On This Day

1779 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 11 Ching-Thang Khomba is crowned King of Manipur.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 17 Captain James Cook's last notation in Discovery's ship's log

Explorer James Cook
James Cook

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

Jan 18 John Dickinson is appointed a delegate for Delaware to the Continental Congress

Founding Father of the United States John Dickinson
Founding Father of the United States
John Dickinson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 23 Charles Messier catalogs M56 (globular cluster in Lyra)

Astronomer Charles Messier
Charles Messier
  • Jan 31 Charles Messier adds M57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra) to his catalog
  • Feb 24 George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes (Ind) from British
  • Mar 11 US Army Corps of Engineers established (1st time)
  • May 13 War of Bavarian Succession ends

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 8 Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain Thomas Hardy on HMS Foudroyant set sail against Spanish fleet

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Jun 16 US General Anthony Wayne captures Stony Point, New York, inflicting heavy losses on the British

Military Leader Anthony Wayne
Military Leader
Anthony Wayne
  • Jun 16 Spain declares war on Great Britain in support of the US, starting the siege of Gibraltar
  • Jun 18 French fleet occupies St Vincent, West Indies
  • Jun 20 Battle of Stono Ferry fought near Charleston, South Carolina (American Revolutionary War)
  • Jul 4 French fleet occupies Grenada
  • Jul 15 American troops under General A Wayne conquer Fort Stony Point, NY
  • Sep 3 Earl d'Orvilliers (French/Spanish Armada) sails back to Brest
  • Sep 23 John Paul Jones' "Bon Homme Richard" defeats HMS Serepis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 27 John Adams negotiates Revolutionary War peace terms with Great Britain

2nd US President John Adams
2nd US President
John Adams

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Sep 28 American Revolution: Samuel Huntington is elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding John Jay

1st US Chief Justice John Jay
1st US Chief Justice
John Jay
  • Oct 4 Fort Wilson Riot takes place

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 8 English engraver and poet William Blake begins study at the Royal Academy, Old Somerset House, London

Poet and Artist William Blake
Poet and Artist
William Blake

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 9 Siege of Savannah during American Revolutionary War: Casimir Pulaski is wounded by grapeshot (dies 11 or 15 March)

Military Leader Casimir Pulaski
Military Leader
Casimir Pulaski

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 23 Benedict Arnold court-martialed for improper conduct

US General and Turncoat Benedict Arnold
US General and Turncoat
Benedict Arnold
  • Dec 31 British fleet beat Dutch Merchant vessels

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 1 William Clowes, English printer (d. 1847)
  • Jan 5 Stephen Decatur, American naval hero (War of 1812), born in Sinepuxent, Maryland (d. 1820)
  • Jan 5 Zebulon Pike, American brigadier general and explorer (Pike's Peak), born in Lamington, New Jersey (d. 1813)
  • Jan 15 Jean Coralli, French ballet producer & choreographer, born in Paris, France
  • Jan 24 Elizabeth Alexeievna (Louise of Baden), Russian tsarina (d. 1826)
  • Feb 20 Augustus Callcott, landscape painter, Kensington
  • Feb 21 Friedrich C von Savigny, German lawyer
  • Feb 27 Thomas Hazlehurst, English soap and alkali manufacturer (d. 1842)
  • Mar 2 Joel Roberts Poinsett, American statesman and botanist (d. 1851)

Person of interestWilliam Lamb

Mar 15 William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Whig 1834, 1835-41), born in London (d. 1848)

British Prime Minister William Lamb
British Prime Minister
William Lamb
  • May 2 John Galt, Scottish novelist (Annals of the Parish), born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland (d. 1839)
  • May 25 Hendrik Marcus de Kock, Dutch general and politician (Lieutenant Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies 1826-30), born in Heusden, Dutch Republic (d. 1845)
  • Jul 15 Clement Clarke Moore, US professor and author ('Twas the Night Before Xmas), born in NYC, New York (d. 1863)
  • Aug 1 Lorenz Oken, German naturalist, born in Bohlsbach, Swabia (d. 1851)
  • Aug 7 Carl Ritter, German geographer and co-founder of modern science of geography, born in Quedlinburg, Prussia (d. 1859)
  • Aug 7 Louis de Freycinet, French explorer and navigator (published the first map to show a full outline of the coastline of Australia in 1811), born in Montélimar, Drôme (d. 1842)
  • Aug 20 Jöns Jakob Berzelius, Swedish chemist, born in Linköping, Sweden (d. 1848)

