On This Day

Historical Events in 1808

  • Jan 1 African Benevolent Society (education) forms
  • Jan 1 Congress prohibits importation of slaves
  • Jan 1 Sierra Leone becomes a British colony
  • Jan 10 Herman Daendels succeeds Albertus Wiese as Governor-General of Dutch-East Indies
  • Jan 12 The organizational meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is held in Edinburgh.
  • Jan 19 Louis Napoleon signs 1st Dutch aviation law
  • Jan 26 Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia
  • Feb 11 Anthracite coal 1st burned as fuel, experimentally, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Mar 2 The inaugural meeting of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, was held in Edinburgh.
  • Mar 6 1st college orchestra in US founded, at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Mar 7 Portugal's regent Dom Juan IV arrives in Rio De Janeiro
  • Mar 19 Charles IV, king of Spain, abdicates after riots and a popular revolt at the winter palace Aranjuez. His son, Ferdinand VII, takes the throne

Historic Event

Mar 23 Napoleon's brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain

  • Mar 26 Charles IV of Spain abdicates in favor of his son, Ferdinand VII
  • Mar 27 Joseph Haydn's oratorio "Die Schopfung" premieres in Vienna
  • Mar 31 French created Kingdom of Westphalia orders Jews to adopt family names

Historic Event

Apr 6 John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company

Historic Event

Apr 8 Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore promoted to an archdiocese by Pope Pius VII, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville)

  • Apr 9 Mayor Wolters offers French King Louis Napoleon townhall as a palace
  • Apr 17 Bayonne Decree by Napoleon I of France orders seizure of US ships
  • Apr 30 1st practical typewriter finished by Italian Pellegrini Turri
  • May 2 Uprising against French occupation begins in Madrid

The Third of May 1808

May 3 Day depicted by Spanish painter Goya in his "The Third of May", painted 1814

  • May 3 Finnish War: Sweden loses the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia
  • May 3 Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill
  • May 30 Napoleon Bonaparte annexes Tuscany & gave it seats in French Senate
  • Jun 1 1st US land-grant university founded as Ohio University in Athens, Ohio
  • Jun 15 Joseph Bonaparte becomes King of Spain
  • Jul 2 Simon Fraser completes his trip down Fraser River, British Columbia, lands at Musqueam
  • Jul 15 French marshal Joachim Murat becomes King of Naples
  • Jul 20 Napoleon decrees all French Jews adopt family names
  • Jul 28 Mahmud II succeeds Mustafa IV as sultan of Turkey
  • Aug 17 Napoleon asks King Louis for Holland brigade towards Spain

Victory in Battle

Aug 21 Battle of Vimeiro: British and Portuguese forces led by General Arthur Wellesley defeat French force under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot near the village of Vimeiro, Portugal, the first Anglo-Portuguese victory of the Peninsular War.

  • Sep 13 Finnish War: In the Battle of Jutas, Swedish forces under Lieutenant General Georg Carl von Döbeln beat the Russians, making von Döbeln a Swedish war hero.
  • Sep 30 Covent Garden Theatre Royal destroyed by fire in London
  • Oct 17 Political rights of Jews suspended in Duchy of Warsaw
  • Oct 31 Holland Brigade battle at Durango, Spain
  • Nov 10 Osage Treaty / Treaty of Fort Clark, Osage Nation cedes territory in Missouri and Arkansas to the US

Election of Interest

Dec 7 James Madison elected 4th US President and George Clinton Vice-President

Music Premiere

Dec 22 Beethoven's Symphonies No. 5 and No. 6, Choral Fantasy and Piano Concerto No. 4 (featuring the composer as soloist) premiere at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria