Return to home
1877 Jan 1,
The Florida state Supreme Court rejected a canvassing board vote
count that showed Hayes in the lead by 208 votes. The Democratic
legislature ordered a recount and named Mr. Tilden’s electors as
rightful. The matter went to the US Congress after the state Supreme
Court declined to take up the case until June.
(WSJ, 12/11/00, p.A18)
1877 Jan 4, Cornelius
Vanderbilt (b.1794), US financier, railroad and shipping magnate,
robber baron, died in Manhattan. His estate at $105 million was
worth more than all the money in the US Treasury. His value in 2007
dollars would be $143 billion. In 2007 Edward J. Renehan Jr.
authored “Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt.” In 2009 T.J.
Stiles authored “The first Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius
p.E4)(WSJ, 12/19/07, p.D9)(SSFC, 4/26/09, Books p.1)
1877 Jan 15, Lewis M. Terman,
psychologist (developed Stanford-Binet IQ test), was born in
1877 Jan 22, Hjalmar Horace
Greely Schacht, president of German Reichsbank, minister of
Economics, was born.
1877 Jan 25, Congress
determined the presidential election between Hayes and Tilden.
Tilden won the popular votes, while Hays won the electoral
votes. [see Jan 29]
1877 Jan 29, A highly partisan
Electoral Commission, made up of eight Republicans and seven
Democrats, was established by Congress to settle the issue of
Democrat Samuel Tilden for president against Republican Rutherford
B. Hayes. Under the terms of the Tilden-Hayes Election Compromise,
Hayes became president and the Republicans agreed to remove the last
Federal troops from Southern territory, ending Reconstruction. On
election night, 1876, it was clear that Tilden had won the popular
vote, but it was also clear that votes in Florida, Louisiana, South
Carolina and Oregon were fraudulent because of voter intimidation.
Republicans knew that if the electoral votes from these four states
were thrown out, Hayes would win. The country hovered near civil war
as both Democrats and Republicans claimed victory. Illustrator
Thomas Nast drew his cartoon, "Tilden or Blood," showing the
Democrats threatening violence.
(HNPD, 1/29/99)(PCh, 1992, p.542)
1877 Jan, Englishmen Sir
Erasmus Wilson donated money to bring the obelisk of Alexandria to
Britain. He hired civil engineer John Dixon to bring it to London.
Dixon designed an iron pontoon ship called the Cleopatra to carry
(ON, 6/20/11, p.9)
1877 Feb 12, The 1st news
dispatch by telephone was made between Boston and Salem, Mass.
1877 Feb 12, US railroad
builders struck against a wage reduction.
1877 Feb 19, Louis
Francois-Marie Aubert, French composer (Habanera), was born.
1877 Feb 20, The 1st cantilever
bridge in US was completed at Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
1877 Feb 26, Rudolph Dirks,
cartoonist, was born. He became the creator of the "Katzenjammer
1877 Feb 26, Carel S. Adama van
Scheltema, Dutch poet, writer (socialism), was born.
1877 Mar 2, Republican
Rutherford B. Hayes was declared winner of the 1876 presidential
election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won
the popular vote 50.1 to 47.95%. A special US congressional panel
had awarded Florida’s electors to Rutherford B. Hayes. Democrats
acquiesced to Hayes's election on the condition that he withdraw
remaining US troops protecting Republican officeholders in the
South, thus officially ending the Reconstruction era.
p.542)(AP, 3/2/98)(WSJ, 12/11/00, p.A18)
1877 Mar 3, Rutherford B. Hayes
took the oath of office as the 19th president of the United States
in a private ceremony. A public swearing-in took place two days
1877 Mar 4, The Russian
Imperial Ballet staged the first performance of Tchaikovsky’s
incomplete ballet "Zwanenmeer" (Swan Lake) in Moscow.
(WSJ, 5/18/99, p.A24)(HN, 3/4/01)(SC, 3/4/02)
1877 Mar 18, Edgar Cayce
(d.1945), self-proclaimed psychic, was born in Hopkinsville, Ky. In
2000 Sidney D. Kirkpatrick authored “Edgar Cayce, An American
(SFEC, 7/26/98, BR p.3)(SSFC, 1/14/01, BR
p.12)(SFC, 8/7/08, p.E1)
1877 Mar 24, Walter Bagehot
(b.1826), British economist and author of “The English Constitution”
(1867), died. He edited the Economist Magazine from 1861 until his
1877 Mar 25, Alphonse de
Chateaubriand, French writer (Instantanes aux Pays-Bas), was born.
1877 Apr 8, In San Francisco
the small lake know initially as Laguna Pequeno and then
Washerwoman’s Lagoon, was filled in. Byproducts from slaughterhouses
tanneries, factories and raw sewage had polluted the area over the
years. It was roughly bounded by streets later known as Lombard,
Filbert, Gough and Octavia.
(SFC, 11/26/16, p.C2)
1877 Apr 10, Federal troops
were withdrawn from Columbia, SC.
1877 Apr 10, The 1st human
cannonball act was performed in London.
1877 Apr 12, The catcher's mask
was first used in a baseball game, by James Tyng of Harvard, in an
exhibition game against the Live Oaks of Lynn, Mass. In 1878
Frederick Thayer, manager and 3rd baseman for the Harvard team,
applied for and received a patent for the mask. Thayer became a
lawyer after graduating and in 1886 successfully sued Spalding for
(AP, 4/12/07)(ON, 6/08, p.12)
1877 Apr 18, In Topeka the
Nicodemus Town Company was established by William H. Smith and W.R.
Hill. They sold home sites to African Americans who founded the town
of Nicodemus in Graham County. The name referred to a legendary
slave who arrived in America aboard the 2nd slave ship from Africa
and later purchased his freedom.
(NH, 7/98, p.28,29)
1877 Apr 19, Ole Evinrude,
inventor of the outboard marine engine, was born.
1877 Apr 22, The first National
League baseball game was played.
(WSJ, 10/15/98, p.B8)
1877 Apr 24, Federal troops
were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War
rule in the South.
1877 Apr 24, Russia declared
war on the Ottoman Empire.
1877 Apr 27, Jules Massenet's
Opera "Le Roi de Lahore" was produced in Paris.
1877 Apr 27, President Hayes
removed Federal troops from LA. Reconstruction ended. [see Apr 24]
1877 Apr 29, Tad Dorgen,
cartoonist and columnist, was born.
1877 Apr 30, Alice B. Toklas
(d.1967), expatriate American, was born. She was associated with
Gertrude Stein, who wrote "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas"
1877 May 1, President Hayes
ordered the withdrawal all Federal troops from the South, ending
1877 May 2, Vernon Castle,
1877 May 6, Chief Crazy Horse
surrendered to U.S. troops in Nebraska. Crazy Horse brought General
Custer to his end.
1877 May 13, Cesar Franck's
"Lesson Eolides," premiered.
1877 May 25, Billy Murray,
singer, was born.
1877 May 26, Isadora Duncan,
free form, interpretative dancer, was born in SF.
1877 May 29, John Lothrop
Motley (63), (History of United Netherlands), died.
1877 Jun 1, The Society of
American Artists was formed.
1877 Jun 1, U.S. troops were
authorized to pursue bandits into Mexico.
(DTnet, 6/1/97)(HN, 6/1/98)
1877 Jun 3, Raoul Dufy, French
Fauvist painter (Palm), was born.
1877 Jun 3, Frank Pocock,
British explorer, drowned in the Congo.
1877 Jun 9, Meta Vaux Warrick,
world renowned sculptor, was born.
1877 Jun 14, Two Nez Perce
Indians killed 3 white men.
(ON, 3/04, p.5)
1877 Jun 15, The US Army under
Gen’l. Oliver Otis Howard began to pursue some 800 Nez Perce. The
Nez Perce had been ordered to leave the Valley of the Winding Waters
(Wallowa Valley) in Oregon.
