  • Mar 1 Library of Hawaii founded
  • Mar 3 1st female lawyer heard by US Supreme Court (Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood)
  • Mar 3 US Geological Survey director authorized in Department of the Interior
  • Mar 23 War of the Pacific was fought between Chile and the joints forces of Bolivia and Peru. Chile successfully took over Arica and Tarapacá which left Bolivia as a landlocked country.
  • Mar 27 Longest championship fight (136 rounds)
  • Apr 5 Chile declares war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.
  • Apr 8 Khedive Ismael of Egypt fires French/British ministers
  • Apr 8 Milk was sold in glass bottles for 1st time
  • Apr 18 Trial of Standing Bear-Crook on indians citizen rights begins
  • Apr 20 1st mobile home (horse drawn) used in a journey from London & Cyprus
  • May 8 George Selden files for 1st patent for a gasoline-driven automobile
  • May 10 Meteor falls near Estherville, Iowa
  • May 14 The first group of 463 Indian indentured labourers arrive in Fiji aboard the Leonidas.
  • May 16 Antonin Dvorák's "Slavic Dancing" premieres
  • May 16 Treaty of Gandamak to set up Afghan state between Russia & English
  • May 21 Battle of Iquique: Chilean naval forces overcome Peruvian ships (War of the Pacific)
  • May 30 92°F highest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in May
  • May 30 Gilmore Garden (NYC) renamed Madison Square Garden
  • May 30 An F4 tornado strikes Irving, Kansas, killing 18 and injuring 60.
  • May 31 1st electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 31 Madison Square Garden opens in New York, named after 4th President James Madison

4th US President James Madison
4th US President
James Madison
  • Jun 1 Napoleon Eugene, the last dynastic Bonaparte, is killed serving with British forces in the Anglo-Zulu War. He is buried in Farnborough, Hampshire.
  • Jun 16 Gilbert & Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore" debuts at Bowery Theater NYC
  • Jun 18 W H Richardson, a black inventor, patents the children's carriage
  • Jun 21 Frank W. Woolworth opens his 1st successful "F. W. Woolworth Great Five Cent Store" on North Queen Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Jun 26 Ismael Pasha resigns as khedive of Egypt
  • Jun 30 Ex-khedive Ismael Pasha leaves Cairo with train full stolen goods
  • Jul 1 Ex-khedive Ismael Pasha sails from Alexandria to Naples
  • Jul 1 Charles Taze Russell publishes the first edition of the religious magazine The Watchtower.
  • Jul 4 Africaner Union forms by Rev SJ du Toit at Cape colony
  • Jul 4 Battle at Ulundi: Lord Chelmsford beats Zulu King Cetshwayo
  • Jul 17 1st railroad opens in Hawaii

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 19 Doc Holliday kills for the first time after a man shoots up his New Mexico saloon.

Gunfighter in the American Old West Doc Holliday
Gunfighter in the American Old West
Doc Holliday
  • Jul 31 The first cable connection between South Africa and Europe is laid by the British electrical engineer Charles Tilston Bright as part of his project to link the British Empire with growing telecommunications technologies
  • Aug 4 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Aeterni Patris
  • Aug 7 The opening of the Poor Man's Palace in Manchester.
  • Aug 17 Ferdinand de Lesseps forms French Panama Canal Company
  • Aug 20 Government Kappeijne of Coppello resigns
  • Aug 21 The Virgin Mary, along with St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, reportedly appears to the people of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.
  • Aug 23 Governor-general Charles Gordon of Sudan returns to Cairo
  • Sep 5 George Washington De Long, American Arctic Explorer, and commander on board the Jeannette, becomes trapped with his crew in pack ice during his attempt to reach the North Pole
  • Sep 15 Pim Mulier forms "Haarlem Football Club"
  • Sep 19 The Blackpool Illuminations are switched on for the first time.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 20 Ulysses S. Grant and family go to SF for elaborate extended visit

US President & Union General Ulysses S. Grant
US President & Union General
Ulysses S. Grant
  • Sep 23 Baldwin steam motors tram 1st tried in Sydney Australia
  • Sep 23 Richard Rhodes invented a hearing aid called the Audiophone
  • Sep 28 Sydney Australia inaugurates steam motor tram route
  • Sep 29 NL owners meeting in Buffalo adopt reserve clause, giving each team exclusive rights to their players
  • Oct 2 Start of Sherlock Holmes adventure "Musgrave Ritual" (BG)
  • Oct 7 Germany & Austrian-Hungary sign Twofold Covenant
  • Oct 8 War of the Pacific: the Chilean Navy defeats the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau is killed in the encounter.
  • Oct 12 British troops occupy Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Oct 19 Afghan's emir Mohammed Yakub forced to resign

