On This Day

1788 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 1 London's Daily Universal Registrar becomes the Times
  • Jan 1 Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipate their slaves

USAConstitution of the United States

Jan 2 Georgia is 4th state to ratify 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
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  • Jan 9 Connecticut becomes 5th state to ratify the US constitution
  • Jan 18 First elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from England to Australia arrives at Botany Bay to set up a penal colony
  • Jan 20 Pioneer African Baptist church organizes in Savannah, Georgia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 26 Captain Arthur Phillip and British colonists hoist the Union Flag at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, now celebrated as Australia Day

1st Governor of New South Wales Arthur Phillip
1st Governor of New South Wales
Arthur Phillip
  • Jan 28 Lord Gordon found guilty of libel of Queen of France
  • Feb 1 1st US steamboat patent issued, by Georgia to Briggs & Longstreet
  • Feb 6 Massachusetts becomes 6th state to ratify constitution
  • Feb 9 Austria declares war on Russia
  • Mar 6 The British First Fleet arrives at Australian territory of Norfolk Island to found a convict settlement
  • Mar 21 Fire destroys 856 buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 21 Olaudah Equiano (aka Gustavus Vassa), a freed slave, petitions King George III and Queen Charlotte, to free enslaved Africans

King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover George III
King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover
George III
  • Apr 7 1st settlement in Ohio, at Marietta
  • Apr 15 Britain, Netherlands & Prussia sign peace treaty

  • Apr 28 Maryland becomes 7th state to ratify US constitution
  • May 9 British parliament accepts abolition of slave trade
  • May 23 South Carolina becomes 8th state to ratify US constitution
  • Jun 7 French peasants stone the Army in Grenbole, an event known as the Day of the Tiles
  • Jun 11 1st British ship built on Pacific coast begun at Nootka Sound, BC
  • Jun 11 Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 17 After a lengthy stay in Europe, future US President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams return to Boston

2nd US President John Adams
2nd US President
John Adams
2nd First Lady of the United States Abigail Adams
2nd First Lady of the United States
Abigail Adams
  • Jun 21 US Constitution comes into effect when New Hampshire is the 9th state to ratify it
  • Jun 21 The population of Vizille, France, demands local parliament
  • Jun 25 Virginia becomes 10th state to ratify US constitution
  • Jul 26 New York becomes 11th state to ratify US constitution

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 8 King Louis XVI calls French States & Generals together

King of France Louis XVI
King of France
Louis XVI
  • Aug 13 Prussia joins Anglo-Dutch alliance to form Triple Alliance to prevent spread of Russo-Swedish War of 1788-90
  • Aug 17 Losantville, Ohio (now Cincinnati) founded
  • Aug 22 Sierra Leone settled by British as a haven for former slaves
  • Aug 27 Jacques Neeker named as French minister of Finance
  • Dec 17 Russian army of Grigory Potemkin occupies Ocharov
  • Dec 19 Chinese troops occupy capital Thang Long Vietnam
  • Dec 21 Hue Tay Son becomes emperor Quang Trung of Vietnam
  • Dec 23 Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 8 Archduke Rudolph of Austria, Austrian clergyman & noble, born in Florence, Tuscany (d. 1831)
  • Jan 8 Pavel Kiselyov, Russian general & politician, born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1874)
  • Jan 11 William Thomas Brande, English chemist (d. 1866)

Person of interestLord Byron

Jan 22 Lord Byron [George Gordon Byron], English romantic poet (Don Juan), born in London (d. 1824)

Romantic Poet Lord Byron
Romantic Poet
Lord Byron
  • Feb 5 Karoly Kisfaludy, Hungarian literary (A Tat rok Magyarorsz gon)

Person of interestRobert Peel

Feb 5 Robert "Bobbie" Peel, British Prime Minister (Tory/Conservative/Peelite: 1834-35; 1841-46), founder of the British Conservative Party and founder of the modern police force (Bobbies), born in Ramsbottom, England (d. 1850)