(SFC, 6/13/97, p.A13)(SFEC, 6/15/97, Par
p.1)(SSFC, 7/9/06, p.G4)
1877 Jun 15, Henry O. Flipper
(d.1931 at 84) became the first African American to be graduated
from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was given a
dishonorable discharge from the army in 1882 on charges that
appeared to be racially motivated. In 1999 Pres. Clinton granted him
a posthumous pardon.
(HN, 6/15/98)(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A17)
1877 Jun 16, The Nez Perce War
began in the northwestern US. The First Squadron of the First
Regiment, the oldest cavalry unit in the US, fought the Apaches and
the Nez Perces.
(WUD, 1994, p.964)(WSJ, 12/27/95, p. A-1)(ON,
1877 Jun 18, James Montgomery
Flagg, American artist and author, was born. He created the world
War I recruiting poster of Uncle Sam saying "I want you."
1877 Jul 2, Herman Hesse
(d.1962), German philosopher poet and author, was born in
Switzerland. His work included "Steppenwolf" and he won the Nobel
Prize in literature in 1946.
(HN, 7/2/99)(WUD, 1994, p.666)(SC, 7/2/02)
1877 Jul 5, Wanda A. Landowska,
Warsaw Poland, harpsichordist (Musique Ancienne), was born.
1877 Jul 9, The All England
Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club began hosting the first Wimbledon
tennis tournament. There was only a men's draw that year, and on
July 19 Spencer Gore bested a field of 22 players to win the first
1877 Jul 11, Los Angeles
recorded a temperature of 112 degrees, but it was not recorded as an
all-time-high because official recording only began 20 days later.
(SFC, 6/11/09, p.D8)
1877 Jul 14, The Great Railroad
Strike of 1877, sometimes referred to as the Great Upheaval, began
in Martinsburg, West Virginia, after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
(B&O) cut wages for the third time in a year. Some 45 days later
it was put down by local and state militias.
1877 Jul 17, Riots and violence
erupted in several major American cities stemming from strikes
against railroads in protest of wage cuts. Strikes started against
the Baltimore & Ohio, and quickly spread west, with riots
erupting in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago and St. Louis. Nine were
killed when Federal troops were sent into Martinsburg, West
1877 Jul 18, Thomas Edison
recorded the human voice for the first time. He shouted “Haloo” into
a mouthpiece and played back a moving tape.
(HN, 7/18/01)(ON, 2/07, p.11)
1877 Jul 21, In West Virginia
26 railroad strikers were killed and the Union Depot and machine
shops were burned down.
1877 Jul 21-1877 Jul 22, Pres.
Rutherford Hayes sent federal troops and Marines to Baltimore to
restore order against striking railroad workers. President Hayes
then sent federal troops from city to city. They suppressed strike
after strike until the strike ended in September, approximately 45
days after it had started.
1877 Jul 23, Riots broke out in
San Francisco as the Workingmen's Party called for reforms near the
unfinished City Hall. Over the next few days rioters killed several
Chinese people and set fire to Chinese businesses. A brigade of
4,000 volunteers fought back the rioters and when order was restored
4 rioters lay dead and dozens of Chinese businesses destroyed.
(SFC, 2/20/21, p.B4)
1877 Jul 27, Ernst von
Dohnanyi, composer (Message to Posterity), was born in Hungary.
1877 Aug 2, Sir James Douglas
(b.1803), the first provincial governor of British Columbia
(1858-1864), died. He was the son of a black woman from Barbados and
a Scottish planter.
(SFC, 2/12/10, p.A18)
1877 Aug 10, Col. John Gibbon
slaughtered Nez-Perce Indians at Big Hole River.
1877 Aug 14, Olaf Carl Seltzer,
Montana artist and locomotive repairman, was born in Copenhagen,
Denmark. He became a friend of Charles Russel and painted over 2500
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.B6)
1877 Aug 17, Asaph Hall
discovered the Mars moon Phobos. Hall of the US Naval Observatory
discovered the moons around Mars and named them Deimos (anxiety) and
Phobos (fear), Homer’s names for the attendant’s of the god of war.
(SFC, 11/29/96, p.A16)(SFEC, 4/30/00, Z1 p.6)(SC,
1877 Aug 22, Nez Perce fled
into Yellowstone National Park.
1877 Aug 27, Charles Stewart
Rolls, British auto manufacturer (Rolls-Royce Ltd), was born.
1877 Aug 29, Brigham Young
(76), the second president of the Mormon Church, died in Salt Lake
1877 Aug, In the midst of a
recession and the turmoil of anti-Chinese riots, San Franciscans
decided to build a public library.
(SFC, 4/14/96, EM, p.20)
1877 Sep 2, Frederick Soddy,
named an isotope and received 1921 Nobel prize for chemistry, was
1877 Sep 3, Adolphe Thiers, 1st
president of the 3rd French Republic (1871-77), died at 80.
1877 Sep 5, The great Sioux
warrior Crazy Horse, a cousin of Kicking Bear, was fatally bayoneted
at age 36 by a soldier at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. In 1975 Stephen
Ambrose authored "Crazy Horse and Custer." In 2002 Ambrose was
accused of plagiarizing from the 1955 book "Custer" by Jay Monaghan
(d.1980). In 1999 Larry McMurtry authored the biography "Crazy
Horse" for the Penguin Lives series. In 2004 Joseph M. Marshall III
authored “The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History.” In 2006
Kingsley M. Bray authored “Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life.”
(SFEC, 2/7/99, Par p.14)(HN, 12/24/99)(SFC,
1/9/02, p.A2)(SSFC, 12/5/04, p.E5)(AH, 10/07, p.62)
1877 Sep 11, James Jeans
(d.1946), English physicist, mathematician and astronomer, was born.
He was the first to propose that matter is continuously created
throughout the universe.
1877 Sep 17, William Henry Fox
Talbot (b.1800), British inventor, died. He pioneered instantaneous
photography and invented paper photography with the
negative-positive system now in use. Talbot produced the first book
with photographic illustrations, serialized as "The Pencil of
Nature," from 1844-1846. In 1980 Gail Buckland authored "Fox Talbot
and the Invention of Photography."
(AHD, 1971, p. 1312)(WSJ, 3/24/98, p.A20)(ON,
4/00, p.11)(SFC, 12/26/02, p.E9)
1877 Sep 30, Harry Meiggs
(b.1811), American businessman and railroad magnate in Chile and
Peru, died virtually penniless in Peru. Before his death Meiggs made
restitution to his creditors in San Francisco. In 1874 the
California legislature passed Senate Bill 183 dismissing any
previous indictment against him.
(SFC, 1/18/14, p.C2)
1877 Oct 4, Pancho Villa
(d.1923), [Doroteo Arango], Mexican revolutionary rebel, was born.
[see Jun 5, 1878]
1877 Oct 5, Nez Perce Chief
Joseph and 418 survivors were captured in the Bear Paw mountains and
forced into reservations in Kansas. They surrendered in Montana
Territory, after a 1,700-mile trek to reach Canada fell 40 miles
short. Nez Perce Chief Joseph surrendered to General O.O. Howard and
Colonel Nelson Miles at the Bear Paw ravine in Montana Territory,
saying, "Hear me, my chiefs, my heart is sick and sad. From where
the sun now stands, I will fight no more, forever." The retreat had
lasted three months and left 120 Nez Perces dead. Miles had found
and surrounded the Nez Perce camp with the help of Sioux and
Cheyenne scouts. Many whites, including Howard, admired the Nez
Perces’ fighting ability and Chief Joseph himself, who was
considered humane and eloquent. He died in 1904.
(HFA, ‘96, p.40)(SFC, 6/13/97, p.A13)(HNPD,
1877 Oct 6,
Edward S. Morse (1839-1925), educator gave the first lecture on
evolution in Japan. He introduced modern ideas in archaeology and
zoology to Japan at Tokyo Univ.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.34)
1877 Oct 10, Lt. Col. George
Armstrong Custer was buried at West Point in New York.
