What Happened in December 1848

Historical Events

  • Dec 2 Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria & King of Hungary
  • Dec 5 US President Polk triggers Gold Rush of 1849 by confirming gold discovery in California
  • Dec 25 New Haven Railroad opens
  • Dec 26 1st gold seekers arrive in Panama en route to San Francisco
  • Dec 26 William & Ellen Craft escape from slavery in Georgia
  • Dec 26 The Phi Delta Theta fraternity is founded at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
  • Dec 29 Gas lights 1st installed at White House (Polk's administration)

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 9 Joel Chandler Harris, US journalist (created Uncle Remus stories)
  • Dec 12 William Vanderbilt, yachtsman (donated Vanderbilt Cup)
  • Dec 15 Edwin Howland Blashfield, decorated the dome of Library of Congress
  • Dec 17 Frederick Grant Gleason, composer
  • Dec 18 Karl Schroder, composer
  • Dec 21 Edward Everett Rice, composer
  • Dec 30 Mary Frances Allitsen, composer

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 18 Bernard Bolzano, Bohemian mathematician and philosopher (b. 1781)
  • Dec 19 Adam FJA van Duyn, governor of South Holland, dies at 77

Person of interestEmily Brontë

Dec 19 Emily Brontë, English novelist (Wuthering Heights), dies of tuberculosis at 30

  • Dec 25 Johan Erik Nordblom, Swedish composer, dies at 60
  • Dec 31 Oliver Shaw, early American composer, dies at 69