On This Day

What Happened in July 1853

Historical Events

Conference of Interest

Jul 6 National Black convention meets in Rochester NY, ex-slave Frederick Douglass attends

  • Jul 6 William Wells Brown publishes "Clotel", 1st novel by an African American

Historic Event

Jul 8 Commodore Matthew C. Perry sails his frigate Susquehanna into Tokyo Bay, opening Japan to Western influence and trade

  • Jul 9 Commodore Matthew Perry and four US Navy vessels visit Japan to force them to open up to American trade and end their policy of isolation
  • Jul 14 Commodore Perry requests trade relations with Japan

Historic Event

Jul 14 US President Franklin Pierce opens the "Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations" (a World's Fair), at the Crystal Palace in New York City (now site of Bryant Park)

  • Jul 14 New Zealand holds its first general election
  • Jul 18 Completion of Grand Trunk Line, trains begin running over 1st North American railroad between Portland, Maine and Montreal

Historic Event

Jul 21 Central Park in New York created when New York State Legislature puts aside more than 750 acres of land on Manhattan Island

  • Jul 25 Joaquin Murrieta, the famous Californian bandit known as "Robin Hood of El Dorado", is killed by California Rangers

Historic Invention

Jul 31 First night time surgery performed at Lychakiv Hospital in Lemberg (now Liviv, Poland), using new paraffin oil lamps invented by Ignacy Łukasiewicz


Famous Birthdays

Cecil Rhodes

Jul 5 Cecil Rhodes, British businessman, diamond merchant and imperialist politician who was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (1890-96), born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England (d. 1902)

  • Jul 7 Albert Vandal, French earl/historian (Le Pacha Bonneval)
  • Jul 17 Francesco Fanciulli, American-Italian composer, born in Porto Santo Stefano, Tuscany (d. 1915)
  • Jul 18 Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, Dutch physicist (electromagnetic radiation, Nobel 1902), born in Arnherm, Netherlands (d.1928)
  • Jul 20 Geo[rge] Poggenbeek, Dutch water colors painter
  • Jul 22 Victor Roger, French composer (Les vingt-huit jours de Clairette), born in Montpellier, France (d. 1903)
  • Jul 23 William Gillette, American stage and silent film actor (Sherlock Holmes), and playwright (Secret Service), born in Hartford, Connecticut, (d. 1937)
  • Jul 27 Vladimir Korolenko, Russian writer (The Blind Musician), born in Zhitomir, Volhynian Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1921)
  • Jul 29 Esther de Boer-van Rijk, Dutch actress (Kniertje-Hope of Blessing), born in Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands (d. 1937)
  • Jul 29 Henry Morton Dunham, American composer (d. 1929)

Famous Deaths

  • Jul 23 Andries Pretorius, Boer leader (Pretoria named after him), dies at 54
  • Jul 25 Joaquin Murieta, Mexican born Californian outlaw