1877 Oct 11, Outlaw Wild Bill
Longley, who killed at least a dozen men, was hanged, but it took
two tries; on the first try, the rope slipped and his knees drug the
1877 Oct 14, A storm in the Bay
of Biscay caused the British pontoon ship Cleopatra, carrying
the obelisk of Alexandria, to tilt precariously in the sea. 6 seamen
from the tow ship Olga died as they tried to assist the men on the
(ON, 6/20/11, p.10)
1877 Oct 17, Brigadier General
Alfred Terry met with Sitting Bull in Canada to discuss the Indians'
return to the United States.
1877 Oct 20, Franz Schubert's
2nd Symphony in B, premiered.
1877 Oct 29, In San Francisco
the Jesuits paid $200,000 for lot 74 of the Western Addition, a
block of land bordered by Van Ness, Hayes, Franklin and Grove
Streets. Construction of a new church, campus and residence
buildings lasted from 1878-1880 and cost $323,763.
(GenIV, Winter 04/05)
1877 Oct 29, In San Francisco
Denis Kearney led his Workingmen's Party followers to Nob Hill to
rage against magnates of the Central Pacific Railroad who employed
(SFC, 2/20/21, p.B4)
1877 Oct 29, Nathan Bedford
Forrest (b.1821), former Confederate cavalry general, died in
Memphis, Tenn. He amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave
trader, importing Africans long after the practice had been made
illegal. At 40 he enlisted as a private in the Confederate army at
the outset of the Civil War, rising to a cavalry general in a year.
In 1867 the newly formed Ku Klux Klan elected Forrest its honorary
Grand Wizard or national leader, but he publicly denied being
involved. In 1869, he ordered the Klan to disband because of the
members' increasing violence. Two years later, a congressional
investigation concluded his involvement had been limited to his
attempt to disband it.
1877 Nov 17, Gilbert &
Sullivan's operetta "The Sorcerer," premiered (London).
1877 Nov 17, Russians launched
a surprise night attack that overran Turkish forces at Kars,
1877 Nov 21, Inventor Thomas A.
Edison announced the invention of his phonograph.
1877 Dec 2, Camille
Saint-Saens' opera "Samson et Dalila," premiered in Weimar.
(WSJ, 2/20/98, p.A16)(MC, 12/2/01)
1877 Dec 6, The Washington Post
published its 1st edition. It was founded by independent-minded
Democrat Stilson Hutchins.
1877 Dec 6, Thomas A. Edison
made the first sound-recording when he recited "Mary had a Little
Lamb" into his phonograph machine.
1877 Dec 14, Serbia joined
Russia in war on Turkey.
1877 Dec 24, Thomas A. Edison
filed a patent application for his phonograph machine.
1877 Dec 28, John Stevens
applied for a patent for his flour rolling mill.
1877 Dec 30, Joseph Stevens
Jones (b.~1809-1811), physician, Boston actor and playwright, died.
He authored some 100 patriotic melodramas.
1877 Dec 30, Johannes Brahms'
2nd Symphony in D, premiered in Vienna.
1877 Dec 31, Pres. and Mrs.
Hayes celebrated their silver anniversary (technically, a day late)
by re-enacting their wedding ceremony in the White House.
1877 Harrison Fisher,
illustrator, was born in Brooklyn. In 1895 he began working as a
staff artist for the SF Morning Call. He later became known as "The
Father of a Thousand Girls." In 1908 he published the 1st of his 9
books illustrating idealized women.
(SSFC, 5/25/03, p.I4)
1877 Cezanne painted "Mme.
Cezanne in a Red Armchair."
(WSJ, 2/20/96, p.A-14)
1877 Gustave Caillebotte French
impressionist painter, painted his "Paris Street: Rainy Day." [see
(WSJ, 2/23/95, p.A-10)(SSFC, 11/16/03, BR p.6)
1877 Celestino Gilardi painted
"A Visit to the Gallery." It was a scene of young women viewing a
nude sculpted goddess.
(MT, Spg. ‘97, p.20)
1877 Winslow Homer painted
"Backgammon," a watercolor genre scene.
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.E4)
1877 Claude Monet painted "Old
St. Lazare Station, Paris." He did a series of these and captured
the atmospheric effects of steam and light through the glass roof of
the train shed.
1877 Evelyn De Morgan created
her painting "Cadmus and Marmonia."
(WSJ, 10/16/02, p.D8)
1877 John Roddam Spencer
Stanhope, member of Britain’s Aesthetic Movement, painted "Love and
the Maiden." Stanhope (1829-1908) is often regarded as a second-wave
p.D2)(SFC, 6/30/18, p.E2)
1877 In Boston, Mass., the
Trinity Church, designed by H.H. Richardson, was completed.
(SFC, 5/10/13, p.E3)
1877 James McNeil Whistler
completed his interior room “Harmony in Blue and Gold” better known
as the Peacock Room. The 2-year project was his transformation of
the London dining room of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland. The
room was later transported to the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery. In
1998 Linda Merrill authored “The Peacock Room: A Cultural
(WSJ, 9/15/07, p.W16)
1877 The Grosvenor Gallery
opened in London as an alternative showplace for painters ignored by
the Royal Academy.
(SFC, 2/4/03, p.D2)
1877 Madame Blavatsky published
her 2,000 page "Isis Unveiled," a book that laid out the
fundamentals of Theosophy. "She explained our existence as an
evolutionary process by which we progress through successive
reincarnations toward a perfect understanding of the absolute."
(Smith., 5/95, p.114)
1877 Richard Dugdale, American
social reformer, authored “The Jukes: A Study in Crime, Pauperism,
Disease, and Heredity.” The Jukes clan from upstate New York counted
prostitutes, thieves and drunkards in its ranks.
(WSJ, 1/15/09, p.A9)
1877 Chabrier composed his
operetta "L’Etoille." The story begins with King Ouf’s attempt to
find a victim to execute for a birthday treat.
(WSJ, 8/7/01, p.A12)
1877 Marius Petipa composed his
operatic spectacle "La Bayadere."
(WSJ, 7/10/96, p.A16)
1877 The Tchaikovsky ballet
"Swan Lake" had its premier.
(WSJ, 5/18/99, p.A24)
1877 The building of the
American Museum of Natural History, designed by Calvert Vaux, was
(NH, 6/96, p.43)
1877 Swan boats began to grace
the lagoon in Boston’s Public Garden.
(SFC, 12/10/95, p.T-1)
1877 A farmhouse was built in
Little River by Mendocino, Ca. that later became Dennen’s Heritage
House. The film "Same Time Next Year" was filmed here.
1877 The USS Constitution (aka
Old Ironsides) was rebuilt.
(SFC, 7/22/97, p.A11)
1877 Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes
appointed John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911) to the Supreme Court
(WSJ, 5/28/02, p.D7)
1877 The U.S. seized the South
Dakota Black Hills of the Sioux Indians. [see Jun 13, 1979]
1877 Congress passed an Act
prohibiting the counterfeiting of any coin, gold or silver bar.
1877 James Whistler filed a
libel suit against the art critic, John Ruskin. He won the suit but
went bankrupt due to court costs.
(WSJ, 5/31/95, p. A-14)
1877 In Chicago 17 businessmen
founded their Commercial Club.
(Econ, 3/18/06, Survey p.12)
1877 William Voss and his
brothers Fred and John Voss established the Voss Bros. Manufacturing
Co. in Davenport, Iowa. Voss had invented one of the first washing
machines with early models operated by a hand crank or foot pedal.
Voss motor-driven machines were introduced in 1905. during the
Depression Voss washing machines sold for $39.95.
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.G4)
1877 Lafcadio Hearn
(1850-1904), Irish-American travel writer, left Cincinnati for New
Orleans, Louisiana, where he initially wrote dispatches on his
discoveries in the "Gateway to the Tropics" for the Cincinnati
Commercial. He lived in New Orleans for nearly a decade, writing
first for the Daily City Item and later for the Times Democrat.
