1879 in History
January 1 John Brahms' Violin Concerto in D major premieres in Leipzig
January 2 1st Test match hat-trick, Fred Spofforth at the MCG
January 2 British battleship Thunder explodes in Gulf of Ismid, 9 die
January 2 Dr. Benjamin E Mays, named president of Atlanta Board of Education
January 2 Northwestern League (minor baseball league) organized, Rockford, Ill
January 7 Dutch King Willem II marries Emma von Waldeck-Pyrmont
January 9 Cheyenne prisoners led by Dull Knife revolt at Fort Robinson
January 9 Kirland Warbler discovered on Andros Island in Bahamas
January 11 Zulu war against British colonial rule in South Africa begins
January 12 British Zulu War begins: Lieutenant-General Chelmsford invades Zululand
January 16 January record 13" of snow falls in New York City (broken Jan 7, 1996)
January 20 British troops under Lord Chelmsford set camp at Isandlwana
January 21 Henrik Ibsen's "Et Dukkehjem," premieres in Copenhagen
January 22 James Shields (D) elected U.S. senator from Missouri after previously serving as U.S. senator from Illinois and Minnesota
January 22 Zulus attack British Army camp in Isandhlwana South Africa
January 23 National Archery Association forms (Crawfordsville Ind)
January 29 Custer Battlefield National Monument, Montana established
January 30 French President MacMahon resigns
February 5 Joseph Swan demonstrates light bulb using carbon glow
February 10 1st electric arc light used in the California Theater
February 10 Henry Morton Stanley departs to the Congo
February 12 1st artificial ice rink in North America (Madison Square Garden, New York City)
February 12 News about slaughtering of Isandlwana reaches London
February 14 Chilean troops occupy Antofagasta
February 15 Congress authorizes women lawyers to practice before Supreme Court
February 18 Arabs capture Egyptian premier Nabar Pasha
February 22 1st 5 and 10 store opened by Frank W. Woolworth (Utica New York)
February 25 Congress passed 1st Timberland Protection Act
February 27 Constantine Fahlberg discovers saccharin the artificial sweetener
February 28 "Exodus of 1879" southern blacks flee political/economic exploitation
March 1 Library of Hawaii founded
March 3 1st female lawyer heard by Supreme Court (Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood)
March 3 U.S. Geological Survey director authorized in Department of the Interior
March 27 Longest championship fight (136 rounds)
March 29 Tsjaikovski's opera "Jevgeni Onegin," premieres in Moscow
April 8 Khedive Ismael of Egypt fires French/British ministers
April 8 Milk was sold in glass bottles for 1st time
April 18 Trial of Standing Bear-Crook on indians citizen rights begins
April 20 1st mobile home (horse drawn) used in a journey from London and Cyprus
May 8 George Selden files for 1st patent for a gasoline-driven automobile
May 10 Meteor falls near Estherville, Iowa
May 16 Antonin Dvorak's "Slavic Dancing," premieres
May 16 Treaty of Gandamak to set up Afghan state between Russia and English
May 20 5th Kentucky Derby: Charlie Shauer aboard Lord Murphy wins in 2:37
May 21 Battle of Iquiquw
May 24 7th Preakness: L Hughes aboard Harold wins in 2:40
May 30 92 degrees F highest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in May
May 30 Gilmore Garden (New York City) renamed Madison Square Garden
May 31 1st electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition
May 31 Madison Square Garden opens
June 5 13th Belmont: George Evans aboard Spendthrift wins in 2:42.75
June 16 Gilbert and Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore" debuts at Bowery Theater New York City
June 18 W. H. Richardson, a black inventor, patents the children's carriage
June 21 F. W. Woolworth opens 1st store, failed almost immediately
June 26 Ismael Pasha resigns as khedive of Egypt
June 30 Ex-khedive Ismael Pasha leaves Cairo with train full stolen goods
July 1 Ex-khedive Ismael Pasha sails from Alexandria to Naples
July 4 Africaner Union forms by Reverend SJ du Toit at Cape colony
July 4 Battle at Rorkes Drift: Britain ends attack on Zulus
July 17 1st railroad opens in Hawaii
August 4 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Aeterni Patris
August 12 1st National Archery Association tournament (Chicago)
August 17 Ferdinand de Lesseps forms French Panama Canal Company
August 20 Government Kappeijne of Coppello resigns
August 23 Governor-general Charles Gordon of Sudan returns to Cairo
August 28 Battle at Ulundi: Lord Chelmsford beats king Cetshwayo's Zuluz
September 15 Pim Mulier forms "Haarlem Football Club"
September 19 Thomas Ray becomes youngest to break a world track and field record pole-vaulting 11' 2" at age 17 years and 198 days
September 20 U.S. Grants come to San Francisco for elaborate extended visit
September 23 Baldwin steam motors tram 1st tried in Sydney Australia
September 23 Richard Rhodes invented a hearing aid called the Audiophone
September 28 Sydney Australia inaugurates steam motor tram route
September 29 NL owners meeting in Buffalo adopt reserve clause, giving each team exclusive rights to their players
October 1 Cincinnati Enquirer publishes 1st report on baseball reserve clause
October 2 Start of Sherlock Holmes adventure "Musgrave Ritual"
October 7 Germany and Austrian-Hungary sign Twofold Covenant
October 12 British troops occupy Kabul Afghanistan
October 19 Afghan's emir Mohammed Yakub forced to resign
October 19 Thomas Edison demonstrates electric light
October 21 Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb
November 2 In a 6-day footrace a Mr. Weston loses to a horse, 900 to 885 km
November 4 Elkins patents refrigerating apparatus
November 4 James Ritty patents 1st cash register, to combat stealing by bartenders in his Dayton, Ohio saloon
November 6 Canada celebrates 1st Thanksgiving Day
November 19 National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders determines what "is" a trotter
November 28 Battle at Lydenburg South Africa: General Wolseley beats Sekhukhenes Pedi-Zulu
December 5 1st automatic telephone switching system patented
December 13 1st federal fish hatching steamer lauched (Wilmington Delaware)
December 20 Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
December 26 John Brahms' "Tragic Ouverture," premieres
December 28 North British Railway's train falls as Firth bridge collapses (Scot)
December 30 Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premieres
December 31 Cornerstone laid for Honolulu's Iolani Palace
December 31 Cornerstone laid for Iolani Palace (only royal palace in U.S.)
December 31 Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp
December 31 Gilbert/Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premieres in New York City
December 31 Opera "Pirates of Penzance" is produced (New York City)