Elsewhere in 1891


Firsts: Basketball, The London–Paris telephone system, the removable pneumatic bicycle tire, New Scotland Yard, the Tesla coil, the Swiss Army Knife and Stanford University. Carnegie Hall has its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor.

Disasters: The Springhill Mining Disaster. The SS Utopia, carrying Italian migrants to New York, sinks in the inner harbor of Gibraltar, killing 564. In Japan the 8.0 Ms Mino–Owari earthquake killed over 7,200, and created fault scarps that still remain visible. The Chinese Juu Uda League in Inner Mongolia massacres tens of thousands of Mongols.

Also: Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii, and the Portuguese republican revolution breaks out.


Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian writer (d. 1940)
Ole Kirk Christiansen, founder of the Lego group (d. 1958)
Ronald Colman, English actor (d. 1958)
Max Ernst, German painter (d. 1976)
Antonio Gramsci, Italian Communist writer and politician (d. 1937)
Henry Miller, American writer (d. 1980)
Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter (d. 1964)
Sergei Prokofiev, Soviet composer (d. 1953)
Earl Warren, American politician and Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1974)
Grant Wood, American painter (d. 1942)


P. T. Barnum, American showman (b. 1810)
Sir Joseph Bazalgette, English civil engineer (b. 1819)
Helena Blavatsky, Russian-born author and theosophist (b. 1831)
Kalākaua, last reigning King of Hawaii (b. 1836)
Pierre Lallement, French inventor of the bicycle (b. 1843?)
John A. Macdonald, 1st Prime Minister of Canada and Father of Confederation (b. 1815)
Herman Melville, American novelist (b. 1819)
Arthur Rimbaud, French poet (b. 1854)
Wilhelm Eduard Weber, German physicist (b. 1804)

Elsewhere in 1860

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

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