1877 Albert Pope founded his
Pope Manufacturing Co. in Boston, Mass. He started making tricycles
(SFC, 2/14/07, p.G3)
1877 Joseph S. Hartmann opened
a luggage business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, making leather covered
wooden steamer trunks. The Hartmann family ran the business until
1955. In 1959 the company moved to Lebanon, Tennessee and was later
taken over by Clarion Capital Partners.
(SFC, 1/2/08, p.G3)
1877 Erastus Bigelow introduced
a machine-made broadloom carpet in the US.
(SFCM, 10/10/04, p.8)
1877 The CP railroad decided to
take title to lands in the Central Valley of California and sell it
to the farmers who had settled there based on previous
advertisements. The railroad broke its earlier promises and
announced sale of lands to the highest bidder at prices from $25 -40
per acre. Angry settlers sued but lost in several court cases. The
story is told by Oscar Lewis in his book "The Big Four."
(SFC, 7/8/96, p.D2)
1877 The Bell Telephone Co. was
(SFC, 7/23/04, p.C1)
1877 California attorney John
Henry Boalt, president of the Bohemian Club, delivered an
influential address at the Berkeley Club titled “The Chinese
Question,” calling for an end to Chinese immigration. His efforts
were led to the 1882 passage by Congress of the Chinese Exclusion
(SFC, 5/19/17, p.A10)
1877 San Francisco’s Bayview
neighborhood was dubbed “Butchertown” as 18 slaughterhouses set up
shop on the waterfront.
(SFC, 7/24/13, p.A12)
1877 Almost one-fourth of the
California labor force was unemployed. Anti-Chinese feelings in SF
resulted in several killings. The Sand Lot riots began under the
leadership of Denis Kearney, who organized mobs that attacked the
Chinese. The Chronicle newspaper called him “a political mad dog.”
These riots followed similar mob attacks in the Eastern States.
(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1
1877 San Francisco’s 2nd cable
car line, the Sutter Street Railroad, ran out Sutter from Market and
Sansome to its power house at Larkin and Bush.
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.C3)
1877 Isaac Magnin and his wife
Mary Ann Cohen Magnin founded their first I. Magnin store in SF. The
original store was located on Market street. It moved to Grant
Avenue after the 1906 earthquake and in 1948 opened at Geary and
Stockton in the “Marble Lady,” designed by Timothy Pflueger. It
merged with Bullocks in 1944 and became a division of Federated
Department Stores in 1964. The store closed Jan 15, 1995.
(SSFC, 12/31/06, p.E5)
1877 The Texas and Southwestern
Cattle Raisers Association was formed to represent ranchers in Texas
and Oklahoma in their fight against castle theft on the open range.
(SSFC, 4/11/04, p.A24)
1877 Thomas Watson invented the
ringer for the telephone.
(SFEM, 1/11/98, p.12)
1877 Earmuffs were devised.
(SFC, 8/28/98, p.B4)
1877 O.C. Marsh,
paleontologist, described a large dinosaur that he called
Apatosaurus ajax (deceptive lizard) based on a newly discovered
vertebral column. In 1879 he discovered the bones of a larger beast
that he named Brontosaurus (thunder lizard). In 1903 Elmer Riggs
showed that Apatosaurus was just a younger Brontosaurus.
(SFEC, 5/30/99, Par p.12)
1877 Oil was found in the Santa
Clara area of Los Angeles County. Chevron later traced its roots to
(SSFC, 4/13/08, p.C5)
1877 Henry Morton Stanley, a
Welsh-born American explorer, emerged from the forests of Africa
near the mouth of the Congo River. He had traced the river to its
source. In 1878 he authored “Through the Dark Continent.”
(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.1)(WSJ, 11/3/07, p.W8)
1877 In Australia Hermannsburg
was founded as a Lutheran mission in the Northern Territory.
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.45)
1877 The 1st shipload of frozen
beef was carried to France from Argentina.
(Econ Sp, 12/13/03, p.7)
1877 Arthur Downes and Thomas
P. Blunt of Shrewsbury proved the bactericidal action of light.
Blunt was offered a British knighthood for his achievements in
research, but humbly declined. His partner in research, Arthur
Downes, accepted the title.
1877 The London Metal Exchange
1877 In England the oldest
known calendar plate with a business advertisement was made by J.W.
Harrison of Liverpool.
(SFC, 12/15/98, Z1 p.6)
1877 In Germany the Steiff Toy
Co. was founded. They made their first teddy bears in 1903 with
black, shoe-button eyes.
(SFC, 1/21/98, Z1 p.3)
1877 In Germany the S.
Gunthermann manufacturer of metal vehicles and other toys was
founded in Nuremberg about this time.
(SFC, 9/19/06, p.G3)
1877 Europe's 2nd oldest
shopping center, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, opened in Milan.
It was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni, who died the night before the
grand opening. Mengoni used roof ventilators and underground
air-cooling chambers to regulate indoor temperature.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, p.T14.15)(Econ, 12/4/04, TQ p.17)
1877 Pietro Barilla opened a
shop in Parma, Italy, selling bread and pasta. The company left the
bread business in 1952. By 2007 it was the world’s leading pasta
maker. In 1999 the Parma pasta factory was closed and converted to
the Academia Barilla, which also housed a library dedicated to
(Econ, 6/23/07, p.75)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.145)
1877 The Italian astronomer,
Giovanni Schiaparelli, saw long thin lines on the surface of Mars
and called them canali. The term was translated into English as
(Smith., 8/95, p.71)
1877 In Japan Saigo Takamori
slit his belly in ritual suicide rather than surrendering to Tokyo’s
hated minions. The hilltop monument named Shiroyama in Kagoshima,
Kyushu, Japan, is dedicated to him.
(NG, Jan. 94, p.116)
1877 In Japan the rebellion of
Satsuma province was quelled. The Kumamoto Castle withstood
artillery fire when it came under siege from a rebel samurai army
during the Satsuma Rebellion. Much of the castle structure later
burned down during the conflict, although the walls managed to stand
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 215)(Reuters, 4/16/16)
1877 The coal-carrying ship W.
Gordon was on a voyage from Scotland to Australia when it
disappeared with 10 crew aboard. Wreckage of the ship was believed
found on May 19, 2015.
1877-1878 The Russo-Turkish War.
1877-1878 It was during the Russo-Turkish War
that the term jingo began to be used to refer to a person who
considered himself a patriot by urging belligerence in foreign
policy and favoring war at the slightest provocation. Such a policy
is now commonly referred to as "jingoistic." Originally a mild
oath-as in "by jingo"-the term was used in a popular London music
hall song inspired by the sending of the British fleet to Turkish
waters to block Russia’s advance: "We don’t want to fight, But by
jingo if we do, We’ve got the ships, We’ve got the men, We’ve got
the money, too."
1877-1879 India experienced a devastating famine
that left 6-12 million people dead.
c1877-1880 The CP railroad hired 2 men, Hart and
Crow, to oust farmers in Tulare, Ca., in exchange for free farms.
They arrived in a buggy loaded with shotguns and ammo at the gate of
a farmer named Brewer and were met by a dozen farmers, led by James
Harris. Crow shot Harris in the face and gunned down 5 other
farmers. Hart was killed and Crow was also killed after he fled into
a wheat field. The railroad shut down its telegraph line and
announced that an "armed insurrection" of farmers was taking place.
(SFC, 7/8/96, p.D2)
1877-1880 Arthur Lakes, geologist, filled field
journals with eyewitness reports on the early days of vertebrate
paleontology in Wyoming. In 1997 Michael F. Kohl and John S.
McIntosh edited his work in the book: "Discovering Dinosaurs in the
(NH, 6/97, p.12)
1877-1881 Rutherford B. Hayes served as the 16th
President of the US.
