On This Day

What Happened in January 1838

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 1st official horse race in South Australia-Adelaide

Historic InventionMorse Telegraph First Demonstrated

Jan 6 Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrate their telegraph machine in New Jersey

Learn More
The original Morse telegraph machine, as developed by Samuel Morse
The original Morse telegraph machine, as developed by Samuel Morse
Learn More
  • Jan 8 Rebellion at Amherstburg, Ontario breaks out

CommunicationHistoric Communication

Jan 11 First public demonstration of telegraph messages sent using dots and dashes at Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • Jan 26 Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States
  • Jan 26 Myall Creek Massacre: about 50 Wirrayaraay indigenous people killed by New South Wales Mounted Police (seven men later the first ever to be hanged for killing Australian Aborigines) [1]

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 William Hugh Young, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1901)
  • Jan 4 Charles Stratton [General Tom Thumb], famous short person
  • Jan 5 Camille Jordan, French mathematician, born in Lyon, France (d. 1922)
  • Jan 6 Max Bruch, German composer (Kol Nidre), born in Cologne, Germany (d. 1920)
  • Jan 16 Franz Brentano, German philosopher & psychologist, born in Rhine Province, Germany (d. 1917)

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 13 Ferdinand Ries, German composer dies at 53
  • Jan 20 Pierre-Louis Hus-Desforges, French cellist and composer, dies at 64
  • Jan 23 Arnold A Buyskes, Dutch vice-admiral/colonial director, dies at 67
  • Jan 28 Aleksandr Polezhayev, Russian poet (Sasjka), dies at 33 [OS 16 Jan]
  • Jan 30 Osceola, chief of Seminole indians, dies in jail