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 22 Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb

Inventor Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
  • Nov 2 In a 6-day footrace a Mr Weston loses to a horse, 900 to 885 km
  • Nov 4 Elkins patents refrigerating apparatus
  • Nov 4 James Ritty patents first cash register, to combat stealing by bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio saloon
  • Nov 6 Canada celebrates 1st Thanksgiving Day
  • Nov 19 National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders determines what "is" a trotter
  • Nov 28 Battle at Lydenburg South Africa: Gen Wolseley beats Sekhukhenes Pedi-Zulu
  • Dec 5 1st automatic telephone switching system patented
  • Dec 13 First federal fish hatching steamer launched (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • Dec 20 Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
  • Dec 26 Johannes Brahms' "Tragic Ouverture" premieres
  • Dec 28 North British Railway's train falls as Tay bridge collapses (Scotland)
  • Dec 30 Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres
  • Dec 31 Cornerstone laid for Honolulu's Iolani Palace (only royal palace in US)
  • Dec 31 Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp

Birthdays in History

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 123

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 1 E. M. Forster, English writer and novelist (Howards End, Passage to India), born in Marylebone, Middlesex (d. 1970)

Writer and Novelist E. M. Forster
Writer and Novelist
E. M. Forster
  • Jan 1 Emile Argand, Swiss geologist (Dekbladen Theory)
  • Jan 1 Ernest Jones, British psychoanalyst (Life & Work of Sigmund Freud)
  • Jan 1 William Fox, US film pioneer (Nickelodeon)
  • Jan 2 Johannes L "Jan" Walch, Dutch literary (Grimaces)
  • Jan 2 Pieter Tesch, Dutch geologist (Pedestal of Nederlands)
  • Jan 3 Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge, US First Lady (1923-29)
  • Jan 5 Hans Eppinger, Austrian physician (d. 1946)
  • Jan 7 St Bernadette (Marie-Bernarde Soubirous), 1844(?), religious visionary
  • Jan 11 Antonio Beltramelli, writer
  • Jan 15 Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author (d. 1961)
  • Jan 18 Henri Giraud, French general (d. 1949)
  • Jan 19 Marie Koenen, author/wife of Felix Rutten (Wassend Cereal)
  • Jan 19 Boris Savinkov, Russian writer (d. 1925)
  • Jan 26 Ludovicus H [Lode] Baekelmans, Flemish (stage)author (Tille)
  • Feb 6 Carl Ramsauer, professor of physics and a research physicist (Ramsauer-Townsend effect), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Feb 9 Jacques Bainville, French historian/essayist/journalist
  • Feb 13 Sarojini Naidu, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1949)
  • Feb 17 Dorothy Canfield Fisher, US, novelist (Book-of-Month-Club)
  • Feb 23 Agnes Arber, English biologist/philosopher (Mind & the Eye)
  • Feb 23 Norman Lindsay, Creswick Victoria, artist/novelist
  • Feb 24 Herman Teirlinck, Belgian writer (Sun)
  • Mar 4 Bernhard Kellermann, writer
  • Mar 5 Sir William Beveridge, British economist (d. 1963)
  • Mar 8 Mechtilde Lichnowsky, German writer, born in Pocking, bavaria (d. 1958)
  • Mar 8 Otto Hahn, German physicist/chemist (Nobel 44, radiothorium/actinium)
  • Mar 11 Niels Bjerrum, Danish chemist (ph tests)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 14 Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate (theory of relativity), born in Ulm, German Empire (d. 1955)

Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
Albert Einstein
  • Mar 15 Gerrit J Heering, Dutch theologist (Fall of Christianity)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 18 Cluny MacPherson, Canadian doctor and inventor of the gas mask, born in St. John's, Newfoundland (d. 1966)

