On This Day

1820 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 12 Astronomical Society of London (now the Royal Astronomical Society) founded in England

RussiaRussian Antarctic Expedition

Jan 27 Russian Antarctic expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev discover the continent of Antarctica

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The Bellingshausen expedition's two sloops-of-war, Mirny and Vostok
The Bellingshausen expedition's two sloops-of-war, Mirny and Vostok
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  • Jan 30 British explorer Edward Bransfield aboard Williams sights Trinity Peninsula, Antarctica, claiming it for Britain
  • Feb 6 1st organized emigration of blacks back to Africa (NY to Sierra Leone)
  • Feb 6 US population announced at 9,638,453, African Americans 1,771,656 (18.4%)
  • Feb 6 First 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society start a settlement in present-day Liberia
  • Feb 23 Cato Street conspiracy uncovered, attempt to murder British Prime Minister Earl of Liverpool and Government Ministers
  • Mar 3 Missouri Compromise passes, allowing Missouri to join the United States despite slavery still being legal there.
  • Mar 5 Dutch city of Leeuwarden forbids Jews to go to synagogues on Sundays
  • Mar 9 -11) Philippines chases out foreigners; about 125 die
  • Mar 15 Maine admitted as 23rd state of the Union

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 26 Future Mormon church leader Joseph Smith has his "First Vision" in a wooded area of New York, according to Mormon scholars

Religious Leader Joseph Smith
Religious Leader
Joseph Smith

Historic DiscoveryVenus de Milo

Apr 8 The famous ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos

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Aphrodite of Milos, or better known as Venus de Milo
Aphrodite of Milos, or better known as Venus de Milo
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  • Apr 12 Alexander Ypsilantis is declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organization to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 21 Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted is the first to identify electromagnetism, when he observes a compass needle

Physicist, Chemist Hans Christian Ørsted
Physicist, Chemist
Hans Christian Ørsted

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 Launch of HMS Beagle, the ship that would later take a young Charles Darwin on his famous scientific voyage

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Naturalist
Charles Darwin

  • Jun 28 Tomato is proven to be non-poisonous by Colonel Robert Gibbon eating a tomato on steps of courthouse in Salem, New Jersey
  • Jul 1 1st edition of newspaper "Courrier de la Meuse" published in the Netherlands
  • Aug 1 London's Regent's Canal opens.
  • Aug 7 1st potatoes planted in Hawaii
  • Aug 14 1st US eye hospital, the NY Eye Infirmary, opens in NYC
  • Aug 24 Constitutionalist insurrection at Oporto, Portugal; see Portugal's crises of the Nineteenth Century.
  • Sep 15 Constitutionalist revolution in Lisbon, Portugal; (see Portugal's crises of the Nineteenth Century).
  • Sep 25 French Physicist François Arago announces electromagnetism in his discovery that a copper wire between the poles of a voltaic cell could laterally attract iron filings to itself
  • Oct 9 Guayaquil, Ecuador declares its freedom from Ecuador
  • Nov 3 Cuenca (Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca), Ecuador, declares independence

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Nov 7 James Monroe re-elected US president

5th US President James Monroe
5th US President
James Monroe
  • Nov 18 Antarctica sighted by US Navy Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer
  • Dec 15 1st General pharmacopoeia in US published, Boston
  • Dec 20 Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men aged between 21 & 50

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 17 Anne Brontë, English novelist/poet (Tenant of Wildfell Hall), born in Thornton, West Yorkshire (d. 1849)
  • Jan 18 Abraham Buford, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1884)
  • Jan 19 John Haskell King, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Sackets Harbor, New York (d. 1888)
  • Jan 20 Anne Clough, English suffragette, promoted higher education for women, first principal of New College, born in Liverpool, England (d. 1892)
  • Jan 22 Hermann von Lingg, German playwright/poet
  • Jan 22 Johan Hendrik Koelman, portrait painter (Jahresringe)
  • Jan 22 Joseph Wolf, German artist (d. 1899)
  • Jan 24 John Milton Thayer, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Bellingham, Massachusetts (d. 1906)
  • Jan 31 William B. Washburn, 28th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1887)
  • Feb 1 George Hendric Houghton, American Protestant Episcopal clergyman (d. 1897)
  • Feb 2 Hans E Schack, Danish politician/writer (Phantasterne)
  • Feb 3 Elisha Kent Kane, US Arctic explorer (Kane Basin off NW Greenland)

