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1844 - 1856
The first recorded baseball game
  • The first telegraph message, "What hath God Wrought", is sent from the U.S. Supreme Court room in Washington D.C., to Alfred Val in Baltimore, MD, by Samuel F.B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens published in the U.S.

  • The first private bath in an American hotel is introduced at the New York Hotel
  • 1844
  • James K. Polk is inaugurated President of the United States

  • George M. Dallas is sworn in as Vice President

  • Texas is admitted to the Union, the 28th state
  • 1845
  • A declaration of war against Mexico is passed

  • The Pennsylvania Railroad, one of the most famous rail systems in history, is charted

  • Elias Howe patents the first sewing machine in the U.S.

  • Anesthesia is given its first public demonstration before doctors by William T.G. Morton, a Boston dentist. A neck tumor is removed.

  • The first recorded baseball game is played at Elysian Field, Hoboken, NJ

  • The Irish potato crop fails and famine increases
  • 1846
  • The first official U.S. postage stamps are issued by the Post Office Department in fife-cent and ten-cent denominations

  • Discovery of the gold on the estate of John Sutter in California. California Gold Rush begins
  • 1847
  • Zachary Taylor is elected President of the United States

  • Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre
  • are published in the U.S.
  • Air conditioning is offered by the Broadway Theater in New York City

  • The first medical school for women opens with an enrollment of twelve.

  • Napoleon elected president of the French Republic

  • US-Mexico War ends. Mexico cedes claims to Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada

  • Communist Manifesto
  • is published
  • Minnesota Territory is established by Congress. Slavery within territory is prohibited

  • A safety pin is patented by Walter Hunt of New York City
  • 1849
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • is published and immediately sells out
  • Central Park is proposed

  • 18,456 homeless persons are sheltered in 8141 cellars in New York City

  • President Zachary Taylor dies of cholera at the age of 55

  • California is the 31st state admitted to the Union

  • The Texas and New Mexico Act establishes Texas boundaries

  • The Utah Act establishes the territorial boundaries of Utah

  • The Fugitive Slave Bill requires the return of escaped slaves to their owners

  • The first national women's rights convention is held in Worcester, MA

  • A French photographer develops albumen photographic paper
  • 1850
  • Moby Dick
  • is published
  • The first U.S. patent for an ice-making machine is awarded

  • "Go West, young man, go West" originates as the title of an editorial by John B. L. Soule, editor of the Terra Haute Express

  • The Crystal Palace, in London, England, designed by the English architect and engineer Joseph Paxton, is completed. Designed to house the Great Exhibition fo 1851, it is of a revolutionary design employing only prefabricated units of glass and iron and is the largest building in the world

  • Almost three quarters of San Francisco is destroyed by fire

  • The New York Times is launched in the United States
  • 1851
  • South African Republic is established

  • Louis Napoleon proclaims himself Napoleon III

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin in book form

  • Franklin Pierce is elected President of the United States. William R. King is elected Vice President. The electoral vote is Pierce, 254; Winfield Scott, Whig candidate, 42. The popular vote is Pierce, 1,101,474; Scott, 1,386,578; John P. Hale, Free-Soil candidate, 156,149.

  • Harvard and Yale, whose crews rowed a two-mile course on Lake Winnipesaukee, conduct the first intercollegiate rowing race
  • 1852
  • War begins as Turkey declares war on Russia

  • Commodore Perry reaches Tokyo

  • Yellow fever takes the lives of over 5000 persons in New Orleans, LA, from 1853 to 1855. Two hundred deaths are recorded in the week ending July 16. Vicksburg, MI, loses one-sixth of its population in the epidemic.

  • The Crystal Palace Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations is held in New York City to demonstrate American inventions and industrial progress. Called a world's fair, it is inspired by the London Exhibition of 1851.
  • 1853
  • The Republican Party is formed in Jackson, MI

  • The Boston Public Library opens, inaugurating the practice of having popular books kept in large enough supply to fill the demands of many readers

  • Paris sets the style of women's dress, and the Empress Eugenie of France sets the Paris style. This is the dawn of the era of the hoop skirt.

  • Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade is published

  • Thoreau's Waldon published
  • 1854
  • During the 1850's, a total of 2,314,000 people arrive in the U.S. Almost all come from Germany, Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales

  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman is published at the author's expense. The first edition contains only 12 peoms, fares badly in the marketplace, but receives helpful praise from Ralph Waldo Emerson, endng with "I greet you at the beginning of a great career."

  • An electric telegraph line is established between London, England, and Balaclava on the Black Sea, allowing for immediate reporting on the Crimean War
  • 1855
  • The first kindergarten in the U.S. opens in Watertown, WI

  • James Buchanan is elected President of teh United States. John C. Breckinridge is elected Vice President.

  • A copyright law is passed by Congress, giving the author of a play "along with the sole right to print and publish the said composition, the sole right also to act, perform, or represent the same."

  • Madam Bovary is published in the U.S.

  • The world's first oil refinery opens at Ploiesti, Romania
  • 1856
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