On This Day

What Happened in January 1854

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 Lincoln University, a black college, chartered (Oxford, Pennsylvania)
  • Jan 4 The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang
  • Jan 5 Steamship San Francisco wrecked off US eastern seaboard, 300 die
  • Jan 9 Astor Library opens in New York City
  • Jan 18 Filibuster William Walker proclaims Republic of Sonora in NW Mexico
  • Jan 25 Aleksandr Ostrovsky's play "Bednost ne Porok" premieres in Moscow
  • Jan 30 1st election in Washington Territory; 1,682 votes cast
  • Jan 31 Dutch KNMI established (Royal Meteorological Institute)

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 James Frazer, Britain, anthropologist/author (The Golden Bough)

Alice Mary Robertson

Jan 2 Alice Mary Robertson, American educator, social worker and 2nd woman in US Congress, born in Tullahassee Mission, Indian Territory (d. 1931)

  • Jan 6 Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft, fictional detective (via Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • Jan 9 Jennie Jerome, American society beauty and mother of Winston Churchill (d. 1921)
  • Jan 10 Heinrich K√∂selitz [Peter Gast], German composer, born in Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany (d. 1918)
  • Jan 18 Thomas A. Watson, American inventor, assistant to Alexander Graham Bell in inventing the telephone, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1934)
  • Jan 22 Luke Short, American Old West gunslinger and saloon owner, born in Polk County, Arkansas (d. 1893)
  • Jan 29 Willem Knuttel, Dutch bibliographer and librarian

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 8 William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician, dies at 85
  • Jan 9 Filippo Traetta [Philip Trajetta], Italian composer, dies at 77
  • Jan 18 Judah Touro, American philanthropist (Mount Sinai Hospital in NY), dies at 78