  • Mar 20 Maud Menten, Canadian biochemist (d. 1960)
  • Mar 26 Othmar Ammann, Swiss bridge engineer (d. 1965)
  • Mar 27 Edward Steichen, pioneered American photography
  • Apr 9 Gerald Festus Kelly, artist
  • Apr 11 Leendert Round, Dutch sculptor (entrance Rotterdam Zoo)
  • Apr 12 Frederick G Melcher, US, publisher/editor/founded children's book week
  • Apr 13 Edward Bruce, Director art projects (d. 1943)
  • Apr 14 James Branch Cabell, American novelist/essayist (Restless Heads)
  • Apr 15 Melville Henry Cane, American lawyer (d. 1980)
  • Apr 19 Richard Scheibe, German sculptor (Adler mit Hakenkreuz)
  • Apr 20 Robert Lynd, Irish writer/critic (Pleasures of Ignorance)
  • Apr 20 Paul Poiret, French couturier (d. 1944)
  • Apr 21 Kartini, Indonesian national figure (d. 1904)
  • Apr 23 Emil Barth, German revolutionary (Social Democratic Party), born in Heidelberg (d. 1941)
  • Apr 26 Owen Williams Richardson, England, physicist (Nobel 1928)
  • Apr 28 Edgar Tytgat, Flemish painter/etcher
  • Apr 28 Franz Arnold, German writer, born in Znin, Prussia (d. 1960)
  • May 2 James F. Byrnes, American statesman, and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1972)
  • May 3 Fergus McMaster, Australian businessman (d. 1950)
  • May 5 Symon Petlyura, leader Ukraine (pogroms)
  • May 6 Bedrich Hrozny, Czech orientalist (d. 1952)
  • May 10 Symon Petlura, Ukrainian statesman (d. 1926)
  • May 17 Simon Petlyura, Ukrainian independence fighter (d. 1926)
  • May 19 Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, US/Eng's feminist/ex of Waldorf Astor
  • May 24 H. B. Reese, American inventor of Reese's and founder (d. 1956)
  • May 25 W Maxwell Aitken lord Beaverbrook, Canada/English banker
  • May 27 Hans Lammers, German SS officer (d. 1962)
  • May 28 Milutin Milankovic, Yugoslavian astronomer/meteorologist
  • Jun 2 Adolf Herckenrath, Flemish playwright/poet (Avondvlam)
  • Jun 3 Pieter J A Adriani, Dutch tax lawyer
  • Jun 3 Raymond Pearl, American biologist (d. 1940)
  • Jun 4 Mabel Lucie Attwell, English children's author and illustrator (d. 1964)
  • Jun 5 Robert Mayer, German-born philanthropist (d. 1985)
  • Jun 6 L Patrick Abercrombie, English architect
  • Jun 7 Knud J V Rasmussen, Danish pole explorer (Thule)
  • Jun 7 Joan Voûte, Dutch astronomer (d. 1963)
  • Jun 9 Oscar Back, Austrian-Dutch viola player
  • Jun 13 Johannes G Geelkerken, Dutch reformed vicar
  • Jun 16 Fritz Schulz, German law historian (Classical Novel Law)
  • Jun 16 Theo[dorus J] Thijssen, Dutch writer (Kees the boy)
  • Jun 21 Umberto Brunelleschi, Italian cartoonist/illustrator (Candide)
  • Jun 22 Thibaudeau Rinfret, jurist and Chief Justice of Canada (d. 1962)
  • Jun 23 William Ewart Berry, 1st viscount Camrose/English nobleman
  • Jul 1 Leon Jouhaux, France, socialist/co-founder UN's ILO (Nobel 1951)
  • Jul 3 Alfred Korzybski, Polish linguist (d. 1950)
  • Jul 9 Friedrich Adler, Austria social-democrat/murderer of premier Storgkh
  • Jul 9 Carlos Chagas, Brazilian physician (d. 1934)
  • Jul 10 Harry Nicholls Holmes, Penn, Dr (crystallized vitamin A)
  • Jul 27 Francesco Gaeta, Italian poet (Il Libro Della Giovinezza)
  • Aug 6 Joseph Wirth, German politician (Stalin Peace Prize)
  • Aug 8 Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary, peasant leader
  • Aug 8 Bob Smith, American founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (d. 1950)
  • Aug 18 Aleksandr Rodzyanko, Russian general (d. 1970)
  • Aug 29 Han Yong-woon, Hongsung County Korea, Zen teacher
  • Aug 31 Joshihito, emperor of Japan (1912-26)
  • Aug 31 Alma Mahler, wife of Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius and Franz Werfel (d. 1964)
  • Sep 2 An Jung-geun, Korean nationalist and assassin of Itō Hirobumi (d. 1910)
  • Sep 12 Fausto Agnelli, Swiss painter
  • Sep 12 H de Bie, Dutch lawyer (children's law)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 14 Margaret Sanger, American nurse, birth control proponent and feminist, born in Corning, New York (d. 1966)

