On This Day

Historical Events in 1787

Historic Event

Jan 11 Titania & Oberon, moons of Uranus, discovered by William Herschel

  • Jan 25 Shays' Rebellion suffers a setback when debt-ridden farmers, led by Capt Daniel Shays, fail to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Jan 28 Philadelphia's Free Africa Society organizes

Articles of Confederation

Feb 2 Arthur St. Clair is elected the 9th President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation

  • Feb 4 1st Anglican bishops of NY & Pennsylvania consecrated in London
  • Feb 4 Shays' Rebellion (of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers) fails
  • Feb 18 Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II bans children under 8 from labor
  • Feb 28 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh is granted
  • Apr 12 Philadelphia's Free African Society forms
  • Apr 16 1st American comedy, "The Contrast," makes its debut in NYC
  • May 6 1st African American Masonic Lodge (African # 459) forms Prince Hall, Boston
  • May 8 First US prison reform society formed, the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons led by Dr. Benjamin Rush
  • May 10 British Parliament impeaches Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal

Historic Event

May 13 Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia

  • May 17 English slave ship Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba, capsizes killing hundreds

Historic Event

May 25 Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding

Historic Event

May 29 "Virginia Plan" by Thomas Jefferson proposed to the Constitutional Convention advocating for a national government with three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial

  • Jun 6 Franklin College founded, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now part of Franklin & Marshall College.

Music Premiere

Jun 8 "Tarare" an opera by Antonio Salieri premieres at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris

  • Jun 12 US Law passes providing a senator must be at least 30 years old
  • Jun 20 Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States

Historic Event

Jul 2 Marquis de Sade shouts from Bastille that prisoners are being slaughtered

  • Jul 6 French government proclaims end to stamp/land tax
  • Jul 6 Orange troops occupy Area at Duurstede
  • Jul 13 Congress establishes Northwest Territory (excludes slavery)
  • Jul 13 US Ordinance of 1787 passed, establishes first organized US territory
  • Jul 15 Parliament of Paris banished to Troyes
  • Aug 2 Swiss alpine explorer Horace Bénédict de Saussure becomes the third person to reach the top of Mont Blanc
  • Aug 6 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia begins debate on the first draft of the Constitution

Music History

Aug 10 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his chamber piece "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" (A Little Serenade)

  • Aug 16 Turkey declares war on Russia (Russo-Turkish War 1787-92)
  • Aug 17 Jews are granted permission in Budapest Hungary to pray in groups
  • Aug 22 John Fitch's steamboat completes its tests, years before Fulton
  • Aug 24 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his violin and piano sonata in A, K526

Bill of Rights

Sep 12 American statesman George Mason suggests the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution modeled on previous state declarations, but the motion is defeated

  • Sep 13 Prussian army moves into Netherlands
  • Sep 15 -16] Utrecht patriots flee to Amsterdam
  • Sep 17 Prussian troops conquer Gorinchem
  • Sep 17 The US Constitution is signed by delegates at the Philadelphia Convention
  • Sep 20 Prince Willem V returns to Hague
  • Sep 28 Congress sends Constitution to state legislatures for their approval
  • Sep 30 1st US voyage around the world - Columbia leaves Boston
  • Oct 1 Russians under Suvorov defeat the Turks at Kinburn
  • Oct 2 Maagden House opens in Amsterdam
  • Oct 10 Amsterdam surrenders to Prussian invasion army
  • Oct 17 Boston African Americans petition legislature for equal school facilities

Historic Event

Oct 27 Federalist Papers start appearing in New York newspapers under pseudonym "Publius" (written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay)

  • Oct 29 Opera "Don Giovanni", music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte premieres at the National Theater of Bohemia in Prague
  • Nov 1 First free school in NYC (African Free School) opens
  • Nov 18 First Unitarian minister in US ordained, Boston
  • Nov 30 Spanish governor leaves the Philippines
  • Dec 6 Laurens Pieter van de Speigel is appointed Dutch pension advisor
  • Dec 7 Delaware is the 1st state to ratify the US constitution
  • Dec 12 Pennsylvania becomes 2nd state to ratify US constitution
  • Dec 18 New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the US constitution