1859-1860Abraham Lincoln wins the presidential election, setting the scene for the outbreak of the American Civil War at the start of 1861
German chemist Albert Niemann makes a detailed analysis of the coca leaf, isolating and purifying the alkaloid which he calls cocaine.
Japanese Chief Minister Ii Naosuke is assassinated by samurai outside the Sakurada Gate of Edo Castle.
The Nightingale Training School and Home for Nurses, the first nursing school based on the ideas of Florence Nightingale, is opened at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
Charles Dickens publishes the first installment of Great Expectations in his magazine All the Year Round.
In China, the Taiping rebels are successful in taking Hangzhou and Suzhou, but fail to take Shanghai
The first British Open is played at Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland, and is won by Willie Park Sr
Southern Italy joins a union with Piedmont-Sardinia, leading to the creation of the Kingdom of Italy the following year
Beijing’s Old Summer Palace is burned to the ground by orders of British general Lord Elgin in retaliation for mistreatment of several prisoners of war during the Second Opium War.
Anton Chekhov, William Jennings Bryan, Will Keith Kellog, Lizzie Borden, Gustav Mahler, Annie Oakley and J.M. Barrie are born
Charles Goodyear and Arthur Schopenhauer die