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  • Pearl Harbor, on the Island of Oahu, is leased by the U.S. from Hawaii for a naval station

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes' story A Study In Scarlet published
  • 1887
  • Benjamin Harrison is elected President of the United States. Levi P. Morton is elected Vice President.

  • George Eastman introduces the Kodak, a square box camera using roll film. Photography becomes a practical hobby overnight, and sales skyrocket.

  • JB Dunlop invents the pneumatic tire
  • 1888
  • The great Oklahoma land rush. The federal government, pressured by cattlemen, opens for settlement 1,900,000 acres in central Oklahoma bought from the Creek and Seminole tribes. Thousands of settlers race in after a pistol shot signals the opening.

  • The Johnstown flood kills 2295 persons when the dam above Johnstown, PA breaks after heavy rains

  • North and South Dakota are admitted into the Union, the 39th and 40th states

  • Montana is admitted into the Union, the 41st state

  • Washington is admitted into the Union, the 42nd state

  • Eiffel Tower is built for Paris Exposition
  • 1889
  • The Oklahoma Territory, the last territory in the contiguous United States, is created by an act of Congress

  • Idaho and Wyoming admitted to the Union, the 43rd and 44th states

  • The fastest railroad time for an American train is claimed for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, which carries reporter Nellie Bly from La Junta, CO, to Chicago at an average speed of 78.1 mph

  • The Weather Bureau is created in the Dept. of Agriculture by an act of Congress

  • Sitting Bull, chief of the Sioux Indians, is killed in a skirmish with U.S. soldiers

  • The Bank of America at Philadelphia, PA fails, causing the failure of several other banks and of the American Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia

  • Congress passes the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
  • 1890
  • Congress passes the International Copyright Act

  • Carnegie Hall at Seventh Avenue and 57th St., New York City, opens with an all-Tchaikovsky program conducted by the composer himself

  • A patent for motion picture camera, the first in its field in the U.S., is filed by Thomas Edison
  • 1891
  • Walt Whitman dies March 26; Eakins is an honorary pallbearer

  • Ellis Island in New York Bay becomes the receiving station for immigrants

  • The first successful gas-powered automobile made in the U.S. is built by Charles and Frank Duryea, bicycle designers and toolmakers, at Chicopee, MA

  • An electric automobile made by William Morrison of Des Moines, IO, appears in the streets of Chicago

  • The diesel engine is patented
  • 1892
  • Grover Cleveland is inaugurated President of the United States, the only President to serve two nonconsecutive terms. A Democrat, he is the 22nd and 24th President. Adlai E. Stevenson is sworn in as Vice President.

  • The first independent architectural commission of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Winslow residence in Chicago

  • A zipper, or slide fastener, is patented by Whitcomb L. Judson

  • Flag Day is first officially observed by the city of Philadelphia by order of the mayor, who orders that the flag be displayed over every public building in the city

  • New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant women the vote
  • 1893
  • The Hawaiian Republic is officially recognized by the U.S. government

  • A garment workers' workers strike is launched by some 12,000 tailors in New York City. They protest sweatshop conditions and the piecework system of payment.

  • Labor Day is made a legal holiday by Congressional resolution

  • Sino-Japanese War begins

  • Edison's kinetoscope given first public showing in New York City
  • 1894
  • The Red Badge of Courage, a realistic Civil War novel by Stephen Crane is published

  • Women's skirts are shortened for bicycling wear. They are shortened an inch or two from the ankle, and the hems are weighted with lead.

  • America the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates, a Wellesley College professor, is published in the Congregationalist, a church publication

  • Xrays discovered by German physicist Whilhelm Roentgen

  • Auguste and Louis Lumi¸re premiere motion pictures at a cafˇ in Paris
  • 1895
  • Utah is admitted into the Union, the 45th state

  • Seven-eighths of the wealth of the U.S. is controlled by one-eighth of the people

  • Rural fee postal delivery is established

  • William McKinley is elected President of the United States

  • The first moving pictures on a public screen shown in New York City

  • Assembly of the first Ford automobile completed in a brick workshed in Detroit

  • Discovery in the Yukon Territory sparks the second gold rush in U.S. history, the Klondike stampede of 1897-1898

  • The first U.S. ice hockey league, the Amateur Hockey League, organized in NYC

  • Alfred Nobel's will establishes prizes for peace, science and literature

  • First modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece
  • 1896
  • A coal miners' strike shuts down mines in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia and puts 75,000 men out of work. One day later the strike is settled. The miners win an eight-hour work day and semi-monthly pay, abolition of company stores, and annual conferences.
  • 1897
  • Steel production increases to 10,000,000 tons a year, and the U.S.turns out more steel than Great Britain and Germany combined

  • The Spanish-American War officially begins when Spain declares war on the U.S. The following day Congress passes a declaration of war, effective April 21

  • Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium and polonium
  • 1898
  • President William McKinley signs a peace treaty with Spain. By its terms the U.S. acquires Puerto Rico and Guam, and Spain relinquishes its claim to Cuba. The U.S. pays Spain $20,000,000 for specific Spanish holdings in the Philippines, but many interpret the payment as purchase of the Philippines from Spain.
  • 1899
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