On This Day

1639 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 6 Virginia is 1st colony to order surplus crops (tobacco) destroyed
  • Jan 14 1st Connecticut constitution (Fundamental Orders) adopted in Hartford, published by Rodger Ludlow
  • Jan 24 Connecticut colony organizes under Fundamental Orders
  • Feb 7 Academie Française begins Dictionary of French Language
  • Mar 13 Cambridge College, Massachusetts, renamed Harvard for clergyman John Harvard
  • May 8 William Coddington founds Newport, Rhode Island
  • May 20 Dorchester Massachusetts forms 1st school funded by local taxes
  • Jun 6 Massachusetts grants 500 acres of land to erect a gunpowder mill
  • Jun 10 1st American log cabin at Fort Christina (Wilmington Delaware)
  • Jun 18 Treaty of Berwick: Ends the First Bishops' War between England and Scotland
  • Jul 19 French troops occupy Salses, at Perpignan
  • Aug 22 Madras (now Chennai), India, founded by the British East India Company on sliver of land bought from local Nayak rulers
  • Sep 12 Viceroy Thomas Wentworth sails back to England
  • Sep 25 First printing press in America
  • Sep 25 Suzuki Shosan, Samurai monk of Zen Buddhism, found awakening
  • Oct 21 Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish armada under De Oquendo
  • Nov 5 First post office in the colonies is set up in Massachusetts
  • Nov 24 1st observation of transit of Venus by Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree - helped establish size of the Solar System
  • Dec 3 1st annulment by court decree passes

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 19 Noel Alexandre, French theologian/historian
  • Feb 6 Daniel Georg Morhof, German writer & scholar, born in Wismar, Germany (d. 1691)
  • Jun 21 Increase Mather, New England Puritan minister, born in Dorchester, Massachusetts (d. 1723)
  • Jul 25 Thomas Tompion, English clock maker (cylinder tunnel), born in Northill, Bedfordshire, England (d. 1713)
  • Sep 17 Hans Herr, Swiss Mennonite bishop, born in Zürich, Switzerland (d. 1725)
  • Sep 29 Lord William Russell, English politician and plotter against Charles II (d. 1683)
  • Oct 14 Simon van der Stel, 1st governor of Dutch Cape Colony (1679-99), born in Indian Ocean en route to Mauritius (d. 1712)

Person of interestJean Racine

Dec 22 Jean Racine, French dramatist (Phèdre, Athalie), born in La Ferté-Milon, Picardy (d. 1699)

Dramatist and Playwright Jean Racine
Dramatist and Playwright
Jean Racine

Deaths in History

  • Jan 20 Mustapha I, sultan of Turkey (1622-23), dies
  • Jan 23 Francisco Maldonado da Silva Solis, Peruvian poet, burned at stake
  • Jan 24 George Jenatsch, Grisons leader, assassinated
  • Mar 22 Thomas Carew, English poet/diplomat (The Rapture), dies
  • May 21 Tommaso Campanella, Italian theologian, philosopher and poet, dies at 70
  • Jun 2 Floris II van Pallandt, Dutch earl of Culemborg and politician, dies at 62
  • Jul 9 Entonius Walaeus, Dutch Calvinist theologist, dies at 65
  • Jul 18 Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, German prince and general (b. 1604)
  • Aug 4 Juan R Alarcon y Mendoza, Mexican/Spanish playwright, dies at 58
  • Aug 7 Martin van den Hove, Dutch scientist (b. 1605)
  • Aug 20 Martin Opitz, German poet/historian (Troerinnen), dies at 41
  • Sep 20 John Meursius [van Meurs], historian, dies at 60
  • Oct 7 John I Pontanus, physicist/historian (Amsterdam), dies at 68
  • Nov 3 Martinus de Porres, Peruvian saint (patron of social justice), dies at 69
  • Nov 7 Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour, English politician
  • Nov 26 John Spottiswoode, Scottish historian (b. 1565)