On This Day

Historical Events in 1837

  • Jan 22 Earthquake in southern Syria kills thousands
  • Jan 26 Michigan admitted as 26th US state
  • Feb 8 1st US Vice-President chosen by Senate, Richard Johnson (Van Buren admin)
  • Feb 10 Russian poet Alexander Pushkin is fatally injured in a duel with French officer Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès (1/29 OS)
  • Feb 11 American Physiological Society organizes in Boston
  • Feb 13 Riot in New York due to a combination of poverty and increase in the cost of flour

Historic Communication

Feb 17 Charles Lyell makes his presidential address to the Geographical Society, London and announces that Richard Owen has concluded from Darwin's fossils that extinct species were related to current species in the same locality

  • Feb 25 1st US electric printing press patented by Thomas Davenport
  • Mar 3 Congress increases US Supreme Court membership from 7 to 9

Historic Event

Mar 3 US President Andrew Jackson and Congress recognize the Republic of Texas

President Inaugurated

Mar 4 Martin Van Buren inaugurated as the 8th President of the United States

  • Mar 4 Weekly Advocate changes its name to the Colored American
  • Mar 4 Chicago becomes incorporated as a city

Historic Event

Mar 12 British poet laureate Robert Southey writes in reply to 20 year-old Charlotte Brontë "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be." [1]

  • Mar 24 Canada gives its black citizens the right to vote
  • Apr 19 Cheyney University forms as the Institute for Colored Youth
  • May 3 The University of Athens is founded

Historic Event

May 6 US blacksmith John Deere creates the first steel plough in Grand Detour, Illinois

  • May 9 "Sherrod" burns in the Mississippi River below Natchez, Mississippi; 175 die
  • May 10 Panic of 1837: New York City banks fail, and unemployment reaches record levels.
  • May 25 The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom.
  • May 31 Astor Hotel opens in NYC, it later becomes the Waldorf-Astoria
  • Jun 11 The Broad Street Riot occurs in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans
  • Jun 13 1st Mormon missionaries to British Isles leave Kirtland, Ohio

Historic Invention

Jun 17 Charles Goodyear obtains his 1st rubber patent

  • Jun 18 Spain gets new Constitution

Historic Event

Jun 20 Queen Victoria at 18 ascends British throne following death of uncle King William IV. She rules for 63 years till 1901

  • Jul 4 Grand Junction Railway, the world's first long-distance railway, opens between Birmingham and Liverpool
  • Jul 13 Queen Victoria is 1st monarch to live in present Buckingham Palace

Opening of Euston Station

Jul 20 Euston railway station opens in London as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR), the city's 1st intercity railway station

  • Jul 25 The first commercial use of an electric telegraph successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town in London
  • Jul 27 US Mint opens in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Aug 5 1st ascent of Mt Marcy (5,344') highest in Adirondack, NY
  • Aug 28 Pharmacists John Lea & William Perrins manufacture Worcestershire Sauce

Historic Event

Aug 31 Ralph Waldo Emerson gives his famous "The American Scholar" speech to Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, declares American literary independence from Europe

  • Sep 6 Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio goes co-ed (4 women, 30 men)

Historic Event

Sep 18 Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young co-found a "stationery and fancy goods emporium" in New York City, later renamed in 1853 as "Tiffany & Co."

  • Oct 1 "Racer's" Hurricane (Gulf of Mexico)
  • Oct 1 Treaty with Winnebago Indians
  • Oct 9 Steamboat "Home" sinks off Okracoke, North Carolina, killing 100
  • Oct 9 Meeting at the U.S. Naval Academy establishes the U.S. Naval Institute.
  • Oct 31 Collision of river boat Monmouth & Trement on Mississippi; 300 die
  • Nov 7 In Alton, Illinois, abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy shot dead (age 34) by pro-slavery mob while attempting to protect his printing shop from being destroyed a third time.
  • Nov 8 Mount Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts founded - 1st US college founded for women

Pitman Shorthand: An Invention of Note

Nov 15 Isaac Pitman introduces his shorthand system of writing, Pitman shorthand

Historic Publication

Nov 18 Letter by Göttingen Seven published protesting abolition of constitution of Kingdom of Hanover, by seven professors including Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

  • Nov 19 Floridsdorf-Deutsch Wagram railway in Austria opens
  • Nov 21 Thomas Morris of Australia skips rope 22,806 times

Music History

Dec 5 Hector Berlioz's "Requiem" premiere at Les Invalides, conducted by François Habeneck

  • Dec 5 Uprising under William Lyon Mackenzie in Canada
  • Dec 25 Battle of Okeechobee - US forces defeat Seminole Indians
  • Dec 29 Canadian militia destroy Caroline, a US steamboat docked at Buffalo
  • Dec 29 Steam-powered threshing machine patented in Winthrop, Maine