On This Day

1787 in History

Events in History

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 11 Titania & Oberon, moons of Uranus, discovered by William Herschel

Astronomer William Herschel
William Herschel
  • Jan 25 Shays' Rebellion suffers a setback when debt-ridden farmers, led by Capt Daniel Shays, fail to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Jan 28 Philadelphia's Free Africa Society organizes

USAArticles of Confederation

Feb 2 Arthur St. Clair is elected the 9th President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation
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The Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America
The Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America
  • Feb 4 1st Anglican bishops of NY & Pennsylvania consecrated in London
  • Feb 4 Shays' Rebellion (of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers) fails
  • Feb 18 Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II bans children under 8 from labor
  • Feb 28 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh is granted
  • Apr 12 Philadelphia's Free African Society forms
  • May 6 1st African American Masonic Lodge (African # 459) forms Prince Hall, Boston
  • May 10 British Parliament impeaches Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 13 Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia

1st Governor of New South Wales Arthur Phillip
1st Governor of New South Wales
Arthur Phillip

USAConstitution of the United States

May 14 Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US constitution
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Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States
Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States
  • May 17 English slave ship Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba, capsizes killing hundreds

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 25 Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • May 29 "Virginia Plan" proposed

  • Jun 6 Franklin College founded, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Now part of Franklin & Marshall College.
  • Jun 12 US Law passes providing a senator must be at least 30 years old
  • Jun 20 Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 2 Marquis de Sade shouts from Bastille that prisoners are being slaughtered

Philosopher and Writer Marquis de Sade
Philosopher and Writer
Marquis de Sade
  • Jul 6 French government proclaims end to stamp/land tax
  • Jul 6 Orange troops occupy Area at Duurstede
  • Jul 13 Congress establishes Northwest Territory (excludes slavery)
  • Jul 13 US Ordinance of 1787 passed, establishes first organized US territory
  • Jul 15 Parliament of Paris banished to Troyes
  • Aug 2 Horace the Saussure reaches top of Mont Blanc
  • Aug 6 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia begins debate on the first draft of the Constitution
  • Aug 16 Turkey declares war on Russia (Russo-Turkish War 1787-92)
  • Aug 17 Jews are granted permission in Budapest Hungary to pray in groups
  • Aug 22 John Fitch's steamboat completes its tests, years before Fulton

USABill of Rights

Sep 12 American statesman George Mason suggests the addition of a Bill of Rights to the Constitution modeled on previous state declarations, but the motion is defeated
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The bill of rights as it was created on September 25, 1789
The bill of rights as it was created on September 25, 1789
  • Sep 13 Prussian army moves into Netherlands
  • Sep 15 -16] Utrecht patriots flee to Amsterdam
  • Sep 17 Prussian troops conquer Gorinchem
  • Sep 17 The US Constitution is signed by delegates at the Philadelphia Convention
  • Sep 20 Prince Willem V returns to Hague

  • Sep 28 Congress sends Constitution to state legislatures for their approval
  • Sep 30 1st US voyage around the world - Columbia leaves Boston
  • Oct 1 Russians under Suvorov defeat the Turks at Kinburn.
  • Oct 2 Maagden House opens in Amsterdam
  • Oct 10 Amsterdam surrenders to Prussian invasion army
  • Oct 17 Boston blacks, petition legislature for equal school facilities
  • Oct 26 "Federalist Papers" published, calls for ratification of United States' Constitution
  • Oct 27 Federalist letters start appearing in New York newspapers
  • Nov 1 First free school in NYC (African Free School) opens
  • Nov 18 First Unitarian minister in US ordained, Boston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 21 Andrew Jackson admitted to the bar

US President & General Andrew Jackson
US President & General
Andrew Jackson
  • Nov 30 Spanish governor leaves the Philippines
  • Dec 6 Laurens Pieter van de Speigel is appointed Dutch pension advisor
  • Dec 7 Delaware is the 1st state to ratify the US constitution
  • Dec 12 Pennsylvania becomes 2nd state to ratify US constitution
  • Dec 18 New Jersey becomes 3rd state to ratify US constitution

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 13 John Davis, 14th and 17th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1854)
  • Feb 16 Andreas Schelfhout, Dutch painter/etcher/lithographer
  • Feb 23 Emma Willard, American women's rights activist and educator who founded the 1st school for women's higher education in the US, born in Berlin, Connecticut (d. 1870)
  • Mar 6 Joseph von Fraunhofer, German physicist (studied Sun's spectrum)

Person of interestKarl Ferdinand von Graefe

Mar 8 Karl Ferdinand von Graefe, German surgeon who helped create modern plastic surgery, born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1840)

