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There was a famine in Rabat this year.



Fall - Winter, explorer Captain Cook's ships (without Cook who died earlier in the year) arrived in Canton. His sailors began trade in furs previously acquired the year before from North American natives. The pelts sold for a huge profit starting the extensive trade internationally in furs.



May 13 - War of Bavarian Succession: Russian and French mediators at the Congress of Teschen negotiate an end to the war. In the agreement Austria receives a part of its territory that was taken from them (the Innviertel).


The Iron Bridge is completed across the River Severn in Shropshire; the first all cast-iron bridge ever constructed.

Boulton and Watt's Smethwick Engine, now the oldest working engine in the world, is brought into service.


In February 1779, Lafayette returned to Paris. For disobeying the king by going to America, he was placed under house arrest for two weeks. Nevertheless, his return was triumphant. Benjamin Franklin's grandson presented him with a 4,800 livre gold-encrusted sword commissioned by the Continental Congress, and the king asked to see him. Louis XVI, pleased with the soldier after Lafayette proposed schemes for attacking the British, restored his position in the dragoons. Lafayette used his position to lobby for more French aid to America. Working with Franklin, Lafayette secured another 6,000 soldiers to be commanded by General Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau.

December 13 - Marriage of Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais to Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie is held.

§Strait of Gibraltar

July - Start of the Great Siege of Gibraltar (fourteenth and last military siege). This was an action by French and Spanish forces to wrest control of Gibraltar from the established British Garrison. The garrison, led by George Augustus Eliott, later 1st Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar, survived all attacks and a blockade of supplies


January 9 - British troops surrender to the Marathas in Wadgaon, India, and are forced to return all terrorities acquired since 1773.

January 11 - Ching-Thang Khomba was crowned King of Manipur.

§North America


May 25 - 26 - A hurricane hit Jamaica.

August 28 - A hurricane caused great loss of life when it hit Martinique.


Tens of thousands of people began dying from a smallpox epidemic.

§United States

January 22 - American Revolutionary War: Claudius Smith is hanged at Goshen, Orange County, New York for supposed acts of terrorism upon the people of the surrounding communities.

January 29 - After a second petition for partition from its residents, the North Carolina General Assembly abolishes Butte County, North Carolina (established 1764) by dividing it and naming the northern portion Warren County (for Revolutionary War hero Joseph Warren) and the southern portion Franklin County (for Benjamin Franklin). The General Assembly also establishes Warrenton (also named for Joseph Warren) to be the county seat of Warren County and Louisburg (named for Louis XVI of France) to be the county seat of Franklin County.

June 1 - American Revolutionary War: Benedict Arnold is court-martialed for malfeasance in his treatment of government property.

July 16 - American Revolutionary War: United States forces led by General Anthony Wayne capture Stony Point, New York from British troops.

July 22 - Goshen Militia destroyed by Joseph Brant's forces at the Battle of Minisink.

July 24 - American Revolutionary War: American forces led by Commodore Dudley Saltonstall launched the Penobscot Expedition in what is now Castine, Maine, resulting in the worst naval defeat in U.S. history until Pearl Harbor.

August 18 - A hurricane hit Louisiana. All but one warship in a Spanish fleet were sunk off the coast. Ships in the New Orleans harbor were pushed well inland, causing heavy damage. William Dunbar first theorized from this system that a hurricane revolved around a vortex in the center.

September - Battle of Baton Rouge is fought.

October 4 - The Fort Wilson Riot takes place.

November 2 - The North Carolina General Assembly carves a new county from Dobbs County, North Carolina and names it Wayne County in honor of United States General Anthony Wayne.

December 3 - 120 people were killed by a hurricane that hit the US Atlantic coast. The Mary, Pippard, from St.Kitts to New York, overset near Sandy-Hook, vessel and cargo lost; Also A Brig with rum from Antigua was lost.

December 25 - Fort Nashborough, later to become Nashville, Tennessee, is founded by James Robertson.

§U.S. Politics

Thomas Jefferson proposed a law that would mandate castration for gay men and mutilation of nose cartilage for gay women. Jefferson was considered a liberal. At the time, the most common penalty on the books was death.

§Pacific Ocean

§Hawaiian Islands

Kamehameha again traveled with Kalaniʻopuʻu to Kealakekua Bay. This time he, among other young chiefs accompanying their senior chief, met with Captain Cook. Cook was perhaps mistaken by some Native Hawaiians to be Lono, the Hawaiian god of fertility. Cook's ship was the HMS Discovery; Kamehameha may have stayed on board at least one night. It was Kamehameha's first dealings with white men.

February 13 (or 14th): Captain James Cook dies on the Sandwich Islands on his third and last voyage. After he dropped anchor in Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island. Captain Cook was slain here on February 13, 1779 chasing after a stolen rowboat. Oral history says that he may have been killed by his own men in a mutiny.


The Dutch Company deposed the Sultan of Tidore.



The city of Tampere is founded in Finland.


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