(A&IP, ESM, p.96b, photo)
1877-1887 In San Elizario, Texas, the San Elizario
Presidio Chapel was constructed. Though small it featured four
(AWAM, Dec. 94, p.64)
1877-1946 Harley Granville Barker, English
playwright. He produced, directed and starred in many works by
George Bernard Shaw.
(WSJ, 8/29/97, p.A9)
1877-1956 Alben William Barkley served one term as
vice president of the U.S. under Harry Truman (1949-53), and was
reelected to the Senate from Kentucky in 1954 and died suddenly in
1956 while still a senator. Barkley served in the senate from 1927
to 1949 (majority leader from 1937-47) before becoming vice
1877-1961 Abbe Henri Breuil, paleolithic scholar.
He copied cave paintings and viewed them as a kind of "hunting
magic," a means of making game plentiful.
(NH, 7/96, p.22)
1878 Jan 6, Carl Sandburg, U.S.
journalist, poet and biographer who won a Pulitzer Prize in history
for his biography of Abraham Lincoln, was born. "There are people
who want to be everywhere at once, and they get nowhere."
(HN, 1/6/99)(AP, 7/13/99)
1878 Jan 8, [NS date] Russian
poet Nikolay Nekrasov (b.1821) died. He is credited with introducing
into Russian poetry ternary meters and the technique of dramatic
1878 Jan 9, Victor Emmanuel II
(57), king of Sardinia (1849-61) and Italy (1861-78), died.
1878 Jan 12, Ferenc Molnar,
Hungarian-US playwright (A Pal Utrai Fiuk), was born.
1878 Jan 14, In Hall v.
Decuir, 95 U.S. 485, the United States Supreme Court ruled that
common carriers (rail, ferry, riverboat, and other modes of
transportation) could not discriminate based on race (13th
Amendment) in interstate travel. US Supreme court ruled that race
separation on trains was unconstitutional. The decision did not,
however, stop railroad companies from discriminating.
1878 Jan 16, Harry Carey Sr.,
actor (Aces Wild, Border Cafe, Air Force), was born in Bronx, NY.
1878 Jan 25, Off of San
Francisco the 3-masted clipper ship King Philip, built in Maine in
1856, was towed by a tug through the Golden Gate and laid anchor to
allow the tug to assist a nearby vessel. The anchor failed and the
King Philip drifted onto sand at Ocean Beach, where it foundered.
Remnants of the ship appeared in 1980 and again in 2007.
(SFC, 5/8/07, p.B5)
1878 Jan 28, The first daily
college newspaper, Yale News (now Yale Daily News), began
publication in New Haven, Conn.
1878 Jan 28, The 1st telephone
exchange was established at New Haven, Conn.
1878 Feb 1, Hattie Caraway,
first woman elected to the U.S. Senate, was born.
1878 Feb 7, Pope Pius IX
(1846-1878), Giovanni Ferretti (85), died. Revenge-seeking Italian
liberals tried to dump his body into the Tiber River. He served 31
years, seven months and 22 days. In 1954 E.E.Y. Hayes authored “Pio
(PTA, 1980, p.510)(SFC, 9/1/00, p.D4)(AP,
10/15/03)(WSJ, 4/12/08, p.W8)
1878 Feb 8, Martin Buber,
German-Israeli philosopher, theologist (Ich und Du), was born.
1878 Feb 10, Peter
Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony in F, premiered.
1878 Feb 10, Cuba’s 10 year war
with Spain ended with the signing of the pact of Zanjon. The
nationalist uprising failed.
1878 Feb 16, The silver dollar
became US legal tender.
1878 Feb 18, The bitter and
bloody Lincoln County War began with the murder of Billy the Kid's
mentor, Englishman rancher John Tunstall. Hired killers of James J.
Dolan gunned down John Tunstall in Lincoln, N.M. Tunstall’s partner
Alexander McSween formed a posse known as the Regulators to get
even. Billy the Kid was part of the posse.
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.T8,9)(HN, 2/18/99)
1878 Feb 19, Thomas Edison
received a U.S. patent for "an improvement in phonograph or speaking
1878 Feb 19, Charles Francois
Daubigny (b.1817), French painter of the Barbizon school, died.
1878 Feb 21, The first
telephone directory was issued, by the District Telephone Company of
New Haven (New Harbor), Conn. It contained the names of its 50
subscribers. In 2010 regulators began granting telecommunications
companies the go-ahead to stop mass-printing residential phone
(AP, 2/21/98)(WSJ, 11/24/07, p.W7)(AP, 11/11/10)
1878 Mar 3, Russia and the
Ottomans signed the Treaty of San Stefano, granting independence to
Serbia. With the Treaty of San Stefano (and subsequent negotiations
in Berlin) in the wake of the last Russo-Turkish War, the Ottoman
Empire lost its possession of numerous territories including
Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. The Russo-Turkish wars
dated to the 17th century, the Russians generally gaining territory
and influence over the declining Ottoman Empire. In the last war,
Russia and Serbia supported rebellions in the Balkans. In concluding
the Treaty of San Stefano, the Ottomans released control of
Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, granted autonomy to Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and allowed an autonomous state of Bulgaria to be
placed under Russian control.
(HN, 3/3/99)(HNQ, 2/23/01)
1878 Mar 3, The Treaty of San
Stefano was signed after Russo-Turkish War. It assigned
Albanian-populated lands to Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia; but
Austria-Hungary and Britain blocked the treaty's implementation.
Albanian leaders meet in Prizren, Kosova, to form the League of
Prizren. The League initially advocated autonomy for Albania. At the
Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers overturned the Treaty of San
Stefano and divided Albanian lands among several states. The League
of Prizren began to organize resistance to the Treaty of Berlin's
provisions that affected Albanians.
1878 Mar 20, Thomas Fisher, an
alleged member of the Molly McGuires, was hung at the Carbon County
Prison of Mauch Chunk, Pa. He had been convicted of the murder of
Morgan Powell, a supervisor for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation
Company. Fisher insisted up to his death on his innocence.
(HT, 4/97, p.20)
1878 Mar 28, The Hastings
College of Law, the law department of the University of California,
was founded with a donation of $100,000 by Serranus Clinton
1878 Mar 31, Jack Johnson,
first Africa-American boxer to become the world heavyweight champion
(1908-1915), was born.
(HN, 3/31/99)(MC, 3/31/02)
1878 Apr 1, The 1st large-scale
Easter Monday egg roll was held on White House lawn under President
Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife Lucy. The egg roll has been held
every year since except during the war years of WWI and WWII until
1953 when Pres. Eisenhower re-established the egg roll tradition.
(AH, 4/07, p.14)(http://tinyurl.com/ygrbvwq)
1878 Apr 1, Carl Sternheim,
German playwright (Hyperion, Tabula Rasa), was born.
1878 Apr 1, The city of
Berkeley, home to UC Berkeley, was incorporated.
(SFC, 3/28/03, p.A3)
1878 Apr 1, In Lincoln, N.M.,
the Regulators, including Billy the Kid, ambushed and killed Sheriff
William Brady, a James Dolan partisan, along with a deputy.
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.T8,9)(SFC, 2/2/01, p.A14)
1878 Apr 8, Rudolf Nelson,
composer, was born.
1878 Apr 10, The California St.
Cable Car RR Co. started service.
(MC, 4/10/02)(SFC, 2/1/14, p.C3)
1878 Apr 12, William M "Boss"
Tweed, NYC politician, died in prison.
(MC, 4/12/02)(Arch, 7/02, p.24)
1878 Apr 21, Ship Azor left
Charleston with 206 blacks for Liberia.
1878 Apr 28, Lionel Barrymore,
American stage, screen and radio actor, was born. He won an Oscar
for his role in "A Free Soul."
1878 Apr, A Fijian minister and
three teachers were killed and eaten by Tolai tribespeople on the
Gazelle Peninsula of Papua New Guinea. In 2007 descendants of the
Tolai apologized for their forefathers' actions. Englishman George
Brown directed and took part in a punitive expedition that resulted
in a number of Tolais being killed and several villages burnt down.
