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§Of World Interest

December 9 - The Transit of Venus across the Sun



The Japanese launched an expedition to Mutan village with a force of 3600 soldiers in 1874. The number of casualties for the Paiwan was about 30, and that for the Japanese was 543; 12 Japanese soldiers were killed in battle and 531 by disease. Eventually, the Japanese withdrew just before the Qing Dynasty sent 3 divisions of forces (9000 soldiers) to reinforce Taiwan. This incident caused the Qing to re-think the importance of Taiwan in their maritime defense strategy and greater importance was placed on gaining control over the wilderness regions.


§Dominican Republic

January 2 – Ignacio (Maria) Gonzalez becomes head of state of the Dominican Republic (for the first time).



April 5 - Johann Strauss Sr's opera "Die Fledermaus," premieres in Vienna


February 21 - Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Gladstone as English premier

English researcher, C.R. Wright first synthesizes heroin, or diacetylmorphine, by boiling morphine over a stove.

Major Walter Clopton Wingfield was living at Nantclwyd Hall, Llanelidan, in north Wales, when he patented nets for the new sport of lawn tennis. The game of tennis was invented in 1859.

November 30 - Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

§British Religion

August 7 - The Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 was passed by Royal Assent. It was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, introduced as a Private Member's Bill by Archbishop of Canterbury Archibald Campbell Tait, to limit what he perceived as the growing ritualism of Anglo-Catholicism and the Oxford Movement within the Church of England.


January 23 – Camille Saint-Saëns' composition Danse Macabre is premiered.

25 April – Louis Leroy reviews the first Impressionist exhibition, held in Paris, and coins the term with reference to Claude Monet's Impression, Sunrise.


October - Sixteen year old Max Planck enrolled at Munich University and chose to study physics because of his desire to understand

"In October 1874, aged sixteen, Max Planck enrolled at Munich University and opted to study physics because of a burgeoning desire to understand the workings of nature. In contrast to the near-militaristic regime of the Gymnasiums (high schools), German universities allowed their students almost total freedom. With hardly any academic supervision and no fixed requirements, it was a system that enabled students to move from one university to another, taking courses as they pleased. Sooner or later those wishing to pursue an academic career took the courses by the pre-eminent professors at the most prestigious universities. After three years at Munich, where he was told 'it is hardly worth entering physics anymore' because there was nothing important left to discover, Planck moved to the leading university in the German-speaking world, Berlin."

the workings of nature.


May 5 - Dutch 2nd Chamber passes child labor law

October 1 - Rotterdam begins the use of drinking water pipes.


June 25 – Battle of Monte Muru: Third Carlist War of Spain.


May 13 - Pope Pius IX encyclical "On Greek-Ruthenian rite"

December 24 - Pope Pius IX proclaims a jubilee for 1875


May 29 - Present constitution of Switzerland takes effect

October 9 - World Postal Union forms in Bern, Switzerland


May 9 – The first horse drawn carriage makes its debut in the city of Mumbai, plying on two routes.

The Agra canal opens in India.

§North America


July 24 – Mathew Evans and Henry Woodward patent the first incandescent lamp with an electric light bulb five years before Thomas Edison's U.S. patent on the device. Evans, from Toronto, Ontario, and his friend Henry Woodward, made the light bulb by sending electricity through a filament made of carbon.

The two men had patented it but did not have enough money to develop their invention, so they sold their US patent 181,613 to Thomas Edison for US$5,000 ($US 100,000 in 2006 dollars). They also granted Edison an exclusive license to their equivalent Canadian patent.

§United States

In San Francisco, smoking opium in the city limits is banned and is confined to neighboring Chinatowns and their opium dens.

Safford, Arizona was founded by Joshua Eaton Bailey, Hiram Kennedy and Edward Tuttle, who came from Gila Bend, in southwestern Arizona. They left Gila Bend in the winter of 1873-74; their work on canals and dams having been destroyed by high water the previous summer. Upon arrival early in 1874, the villagers laid out the town site, including a few crude buildings.

In 1874 Harvard invited McGill University of Montreal to send a team to Massachusetts for a game in May. As the teams warmed up before the game, they realized that they were not practicing the same game. The McGill players were running with the ball, because for them, “football” was a form of rugby. The teams agree to play one game of each of their two types of football. The Harvard team ended up liking the rugby version better. Harvard took its revised game to Yale the next year, and the popularity of the new form of football began to spread.

By 1874, chapters of Red Shirts, a paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party, had formed in North Carolina.

