On This Day

Historical Events in 1849

  • Jan 13 Vancouver Island granted to Hudson's Bay Company

Historic Event

Jan 23 Elizabeth Blackwell becomes 1st woman in the US to earn a medical degree graduating from New York's Geneva Medical College

  • Jan 23 US Patent granted for an envelope-making machine to Jesse K. Park and Cornelius S. Watson
  • Jan 31 Corn Laws abolished in Britain
  • Feb 4 University of Wisconsin begins in 1 room with 20 students
  • Feb 8 New Roman Republic established in Italy
  • Feb 9 Roman Republic declared in Rome replacing following flight of Pope Pius IX
  • Feb 18 1st regular steamboat service to California starts (or 02/28)

Discovery of Gold in California

Feb 28 1st boat load of gold rush prospectors arrives in San Francisco from the east coast

  • Feb 28 11th Grand National: Tom Cunningham wins aboard 20/1 Peter Simple; 2nd consecutive year there are 3 equine fatalities during the race
  • Mar 3 Gold Coinage Act authorizes $20 Double Eagle gold coin and the $1 Gold Liberty coin in the USA
  • Mar 3 Territory of Minnesota organizes
  • Mar 3 US Home Department (later renamed the Department of the Interior) established by Congress

President Inaugurated

Mar 4 US President Zachary Taylor delays his swearing-in and inauguration ceremony for one day due to religious reasons, rising to the false belief by some that Senator David Atchison (President pro tempore) technically assumed the office of President for one day

  • Mar 5 Zachary Taylor sworn in as 12th US President
  • Mar 9 Carl Nikolais opera "Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor" premieres

Historic Invention

Mar 10 Abraham Lincoln applies for a patent (only US President to do so) for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions

  • Mar 12 1st gold seekers arrive in Nicaragua en route to California
  • Mar 23 Battle of Novara (King Charles Albert vs Italian republic)
  • Mar 27 Joseph Couch patents steam-powered percussion rock drill
  • Mar 29 Great Britain formally annexs Punjab after defeat of Sikhs in India
  • Mar 31 Colonel John W Geary arrives as 1st postmaster of San Francisco

Historic Invention

Apr 10 Safety pin patented by Walter Hunt (NYC); sold rights for $400

  • Apr 14 Hungary declares itself independent of Austria with Louis Kossuth as its leader
  • Apr 16 Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera "Le proph├Ęte" premieres in Paris

Historic Event

Apr 23 Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky and members of the Petrashevsky Circle are arrested in St. Petersburg

  • Apr 25 The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal's English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.
  • May 3 The May Uprising in Dresden begins - the last of the German revolutions of 1848
  • May 10 Pack destroys Astor Place opera house in NYC (22 killed)
  • May 15 Philadelphia Turngemeinde founded
  • May 17 Fire destroy Centrum in St Louis, Missouri
  • May 22 Abraham Lincoln receives a patent (only US President to do so) for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions
  • May 28 Princess Marianne of the Netherlands and Albrecht of Prussia separate
  • May 29 Lincoln says "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
  • May 31 Last edition of Orange sheet "Journal de La Haye"
  • Jun 5 Danish National Day, Denmark becomes a constitutional monarchy
  • Jun 12 Gas mask patented by Lewis Haslett (Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Jun 21 Battle at Waghausel: Prussian troops beat Baden rebels
  • Jun 22 Stephen C Massett opens concert at San Francisco courthouse using only piano in California

Historic Event

Jul 2 Giuseppe Garibaldi begins hunger strike in Rome

  • Jul 3 The French enter Rome in order to restore Pope Pius IX to power; proves a major obstacle to Italian unification
  • Jul 8 St Paul's Place in the Bronx named
  • Jul 20 Start of 1st Lancashire-Yorkshire clash at Hyde Park, Sheffield
  • Jul 28 Memmon is first clipper to reach San Francisco, 120 days out of NY
  • Jul 31 Benjamin Chambers patents breech loading cannon
  • Aug 9 Hungarian Republic crushed by Austria & Russia
  • Aug 19 NY Herald reports gold discovery in California
  • Aug 22 The first air raid in history; Austria launches pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice
  • Aug 28 Venice under Daniele Manin surrenders to Austrians under Radetsky, having been under siege since July 20 after proclaiming independence
  • Sep 1 California Constitutional Convention convenes in Monterey

Film & TV History

Sep 10 1st performance by American actor Edwin Booth (Richard III)

  • Sep 13 1st US prize fight fatality (Tom McCoy)

Historic Event

Sep 17 Harriet Tubman 1st escapes slavery in Maryland with two of her brothers

  • Sep 18 De Kempenae's Dutch government resigns
  • Sep 19 1st commercial laundry established, in Oakland, California
  • Sep 29 1st passenger train service to Peekskill, New York (New Haven Railroad)

Historic Event

Oct 3 American author Edgar Allan Poe is found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it is the last time he is seen in public before his death.

  • Oct 6 The execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad after the Hungarian war of independence.
  • Oct 16 Avery College establishes in Allegheny, Pennsylvania
  • Oct 16 British seize Tigre Island in Gulf of Fonseca from Honduras
  • Nov 1 Dutch government of Thorbecke forms
  • Nov 13 Peter Burnett elected first governor of California
  • Nov 15 1st US poultry show opens in Boston
  • Nov 16 Russian court sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for anti-government activities linked to a radical intellectual group; his sentence is later commuted to hard labor
  • Nov 21 Friedrich Hebbel's "Der Rubin" premieres in Vienna
  • Dec 6 Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland for the 2nd and final time

Music Premiere

Dec 8 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Luisa Miller" premieres in Naples

  • Dec 14 1st chamber music group in US gives their 1st concert in Boston
  • Dec 18 William Bond obtains 1st photograph of Moon through a telescope
  • Dec 21 1st US skating club formed (Philadelphia)
  • Dec 22 The execution of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky by firing squad is called off at the last second
  • Dec 24 First great fire of early San Francisco starts east side of the Plaza, first of great seven fires in 2 years
  • Dec 28 M Jolly-Bellin discovers dry-cleaning, he accidentally upset lamp containing turpentine & oil on his clothing & sees cleaning effect