Official investigations by British colonial authorities in the
Pacific cleared him of criminal charges.
1878 May 1, James Graham was
born. He was the inventor of the first naval aircraft-carrying ship
and the first man to film a total eclipse of the Sun.
1878 May 1, The third Paris
World’s Fair opened and continued to Nov 10. It showcased ice
machines and electric street lights.
1878 May 13, Joseph Henry, head
of the Smithsonian Inst. for 32 years, died in Washington DC. His
death initiated a national day of mourning and a state funeral. In
1997 the Smithsonian published his biography: "Joseph Henry: The
Rise of an American Scientist." He discovered electric induction at
the same time as Michael Faraday and made the first versions of the
telegraph, the electric motor and electric relay.
1878 May 14, Vaseline first
sold with the registered trademark for petroleum jelly.
1878 May 15, The Tokyo Stock
Exchange, Japan’s 1st public trading institution, formed.
(WSJ, 3/15/07, p.C1)
1878 May 21, Glenn Hammond
Curtiss, aviation pioneer and contemporary of the Wright brothers,
was born in Hammondsport, N.Y. He also originally made bicycles and
invented the hydroplane. Curtiss` entrance into flying began in 1904
when Thomas Scott Baldwin, famous lighter-than-air devotee, asked
Curtiss to make him a two-cylinder, air-cooled engine to power his
airship. The first plane Curtiss had anything to do with was Red
Wing, which Casey Baldwin lofted from the ice at Keuka Lake on March
(HN, 5/21/98)(HNQ, 5/28/01)
1878 May 24, Lillian Moller
Gilbreth, pioneer in time-motion studies, was born.
1878 May 24, The first American
bicycle race was held in Boston.
1878 May 25, Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson was born and began his dancing career in childhood. The
young song-and-dance man learned his trade in beer gardens,
traveling companies and later on the vaudeville circuit. Robinson
performed only within the black community until he was 50 years old,
when his unique style of tap-dancing, including his signature "stair
dance," crossed over to white audiences. Robinson, who continued to
perform into his late sixties, made 14 Hollywood motion pictures,
playing both stereotypical black roles and a handful of leads. He
died of a chronic heart condition in 1949.
(WSJ, 5/19/98, p.A20)(HNPD, 5/26/99)
1878 May 25, Gilbert &
Sullivan’s opera "HMS Pinafore" premiered in London.
1878 May 27, Isadora Duncan
(d.1927), US pioneer in modern dance and choreographer, was born in
(WUD, 1994, p.442)(SFC, 7/18/00, p.A8)(HN,
1878 May 30, Michigan’s
all-University football team played its 1st game. It defeated Racine
(LSA, Spring/04, p.53)
1878 Jun 1, John Masefield
(d.1967), England’s 15th poet laureate, was born. "To most of us the
future seems unsure. But then it always has been; and we who have
seen great changes must have great hopes."
(AP, 1/1/00)(HN, 6/1/01)(MC, 6/1/02)
1878 Jun 4, Turkey turned
Cyprus over to the British.
1878 Jun 5, Francisco "Pancho"
Villa, Mexican revolutionary and guerrilla leader, was born. He
defied American General John J. Pershing’s expedition for him.
1878 Jun 12, William Cullen
Bryant (b.1794), American poet and journalist, died. He wrote the
bulk of his poem “Thanatopsis” while still a teenager in
Massachusetts. In 2008 Gilbert H. Muller authored “William Cullen
Bryant: Author of America.”
1878 Jun 18, The Posse
Comitatus Act became effective It was passed in response to abuses
by federal troops in the South after the Civil War. It basically
prohibited the use of the military "to execute the laws" of the US.
1878 Jun 19, Immigrant English
photographer Edward Muybridge settled a bet for Leland Stanford,
governor of California and horse racing enthusiast. Stanford bet a
friend that a galloping horse kept at least one hoof on the ground
at all times. At the governor’s training course in Palo Alto,
Muybridge set up 12 cameras at trackside with shutters activated by
tripwires. The resulting "motion" pictures, seen here in postcard
form, proved that the horse did indeed raise all four hooves off the
ground during its gallop. Muybridge’s photographic methods were
expanded by Thomas Edison to develop "an instrument which does for
the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording
and reproduction of things in motion...."
1878 Jun 23, Adm. George Back
(b.1796), English Arctic explorer, died in London.
1878 Jun 26, The schooners
Peshtigo and St. Andrews collided and sank near Beaver Island in
northern Lake Michigan. In 2019 divers found the wreckage.
1878 Jul 2, The Chattanooga
Times was first published under the ownership of Adolph Ochs. The
9-year-old paper at Eighth and Cherry Streets had plummeted under
S.A. Cunningham to a circulation of 250. Ochs acquired the New York
Times 18 years later. The Chattanooga Times merged with the
Chattanooga Free Press in 1998.
(SFC, 1/4/99, p.A19)(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.10)
1878 Jul 3, George M. Cohan,
American entertainer, was born. He wrote the songs "Over There,"
"You're a Grand Old Flag" and "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" and the
play "Yankee Doodle-Dandy."
1878 Jul 3, John Wise flew the
first dirigible in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
1878 Jul 9, H.V. Kaltenborn,
newscaster (Who Said That?), was born in Milwaukee, Wisc.
1878 Jul 9, An improved corncob
pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe in Washington, Mo.
1878 Jul 12, A Yellow Fever
epidemic began in New Orleans. It killed 4,500.
1878 Jul 13, The Treaty of
Berlin was the final act of the Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13
July 1878), by which the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary, France,
Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Abdul
Hamid II revised the Treaty of San Stefano signed on 3 March the
same year. The Treaty of San Stefano had ended the Russo-Turkish War
of 1877-78. The Congress of Berlin divided the Balkans among
European powers. The Slavic converts to Islam in the Sandzak region
of southwestern Serbia were separated from their ethnic cousins in
(AP, 7/13/97)(HN, 7/13/98)(WSJ, 6/16/99, p.A20)
1878 Jul 29, Don Marquis
(d.1937), American dramatist, journalist, novelist and poet, was
born. "The trouble with the public is that there is too much of it."
(AP, 7/31/99)(HN, 7/29/01)
1878 Jul, In Lincoln, N.M.,
soldiers from Fort Stanton and 40 men of James Dolan surrounded the
McSween home for 5 days. McSween and 4 supporters were killed but
Billy the Kid and several Regulators managed to escape.
(SFEC, 2/23/96, p.T8,9)
1878 Aug 3, Ambrose Bierce in
the SF Argonaut stated: There is no recorded instance of punishment
for shooting a newspaperman. The restrictions of the game law do not
apply to this class of game."
(SFEC, 3/8/98, BR p.1)
1878 Aug 10, In Chautauqua, New
York, John H. Vincent (46), clergyman, introduced his idea for the
Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. His vision was to spread
education around the globe with organized reading programs. The 1878
class read "Old Tales Retold from Grecian Mythology" by Augusta
Larned and "Studies of the Stars" by Henry w. Warren.
(WSJ, 7/31/00, p.B1)
1878 Aug 21, The American Bar
Association was founded in Saratoga, N.Y.
1878 Jul 30, German
anti-Semitism began during the Reichstag election.
1878 Aug 13, Leonid
Vladimirovich Nikolayev, composer, was born.
1878 Sep 1, Emma M. Nutt became
the first female telephone operator in the United States, for the
Telephone Despatch Co. of Boston.
1878 Sep 5, Bat Masterson,
Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman and Clay Allison, four of the West’s most
famous gunmen, met in Dodge City, Kansas.
1878 Sep 17, Vincenzo
Tommasini, composer, was born.
1878 Sep 20, Upton Beall
Sinclair (d.1968), muckraking author, was born. His work included
"The Jungle," which exposed the horrible conditions in the meat
packing industry and calling for reforms.
