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<< 1881 CE | 1881-1890 CE | 1883 CE >>

§Of World Interest

March 24 - Robert Koch announces the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis).

Nikola Tesla conceives the rotating magnetic field principle and uses it to invent the alternating current generator/motor.

December 6- The Transit of Venus across the Sun



March 20 - British gunboats enter Monrovia, with Arthur Havelock demanding that Liberia cede disputed territory to the British colony of Sierra Leone.

§Republic of Stellaland

July 26 - Boers establish the republic of Stellaland in southern Africa.

§South Africa

Zulu king Cetshwayo returns to South Africa.

§Central America


After two years of surveys work on the Panama Canal, as conceived by de Lesseps, began.


May 20 - The Triple Alliance is formed between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.

May 20 - St. Gotthard-railroad tunnel between Switzerland and Italy opens


September 12 - Belgian King Leopold II receives Franco-Italian explorer, Pierre de Brazza. He is known for opening for France entry along the right bank of the Congo that eventually led to French colonies in Central Africa.

December 14 - Henry Morton Stanley returns to Brussels from the Congo


January 26 - Government of Léon Gambetta falls. Many suspected him of desiring a dictatorship; unjust attacks were directed against him from all sides, and his cabinet fell, after only sixty-six days. Had he remained in office, he would have cultivated the British alliance and cooperated with Britain in Egypt; and when the succeeding Freycinet government shrank from that enterprise only to see it undertaken with signal success by Britain alone, Gambetta's foresight was quickly justified.

He was succeeded by Charles de Freycinet. In January 1882 he again became president of the council and minister for foreign affairs. His refusal to join England in the bombardment of Alexandria was the death-knell of French influence in Egypt. He attempted to compromise by occupying the Isthmus of Suez, but the vote of credit was rejected in the Chamber by 417 votes to 75, and the ministry resigned.

March 28 - Republican Jules Ferry makes primary education in France free, non-clerical (laique) and obligatory.

May 6 - North Sea Fisheries Convention is signed by United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and France to regulate the policy of the fisheries in the North Sea.

December 11 - Victorien Sardous "Fedora," with Sarah Bernhardt, premieres in Paris

December 31 - Léon Gambetta, at his house in Ville d'Avray, near Sèvres, was killed by an accidental discharge from a revolver.


German food regulations released in 1882 stipulated the exclusion of dangerous minerals such as arsenic, copper, chromium, lead, mercury and zinc, which were frequently used as colorants.

March 24 - Robert Koch discovers bacillus cause of TB

September 10 - First international conference to promote anti-semitism meets Dresden Germany (Congress for Safeguarding of Non-Jewish Interests)


The "Invincibles" (militant Irish republicans) kill Lord Frederick Cavendish, chief secretary for Ireland and permanent undersecretary T.H. Burke in Phoenix Park, Dublin;


January 17 - First Dutch female physician Aletta Jacobs opens her office

February 12 - Social-Democratic Union forms in Amsterdam

December 2 - Amsterdam Artis Zoo opens aquarium


May 15 May Laws-Czar Alexander III bans Jews from living in rural Romania


March 6 - Monarch Milan Obrenovic of Serbia crowns himself king

§United Kingdom

The British Chartered Institute of Patent Agents is founded (now called Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys).

The Married Women's Property Act 1882 in Britain enables women to buy, own and sell property and to keep their own earnings.

March 2 - Roderick Maclean fails to assassinate Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.


June 5-6 - A cyclone in the Arabian Sea causes flooding in Bombay harbor, leaving about 100,000 dead.

§Middle East


British troops moved in to protect the Suez Canal during the civil war in Egypt. It would be declared a neutral zone in 1888.

June 10 Anti-colonization mass society of Alexandria Egypt kills 50 Europeans

June 11 - The Urabi Revolt breaks out in Egypt against the Khedive and European influence in that country.

July 11 - British troops occupy Alexandria and the Suez Canal. The British fleet bombs Alexandria.

August 16 - British under General Wolseley land in Alexandria

September 13 - Battle at Count el-Kebir: British troops enter Cairo, and Egypt becomes a British protectorate.

September 14 - British General Wolseley reaches Cairo

September 15 - British General Wolseley occupies Cairo


July 6 - 14 Russian Jews of Bilu, arrive in Jaffa Palestine


March - Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian claims to be the 'Reformer of Islam' or Majaddid of the Muslim 14th century.

