On This Day

1785 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 1 "Daily Universal Register" (Times of London) publishes 1st issue
  • Jan 7 1st balloon flight across English Channel by Jean Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries
  • Jan 11 Continental Congress convenes in NYC
  • Jan 13 John Walter publishes 1st issue of "The Times" of London
  • Jan 19 First manned balloon flight in Ireland
  • Jan 20 Samuel Ellis advertises to sell Oyster Island (Ellis Island), no takers
  • Jan 27 1st US state university chartered in Athens, Georgia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 29 In a surprising announcement, John Hancock resigns as Governor of Massachusetts, allegedly due to his failing health

Statesman John Hancock
John Hancock
  • Mar 1 Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agriculture organized

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 7 James Hutton, geologist, presents his full theory of uniformitarianism at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Geologist James Hutton
James Hutton

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 20 Thomas Warton appointed British Poet Laureate by King George III

King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover George III
King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover
George III

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 21 Catherine II of Russia confers on the nobility the "Charter to the Nobility", increasing further the power of the landed oligarchs

Empress of Russia Catherine the Great
Empress of Russia
Catherine the Great
  • May 9 British inventor Joseph Bramah patents beer-pump handle

InventionHistoric Invention

May 23 Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin
  • Jun 15 2 French balloonists die in world's 1st fatal aviation accident
  • Jul 4 James Hutton, geologist, publicly reads an abstract of his theory of uniformitarianism for the first time at the meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Jul 6 US Congress unanimously resolves the name of US currency to the "dollar" and adopts decimal coinage
  • Jul 12 1st manned flight by gas balloon in Netherlands
  • Aug 1 Caroline Herschel becomes 1st woman to discover a comet
  • Aug 15 French cardinal De Rohan arrested
  • Sep 10 Prussia signs trade agreement with US

A Salute to the Military Genius, Napoleon BonaparteA Salute to the Military Genius, Napoleon Bonaparte

Sep 28 Napoléon Bonaparte, aged 16, graduates from the elite École Militaire in Paris (42nd in a class of 51)

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Death and despair as Napoléon and his Grand Army retreat from Russia. Artist: Adolf Northen
Death and despair as Napoléon and his Grand Army retreat from Russia. Artist: Adolf Northen
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  • Sep 29 Chasidic sect is excommunicated in Kraków Poland
  • Nov 17 Church of England organizes in New England
  • Nov 28 The Treaty of Hopewell is signed between the Confederation Congress of the United States of America and the Cherokee people

Birthdays in History

Person of interestJacob Grimm

Jan 4 Jacob Grimm, German philologist, folklorist and editor of "Grimm's Fairy Tales", born in Hanau, Hesse-Cassel, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1863)

Author Jacob Grimm
Jacob Grimm
  • Jan 23 Carl Adolph Agardh, Swedish botanist & bishop of Karlstad, born in Båstad, Sweden (d. 1859)
  • Feb 10 Claude-Louis Navier, French engineer and physicist who specialized in mechanics (Navier–Stokes equations), born in Dijon, France (d. 1836)
  • Feb 12 Pierre Louis Dulong, French physicist (d. 1838)
  • Feb 21 Karl A Varnhagen von Ense, German officer/author (Die Sterner)
  • Feb 22 Jean Charles Athanase Peltier, Ham, French Physicist (Peltier effect 1834)
  • Mar 7 Alessandro Manzoni, Italian poet/novelist (Betrothed)
  • Mar 11 John McLean, American Supreme Court Justice (1829-61) and Postmaster General, born in Morris County, New Jersey (d. 1861)
  • Mar 27 Louis XVII Charles, King of France (1793-95), born in Palace of Versailles, France (d. 1795)
  • Apr 1 J H Ferdinand Olivier, German painter
  • Apr 9 Sibrandus Stratingh, Dutch physician and chemist (electric car), born in Adorp, Netherlands (d. 1841)

Person of interestJohn James Audubon

Apr 26 John James Audubon, American ornithologist and painter (The Birds of America), born in Les Cayes, Haiti (d. 1851)

