1789 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 21 1st American novel, WH Brown's "Power of Sympathy" is published
  • Jan 23 Georgetown, 1st US Catholic college, founded

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 24 Louis XVI of France issues an edict calling for the convocation of the Estates-General, a major event in the French Revolution

King of France Louis XVI
King of France
Louis XVI
  • Jan 26 John Odell signs contract for £336 to build St Peter's church in the Bronx
  • Feb 1 Chinese troops driven out of Vietnam capital Thang Long

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Feb 4 1st US electoral college chooses George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice-President

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
2nd US President John Adams
2nd US President
John Adams

USAConstitution of the United States

Mar 4 1st US Congress meets and declares constitution in effect (9 senators, 13 reps)
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  • Mar 4 US House of Representatives 1st full meeting, NYC, F Muhlenberg 1st speaker

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 11 Benjamin Banneker and Pierre Charles L'Enfant begin to lay out Washington, D.C.

Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author Benjamin Banneker
Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author
Benjamin Banneker
Washington D.C. Architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant
Washington D.C. Architect
Pierre Charles L'Enfant

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 21 John Adams sworn in as 1st US Vice President (9 days before Washington)

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 28 Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny on HMS Bounty against its captain William Bligh in the South Pacific

Naval Commander William Bligh
Naval Commander
William Bligh
  • Apr 30 George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America
  • May 5 French Estates-General meets for the first time since 1614 at Versailles, summoned King Louis XVI

  • May 7 First US Presidential inaugural ball (for George Washington in NYC)
  • May 12 Society of St Tammany is formed by Revolutionary War soldiers. It later becomes an infamous group of NYC political bosses

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 12 William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in the UK House of Commons, reasoning the slave trade morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice

Abolitionist William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce
  • Jun 1 1st US congressional act becomes law (on administering oaths)
  • Jun 3 Alex Mackenzie explores Mackenzie River (Canada)
  • Jun 3 Explorer Alexander Mackenzie sets out on his first expedition to the Pacific from Fort Chipewyan (finds the Arctic Ocean instead)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 8 James Madison introduces a proposed Bill of Rights in the US House of Representatives

4th US President James Madison
4th US President
James Madison
  • Jun 9 Spanish capture British schooner Northwest America near Vancouver Island
  • Jun 13 Mrs Alexander Hamilton serves ice cream for dessert to Washington
  • Jun 14 Captain William Bligh and his loyal men cast off from HMS Bounty reach Timor, after sailing 5,800 km in a 6-metre launch
  • Jun 17 French Revolution: During the meeting of the Estates-General, the Third Estate proclaims itself the 'National Assembly'
  • Jun 23 French King Louis XVI rejects the demands of the Third Estate, calling itself the National Assembly, during the opening stages of the French Revolution
  • Jun 27 French Revolution: King Louis XVI orders the nobility and clergy of the Estates-General to meet with the Third Estate, by then called the National Assembly
  • Jul 4 1st US tariff act signed by President Washington
  • Jul 6 French Revolution: the National Assembly forms a committee of thirty members to write a new constitution
  • Jul 9 French Revolution: the National Assembly renames itself the National Constituent Assembly
  • Jul 11 French King Louis XVI dismisses finance minister Jacques Necker, sparking riots in Paris

FranceBastille Day

Jul 14 Bastille Day - the French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille Prison
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  • Jul 15 Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, is named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 16 French King Louis XVI reinstates Jacques Necker as finance minister following riots at his dismissal

Finance Minister Jacques Necker
Finance Minister
Jacques Necker
King of France Louis XVI
King of France
Louis XVI
  • Jul 27 US Congress establishes Department of Foreign Affairs now referred to as the State Department
  • Aug 1 US Customs begins enforcing Tariff Act
  • Aug 4 French Revolution: The National Constituent Assembly meets and issues the first decrees that abolish centuries of feudalism in France
  • Aug 7 US Congress creates Department of War and Lighthouse Service
  • Aug 23 French Revolution: The National Assembly proclaims freedom of religious opinions

  • Aug 24 French Revolution: The National Assembly proclaims freedom of speech
  • Aug 26 The National Constituent Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen at the beginning of the French Revolution
  • Aug 27 French National Assembly issues "Declaration of Rights of Man & Citizen"

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

Aug 28 William Herschel discovers Saturn's moon Enceladus

Astronomer William Herschel
William Herschel
  • Sep 2 US Treasury Department established by Congress

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 11 Alexander Hamilton appointed 1st Secretary of Treasury

1st US Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton
1st US Secretary of Treasury
Alexander Hamilton
  • Sep 13 1st loan to US government (from NYC banks)
  • Sep 15 US Department of Foreign Affairs, renamed Department of State
  • Sep 17 William Herschel discovers Mimas, satellite of Saturn
  • Sep 18 1st loan is made to pay salaries of the presidents & Congress
  • Sep 22 US Congress passes act requiring the first Postmaster General to report to the President through the Secretary of the Treasury
  • Sep 24 US Congress establishes Post Office Department following the new constitution
  • Sep 24 US Federal Judiciary Act is passed & creates a six-person Supreme Court

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 24 President George Washington nominates John Jay for 1st Chief Justice

Ist US Chief Justice John Jay
Ist US Chief Justice
John Jay
  • Sep 24 US Attorney General Office is created
  • Sep 25 US Congress proposes the Bill of Rights
  • Sep 26 4th US Postmaster General: Samuel Osgood of Mass takes office

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 26 Thomas Jefferson appointed 1st US Secretary of State; John Jay becomes 1st US Chief Justice

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
Ist US Chief Justice John Jay
Ist US Chief Justice
John Jay
  • Sep 26 Edmund J Randolph becomes 1st US Attorney General
  • Sep 29 US War Department established a regular army
  • Oct 2 George Washington transmits the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification
  • Oct 3 Washington proclaims 1st national Thanksgiving Day on Nov 26