  • Sep 15 Joseph Lyons, 10th Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1939)
  • Sep 17 Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, Indian Social Reformer (d. 1973)
  • Sep 20 Victor Seastrom, Silbodal Sweden, director (Wind, Under the Red Robe)
  • Sep 25 Lope K. Santos, Filipino writer and labor leader, Father of the Philippine National Language and Grammar (d. 1963)
  • Sep 26 Petko J Todorov, Bulgaria, writer (Fairy, Samodiva Fee)
  • Sep 27 Hans Hahn, Austrian mathematician (d. 1934)
  • Oct 2 Wallace Stevens, poet (Ideas of Order), born in Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Oct 4 Edward Murray East, Du Quoin Illinois, American Botanist and Geneticist who developed hybrid corn
  • Oct 28 Channing H. Cox, 49th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1968)
  • Oct 29 Franz JHMM von Papen, German diplomat/chancellor (1932)

Weddings in History

  • Jan 7 Dutch King Willem II marries Emma von Waldeck-Pyrmont

Deaths in History

  • Jan 9 Don Joaquin BF Espartero, fieldmarshall/viceroy of Navarra, dies at 86
  • Jan 13 WF Hendrik the Navigator, prince of Neth/viceroy of Lux, dies at 58
  • Jan 16 Octave Crémazie, French Canadian poet (b. 1827)
  • Jan 22 Anthony Durnford, British colonel, dies in Battle of Isandlwana
  • Jan 22 George Shepstone, British political affiliate, dies in battle
  • Jan 29 Antonia MB Antonucci, Italian cardinal/diplomat, dies at 80
  • Feb 11 Honore Daumier, caricaturist/painter, dies
  • Feb 11 Willem J van Zeggelen, Dutch author/novelist/writer, dies at 67
  • Feb 21 Peter P van Bosse, Dutch liberal minister of Finance, dies at 69
  • Feb 23 Albrecht Graf von Roon, Prime Minister of Prussia (b. 1803)
  • Mar 1 Joachim Heer, Swiss politician (b. 1825)
  • Mar 13 Adolf Anderssen, German world champ chess (1851..66), dies at 60
  • Mar 30 David van der Kellen, Dutch coin engraver, dies at 74
  • Mar 30 Thomas Couture, French painter/author, dies at 63
  • Apr 4 Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, German physicist (b. 1803)
  • Apr 16 Bernadette, st/(saw Virgin Mary at Lourdes), dies in Nevers France
  • Apr 18 Anthony Pannizim, principal librarian (British Museum), dies
  • May 4 William Froude, British civil eng/shipbuilder (F Integer), dies at 68
  • May 15 Gottfried Semper, German architect (b. 1803)
  • May 17 Asa Packer, railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh Valley Railroad (b. 1805)
  • May 21 Arturo Prat, Chilean naval officer (b. 1848)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 24 William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist (Liberator), dies at 73

  • Jun 2 E Louis JJ Napoleon Bonaparte, crown prince, dies in battle at 23
  • Jun 11 Willem, (crown)prince of Orange, dies of bronchitis or murder at 39
  • Jul 16 Edward Deas Thomson, Australian politician (b. 1800)
  • Jul 17 Maurycy Gottlieb, Ukrainian painter (b. 1856)
  • Aug 3 Joseph Severn, English painter (b. 1793)
  • Aug 8 Immanuel Hermann Fichte, German philosopher (b. 1797)
  • Aug 27 Rowland Hill, introduced postage stamps, dies at 84
  • Aug 30 John B Hood, confederate general (lost Atlanta), dies at 48
  • Aug 31 William Barber, 6th US chief engraver (1844-79), dies
  • Sep 14 Bernhard von Cotta, German geologist (b. 1808)
  • Sep 17 Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, French architect (b. 1814)
  • Sep 28 Nathan C Meeker, US, poet/writer, murdered
  • Oct 8 Miguel Grau Seminario, Peruvian Admiral (b. 1834)
  • Oct 14 F Kornberger, writer, dies at 58
  • Oct 28 Marie Roch Louis Reybaud, French writer (b. 1799)
  • Oct 31 Big Snake, brother of Ponca chief Standing Bear, dies
  • Oct 31 Jacob Abbott, American author (b. 1803)
  • Oct 31 Joseph Hooker, American General (b. 1814)
  • Nov 5 James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist (speed of light), dies at 48
  • Dec 6 Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American industrialist (b. 1814)
  • Dec 26 Jean Leonard Marie Poiseuille, dies