Ornithologist John James Audubon
John James Audubon
  • May 9 James Pollard Espy, American meteorologist (Philosophy of Storms), born in Pennsylvania (d. 1860)
  • May 18 John Wilson, Scottish writer and literary critic, born in Paisley, Scotland (d. 1854)
  • Jul 6 William Jackson Hooker, English botanist and director (Kew Gardens), born in Norwich, England
  • Jul 14 Mordecai Manuel Noah, American writer, journalist (d. 1851)
  • Jul 20 Mahmud II, Sultan of Turkey (1808-39), born in Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey (d. 1839)
  • Aug 15 Thomas De Quincey, English writer (Confessions of English Opium Eater), born in Manchester (d. 1859)
  • Aug 19 Seth Thomas, American manufacturer and pioneer in the mass production of clocks, born in Wolcott, Connecticut (d. 1859)
  • Aug 20 Oliver Hazard Perry, American Naval hero (Battle of Lake Erie), born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island (d. 1819)
  • Oct 8 Arvid August Afzelius, Swedish poet and historian, born in Fjällåkra, Sweden (d. 1871)

Person of interestJosé Miguel Carrera

Oct 15 José Miguel Carrera, 1st President of Chile (1811-14), born in Santiago, Chile (d. 1821)

General and President of Chile José Miguel Carrera
General and President of Chile
José Miguel Carrera
  • Oct 18 Thomas Love Peacock, English author (Headlong Hall)
  • Oct 20 George Ormerod, English historian and antiquarian (d. 1873)
  • Oct 31 George F Kersting, German painter, born in Güstrow, Germany (d. 1847)
  • Nov 13 Caroline Lamb, English aristocrat, author (Glenarvon), wife of William Lamb, lover of Lord Byron (d. 1828)
  • Nov 18 David Wilkie, British painter, born in Pitlessie Fife, Scotland (d. 1841)

Person of interestWilliam Beaumont

Nov 21 William Beaumont, American surgeon and father of gastric physiology, born in Lebanon, Connecticut (d. 1853)

  • Nov 23 Joannes P Roothaan, 1st Dutch general of the Jesuits (1829-53)
  • Nov 28 Victor de Broglie, 3rd Duke of Broglie, 14th Prime Minister of France (1835-36), born in Paris (d. 1870)

Deaths in History

Person of interestHaym Salomon

Jan 6 Haym Salomon, Polish-born American broker who helped finance the American Revolution, dies in Philadelphia at 44

Financier Haym Salomon
Haym Salomon
  • Jan 19 Jonathan Toup, English classical scholar and critic (b. 1713)
  • Jan 23 Matthew Stewart, Scottish mathematician (b. 1717)
  • Feb 6 Iman Willem Falck, Dutch governor of Ceylon (1765-83), dies at 48
  • Feb 24 Carlo Buonaparte, Corsican attorney and father of emperor Napoleon, dies at 39
  • Apr 14 William Whitehead, English writer and poet, British Poet Laureate (1757-85), dies at about 70
  • Apr 30 Frederick Philipse III, American land owner (Bronx, Westch & Putnam), dies at 65
  • May 8 Pietro Longhi, Venetian painter, dies at 83
  • May 8 Étienne François, duc de Choiseul, French statesman, dies at 65
  • May 23 William Woollett, engraver, dies
  • Jun 2 Jean Paul de Gua de Malves, French mathematician (b. 1713)
  • Jun 25 Pieter Kintsius, VOC-supercarga/chief on Macau, dies at 53
  • Jun 27 Egbert de Free Temminck, Amsterdam regent, dies at 84
  • Jun 30 James Oglethorpe, English general and founder of the state of Georgia (b. 1696)
  • Jul 13 Stephen Hopkins, American politician who signed the US Declaration of Independence, dies at 78
  • Aug 14 John William Fletcher, evangelist, dies
  • Aug 17 Jonathan Trumbull, American politician and statesman, dies at 74
  • Aug 21 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, French sculptor (Child with Cage, Mercury Fastening his Sandals), dies at 71
  • Aug 26 George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, British soldier and politician (b. 1716)
  • Oct 4 David Brearly, American statesman (b. 1703)
  • Oct 30 Gustaf P Creutz, Swedish diplomat/poet (Daphne), dies at 54
  • Nov 16 Johan Gottschalk Wallerius, Swedish chemist and mineralogist, dies at 76
  • Nov 18 Louis Philip I, Duke of Orléans, French soldier and writer (b. 1725)
  • Nov 25 Richard Glover, British poet, dies at about 73
  • Nov 28 William Whipple, merchant/judge/signer (US Declaration of Independence), dies at 55
  • Dec 29 Johan Herman Wessel, Norwegian poet (b. 1742)