British Prime Minister Robert Peel
British Prime Minister
Robert Peel
  • Feb 16 Juan van Halen, Dutch/Spanish officer/adventurer
  • Feb 22 Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (Great Pessimist)
  • Mar 1 Gheorghe Asachi, Romania, writer/humanist/politician
  • Mar 7 Antoine César Becquerel, French physicist who pioneered the study of electric and luminescent phenomena, born in Châtillon-Coligny, France (d. 1878)
  • Mar 10 Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, German poet (Das Marmorbild)
  • Mar 12 Pierre J David [David d'Angers], French sculptor
  • Apr 2 Francisco Balagtas, Filipino poet (Florante at Laura), born in Barrio Panginay, Balagtas, Bulacan (d. 1862)
  • Apr 5 Franz Pforr, German painter and cartoonist (Lukasbund), born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1812)
  • Apr 14 David G. Burnet, interim president of the Republic of Texas, born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1870)
  • Apr 17 Joseph Gilbert Totten, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in New Haven, Connecticut (d. 1864)
  • May 10 Augustin-Jean Fresnel, optics pioneer/physicist
  • May 10 Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, German queen (d. 1819)
  • May 10 Augustin Fresnel, French civil engineer & physicist, born in Broglie, France (d. 1827)
  • May 16 Friedrich Rückert, German Poet, Translator and Orientalist (d. 1866)
  • May 18 Hugh Clapperton, Scottish explorer of Africa, born in Annan, Scotland (d. 1827)
  • Jun 21 Princess Augusta of Bavaria, born in Strasbourg (d. 1851)
  • Jul 1 Jean-Victor Poncelet, French mathematician and engineer who was one of the founders of modern projective geometry, born in Metz, France (d. 1867)
  • Aug 2 Leopold Gmelin, German chemist (Gmelin's test), born in Göttingen, Germany (d. 1853)
  • Aug 15 Carel Sirardus Willem van Hogendorp, Dutch colonial director, born in Cossimbazar, British East India (d. 1856)
  • Aug 22 Thomas Tredgold, English railway engineer and carpenter, born in Brandon, Durham, England (d. 1829)
  • Aug 25 Cornelis J van Assen, Dutch jurist (Language of the Constitution), born in Harlingen, Friesland (d. 1859)
  • Sep 6 Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow, German painter (Modern Vasari), born in Berlin (d. 1862)
  • Sep 10 Jacques Boucher de Crèvecœur de Perthes, French archaeologist (discovered flint tools in the gravels of the Somme valley), born in Rethel, Ardennes, France (d. 1868)
  • Sep 12 Alexander Campbell, Irish-American clergyman and Founder of Disciples of Christ, born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland (d. 1866)
  • Sep 21 Margaret Taylor, wife of Zachary Taylor and 1st lady of the United States (1849-50), born in Calvert County, Maryland (d. 1852)
  • Sep 22 Theodore Edward Hook, English author (d. 1841)
  • Sep 30 FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, British Army officer (commander of the British forces during the Crimean War), born in Badminton, England (d. 1855)
  • Oct 23 Sarah Hale, founder (Seaman's Aid Society of Boston)
  • Oct 24 Sarah Josepha Hale, American author (Mary Had a Little Lamb), born in Newport, New Hampshire (d. 1879)
  • Dec 29 Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, Danish antiquarian (named the stone/iron/bronze ages), born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 1865)

Deaths in History

  • Jan 11 François Joseph Paul de Grasse, French admiral (commanded the French fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake), dies at 64
  • Jan 14 François Joseph Paul, marquis de Grasetilly, comte de Grasse, French admiral (b. 1722)

Person of interestBonnie Prince Charlie

Jan 31 Bonnie Prince Charlie [Charles Edward Stuart], English pretender to throne (Jacobite rebellion), dies of a stroke at 67

Pretender to the British throne Bonnie Prince Charlie
Pretender to the British throne
Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • Feb 18 John Whitehurst, English clockmaker and scientist, dies at 75
  • Feb 20 Gijsbert John van Hardenbroeck, Dutch regent (Utrecht), dies at 68
  • Feb 21 Johann Georg Palitzsch, German astronomer, 1st saw Halley's comet on return, dies at 64
  • Feb 28 Thomas Cushing, American Continental Congressman (b. 1725)
  • Apr 16 George-Louis Leclerc, count de Buffon, French naturalist and writer on natural history (Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière), dies at 80
  • Apr 22 Zacharias H Alewijn, Dutch poet, dies at 46
  • May 8 Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, Italian-born physician and naturalist (b. 1723)
  • May 29 Jacques Aliamet, French etcher and engraver, dies at 61
  • Jun 12 Johann A Cramer, prime minister/poet, dies at 65
  • Jun 18 Adam Gib, Scottish religious leader, dies at 74
  • Jun 21 Johann Georg Hamann, German counter-enlightenment philosopher ("Reason is language"), dies at 57
  • Jul 8 Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, French marshal and statesman, 3rd Duke of Richilieu, dies at 92
  • Aug 2 Thomas Gainsborough, English painter (Blue Boy), dies at 61
  • Aug 8 Louis FAD Duke the Richelieu, French marshal, dies at 92
  • Sep 14 John Penn, American attorney (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 47
  • Sep 30 Matthäus Günther, German painter, dies at 83
  • Oct 13 Robert Nugent, 1st Earl Nugent, Irish politician and poet (b. 1702)
  • Oct 15 Samuel Greig, Scottish-Russian admiral (b. 1735)
  • Nov 28 Charles C of Nassau-Weilburg, governor of Maastricht, dies at about 53
  • Dec 6 Jonathan Shipley, British bishop and politician (b. 1714)
  • Dec 14 Carlos III, King of Spain (1759-88) & King of Naples and Sicily (1734-59), dies at 72
  • Dec 22 Percivall Pott, English physician and surgeon (b. 1714)
  • Dec 30 Francesco Zuccarelli, Italian rococo painter and etcher, dies at 86