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The Northern Chinese famine: 1876 to 1879 believed to have killed 13 million people.


May 15 – The Tokyo Stock Exchange is established


§Modern Bulgaria

January 4 - Sofia is emancipated from Ottoman rule by Russian forces during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78


Administration, but not sovereignty, of the island was ceded to the British Empire in 1878 in exchange for guarantees that Britain would use the island as a base to protect the Ottoman Empire against possible Russian aggression.


January 23 – Benjamin Disraeli orders the British fleet to the Dardanelles.

February 24 – Anti-Russian demonstrations occur in Hyde Park, London.

March 27 – In anticipation of war with Russia, Disraeli mobilizes the reserves and calls up Indian troops to Malta.

Sir Joseph Swan, an English physicist, demonstrated his new electric lamp in Newcastle, England.

Britain passes the Opium Act with hopes of reducing opium consumption. Under the new regulation, the selling of opium is restricted to registered Chinese opium smokers and Indian opium eaters while the Burmese are strictly prohibited from smoking opium.

September 3 – Over 640 die when the crowded pleasure boat Princess Alice collides with the Bywell Castle in the River Thames.

William Booth reorganized the East London Christian Mission along military lines, and decided to call it a "volunteer army"; however, his son Bramwell objected to being called a "volunteer" and stated that he was a "regular" or nothing. The name then became The Salvation Army


The Congress of Berlin took place between June 13th and July 13th. It was a meeting of the European Great Powers' and the Ottoman Empire's leading statesmen in Berlin. In the wake of the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–78, the meeting's aim was to reorganize conditions in the Balkans. Otto von Bismarck, who led the Congress, undertook to balance the distinct interests of Great Britain, Russia and Austria-Hungary. As a consequence, however, differences between Russia and Austria-Hungary intensified, as did the nationality question in the Balkans.

The congress was aimed at the revision of the Treaty of San Stefano and at keeping Constantinople in Ottoman hands. It effectively disavowed Russia's victory over the decaying Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78. The Congress of Berlin redistributed back to the Ottoman Empire certain Bulgarian territories that the previous treaty had given to the Principality of Bulgaria, most notably Macedonia.

The final act of the Congress of Berlin, was teh Treaty of Berlin by which the United Kingdom, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Hamid revised the Treaty of San Stefano signed on March 3 of the same year.

The treaty recognized the complete independence of the principalities of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and the autonomy of Bulgaria, though the latter remained under formal Ottoman overlordship and was divided between the Principality of Bulgaria and the autonomous province of Eastern Rumelia, undoing Russian plans for an independent and Russophile "Greater Bulgaria". The Ottoman province of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as the former Sanjak of Novi Pazar were placed under Austro-Hungarian occupation, though formally remaining a part of the Ottoman Empire.

The three newly-independent states subsequently proclaimed themselves kingdoms (Romania in 1881, Serbia in 1882 and Montenegro in 1910), while Bulgaria proclaimed full independence in 1908 after uniting with Eastern Rumelia in 1885. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia in 1908, sparking a major European crisis.

The Treaty of Berlin accorded special legal status to some religious groups; it also served as a model for the Minorities System that was subsequently established within the framework of the League of Nations.

The Treaty also vaguely called for a border rectification between Greece and the Ottoman Empire which occurred after protracted negotiations in 1881 with the transfer of Thessaly to Greece.

§German Science and Technology

German nutritionist Max Rubner established what he called the isodynamic law. This is where the idea that "a calorie is a calorie" came from. This idea began to be discredited in 2012.


February 2 – Greece declares war on Turkey.


January 9 – Humbert I becomes King of Italy.

November 17 – The first assassination attempt is made against Umberto I of Italy.


January 31 – Turkey agrees to an armistice at Adrianople.

February 8 – The British fleet enters Turkish waters and anchors off Istanbul; Russia threatens to occupy Istanbul but does not carry out the threat.


February 7 – Pope Pius IX dies after 32 year reign.

February 20 – Pope Leo XIII succeeds Pope Pius IX as the 256th pope.


Known simply as the Great Famine of 1876–78, this tragedy that took the lives of as many as 10.3 million, affected over 250,000 square miles in India. The two-year famine also distressed over 58 million in the Madras, Mysore, Hyderabad and Bombay areas.

§North America


October 17 – John A. Macdonald returns to office as Prime Minister of Canada.

§United States

Yellow fever in Mississippi Valley kills over 13,000.

Mormons founded the settlement of Vernal along the Green River in Utah

February 18 – The Lincoln County War begins in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

February 19 – The phonograph is patented by Thomas Edison.

May 2 – The Washburn "A" Mill in Minneapolis, Minnesota explodes, killing 18.

July 26 – In California, the poet and American West outlaw calling himself "Black Bart" makes his last clean getaway when he steals a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box is found later with a taunting poem inside.

August 9 – The Wallingford Tornado of 1878, the deadliest tornado in Connecticut history, destroys the town of Wallingford, killing 34 people and injuring 70 or more.

Autumn - Former Union Army general, Lew Wallace, became Governor of the New Mexico Territory

§U.S. Business

The earliest tofu company in the USA, Wo Sing & Co., is in business at 708½ Dupont St. in San Francisco, making both fermented and regular tofu

George Eastman was a 24 year old junior clerk at the Rochester Savings Bank in need of a vacation. He chose to go to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. At the suggestion of a coworker, Eastman bought all the requisite photographic equipment to make a record of the trip. It was a lot of equipment: a camera as big as a Rotweiler, a massive tripod, a jug of water, a heavy plateholder, the plates themselves, glass tanks, an assortment of chemicals, and, of course, a large tent -- this last item providing a dark place in which to spread emulsion on the plates before exposure and a dark place to develop them afterwards. Eastman never did go on that vacation.

"Instead, he got obsessed with chemistry. Back then photography was a 'wet' art, but Eastman, who craved a more portable process, read about gelatin emulsions capable of remaining light-sensitive after drying. Working at night, in his mother's kitchen, he began to experiment with his own varieties. A natural-born tinkerer, Eastman took less than two years to invent both a dry plate formula and a machine that fabricated dry plates. The Eastman Dry Plate Company was born.


January 5 – Battle of Shipka Pass IV: Russian and Bulgarian forces defeat the Ottoman Empire.

January 17 – Battle of Plovdiv: Russian troops defeat the Turks.

January 24 – The revolutionary Vera Zasulich shoots at Fyodor Trepov, the Governor of Saint Petersburg.

March 3 - The Treaty of San Stefano concludes the Russo-Turkish War

March 25 – Russia rejects a British proposal to lay the San Stefano treaty before a European congress.


March 3 - Bulgaria regains its independence from the Ottoman Empire. This is largely due to the insurrection of 1876.

§South Pacific

§New Caledonia

There was a serious native insurrection

§Sandwich Islands (Hawaii)

September 30 – The ship Priscilla arrives in Hawaii from Funchal, Madeira, marking the beginning of the Portuguese immigration to the Hawaiian Islands (1878–1913).


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