(WUD, 1994 p.1330)(HN, 9/20/98)(MC, 9/20/01)
1878 Sep 21, The obelisk of
Alexandria was erected upright at a public park in London.
(ON, 6/20/11, p.10)
1878 Sep, Herbert Hayden, a
prominent Connecticut minister, used arsenic to murder Mary
Stannard, a young servant girl that he thought he had made pregnant.
The reverend, who was tried 1st for physical assault and later for
murder was acquitted. In 1880 he produced an exculpatory account of
the case. In 1999 Virginia A. McConell authored “Arsenic Under the
Elms: Murder in Victorian New Haven.”
(WSJ, 6/24/05, p.W9)(http://tinyurl.com/amrk5)
1878 Oct 1, General Lew Wallace
was sworn in as governor of New Mexico Territory. He went on to deal
with the Lincoln County War, Billy the Kid and wrote "Ben-Hur."
1878 Oct 15, Thomas A. Edison
incorporated Edison Electric Light Co.
(HN, 10/15/98)(MC, 10/15/01)
1878 Oct 18, Edison made
electricity available for household usage.
1878 Oct 21, German republic
chancellor Bismarck delegated the end of "Socialism."
1878 Oct 25, Ludwig Wilhelm
Maurer (89), composer, died.
1878 Oct 29, Alex E. von
Falkenhausen, German general (China, WW II), was born.
1878 Oct, Theodore Roosevelt
first saw his future wife, Alice Hathaway (1861-1884).
(SFEC, 9/29/96, Par p.8)
1878 Nov 2, Edward Scripps
(1854-1926) and John Scripps Sweeney founded the Penny Press. Ellen
Scripps helped her younger half brother, Edward W. Scripps, begin
his Penny Press in Cleveland, Ohio. She gave financial support and
contributed articles and columns to the Penny Press while continuing
her work for the Detroit Evening News.
1878 Nov 8, Marshall Walter
Taylor, "Major Taylor," the world's fastest bicycle racer for a
twelve-year period, was born.
1878 Nov 12, US Pres.
Rutherford B. Hayes was called upon to arbitrate a dispute between
Paraguay and Argentina over the Chaco grasslands, a land area about
the size of Colorado. He ruled in favor of Paraguay and became a
(WSJ, 4/10/00, p.A1,20)
1878 Nov 13, New Mexico
Governor Lew Wallace offered amnesty to many participants of the
Lincoln County War, but not to gunfighter Billy the Kid.
1878 Nov 23, Ernest King,
Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. fleet who designed the United States'
winning strategy in World War II, was born.
1878 Nov 25, In London a trial
opened to hear the suit of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
against critic John Ruskin for libel. After a 2-day hearing the jury
found Ruskin guilty and awarded Whistler one farthing, a quarter of
a penny. Whistler later authored “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”
(www.abcgallery.com/W/whistler/whistlerbio.html)(ON, 4/03, p.9)
1878 Dec 9, Joseph Pulitzer
bought the St Louis Dispatch for $2,500.
1878 Dec 17, Colonel Olcott and
Madame Blavatsky sailed for India. Colonel Olcott became a popular
lecturer in India and worked to merge the Theosophist society with
the Arya Samaj, a large Hindi revivalist organization. He befriended
A.P. Sinnett, the editor of the Pioneer, the most influential
British newspaper in India.
(Smith., 5/95, p.117)
1778 Dec 19,
Marie-Therese-Charlotte, daughter of King Louis XVI and
Marie-Antoinette, was born.
1878 Dec 26, The 1st US store
to install electric lights was in Philadelphia.
1878 Maria Guadalupe Garcia
Zavala (d.1963) was born in Mexico. She co-founded the Congregation
of the Servants of Saint Margaret Mary and the Poor and was
beatified in 2004.
1878 Rodin created his bronze
sculpture: Torso of a Man."
(SFC, 1/22/99, p.D7)
1878 William Adolphe Bouguereau
debuted his painting "La Charite" at the Exposition Universelle in
(WSJ, 3/24/00, p.W4)
1878 Gustave Caillebotte
painted his impressionist "View of Rooftops (Snow)."
(SFC, 6/13/98, p.E1)
1878 William Merritt Chase
painted "Moorish Warrior."
(WSJ, 8/11/00, p.W6)
1878 The Thomas Eakins
(1844-1916) painting "The Gross Clinic" was bought for $200 by
Thomas Jefferson University, a medical and health sciences school in
Philadelphia. In 2006 The National Gallery of Art agreed to buy the
painting for a record $68 million, however the deal was matched by
local institutions and the painting remained in Philadelphia.
(AP, 11/11/06)(WSJ, 12/26/06, p.D8)
1878 Monet painted his
"Chrysanthemums," and gave it to Dr. Gachet after a squabble about
(WSJ, 5/26/99, p.A20)
1878 Renoir painted his
"Portrait of a Model" and gave it to Dr. Gachet for his visit to the
young model who was dying of smallpox.
(WSJ, 5/26/99, p.A20)
1878 Thomas Gold Appleton,
poet, artist and scion of one of Boston’s first families, published
his essay “The Kingdom of the Common-Place,” in which he argued that
New Englanders must reconcile themselves to “the fatal poison” of
(WSJ, 11/9/05, p.D16)
1878 Allen Dodworth, New York
dancing master, published a new edition of his instruction manual.
1878 Clarence Cook authored
"The House Beautiful."
(WSJ, 1/29/00, p.A24)
1878 Scribner’s Magazine sent a
crew of bohemian writers and artists, the Tile Club, to report on
life in East Hampton, NY.
(SSFC, 7/18/04, p.M2)
1878 Tombstone’s Boot
Hill was laid out as a burial plot and was originally called
the Tombstone Cemetery. On that rocky hill at the edge of town lie
many of the legendary characters of the "Town Too Tough To Die." The
Clantons, McLaurys and other legendary Western figures were buried
in Tombstone’s cemetery. During the wild and lawless years of the
settling of the West, some sort of graveyard could be found near
almost every town or camp. Because many of the people in those
settlements died rather quickly and unexpectedly, usually with their
boots on, and were buried with their boots still on, these
cemeteries became known as "boot hills."
1878 In Belfast, Maine, the
local Masonic Temple was completed.
(SSFC, 9/4/11, p.H4)
1878 In Nevada a tunnel to
drain and ventilate the silver mines at the Comstock Lode was
completed by Adolph Sutro.
(G, Winter 98/99, p.1)
1878 In NYC St. Patrick's
Cathedral was built. Work began in 1858 but was halted during the
Civil War and resumed in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878
and dedicated on May 25, 1879.
1878 The Nott Memorial of Union
College at Schenectady, N.Y., was completed under the direction of
architect Edward Tuckerman Potter, grandson of Eliphalet Nott, and a
leader in the Victorian Gothic style. His plans were based on the
original design by the French landscape architect Joseph Ramee.
(WSJ, 3/21/95, p.A-12)
1878 General William Booth
(1829-1912), the founder and leader of the Salvation Army, changed
the name of his Christian Mission to the Salvation Army in 1878,
adopting a military structure.
1878 The first American
badminton club was formed in NYC. Its charter limited play to men
and "good-looking single women."
(SFC, 7/3/99, p.B3)
1878 Linguist Maximilian
(Maximilien) Delphinius Berlitz (1852-1921) opened his first Berlitz
language school in Providence, Rhode Island. In 2001 Berlitz
became a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Benesse Corporation.
1878 In Reynolds vs. the US the
Supreme Court rejected the freedom of religion defense for polygamy.
(WSJ, 9/7/01, p.W17)
~1878 The US Army began to
capture the horses that provided mobility to the Comanche Indians.
Quanah Parker, the last great Comanche war chief surrendered.
(NG, Jan, 1968, N.T. Kenney p. 118)
1878 Theodore Vail left a
career position with the U.S. Post Office and was hired to become
the first general manager of the Bell Telephone Co. He was able to
move the company forward to nationwide service but disappointed the
financial backers. He left the company until called back by Morgan
(I&I, Penzias, p.214)
1878 John Wesley Powell
published his Report on water resources in the US West.