Person of interestFabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen

Aug 20 Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Russian explorer who discovered the continent of Antarctica, born in Osel, Estonia (d. 1852)

  • Aug 22 James Kirke Paulding, American author (The Dutchman's Fireside), born in Pleasant Valley, NY (d. 1860)
  • Sep 8 Mustafa IV, 29th Sultan of Ottoman Empire (1807-08), born in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire (d. 1808)
  • Sep 18 Joseph Story, American lawyer and 19th Supreme Court justice (1812-45), born in Marblehead, Massachusetts (d. 1845)
  • Oct 10 Antoine Philippe Vischer, comte de Celles, Belgian-French politician, born in Brussels (d. 1841)
  • Nov 4 Jan Willem Pieneman, Dutch historical painter (Battle at Waterloo), born in Abcoude, Dutch Republic (d. 1853)
  • Nov 5 Washington Allston, American painter (pioneer of America's Romantic movement of landscape painting) and author, born in Georgetown, South Carolina (d. 1843)
  • Nov 14 Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger, Danish poet (d. 1850)
  • Nov 27 Aimé, duc de Clermont-Tonnerre, French general and statesman, born in Paris (d. 1865)
  • Dec 12 Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint and founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, born in Joigny, Burgundy, France (d. 1865)
  • Dec 19 Auguste-Gaspard-Louis Desnoyers, engraver, born in Paris, France

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 23 Botanist Joseph Banks (36) weds Dorothea Hugessen

Botanist and explorer Joseph Banks
Botanist and explorer
Joseph Banks

LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 8 US Defector General Benedict Arnold (38) weds Peggy Shippen (18) at Shippen's townhouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

US General and Turncoat Benedict Arnold
US General and Turncoat
Benedict Arnold

Deaths in History

  • Jan 3 Claude Bourgelat, French veterinary surgeon, dies at 66
  • Jan 22 Claudius Smith, American Revolutionary War loyalist (b. 1736)
  • Jan 22 Jeremiah Dixon, English surveyor and astronomer, dies at 45

Person of interestJames Cook

Feb 14 James Cook, British explorer, navigator and cartographer, discovered and explored Australia, Pacific Islands and New Zealand for Britain, killed in a fight with Hawaiians near Kealakekua at 50

Explorer James Cook
James Cook
  • Feb 20 Johannes Burman, Dutch botanist, plant author and physician, dies at 71
  • Feb 24 Paul Daniel Longolius, German encylopedist (editor of Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon), dies at 74
  • Feb 27 Jan Nepveu, Dutch governor of Suriname (1769-79), dies at 59
  • Apr 24 Eleazar Wheelock, American founder of Dartmouth College, dies at 68
  • May 3 John Winthrop, American astronomer (b. 1714)
  • May 11 John Hart, American farmer, politician, delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies at about 68
  • Jun 7 William Warburton, English critic and Bishop of Gloucester (b. 1698)
  • Jun 16 Sir Francis Bernard, Governor of New Jersey and Massachusetts (b. 1712)
  • Jun 23 Ras Mikael Sehul, warlord of Ethiopia (b. about 1691)
  • Jun 29 Anton Raphael Mengs, German Bohemian painter and one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting, dies at 51
  • Jul 14 George Ross, American judge/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 49
  • Aug 3 Henry Kobell, Dutch painter and cartoonist, dies at 27
  • Aug 24 Saint Cosmas of Aetolia, Greek Orthodox martyr (b. 1714)
  • Sep 2 Onno Zwier van Hairs, Fries poet (Agon), dies at 66
  • Sep 12 Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple, English politician, dies at 67

Person of interestCasimir Pulaski

Oct 11 Casimir Pulaski, Polish Military Leader (called the father of American cavalry), dies of battle wounds at 34 (alternative date 15 March)

Military Leader Casimir Pulaski
Military Leader
Casimir Pulaski
  • Nov 10 Joseph Hewes, American merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 49
  • Nov 13 Thomas Chippendale, English furniture maker, dies at 61
  • Nov 16 Pehr Kalm, Finnish explorer and naturalist (b. 1716)
  • Dec 6 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter, dies at 80
  • Dec 8 Nathan Alcock, English physician (b. 1707)
  • Dec 23 Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (b. 1724)