January 1 - New York City annexes the Bronx

January 13 - Battle between jobless and police in New York City, 100s injured

January 27 - Mine explosion kills 109 at Mount Pleasant Pennsylvania

January 31 - Jesse James gang robs train at Gads Hill, Missouri

March 21 - U.S. Grant's daughter Nellie marries in the White House

March 22 - Young Men's Hebrew Association organizes in New York City

April 15 - New York legislature passes compulsory education law

April 19 - Barracks on Alcatraz Island destroyed in fire

May 12 - U.S. Assay Office in Helena, Montana authorized

May 16 - 1st recorded dam disaster in U.S. (Williamsburg Mass)

June 22 - Dr. Andrew T Sill, of Macon Missouri, finds science of osteopathy

July 1 - 1st U.S. kidnapping for ransom, 4-year-old Charles Ross, $20,000

July 1 - 1st U.S. public zoo opens in Philadelphia

November 18 - National Woman's Christian Temperance Union organizes in Cleveland

November 19 - William Marcy "Boss" Tweed, of Tammany Hall (New York City) convicted of defrauding city of $6M, sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment

December 8 - Jesse James gang robs train at Muncie, Kansas

§U.S. Entertainment

January 26 - Oscar Wilde's "Duchess of Padua," premieres in New York City

§U.S. Industry

May 20 - Levi Strauss receives a patent and markets blue jeans with copper rivets, price $13.50 doz

August 11 - Harry S. Parmelee patents sprinkler head

November 24 - Joseph F. Glidden patents barbed wire

§U.S. Law

March 3 - Congress creates U.S. Courts of Appeal

§U.S. Politics

January 14 - I D Shadd elected Speaker of lower house of Miss legislature

January 17 - Armed Democrats seize Texas government ending Radical Reconstruction

February 12 - King David Kalakaua of Sandwich Is Hawaii, is 1st king to visit U.S.

March 3 - Office of Superintendent of Immigration (Treasury Department) created

July 4 - Social Democratic Workmen's Party of North America formed

July 7 - 27th Postmaster General: James W. Marshall of New Jersey takes office

November 4 - Samuel J. Tilden elected governor of New York

November 4 – Democrats regain the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 1860.

November 7 - First cartoon depicting elephant as Republican Party symbol, by T Nast. Political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, came up with the donkey and elephant images now associated with the Democrat and Republican parties. He saw the Democrats as stubborn and hard-headed, and he drew the elephant to symbolize a rogue elephant panicked by the Democrats. Both parties adopted these as images, with different ideals, as their symbols.

November 25 – The United States Greenback Party is established as a political party, made primarily of farmers financially hurt by the Panic of 1873.


April 23 - Jews are expelled from Moscow, Russia



December 1 – Iceland is granted a constitution and limited home rule.

§South Pacific


September 1 - Sydney General Post Office opens in Australia


October 10 - Fiji becomes a British possession

§Hawaiian Islands

January 13 - U.S. troops land in Honolulu to protect the king

David Laʻamea Kamanakapuʻu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua became the King of Hawaii. Then reigning King Lunalilo died on February 3rd and Kalākaua was elected to replace him. Upon ascending the throne, Kalākaua named his brother, William Pitt Leleiohoku, as his heir, putting an end to the era of elected kings in Hawaiʻi.

Kalākaua started his reign off with a tour of the Hawaiian islands. This improved his popularity.

March 18 – Hawaii signs a treaty with the United States granting exclusive trading rights.

In October, Kalākaua sent representatives to the United States to negotiate a reciprocity treaty to help end a depression that was ongoing in Hawaiʻi. In November, Kalākaua himself traveled to Washington DC to meet President Ulysses S. Grant.


January 1 - King Pakketvaart sails to Netherlands Indies


January – The Pangkor Treaty (also known as the Pangkor Engagement), by which the British extended their control over, first the Sultanate of Perak and later the other independent Malay States, is signed.


The pirate Bully Hayes was shipwrecked on Kosrae on March 15, 1874, when his ship the Leonora was caught in Lelu harbor during a storm. Bully Hayes made his home in Utwe for seven months, during which he terrorized the local people. In September 1874, HMS Rosario (under the command of Captain Dupuis) arrived to investigate the claims against Hayes. He was arrested, but then escaped in a 14 foot boat, built of timber from the wreck of the Leonora. His treasure may have been left behind, buried somewhere in the forest, although subsequent diggings have failed to uncover it.

§New Zealand

November 17 - Emigrant ship Cospatrick catches fire and sinks off Auckland coast.


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