(HFA, ‘96, p.128)
1878 The Mendocino Hotel was
built in Mendocino, Ca.
(WCG, 7/95, p.93)
1878 Ephraim Burr (1809-1894),
former mayor of SF (1856-1859), built an Italianate house at 1772
(SFC, 5/5/07, p.B3)
1878 The Miner’s Union Hall was
build in Bodie, Calif.
(SFC, 6/23/96, p.T3)
1878 The Mill Building at 720
York St., designed by Laver & Curlett, was built. It was
restored in 1998.
(SSFC, 11/6/11, p.D2)
1878 The Big Four, Leland
Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker,
formed the city’s second cable car company, the California Street
Cable Railroad, to go from market St. to their mansions atop Nob
(SFC, 7/8/96, p.D1)
1878 Steve’s Hardware in St.
Helena Calif., was established.
(SFEM, 7/28/96, p.21)
1878 A waiter in SF concocted
the dish named chop suey for Li Hung-Chang, the first Chinese
viceroy to visit SF. [see 1896]
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W30)
1878 Hills Bros. Coffee was
founded in SF.
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.D2)
1878 South Carolina lawmakers
created a health board after a yellow fever outbreak killed 20,000
1878 Pete Browning, a baseball
player for the Louisville Eclipse, got frustrated with his bat and
received help from furniture maker J. Andrew "Bud" Hillerich."
(SFEC, 7/18/99, p.T9)
1878 Bishop Wright gave his
sons, Orville and Wilbur, a toy helicopter.
(NPub, 2002, p.5)
1878 The Chattanooga Times came
under the ownership of Adolph Ochs, who acquired the New York Times
18 years later. In 1998 the Chattanooga Times merged with the
Chattanooga Free Press.
(SFC, 1/4/99, p.A19)
1878 George Eastman of
Rochester, NY, developed his own dry-plate formula for taking
pictures, an improvement on a method by British photographer Charles
(ON, 3/05, p.10)
1878 Joseph P. McHugh
(1854-1916) opened his furnishings business, the Popular Shop, in
NYC. In 1884 it moved to 42nd Street.
(SFC, 1/2/08, p.G3)
1878 Thomas Edison began
working on the light bulb. British inventor Joseph Swan was also
later credited for inventing the light bulb.
(V.D.-H.K.p.270)(WSJ, 6/25/99, p.A1)
1878 An improved version of the
typewriter with a shift key that permitted a change of case was put
on the market.
(SJSVB, 3/25/96, p.27)
1878 The corncob pipe was
(SFC, 8/28/98, p.B4)
1878 Philip Marqua of
Cincinnati invented the "swing stand horse," a toy horse that moves
back and forth on a stand as an alternative to the rocking horse.
(SFC,12/24/97, Z1 p.6)
1878 Calamity Jane served as a
devoted nurse to several ailing Deadwood, S.D., residents during the
smallpox epidemic of 1878.
1878 The name of Alabama’s
Alcorn University was changed to Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical
College (Alcorn A&M).
1878 A major fire hit the
seaside town of Cape May, NJ.
(WSJ, 9/30/02, p.R10)
1878 Yellow fever decimated
(NH, 9/98, p.9)
1878 The clipper ship Western
Shore, built in 1874 at Coos Bay for the Simpson Brothers Lumber Co.
of San Francisco, ran aground on Duxbury Reef and sank near Bolinas,
(SFC, 10/22/05, p.B2)
1878 In Afghanistan the new
amir, Dost Mohammad’s son, signed a treaty of friendship with
Russia. British Gen’l. Frederick "Little Bobs" Roberts was sent with
an army to force Afghanistan into a treaty ceding foreign policy to
the British. The treaty was concluded but the British envoy was
(WSJ, 8/25/98, p.A14)
1878 Start of second
Anglo-Afghan War. The British invaded and the Afghans quickly
put up a strong resistance.
1878 The English soccer club
Manchester United was formed as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by
the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire
Railway depot at Newton Heath.
1878 Henry and James Doulton
purchased a major interest in Pinder, Bourne & Co., a pottery in
Burslem, Staffordshire, England. In 1882 they changed the name to
Doulton & Co.
(SFC, 10/18/06, p.G3)
1878 The New Wharf Pottery Co.
began operating in Burslem in the Staffordshire district of England.
It later became part of Wood & Son and from 1890-1894 used a
rope identification mark.
(SFC, 2/5/97, Z1 p.7)
1878 The 1st electric street
lights were deployed alongside Holburn Viaduct in London, England.
(Econ, 12/1/07, p.79)
1878 The French Academy
accepted "humoristique" as a French word.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.75)
1878 A French Jewish woman
purchased the Tomb of Kings property through the French consul in
Jerusalem, and eight years later one of her heirs donated it to the
1878 Topf & Sons was
founded in Erfurt, Germany, as a customized incinerator and malting
equipment manufacturer. The firm was close to the Ettersberg hill,
later the site of Buchenwald concentration camp. With the expansion
of cremation in Germany as a burial rite in the 1920s, the firm's
ambitious chief engineer Kurt Pruefer pioneered furnaces which
complied with strict regulations on preserving the dignity of the
body. In 1941 the firm agreed to build crematoria for Auschwitz and
enable industrialized mass murder.
1878 In India construction
began on the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, earlier known as Victoria
Terminus Station. It was completed after 10 years. UNESCO included
it in their list of world heritage sites in 2004.
1878 In India British officials
recorded 624 human killings by wolves in the area of Banbirpur in
the state of Uttar Pradesh.
(SFC, 9/1/96, p.A16)
1878 In Italy the world’s first
spectacles factory was built at Belluno.
(Econ, 4/16/11, p.70)
1878 Montenegro was recognized
as an independent state when it became a monarchy.
1878 The 266-foot square-rigger
Falls of Clyde was built in Glasgow, Scotland. From 1899-1922 the
Matson shipping line used it to haul molasses to California and back
to Hawaii with kerosene. The ship was then demasted and sent to
Alaska where it became a floating fuel dock. In 1963 enthusiasts
towed the ship back to Hawaii, where it later came under the
ownership of the Bishop Museum. In 2008 new owners hoped to save an
renovate the ship.
(SSFC, 10/19/08, p.A11)
1878 The sultan of Sulu leased
Sabah in perpetuity to the British North Borneo Company. In 1946 the
company ceded control of Sabah to Britain.
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.39)
1878 Carl Humann led a German
team in excavating an archeological site in Bergama, western Turkey.
The team discovered an altar of Zeus, dating from the 2nd century
BC. It was sent to Germany and became the centerpiece of the
Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
(Econ, 5/19/12, p.89)
1878 Pope Leo XIII prohibited
the hiring of new castrati by the church: only in the Sistine Chapel
and in other papal basilicas in Rome did a few castrati linger.
1878-1881 George B. McClellan (d.1885), former
Union army general, served as governor of New Jersey.
(ON, 12/03, p.4)
1878-1884 Theodore Roosevelt maintained a diary
over this period.
(SFEC, 9/29/96, Par p.8)
1878-1891 Sir John A. MacDonald, Conservative
Party, again serves as the Prime Minister of Canada.
(CFA, ‘96, p.81)
1878-1918 Bosnia came under the rule of the
Austrian-Hungarian Empire. A representative from Vienna governed the
(Econ, 11/26/05, p.65)
1878-1969 Henry Emerson Fosdick, American
clergyman: "He who cannot rest, cannot work; he who cannot let go,
cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward." "I
would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery
than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it."
(AP, 5/23/97)(AP, 3/7/98)
1878-1972 Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a mother of 12,
invented such labor saving devices as the foot-lever lid lifter and
the electric food mixer. She and her husband, Frank Gilbreth,
pioneered the first time-and-motion studies.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, Z1 p.8)
Go to 1879-1882