Person of interestDoc Durant

Feb 6 Doc Durant [Thomas C. Durant], American financier and railroad promoter (Transcontinental Railroad-Union Pacific), born in Lee, Massachusetts (d. 1885)

Financier and Railroad Promoter Doc Durant
Financier and Railroad Promoter
Doc Durant

Person of interestWilliam Tecumseh Sherman

Feb 8 William Tecumseh Sherman, American Major General in the Union Army, born in Lancaster, Ohio (d. 1891)

Person of interestSusan B. Anthony

Feb 15 Susan B. Anthony, American social reformer and women's suffrage movement leader, born in Adams, Massachusetts (d. 1906)

Suffragette Susan B. Anthony
Suffragette
Susan B. Anthony
  • Feb 17 Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau, Catholic cardinal (d. 1898)
  • Feb 20 Mahlon Dickerson Manson, American druggist politician and General (Union Army), born in Piqua, Ohio (d. 1895)
  • Feb 28 John Tenniel, English cartoonist and illustrator (Punch, Alice in Wonderland), born in London, England (d. 1914)
  • Mar 1 George Davis, Atty Gen (Confederacy), (d. 1896)
  • Mar 2 Multatuli [Eduard Douwes Dekker], Dutch writer (Max Havelaar), born in Amsterdam (d. 1887)
  • Mar 4 Francesco Bentivegna, Italian revolutionary (d. 1856)
  • Mar 6 Horatio Gouverneur Wright, American Major General (Union Army), born in Clinton, Connecticut (d. 1899)
  • Mar 9 Samuel Blatchford, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, born in Auburn, New York (d. 1893)
  • Mar 13 Louis Hébert, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army) and civil engineer, born in Iberville Parish, Louisiana (d. 1901)

Person of interestVictor Emmanuel II

Mar 14 Victor Emmanuel II, King of Sardinia (1849-61) and Italy (1861-78), born in Torino, Italy (d. 1878)

King of Sardinia and Italy Victor Emmanuel II
King of Sardinia and Italy
Victor Emmanuel II
  • Mar 17 Patrick Edward Connor, Irish-American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland (d. 1891)
  • Mar 17 Jean Ingelow, English poet (d. 1897)
  • Mar 20 Alexander J Cuza, monarch of Moldavia/Wallachia/Romania
  • Mar 24 Edmond Becquerel, French physicist who studied the solar spectrum, magnetism, electricity and optics (photovoltaic effect), born in Paris, France (d. 1891)
  • Mar 25 Xavier de Merode, Earl of Merode, Belgian minister to Pope in Rome (d. 1874)
  • Mar 30 Anna Sewell, English author (Black Beauty), born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (d. 1878)
  • Apr 4 Charles Devens Jr, American lawyer, jurist, statesman and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1891)
  • Apr 5 Nadar [Félix Tournachon], French photographer and balloonist, took the first aerial photograph, born in Paris (d. 1910)
  • Apr 14 Harry T. Hays, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Wilson County, Tennessee (d. 1876)
  • Apr 15 Evander McNair, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Laurel Hill, North Carolina (d. 1902)
  • Apr 16 Georg Curtius, German classical linguist, born in Lübeck, Germany (d. 1885)
  • Apr 26 Alice Cary, American poet (Cincinnati Sentinel), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1871)

Person of interestHerbert Spencer

Apr 27 Herbert Spencer, British philosopher (Social Statics), born in Derby, England (d. 1903)

Philosopher and Intellectual Herbert Spencer
Philosopher and Intellectual
Herbert Spencer
  • May 4 Joseph Whitaker, British publisher (Whitaker's Almanack), born in London (d. 1895)
  • May 4 Julia Gardiner Tyler, 2nd wife of President John Tyler (1841-45), born in Gardiners Island, New York (d. 1889)

Person of interestFlorence Nightingale

May 12 Florence Nightingale, British nurse (revolutionized nursing during the Crimean War), born in Florence, Italy (d. 1910)