FranceWomen's March on Versailles

Oct 5 French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles in the March on Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris
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  • Oct 6 French Revolution: Louis XVI returns to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women on 5 October
  • Oct 12 French Revolution: King Louis XVI writes secretly to the King of Spain about complaining of harsh treatment; the Count of Artois writes to the Austrian king requesting military intervention in France
  • Oct 15 1st presidental tour-George Washington in New England
  • Oct 21 French Revolution: The National Assembly declares martial law in France to prevent uprisings
  • Nov 5 Fleeing slaves under Bonni attack military post on Suriname
  • Nov 5 French National Meeting declares all citizens equal under law
  • Nov 6 Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.
  • Nov 8 Bourbon Whiskey 1st distilled from corn by Elijah Craig in Bourbon, Kentucky
  • Nov 13 Ben Franklin writes "Nothing . . . certain but death & taxes"
  • Nov 20 New Jersey is 1st state to ratify Bill of Rights
  • Nov 21 North Carolina ratifies constitution, becomes 12th US state
  • Nov 26 1st national Thanksgiving in America

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 3 Carl G Carus, German physician/psychologist/philosopher
  • Jan 4 Benjamin Lundy, philanthropist/abolitionist
  • Jan 17 August Neander, German theologian (d. 1850)
  • Feb 9 Franz Xaver Gabelsberger, German inventor of the stenography (d. 1849)
  • Mar 4 Pavel P Gagarin, Russ monarch
  • Mar 16 Georg Ohm, German physicist and mathematician (Ohm's law), born in Erlangen, Bavaria (d. 1854)
  • May 28 Bernard Severin Ingemann, Danish author (Tomorrow- og Aftensange)
  • Jun 15 Josiah Henson, American slave and settlement founder (d. 1883)
  • Jun 30 E J Horace Vernet, French painter
  • Jul 6 Maria Isabella of Spain, queen of the Two Sicilies (d. 1846)
  • Jul 19 John Martin, English painter and engraver, born in Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, England (d. 1854)
  • Aug 21 Augustin-Louis Cauchy, French mathematician and physicist, born in Paris (d. 1857)
  • Aug 26 Abbas Mirza, Prince of Persia (d. 1833)
  • Aug 28 Stéphanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden, born in Versailles, France (d. 1860)
  • Sep 9 William Cranch Bond, American astronomer (codiscovered Hyperion)

Person of interestJames Fenimore Cooper

Sep 15 James Fenimore Cooper, 1st major American novelist (Last of Mohicans), born in Burlington, New Jersey

  • Sep 28 Richard Bright, English physician (Bright's Disease/nephritis), born in Bristol, England (d. 1858)
  • Oct 3 Francis Gregory, American Rear Admiral (Union Navy), born in Norwalk, Connecticut (d. 1866)
  • Oct 8 John Ruggles, American politician, born in Westborough, Massachusetts (d. 1874)
  • Oct 8 William John Swainson, English naturalist and artist, born in Newington, London (d. 1855)
  • Oct 14 Constant van Crombrugghe, Flemish monastery founder, born in Geraardsbergen, Belgium (d. 1865)
  • Oct 16 William Burton, Governor of Delaware (1859-63) (d. 1866)
  • Oct 24 Jean Chrétien Baud, Dutch gov-gen of Dutch-Indies (1834-36), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1859)

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

Oct 26 Lexicographer Noah Webster (31) weds Rebecca Greenleaf

Lexicographer Noah Webster
Noah Webster

Deaths in History

  • Jan 1 Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, English politician (b. 1716)
  • Jan 10 Pierre Lyonet, Dutch zoologist and cryptologist, dies at 82
  • Jan 23 Frances Brooke, English writer (b. 1724)
  • Jan 23 John Cleland, English novelist (b. 1709)

Person of interestEthan Allen

Feb 12 Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary War patriot (lead the Green Mountain Boys), dies of an apoplectic fit at 51

American Revolutionary War Patriot Ethan Allen
American Revolutionary War Patriot
Ethan Allen
  • Feb 19 Nicholas Van Dyke, American lawyer and President of Delaware, dies at 50
  • Apr 7 Peter Camper, anatomist/animal scholar, dies at 66
  • Apr 7 Abd-ul-Hamid I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1725)
  • Apr 26 Peter I Panin, Russian general (Pugatshov-uprising), dies at about 67
  • May 25 Anders Dahl, Swedish botanist (b. 1751)
  • Jun 12 Jean E Liotard, [Turk], Swiss painter (Maria-Theresia), dies
  • Jul 4 Cláudio Manuel da Costa, Brazilian poet, dies at 59
  • Jul 13 Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, French economist, dies at 73
  • Jul 14 Jacques de Flesselles, French provost (assassinated) (b. 1721)
  • Jul 14 Bernard-René de Launay, governor of the Bastille, murdered during the Storming of the Bastille (b.1740)
  • Jul 22 Joseph-François Foulon, French politician, dies at 74
  • Aug 25 Mary Ball Washington, mother of George, dies
  • Sep 23 John Rogers, American Continental Congressman (b. 1723)
  • Sep 28 Thomas Day, author, killed by fall from a horse at Wargrave Berkshire
  • Oct 24 Lucretia Wilhelmina van Merken, Dutch poet, dies at 68
  • Oct 27 John Cook, American farmer and Governor of Delaware (b. 1730)
  • Dec 3 Claude-Joseph Vernet, French seascape painter, dies
  • Dec 12 John Ponsonby, Irish politician, dies at 76
  • Dec 23 Charles-Michel de l'Épée, French philanthropist (b. 1712)