[Last updated: April 19, 1998]
  • The Worldwide Anti-Slavery Convention is held in London.  American women walk out in protest when they are not permitted to take their seats as delegates.  As a result, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others organize women's rights conferences.
  • Queen Victoria of Great Britain marries Prince Albert.
  • Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky is born (Russian composer).
  • Claude Monet (French painter), Pierre Auguste Renoir (French impressionist painter), and Auguste Rodin (French sculptor) are born.
  • Ninepins becomes a very popular game in America.
  • 2816 miles of railroad in operation in U.S.; 1331 in England.
  • Britain's assumes control of Hong Kong.
  • William Henry Harrison is inaugurated as 9th president.
  • President Harrison dies of pneumonia.  John Tyler becomes the 10th president.
  • The U.S.S. "Creole," carrying slaves from Virginia to Louisiana, is seized by the slaves and sails into Nassau where they become free.
  • James Fenimore Cooper writes The Deerslayer.
  • Scottish surgeon James Braid discovers hypnosis.
  • English mechanical engineer Sir Joseph Whitworth proposes standard screw threads.
  • P. T. Barnum opens the "American Museum," an exhibition of freaks, curios, etc. in New York City.
  • American boxer Tom Hyer becomes the first recognized champion.
  • Population statistics: Great Britain - 18.5 million; America 17 million; Ireland 8 million.
  • The first university degrees are granted to women in America.
  • Massachusetts act establishes that children under 12 years old may work no longer than 10 hours per day in factory labor.
  • Poe writes The Masque of the Red Death.
  • Austrian physicist C. J. Doppler publishes a paper on the Doppler effect.
  • American physician Crawford W. Long uses ether as an anesthesia for surgery.
  • The polka (a Czech dance) comes into fashion.
  • Boston and Albany are connected by railroad.
  • Jefferson Davis (future President of the Confederacy) begins his political career as delegate to the Democratic Convention in Alabama.
  • Charles Dickens writes A Christmas Carol and Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • Dorothea Dix reports on the horrible conditions of prisons and asylums in Massachusetts.
  • Samuel Morse receives a $30,000 grant from Congress to build the first telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore.
  • Siamese twins Chang and Eng marry Sarah and Adelaide Yates.
  • Skiing becomes a sport (Norway).
  • Alexandre Dumas writes The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Morse's telegraph is used for first time between Baltimore and Washington.
  • The gasoline engine is patented by Stuart Perry.
  • Paper made from wood pulp is invented by Friedrich Keller.
  • The YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) is founded in England by George Williams.
  • The Baptist Church splits into the Northern and Southern conventions as a result of the slavery issue.
  • James K. Polk is inaugurated as 11th President.
  • Florida becomes the 27th (slave) state.
  • Texas becomes the 28th (slave) state.
  • The Knickerbocker Baseball Club codifies the rules of baseball.
  • The U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland is opened.
  • Iowa becomes the 29th (free) state.
  • Congress declares war on Mexico.
  • Brigham Young leads the Mormons from Nauvoo, Illinois to Utah.
  • The Opera in Paris has electric arc lighting.
  • John Deere creates a plow with a steel moldboard.
  • Elias Howe patents his sewing machine.
  • In the first match baseball game, the New Yorks beat the Knickerbockers 23-1 in New Jersey.
  • American dentist W. T. Morton uses ether as an anesthetic.
  • Ireland suffers from famine caused by the potato crop failure (leads to increased U.S. immigration).
  • The Smithsonian Institution opens in Washington, D.C.
  • The first official postage stamp is issued by the U.S. government (5-cent and 10-cent stamps).
  • Abraham Lincoln becomes a Congressman.
  • New Hampshire passes a law limiting the work day to 10 hours.
  • Vermont passes a law allowing a wife full ownership of real estate; she needs her husband's consent to sell.
  • Liberia (African country founded by freed U.S. slaves) is proclaimed an independent republic.
  • Charlotte Bronte writes Jane Eyre.
  • Emily Bronte writes Wuthering Heights.
  • William Makepeace Thackeray writes Vanity Fair.
  • The Mormons found Salt Lake City.
  • Thomas Alva Edison is born (American inventor of the lightbulb and phonograph, to name a few).
  • Alexander Graham Bell is born (Scottish-American inventor of the telephone).
  • Gold is first discovered in California.
  • The Mexican-American war ends; U.S. gets Texas, New Mexico, California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Wisconsin becomes the 30th (free) state.
  • The first medical school for women opens in Boston with 12 women enrolled.
  • New York State allows women equal rights to property.
  • The telegraph links New York City and Chicago.
  • Marx and Engels publish their Communist Manifesto.
With help from:
The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events by Bernard Grun (based upon Werner Stein's Kulturfahrplan).  New York: Simon and Schuster (A Touchstone Book), 1982.
The U.S.A.: A Chronicle in Pictures by Neil Wenborn.  New York: SMITHMARK Publishers Inc., 1991.