On This Day

Historical Events in 1880

  • Jan 1 Building of Panama Canal begins
  • Jan 6 Record snow cover in Seattle - 120 cm
  • Jan 9 6' (1.83 metres) of snow falls in Seattle in 5 days
  • Jan 9 The Great Gale of 1880 devastates parts of Oregon and Washington with high wind and heavy snow
  • Jan 21 1st US sewage disposal system separate from storm drains in Memphis, Tennessee

Historic Invention

Jan 27 Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp

  • Feb 1 The first edition of theatrical newspaper The Stage is published.
  • Feb 2 SS Strathleven arrives in London with first shipment of frozen Australian mutton
  • Feb 4 Steele MacKay's play "Hazel Kirke" premieres in New York City

Murder of Interest

Feb 4 Black donnelly massacre in Biddulph, Ontario. Irish immigrants James (63), Johannah (56), John (32), Thomas (25) and Bridget (21) Donnelly murdered at home by members of the Vigilance Committee

Catholic Encyclical

Feb 10 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Arcanum about Christian marriage

  • Feb 12 US National Croquet League organizes (Philadelphia)
  • Feb 16 American Society of Mechanical Engineers forms (NYC)

Assassination Attempt

Feb 17 Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt

  • Feb 29 Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland & Italy completed
  • Mar 4 NY Daily Graphic publishes 1st half-tone engraving, by S H Horgan
  • Mar 19 42nd Grand National: Tommy Beasley aboard Irish 8/1 chance Empress wins by 2 lengths from defending champion The Liberator
  • Mar 23 Flour rolling mill patented (John Stevens of Wisconsin)
  • Mar 24 Tobacco Growers' Mutual Insurance Company incorporates in CT
  • Mar 31 1st town to claim to be completely illuminated by electric lighting (Wabash, Indiana)
  • Apr 9 British Open Men's Golf, Musselburgh Links: Scotsman Bob Ferguson wins first of 3 straight titles; beats Peter Paxton by 5 strokes

Historic Publication

Apr 15 Guy de Maupassant's short story masterpiece "Boule de Suif" (Dumpling) is first published in the collection "Les Soirées de Médan"

  • Apr 18 An F4 tornado strikes Marshfield, Missouri, killing 99 people and injuring 100.
  • Apr 24 Amateur Athletic Association, governing body for men's athletics in England & Wales, is founded in Oxford, England
  • May 18 6th Kentucky Derby: George Lewis aboard Fonso wins in 2:37.5
  • May 28 8th Preakness: L Hughes aboard Grenada wins in 2:40.5
  • May 31 League of American Wheelmen (1st US bicycle association), forms in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Jun 1 The first pay telephone service in the United States is installed in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Jun 1 US census is 50,155,783
  • Jun 7 War of the Pacific: The Battle of Arica, assault and capture of Morro de Arica (Arica Cape), that ended the Campaña del Desierto (Desert Campaign).

Historic Event

Jun 8 Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky delivers an emotional speech at the unveiling of a monument to Pushkin in Moscow

  • Jun 10 Charlie Jones becomes 1st to hit 2 HRs in 1 inning
  • Jun 12 Worcester Ruby Legs pitcher Lee Richmond throws first perfect game in MLB history in 1-0 win over Cleveland Blues at the Agricultural County Fair Grounds, Worcester
  • Jun 14 14th Belmont: L Hughes aboard Grenada wins in 2:47
  • Jun 17 Providence Grays MLB pitcher John M. Ward throws a perfect game beating the Buffalo Bisons, 5-0; second perfect game in National League in 6 days; next one takes 84 years
  • Jun 24 First performance of "O Canada," the song that would become the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français

Historic Event

Jun 28 Australian bushranger Ned Kelly captured at Glenrowan

  • Jun 29 France annexes Otaheite (Tahiti)
  • Jul 15 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Reigning champion John Hartley beats Herbert Lawford 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
  • Jul 16 Dr. Emily Stowe becomes the first woman licenced to practise medicine in Canada.
  • Jul 19 San Francisco Public Library starts lending books
  • Jul 21 Compressed air accident kills 20 workers on Hudson River tunnel, NY
  • Jul 24 1st commercial hydroelectric power plant in the world begins generating electricity in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Jul 27 Alexander P. Ashbourne patents a process for refining coconut oil
  • Jul 27 Battle of Maiwand, at which Dr Watson is wounded, breaks out
  • Aug 2 British Parliament officially adopts Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
  • Aug 3 American Canoe Association founded at Lake George, NY, first Commodore William L. Alden
  • Aug 14 Ceremony to mark the completion of Cologne Cathedral attended by Emperor Wilhelm I. First begun in 1248, now the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

Historic Event

Aug 16 The French state commissions sculptor Auguste Rodin for a large sculpted doorway 'The Gates of Hell' for the proposed Musée des Arts Décoratifs

  • Sep 6 Commencement of 1st Test Cricket in England, v Australia at The Oval

Sports History

Sep 6 W. G. Grace scores 152 in debut Test Cricket innings, v Aust The Oval

  • Sep 7 Geo Ligowsky patents device to throw clay pigeons for trapshooters
  • Sep 10 Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza signs treaty with King Makoko of Congo
  • Sep 23 Jules Ferry forms French government
  • Sep 29 1st pro baseball game at Polo Grounds, NY Metropolitans beat Washington Nationals 4-2 in 5 innings
  • Sep 30 American amateur astronomer Henry Draper takes the 1st ever photograph of the Orion Nebula

Music History

Oct 1 John Philip Sousa becomes new director of US Marine Corps Band

  • Oct 4 University of California founded in Los Angeles
  • Oct 15 Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists
  • Oct 20 Amsterdam Free University opens

Election of Interest

Nov 2 James A. Garfield (R) elected 20th US President

Film & TV History

Nov 8 French actress Sarah Bernhardt makes her US debut at NY's Booth Theater

  • Nov 11 Australian Bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol

Ben-Hur Turns Author Into a Soldier of Fortune

Nov 12 Best selling American novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ" by soldier Lew Wallace is published

  • Nov 21 Henry Stanley and Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza quarrel about possession of Congo
  • Dec 8 5,000 armed Boers gather in Paardekraal, South Africa
  • Dec 16 Transvaal region declares itself as the Republic of South Africa
  • Dec 16 Beginning of the First Boer War between British Empire and Boer South African Republic
  • Dec 20 Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britten
  • Dec 20 NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"