  • Mar 10 William Etty, English painter (nudes)
  • Mar 11 Ivan Nabokov, Russian general (d. 1852)
  • Apr 13 John Robertson, American politician, born in Petersburg, Virginia (d. 1873)
  • Apr 19 Deaf Smith, American frontiersman and revolutionary, born in Dutchess County, New York (d. 1837)
  • Apr 26 Ludwig Uhland, German writer, born in Tübingen, Württemberg (d. 1862)
  • May 7 Jacques Viger, French Canadian politician, 1st mayor of Montreal (1833-36), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1858)
  • Jun 4 Constant Prévost, French geologist, born in Paris (d. 1856)
  • Jun 27 Thomas Say, American naturalist and father of descriptive entomology, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1834)
  • Jun 28 Harry Smith, English military commander and leader of British-Indian forces (Battle of Aliwal), born in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, England (d. 1860)
  • Aug 24 James Weddell, British sailor and Antarctic explorer (Weddell Sea), born in Ostend, Belgium (d. 1834)
  • Sep 5 François Sulpice Beudant, French mineralogist and geologist, born in Paris (d. 1850)
  • Sep 10 John J. Crittenden, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky), born in Versailles, Kentucky (d. 1863)
  • Sep 18 Johann David Passavant, German historian, painter and graphic artist, born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1861)
  • Oct 4 François Guizot, French historian and politician (17th Prime Minister of France), born in Nîmes, France (d. 1874)

Person of interestLouis-Jacques Daguerre

Nov 18 Louis-Jacques Daguerre, French inventor and photographer (daguerreotype), born in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France (d. 1851)

Photographer and Inventor Louis-Jacques Daguerre
Photographer and Inventor
Louis-Jacques Daguerre
  • Nov 21 Samuel Cunard, Canadian-British shipping magnate and founder (1st regular Atlantic steamship line), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (d. 1865)
  • Nov 22 Rasmus Rask, Danish linguist and philologist (Investigation of the Origin of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language), born in Braendekilde, Denmark (d. 1832)
  • Nov 27 Jacob earl van Rechteren van Appeltern, governor of Gelderland
  • Dec 9 John Dobson, English architect, born in High Chirton, North Shields, England (d. 1865)
  • Dec 10 Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, American pioneer of educating the deaf, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1851)
  • Dec 14 Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Empress of Austria and queen of Hungary and Bohemia, born in Monza, Duchy of Milan (d. 1816)
  • Dec 15 Charles Cowden Clarke, English editor and Shakespearean critic, born in Enfield, Middlesex, England (d. 1877)
  • Dec 16 Mary Russell Mitford, English writer (d. 1855)
  • Dec 28 Hermanus J Abbring, Dutch writer/engineer on Curacao

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 11 Naval officer Horatio Nelson (28) weds Frances Nisbet at Montpelier Estate on the island of Nevis

British Admiral Horatio Nelson
British Admiral
Horatio Nelson

Deaths in History

  • Jan 1 Arthur Middleton, American signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies at 44
  • Feb 12 Ruggiero Boscovich, Italian physicist/astronomer/philosopher, dies at 75
  • Feb 13 Ruđer Bošković, Croatian scientist and diplomat (b. 1711)
  • Feb 13 Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, French statesman and diplomat, dies at 67
  • Mar 2 Jean Allamand, Swiss-Dutch natural philosopher, dies at 73
  • Apr 1 Floyer Sydenham, English classical scholar (b. 1710)
  • Apr 2 Thomas Gage, British general (b. 1719)
  • Apr 2 Francisco Javier Clavijero, Mexican Jesuit teacher and writer, dies at 55
  • May 10 William Watson, English physician and scientist, dies at 72
  • Jun 19 Sophie Hélène Béatrix, Princess of France, daughter of Louis XVI of France and Marie Antoinette, dies aged 11 months 10 days
  • Jul 4 Charles de Rohan, Prince de Soubise, Marshal of France, dies at 71
  • Aug 1 Alfonso Liguori, Italian bishop and theologian, dies at 90
  • Aug 13 Isaac de Pinto, merchant/lender/Dutch States-general, dies
  • Oct 5 Thomas Stone, US attorney and signer of the US Declaration of Independence, dies at about 44
  • Oct 7 Henry Muhlenberg, German-born founder of the U.S. Lutheran Church, dies at 76
  • Oct 30 Ferdinando Galiani, Italian economist (Della Moneta), dies at 58
  • Nov 3 Robert Lowth, British Bishop of the Church of England and grammarian (A Short Introduction to English Grammar), dies at 76
  • Dec 18 Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)