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§Central Africa

Bishop Comboni travels to Africa for the eighth and last time, to stand alongside his missionaries: intent, also, on continuing the struggle against the pernicious Slave Trade, and on consolidating the missionary activity carried out by Africans themselves.

§South Africa

March 10 - General Wolseley opens new legislative council in Pretoria

December 8 - 5,000 armed Boers gather in Paardekraal South Africa

December 16 - Republic of South Africa forms

December 20 - Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britain

December 30 – The Transvaal becomes a republic and Paul Kruger becomes its first president.

§Central America


January 1 - Building of Panama Canal, begins

de Lesseps went with his youngest child to Panama to see the planned pathway of the proposed "lockless" canal through the isthmus. He estimated that the project would take 658 million francs and eight years to complete. Surveys began and continued until 1882.



September 23 - Jules Ferry forms French government


August 14 - Construction of Cologne Cathedral completed (began in 1248 CE)

§Great Britain

February 2 - SS Strathleven arrives in London with 1st Australian frozen mutton

April 18 – William Ewart Gladstone defeats Benjamin Disraeli in the United Kingdom general election to become Prime Minister for the second time


February 29 - Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland and Italy completed


October 20 - Amsterdam Free University opens


February 10 - Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Arcanum about Christian marriage

§Near East


July 22 – Abdur Rahman Khan becomes Emir of Afghanistan.

§North America


July 14 – Dorchester Penitentiary opens in Canada.


October 15 – Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists.

§United States

January 9 - 6' (1.8 meters) of snow falls in Seattle in 5 days

January 21 - First U.S. sewage disposal system separate from storm drains, Memphis

On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison filed a patent in the United States for the electric incandescent lamp; it was during this time that he said, "We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles." As Edison was not actually the inventor of the light bulb, it was later ruled invalid in 1883.

February 2 – The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana.

March 1 - Pennsylvania is 1st American state to abolish slavery

March 10 - Salvation Army of England sets up U.S. welfare and religious activity

March 23 - Flour rolling mill patented (John Stevens of Wisconsin)

March 24 - Tobacco Growers' Mutual Insurance Company incorporates in Connecticut

March 31 - First town completely illuminated by electric lighting (Wabash, Indiana)

May 13 – In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.

May 31 - League of American Wheelmen (1st U.S. bicycle association), forms in Newport, Rhode Island

The United States Census of 1880 was the tenth United States Census conducted by the Census Bureau during June 1880. It was the first time that women were permitted to be enumerators. The Superintendent of the Census was Francis Amasa Walker

June 1 - First pay telephone installed

June 1 - U.S. census at 50,155,783

July 19 - San Francisco Public Library starts lending books

July 21 - Compressed air accident kills 20 workers on Hudson River tunnel, New York

July 23 - First commercial hydroelectric power planet begins, Grand Rapids, Michigan

July 27 - A P Abourne patents a process for refining coconut oil

October – The "Blizzard of 1880" begins in North America.

October 1 - John Philip Sousa becomes new director of U.S. Marine Corps Band

October 4 - University of California founded in Los Angeles with 53 students and 10 faculty

October 27 - Theodore Roosevelt marries Alice Hathaway Lee, on his 22nd birthday

November 2 - James A. Garfield (R) elected president. He defeats Winfield S. Hancock.

November 4 - First cash register patented by James and John Ritty of Dayton Ohio

November 8 - Sarah Bernhardt, French actress, made U.S. debut at New York's Booth Theater

November 22 – Vaudeville actress Lillian Russell makes her debut at Tony Pastor's Theatre in New York City.

December 20 - New York's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"

Undated - George Pullman bought a large plot of vacant land twelve miles south of the city of Chicago and built a car works. He also built, from scratch, an entire town to go with it: Pullman, Illinois. Pullman was a model town, the first of its kind of the United States. (Pullman apparently got the idea from the Krupp family's model town near their steel plant in Prussia.) The town had 1,400 housing units and a population of 8,000, all employees, or family members of employees, of the Pullman Company. It contained a mall (an indoor arcade that housed all the shops), a five-room library stocked with 5,000 volumes donated by Pullman himself, a school with a playground (a rarity in 1880), a park with a miniature lake, a thousand-seat theater, a hotel, a bank, and a church. The streets were all paved and the houses had lawns manicured by the company.

"Pullman's idea was to provide his workers with a morally salubrious environment. The sale of liquor was prohibited (except at the hotel bar, too expensive for most residents); so was prostitution. Adult education classes were available; there was an athletic club; an eighty-piece military band gave free weekly concerts during the summer. The children were vaccinated for smallpox, and schooling from kindergarten through the eighth grade was free. The theater booked only entertainments suitable for family audiences.

"But Pullman also wanted his town to turn a profit. Everything in Pullman was owned by the Pullman Company, even the bank, and each facility, from the apartment houses to the church, was expected to yield a 6 percent return on its cost. (This requirement made the church so expensive that no denomination could afford to rent it, and the library had to charge an annual membership fee. It did not have many members.) Rents in Pullman were significantly higher than rents for comparable living space in Chicago, though it was widely agreed that the amenities were exceptional. Garbage and sewage were regularly disposed of, for example, something not exactly the norm in the working-class districts of Chicago. (The sewage was piped to a company farm outside the town, where it was put to an appropriate use.) Home ownership was prohibited, and the leases provided that any tenant could be evicted on ten days' notice. Until the Illinois legislature outlawed the practice, in 1891, rent was deducted automatically from the residents' paychecks. And as he did on his sleeping cars, Pullman employed 'spotters' -- informers -- to report derelictions. Residents who complained about the company risked eviction. By 1893, the population had reached 12,600. Seventy-two percent were immigrants. By 2010 the region had just over 7,000 residents.

§U.S. Culture

37 states had an age of consent of 10 years of age while 10 states kept an age of consent at 12, and Delaware maintained its age of consent at seven years, having lowered it from 10 in 1871 CE.


February 17 - Tsar Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt

§South Pacific


November 11 – Australian bushranger and bank robber Ned Kelly is hanged in Melbourne.


Hilo was threatened by lava during an eruption of Mauna Loa that began in May 1880 from vents on the northeast rift zone.


June 29 - France annexes Otaheite (Tahiti) The governor Henri Isidore Chessé, supported by the Tahitian chiefs, pushed Pōmare V to abdicate in favor of France, he accepted. On the 29th June 1880, he ceded Tahiti to France along with the islands that were its dependencies. He was given the titular position of Officer of the Orders of the Legion of Honour and Agricultural Merit of France. Having become a colony, Tahiti thus lost all sovereignty. Tahiti was nevertheless a special colony, since all the subjects of the Kingdom of Pōmare would be given French citizenship.


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