Historical Events in 1866

  • Jan 5 Bedřich Smetana's first opera "Branibori v Cechach" ("The Brandenburgers in Bohemia") premieres in Prague
  • Jan 9 Fisk University opens in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Jan 11 Steamship London sinks in storm off Land's End, England and kills 220
  • Jan 12 The Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London.
  • Jan 18 Wesley College is established in Melbourne
  • Jan 20 Prim's Insurrection in Spain ends

Event of Interest

Feb 4 Mary Baker Eddy reportedly cures her injuries by opening a bible

  • Feb 10 Dutch government of Frans van der Putte forms

Event of Interest

Feb 13 Jesse James holds up his first bank, stealing $15,000 from the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri

  • Feb 16 Spencer Compton Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington becomes the British Secretary of State for War
  • Feb 21 Lucy B. Hobbs (Taylor) becomes 1st US woman to earn a DDS degree
  • Feb 26 New York Legislature forms NYC Metropolitan Board of Health

War of the Triple Alliance

Mar 1 War of the Triple Alliance: Paraguayan canoes sink two Brazilian ironclads on the Rio Paraná

  • Mar 2 1st US company to make sewing needles by machine incorporated, Conn
  • Mar 7 28th Grand National: 1852 winner Alec Goodman wins his second GN aboard Irish 40/1 outsider Salamander
  • Mar 19 Immigrant ship Monarch of the Seas sinks in Liverpool; 738 die
  • Mar 21 US Congress authorizes national soldiers' homes
  • Mar 27 American Andrew Rankin patents the urinal

Event of Interest

Mar 27 US President Andrew Johnson vetoes civil rights bill; it later becomes 14th amendment

  • Mar 28 1st ambulance goes into service
  • Mar 30 Bedřich Smetana's comic opera"Verkaufte Braut" (The Bartered Bride) premieres at Prague Provisional Theatre
  • Mar 31 The Spanish navy bombards the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile
  • Apr 1 US Congress rejects presidential veto giving all equal rights in US
  • Apr 2 US President Andrew Johnson ends civil war in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee & Virginia
  • Apr 4 Ashmun Institute, in Oxford, Pennsylvania, is renamed Lincoln University

Assassination Attempt

Apr 4 Russian Tasr Alexander II of Russia narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Dmitry Karakozov in the city of St. Petersburg

  • Apr 6 Grand Army of the Republic forms in Decatur, Illinois, by Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson
  • Apr 8 Italy and Prussia ally against Austria-Hungary.
  • Apr 9 Civil Rights Bill passes over President Andrew Johnson's veto
  • Apr 10 American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) forms
  • Apr 16 Nitroglycerine explodes at a Wells Fargo & Co office in San Francisco shattering glass for half a mile
  • May 1 American Equal Rights Association forms
  • May 2 Peruvian defenders fight off Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao
  • May 4 Woodward's Gardens opens to the public in San Francisco

Assassination Attempt

May 7 German premier Otto von Bismarck seriously wounded in assassination attempt