  • May 23 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor (Eads Bridge-St Louis), born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (d. 1887)
  • May 23 Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, born in Le Roy, New York (d. 1891)
  • May 27 Mathilde Bonaparte, French princess (daughter of Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte and his second wife, Catharina of Württemberg, daughter of King Frederick I of Württemberg) and socialite, born in Trieste, Italy (d. 1904)
  • May 28 Willem Doorenbos, Dutch literary and critic, born in Deersum, Netherlands (d. 1906)
  • May 30 Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, French Canadian politician (1st Premier of Quebec), born in Charlesbourg, Quebec (d. 1890)
  • Jun 13 Henry the Navigator, prince of the Netherlands, third son of King William II of the Netherlands, born in Soestdijk Palace, Netherlands (d. 1879)
  • Jun 14 John Bartlett, American writer and publisher (compiled Familiar Quotations), born in Plymouth, Massachusetts (d. 1905)
  • Jun 16 Athanase Coquerel, French Protestant preacher (d. 1875)
  • Jun 24 Henry R. Jackson, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Athens, Georgia (d. 1898)
  • Jul 2 George Law Curry, American newspaper publisher and Governor of Oregon, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1878)
  • Jul 5 William John Macquorn Rankine, Scottish mechanical engineer and physicist, born in Edinburgh (d. 1872)
  • Jul 10 Andrew Porter, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (d. 1872)
  • Jul 22 Louis Powell Harvey, American politician, Governor of Wisconsin, born in East Haddam, Connecticut (d. 1862)
  • Jul 26 John Marshall Jones, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Charlottesville, Virginia (d. 1864)
  • Jul 27 John Franklin Farnsworth, American politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Eaton, Canada (d. 1897)
  • Jul 29 Clement Laird Vallandigham, MC (Union), (d. 1871)
  • Aug 2 John Tyndall, Irish physicist who demonstrated why the sky is blue and proved that the Earth's atmosphere has a greenhouse effect, born in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, Ireland (d. 1893)
  • Aug 3 William Miller, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Ithaca, New York (d. 1909)
  • Aug 8 Winfield Scott "Old Swet" Featherston, Army Brigadier General (Confederate)
  • Aug 12 Oliver Mowat, a founder of the Canadian Confederation
  • Aug 13 George Grove, English biblical scholar and misicographer, born in Clapham, London (d. 1900)
  • Aug 13 Joseph Alberdingk Thijm, Dutch poet (Dietsche Warande), born in Amsterdam (d. 1889)
  • Aug 16 Andrew Rainsford Wetmore, Canadian politician, born in Fredericton, Canada (d. 1892)
  • Aug 26 James Harlan, (Rep-Iowa)/US Secretary of Interior (1865-66)
  • Sep 3 George Hearst, American businessman and politician (U.S. Senator from California), born in Sullivan, Missouri (d. 1891)
  • Sep 17 Earl Van Dorn, American Major General (Confederate Army), born in Claiborne County, Mississippi (d. 1863)
  • Sep 17 Émile Augier, French dramatist, born in Valence, Drôme, Kingdom of France (d. 1889)
  • Sep 20 George Washington Morgan, American lawyer, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Washington County, Pennsylvania (d. 1893)
  • Sep 20 John Fulton Reynolds, American Major General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (d. 1863)
  • Sep 21 Williams Carter Wickham, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1888)
  • Sep 23 Thomas Kilby Smith, American lawyer, diplomat and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1887)
  • Sep 26 Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, father of Bengali prose (Exile of Sita), born in Birsingha, Bengal Presidency, British India (d. 1891)
  • Oct 5 David Wilber, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York), born in Quaker Street, Duanesburg, New York (d. 1890)
  • Oct 11 Alfred Washington Ellet, American civil engineer and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (d. 1895)
  • Oct 13 John William Dawson, Canadian geologist, born in Pictou, Nova Scotia (d. 1899)
  • Oct 20 Benjamin Franklin Cheatham, Major General (Confederate Army)
  • Oct 20 George Jerrison Stannard, American farmer, teacher, governmental official and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Georgia, Vermont (d. 1886)
  • Oct 23 James Monroe Goggin, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1889)
  • Nov 4 Robert Vinkler Richardson, American Brigadier-General (Confederate Army), born in Granville County, North Carolina (d. 1870)
  • Nov 9 Matthias de Vries, Dutch linguist (spelling), born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1892)
  • Nov 23 John Willis Ellis, Governor (Confederacy) (d. 1861)
  • Nov 23 Isaac Todhunter, British mathematician (d. 1884)
  • Nov 28 Freidrich Engels, German social philosopher (Communism), born in Barmen, Germany (d. 1895)
  • Nov 28 Lawrence O'Bryan Branch, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Enfield, North Carolina (d. 1862)
  • Dec 5 Afanasy Fet, Russian poet, born in Mtsensk, Russia (d. 1892)
  • Dec 10 David Allen Russell, United States Army officer (Union), born in Salem, New York (d. 1864)
  • Dec 10 Princess Elizabeth of Clarence, secon daughter of King Willliam IV, born in St James's Palace, London (d. 1821)
  • Dec 17 Frederick Tracy Dent, American General (Union Army), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1892)
  • Dec 26 Gustavus Adolphus Smith, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania(d. 1885)

