Archives for: May 2014

January 1

0404 - The last gladiator competition was held in Rome.  1622 - The Papal Chancery adopted January 1st as the beginning of the New Year (instead of March 25th).  1772 - The first traveler's checks were issued in London.  1785 - London's oldest daily… more »

January 2

1492 - The leader of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrendered to Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I.  1788 - Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.  1842 - In Fairmount, PA, the first wire… more »

January 3

1496 - References in Leonardo da Vinci notebooks suggested that he tested his flying machine. The test didn't succeed and he didn't try to fly again for several years.  1521 - Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther.  1777 - The Battle of Princeton… more »

January 4

1821 - The first native-born American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, died in Emmitsburg, MD.  1850 - The first American ice-skating club was organized in Philadelphia, PA.  1884 - The socialist Fabian Society was founded in London.  1885 - Dr. William… more »

January 5

1781 - Richmond, VA, was burned by a British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold.  1885 - The Long Island Railroad Company became the first to offer piggy-back rail service which was the transportation of farm wagons on trains.  1896 - It was… more »

January 6

0871 - England's King Alfred defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown.  1205 - Philip of Swabia was crowned as King of the Romans.  1453 - Frederick III erected Austria into an Archduchy.  1540 - King Henry VIII of England was married to Anne of… more »

January 7

1558 - Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was recaptured by the French.  1610 - Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter's moons. He named them Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.  1782 - The Bank of North America opened in… more »

January 8

1642 - Astronomer Galileo Galilei died in Arcetri, Italy.  1675 - The first corporation was charted in the United States. The company was the New York Fishing Company.  1790 - In the United States, George Washington delivered the first State of the… more »

January 9

1793 - Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the first successful balloon flight in the U.S.  1799 - British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduced income tax, at two shillings (10p) in the pound, to raise funds for the Napoleonic Wars.  1848 - The… more »

January 10

1840 - The penny post, whereby mail was delivered at a standard charge rather than paid for by the recipient, began in Britain.  1861 - Florida seceded from the United States.  1863 - Prime Minister Gladstone opened the first section of the London… more »

January 11

1569 - England's first state lottery was held.  1770 - The first shipment of rhubarb was sent to the United States from London.  1805 - The Michigan Territory was created.  1815 - U.S. General Andrew Jackson achieved victory at the Battle of New… more »

January 12

49 BC - Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River signaling a war between Rome and Gaul.  1519 - Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I died.  1773 - The first public museum in America was established in Charleston, SC.  1866 - The Royal Aeronautical Society… more »

January 13

1128 - Pope Honorius II granted a papal sanction to the military order known as the Knights Templar. He declared it to be an army of God.  1794 - U.S. President Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag,… more »

January 14

1639 - Connecticut's first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted.  1784 - The United States ratified a peace treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War.  1858 - French emperor Napoleon III escaped an attempt on his life.  1873 -… more »

January 15

1559 - England's Queen Elizabeth I (Elizabeth Tudor) was crowned in Westminster Abbey.  1624 - Many riots occurred in Mexico when it was announced that all churches were to be closed.  1777 - The people of New Connecticut (now the state of Vermont)… more »

January 16

1547 - Ivan the Terrible was crowned Czar of Russia.  1572 - The Duke of Norfolk was tried for treason for complicity in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England. He was executed on June 2.  1759 - The British Museum opened.  1809 - The… more »

January 17

1377 - The Papal See was transferred from Avignon in France back to Rome.  1562 - French Protestants were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.  1773 - Captain Cook's Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.  1795 - The… more »

January 18

1803 - Thomas Jefferson, in secret communication with Congress, sopught authorization for the first official exploration by the U.S.government.  1778 - English navigator Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he called the "Sandwich… more »

January 19

1419 - Rouen surrendered to Henry V, completing his conquest of Normandy.  1764 - John Wilkes was expelled from the British House of Commons for seditious libel.  1793 - King Louis XVI was tried by the French Convention, found guilty of treason and… more »

January 20

1265 - The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall.  1801 - John Marshall was appointed chief justice of the United States.  1839 - Chile defeated a confederation of Peru and Bolivia in the Battle of Yungay.  1841 - The island of Hong Kong… more »

January 21

1789 - W.H. Brown's "Power of Sympathy" was published. It was the first American novel to be published. The novel is also known as the "Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth".  1793 - During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI was executed on the… more »

January 22

1666 - Shah Jahan, a descendant of Genghis Khan and Timur, died at the age of 74. He was the Mongul emperor of India that built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz-i-Mahal.  1771 - The Falkland Islands were ceded to Britain by Spain. … more »

January 23

1556 - An earthquake in Shanxi Province, China, was thought to have killed about 830,000 people.  1571 - The Royal Exchange in London, founded by financier Thomas Gresham, was opened by Queen Elizabeth I.  1789 - Georgetown College was established as… more »

January 24

1848 - James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California. The discovery led to the gold rush of '49.  1899 - Humphrey O’Sullivan patented the rubber heel.  1908 - In England, the first Boy Scout troop was organized by… more »

January 25

1504 - The English Parliament passed statutes against retainers and liveries, to curb private warfare.  1533 - England's King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn. Boleyn later gave birth to Elizabeth I.  1579 - The Treaty of… more »

January 26

1500 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil.  1736 - Stanislaus I formally abdicated as King of Poland.  1784 - In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the eagle as the symbol of America. He wanted the symbol to be… more »

January 27

1606 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began. They were executed on January 31.  1870 - Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle, IN.  1880 -… more »

January 28

1521 - The Diet of Worms began, at which Protestant reformer Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church.  1547 - England's King Henry VIII died. He was succeeded by his 9 year-old son, Edward VI.  1788 - The first British penal… more »

January 29

1728 - John Gay's The Beggar's Opera was first performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London.  1802 - John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress.  1820 - Britain's King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.  1845 - Edgar Allan Poe's… more »

January 30

1649 - England's King Charles I was beheaded.  1790 - The first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.  1798 - The first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives took place. Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold fought on the… more »

January 31

1606 - Guy Fawkes was executed after being convicted for his role in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I.  1747 - The first clinic specializing in the treatment of venereal diseases was opened at London Dock Hospital. … more »