1859 in History
January 5 1st steamboat sails, Red River
January 22 Brahms' 1st piano concerto (in D minor) premieres, Hanover
February 10 General Horsford defeats Begum of Oudh and Nana Sahib in Indian mutiny
February 14 Oregon admitted as 33rd state
February 17 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Un Ballo in maschera" premieres in Napoli
February 19 Dan Sickles is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity 1st time this defense is successfully used
February 25 1st use of "insanity plea" to prove innocence
February 26 Paul Morphy's chess match vs Augustus Mongredien begins; Morphy wins
February 28 Arkansas legislature requires free blacks to choose exile or slavery
March 1 Present seal of San Francisco adopted (its 2nd)
March 18 Vera Cruz besieged by Miramon (Cons) in Mexican War of Reform
March 19 Opera "Faust" by Charles Gounod premieres in Paris
March 21 1st Zoological Society incorporates in Philadelphia
March 21 Scottish National Gallery opens in Edinburgh
March 21 Zoological Society of Philadelphia, 1st in U.S., incorporated
March 26 1st sighting of Vulcan, a planet thought to orbit inside Mercury
March 28 1st performance of John Brahms' 1st Serenade for orchestra
April 4 Opera "Dinorah" is produced (Paris)
April 6 U.S. recognizes Liberal government in Mexico's War of Reform
April 12 Hibernia Savings and Loan Society of San Francisco incorporates
April 14 Charles Dickens' "A Tale Of Two Cities" published
April 25 Ground broken for Suez Canal
April 27 "Pomona" sinks in North Atlantic drowning all 400 aboard
April 30 Paul Morphy returns from 10-month chess tour of Europe, retires
May 31 Philadelphia A's organize to play "town ball" became baseball 20 years later
June 11 Comstock silver load discovered near Virginia City, Nevada
June 12 Comstock Silver Lode in Nevada discovered
June 24 Battle of Solferino, N-Italy: France/Sardinia-Austria
June 28 1st dog show held, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
June 30 Charles Blondin is 1st to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope
July 1 1st intercollegiate baseball game, Amherst beats Williams 66-32
July 1 Balloon covers a record 809 miles over St. Louis
July 5 Captain N. C. Brooks discovers Midway Islands
July 11 Charles Dickens' "A Tale Of Two Cities" is published
July 12 Paper bag manufacturing machine patents by William Goodale, Massachusetts
July 22 V E Walker takes 10-74 in an innings for England vs. Surrey
August 9 Elevator patented
August 17 1st air mail (in a balloon) took off from Lafayette Ind
August 27 1st successful oil well drilled, near Titusville, Penn by Edwin Drake
September 1 1st Pullman sleeping car in service
September 1 R C Carrington and R Hodgson make 1st observation of solar flare
September 2 Gas lighting introduced to Hawaii
September 16 Lake Nyasa, which forms Malawi's boundary with Tanzania and Mozambique discovered by British explorer David Livingstone
September 17 Man in San Francisco claims himself Norton I, emperor of America
September 20 George Simpson patents electric range
September 29 Great auroral display in US
October 16 John Brown leads 20 in raid on federal arsenal, Harper's Ferry, Va
October 19 Wilhelm Tempel discovers diffuse nebula around Pleid star Merope
October 25 Merchant vessel Royal Charter runs aground at Liverpool, 459 die
November 12 Jules Leotard performs 1st Flying Trapeze circus act (Paris) He also designed garment that bears his name
November 16 Aleksandr Ostrovsky's "Groza," premieres in Moscow
November 24 Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species"
December 5 Dion Boucicault's "Octaroon," premieres in New York City
December 15 GR Kirchoff describes chemical composition of Sun
December 18 South Carolina declared an "independent commonwealth"
December 19 Grading started for Market Street RR
December 31 Dutch colony in Dutch Indies counts 4,800 slaves