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 8 5th US President James Monroe's daughter Maria 1st child of a President to marry in the White House

5th US President James Monroe
5th US President
James Monroe

LoveWedding of Interest

Jul 14 British PM Robert Peel (32) weds Sir John Floyd's daughter Julia at St George's, Hanover Square in London

British Prime Minister Robert Peel
British Prime Minister
Robert Peel

Deaths in History

  • Jan 17 Daniel Albert Wyttenbach, German-Swiss classicl scholar and historian, dies at 73
  • Jan 23 Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

Person of interestGeorge III

Jan 29 King George III, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and King/Elector of Hanover (1760-1820), dies after years of mental illness at 81

King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover George III
King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover
George III
  • Feb 14 Charles F, Duke of Berry, murdered at 42
  • Feb 14 Cosme Argerich, Argentine physician and founder of the Medicine School of Buenos Aires, dies at 61
  • Feb 15 Pierre-Joseph Cambon, French member of Committee of Salut Public, dies at 63
  • Feb 15 William Ellery, US attorney (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 92
  • Feb 16 Georg Carl von Döbeln, Swedish Lieutenant General and war hero, dies at 61
  • Feb 29 Johann Joachim Eschenburg, German literary critic (b. 1743)
  • Mar 11 Benjamin West, Anglo-American painter (Death of General Wolfe), dies at 81
  • Mar 12 Alexander Mackenzie, Scottish born Canadian explorer, First European to cross North America, dies at roughly 56
  • Mar 15 Clemens Maria Hofbauer, patron saint of Vienna (b. 1751
  • Mar 22 American military hero Commodore Stephen Decatur, killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron at 41
  • Apr 5 Henrik C Cras, lawyer (Laudatio Hugonis Grotii), dies at 81
  • Apr 8 Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, Scottish philanthropist, dies at 48
  • Apr 20 Arthur Young, English writer on agriculture (Annals of Agriculture), dies at 78
  • Jun 9 Wilhelmina of Prussia, Princess of Orange (1767-1806), dies at 68

Person of interestJoseph Banks

Jun 19 Joseph Banks, English natural historian (Cook/Australia), dies

Botanist and explorer Joseph Banks
Botanist and explorer
Joseph Banks

Person of interestManuel Belgrano

Jun 20 Manuel Belgrano, Argentine politician and Military Leader who took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina, dies at 50

Argentine Politician and Military Leader Manuel Belgrano
Argentine Politician and Military Leader
Manuel Belgrano
  • Aug 6 Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, Duchess of York and Albany, dies at 53
  • Aug 7 Élisa Bonaparte, Corsican monarch of Lucca and sister of Napoleon, dies at 43
  • Aug 28 Andrew Ellicott, American surveyor (b. 1754)
  • Sep 2 Jiaqing, 5th Emperor of Qing Dynasty, dies at 59
  • Sep 3 Benjamin Henry Latrobe, American architect (completed U.S. Capitol), dies at 56
  • Sep 7 Coert L van Beyma thoe Kingma, Fries regent/patriot, dies at 67
  • Sep 21 Joseph R Drake, American poet (American Flag), dies at 25)

Person of interestDaniel Boone

Sep 26 Daniel Boone, American frontiersman and explorer (US Hall of Fame 1915), dies at 85

Frontiersman and Explorer Daniel Boone
Frontiersman and Explorer
Daniel Boone
  • Oct 8 Henri Christophe, President of Haiti (1807-11) and King of Haiti (1811-20), dies at 53
  • Oct 12 Elias Annes Borger, theologist/poet (Ode on the Rhine), dies at 36
  • Oct 15 Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, Austrian field marshal, dies at 49