§North America

§United States

January 15 - First U.S. ski club forms, Berlin, New Hampshire

February 3 - P. T. Barnum purchases the elephant Jumbo.

February 7 - Last bare knuckle champion John L Sullivan KOs Paddy Ryan in Miss

March 25 - First demonstration of pancake making (Department store in New York City)

April 3 - Jesse James is shot in the back and killed by Robert Ford.

Thousands of New Yorkers met the ship delivering Jumbo on April 9, 1882, and followed the procession through packed and cheering streets to the Hippodrome building - now named Madison Square Garden - where the circus was about to open. Barnum claimed the elephant had cost him $30,000 in all [almost $1,000,000 in today's dollars], but that sum would prove to be nothing beside the earnings power Jumbo proceeded to demonstrate. In the first three weeks, he pulled in $3,000 a day, covering more than his entire cost. For the years ahead, astronomical receipts were credited to his presence."

May 8 - David Belasco's "La Belle Russe," premieres in New York City

June 17 - Tornado kills 130 in Iowa

July 4 - Telegraph Hill Observatory opens in San Francisco

July 8 - Archer gang member, Little Mart Archer was murdered. Thomas Archer's son, Martin "Little Mart" Archer, Samuel Marley (Thomas Acrher's nephew by marriage), and Sam Bunch stole some logs that were being transported down the White River headed for Illinois. Samuel Marley and Sam Bunch proceeded to sell the logs and to not give Little Mart his fair share of the money. Needless to say, Little Mart was very upset and the other's decided to murder Little Mart versus paying him his share of the money. Samuel Marley was the trigger man who shot Little Mart.

July 12 - First ocean pier in U.S. completed, Washington, D.C.

August 7 - Hatfields of south WV and McCoys of east Kentucky feud, 100 wounded or die

September 4 - First district lit by electricity (NY's Pearl Street Station)

September 5 - 10,000 workers march in 1st Labor Day parade in New York City

December 11 - Boston's Bijou Theatre, 1st American playhouse lit exclusively by electricity, 1st performance, Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe"

December 22 - First string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison

§U.S. Business and Industry

Procter & Gamble Co.begins advertising Ivory soap with an unprecedented budget of $11,000.

Nikola Tesla conceives the rotating magnetic field principle and uses it to invent the alternating current generator/motor.

January 2 - John D. Rockefeller unites his oil holdings into the Standard Oil trust. It was because of anti-monopoly laws that Standard Oil is organized as a trust.

March 3 - New York Steam Corp begins distributing steam to Manhattan buildings

March 9 - False teeth patented

April 10 - Matson founds his shipping company (San Francisco and Hawaii)

June 6 - Electric iron patented by Henry W Seely, New York City

August 5 - Standard Oil of New Jersey is established.

September 4 - Edison switched on the world's first electrical power distribution system, providing 110 volts direct current (DC) to 59 customers in lower Manhattan, around his Pearl Street laboratory.

September 18 - Pacific Stock Exchange opens (as Local Security Board)

§U.S. Law

March 16 - U.S. Senate ratifies treaty establishing the Red Cross

March 22 - Polygamy is made a felony by the Edmunds Act as passed by the U.S. Congress. Section 8 says that bigamists are disqualified as voters and ineligible to appointments.

May 6 - The Chinese Exclusion Act is the first important law which restricts immigration into the U.S.A.

June 30 - U.S. presidential assassin Charles Guiteau is hanged.

August 3 - The U.S. Congress passes the 1882 Immigration Act.

The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 is deemed unconstitutional. The Court's decision in United States v. Harris (1882) invalidated the criminal conspiracy section of the act. This meant that the States were primarily responsible for civil rights, not the Federal government. Black Codes reappeared in the STates and melded with a system of social apartheid that became known as "Jim Crow."

§U.S. Religion

February 2 - Founded the previous year, The Knights of Columbus are incorporated in New Haven, Connecticut, as a mutual benefit society.


January 25 - Bilu, a Russian Zionist organization, forms

February 10 - Rimski-Korsakovs opera "Snyegurochka," premieres in St. Petersburg

July 13 - 200 die as train derails near Tcherny, Russia

§Southeast Asia


September 3 - French/Vietnamese/Chinese battle at Hanoi, 100s die

§South Pacific

§New Zealand

February 15 - First cargo of frozen meat leaves New Zealand for Britain, on SS Dunedin


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