  • May 16 US Congress authorizes the nickel 5 cent piece (replaces silver half-dime)
  • May 18 Netherlands government of Isaäc Dignus Fransen De Putte resigns
  • May 21 1st-class debut of cricketer Fred Grace aged 15 years 159 days at the Magdalen Ground, Oxford
  • May 24 Berkeley, California named (for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne)
  • May 28 Dutch government of Zuylen van Nijevelt/Heemskerk forms
  • May 30 Opera "Die Verkaufte Braut" premieres (Prague)
  • Jun 1 General Dutch Typographer Union forms
  • Jun 1 Renegade Irish Fenians from US invade Fort Erie, Ontario
  • Jun 2 Renegade Irish Fenians surrender to US forces
  • Jun 5 French colonial expedition to explore Mekong River (world's 12th longest, though Southeast Asia) sets out from Saigon, led by Ernest Doudart de Lagrée
  • Jun 7 1,800 Fenian raiders are repelled back to the United States after they loot and plunder around Saint-Armand and Frelighsburg, Quebec
  • Jun 11 The Agra High Court (now the Allahabad High Court) is established in India
  • Jun 13 US House of representatives passes 14th Amendment (Civil rights)
  • Jun 15 Prussia attacks Austria
  • Jun 20 Italy declares war on Austria beginning the Third Italian War of Independence
  • Jun 24 Second Battle at Custozza: the Austrian Imperial army, joined by the Venetian Army decisively defeated the Italian army, despite the Italians' strong numerical advantage
  • Jul 4 Firecracker thrown in wood starts fire destroying half of Portland, Maine, US
  • Jul 10 Indelible pencil patented by Edson P. Clark, Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Jul 17 Italian fleet under Admiral Count Carlo Pellion di Persano captures Austrian Fort Lissa
  • Jul 20 Sea battle of Lissa-Austria vs Italy
  • Jul 21 Cholera epidemic kills hundreds in London
  • Jul 23 Cincinnati Baseball club (Red Stockings) forms
  • Jul 24 Tennessee becomes 1st Confederate state readmitted to Union
  • Jul 25 25th US Postmaster General: Alexander W Randall of Wisconsin takes office
  • Jul 25 David Faragut appointed as 1st admiral in US Navy

Event of Interest

Jul 25 Ulysses S. Grant named 1st General of Army

  • Jul 26 Canoe Club opens in England

Landing of the Atlantic Cable

Jul 27 First transatlantic telegraph cable comes ashore at Heart's Content, Newfoundland after being laid out 1,686 miles by Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Eastern steamship

  • Jul 28 Metric system becomes a legal measurement system in US
  • Jul 30 New Orleans's Democratic government orders police to raid an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing 40 people and injuring 150
  • Aug 11 World's 1st roller rink opens (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • Aug 20 President Andrew Johnson formally declares US Civil War over
  • Aug 23 Treaty of Prague ends Austro-Prussian war
  • Sep 1 Last Navaho chief Manuelito turns himself in at Fort Wingate

Event of Interest

Sep 6 Frederick Douglass is 1st US black delegate to a national convention

  • Sep 13 British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Willie Park Sr. wins his 3rd title; beats his brother Davie Park by 2 strokes
  • Sep 22 War of the Triple Alliance: Decisive battle of Curupayty results in a Paraguayan victory and heavy losses for Argentinian and Brazilian forces
  • Sep 25 (Leonard W) Jerome Park opens in Bronx for horse racing
  • Oct 1 Dutch Eindhoven-Venlo railway opens
  • Oct 2 J Osterhoudt patents tin can with key opener
  • Oct 6 1st train robbery in US (Reno Brothers take $13,000)
  • Oct 15 Great fire in Quebec destroys 2,500 houses
  • Oct 30 Jesse James' gang robs bank in Lexington, Missouri ($2000)
  • Nov 4 Kingdom of Italy annexes Venetia
  • Nov 17 Opera "Mignon" by Ambroise Thomas premieres at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, Francce
  • Nov 20 First national convention of Grand Army of Republic (veterans' org)
  • Nov 20 French inventor Pierre Lallement patents rotary crank bicycle
  • Nov 20 Howard University founded in Washington, D.C.
  • Nov 30 Work begins on 1st US underwater highway tunnel in Chicago
  • Dec 6 Chicago water supply tunnel 3,227 m into Lake Michigan completed
  • Dec 11 1st yacht race across Atlantic Ocean; schooners Fleetwing, Vesta and the Henrietta, with NY playboy Gordon Bennett on board, leave Sandy Hook for the Scilly Isles (the Henrietta wins)
  • Dec 21 Fetterman Massacre: Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians kill all 81 US Army soldiers, the worst military disaster suffered by the U.S. Army on the Great Plains at the time
  • Dec 23 First yacht race across the Atlantic won by the schooner Henrietta owned by Gordon Bennett of New York, first to reach Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles after racing from NY