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<< | 1891-1900 CE | 1892 CE >>


§British Central African Protectorate

May 15 - British Central African Protectorate (now Malawi) forms


January 1 - French troops occupy Nioro, West-Sudan, 3000 killed

February 18 - Captain Archinard's army fights with Nyamina of Niger in West-Sudan

February 24 - French troops under captain Archinard occupy Diena West Sudan


May 7 - Battle in Bunyoro: Captain F Lugard stops Moslem rebellion, 300 killed



May 11 - Otsu Incident: Czarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich of Russia survives an assassination attempt while visiting Japan.

October 27 - An 8.0 earthquake strikes the village of Utsuzumi in rural Gifu, Japan, killing over 7,000 across the region and creating a 3-meter-tall surface fault that is still visible.



March 18 - France is linked to Britain by Telephone

April 1 - London-Paris telephone connection opens

April 1 - Painter Gauguin leaves Marseille for Tahiti

May 1 - Troops fire on a workers' May Day demonstration in support of the 8-hour workday in Fourmies, France, killing 9 and wounding 30.


January 1 - Paying of old age pensions begins in Germany.

§Great Britain

March 9 - Thomas Cutbush, a mental patient, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding, he was committed to Broadmoor, where he died in 1903. He is believed to be one of the principle suspects of the Jack the Ripper murders. After his arrest the murders ceased.

March 17 - British Steamer "Utopia" sinks off Gibraltar killing 574

March 18 - Britain is linked to the continent by Telephone

May 6 - Conductors on London General Omnibus Company go on strike


April 11 - Eight year old Jewish tailor's daughter disappears in Greece, rumor spreads that she was a Christian girl ritually killed by Jews


May 15 - Operations begin at Philips and Co in Holland

August 21 - Dutch Mackay government resigns


May 15 - Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Rerum Novarum, resulting in the creation of many Christian Democrat Parties throughout Europe.


January 31 - The Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto.


The 1891 Age of Consent Act was legislation introduced in British India to raise the age of consent of consummation from ten to twelve years.

§Middle East


The Tobacco Protest occurs in Iran. Nasir al-Din Shah, isolated in the private world of the Qajar court, was oblivious to ... rising discontent. In 1891 he sold the Iranian tobacco industry for the sum of £15,000. Under the terms of the concession, every farmer who grew tobacco was required to sell it to the British Imperial Tobacco Company, and every smoker had to buy it at a shop that was part of British Imperial's retail network.

§North America


June 16 - John Abbott becomes Canada's third prime minister.

§United States

January 20 - Jim Hogg becomes the first native Texan to be governor of that state.

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

January 27 - Mine explosion kills 109 at Mount Pleasant Pennsylvania

February 6 - First great train robbery by Dalton Gang (Southern Pacific #17)

February 7 - Great Blizzard of 1891 begins

February 7 - The first basketball game was played in Herkimer, New York, a full-year prior to the Naismith and Springfield claims. Lambert Will, a sports athlete from Herkimer and part-time employee of the Herkimer, Y.M.C.A., was the originator of the sport. Basloe also stated Lambert Will had written a letter to Naismith in 1891, who at the time was employed as the Athletic Director at the Springfield Y.M.C.A., asking him if he would organize a team to play Herkimer. Will had included in the letter, the concept and rules of this new game. Naismith, new to this position, had been hired earlier that month to specifically create a new winter indoor sports program which was to include a new sport he was to invent. Naismith never responded to Will's letter. Naismith would go on to organized a basketball team in Springfield and later go on to promote himself as the sport's creator.

February 9 - First shipment of asparagus arrives in San Francisco from Sacramento

February 26 - First buffalo purchased for Golden Gate Park

March 21 - A Hatfield marries a McCoy, ends long feud in West Virginia it started with an accusation of pig-stealing and lasted 20 years

April 25 - President Benjamin Harrison visits San Francisco

May 1 - Cy Young pitches 1st game played in Cleveland's League Park Cleveland Spiders 12, Cincinnati Redlegs 3

May 5 - The Music Hall in New York (now known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with maestro Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.

June 29 - National Forest Service organized

July 30 - At the age of 35, Nikola Tesla became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He told many of his companions that he valued the citizenship more than any scientific honors that he had acquired. In the same year, Tesla established his South Fifth Avenue laboratory in New York.

August 17 - First public bathhouse with showers opens in New York City (People's Bath)

September 14 - The "Empire State Express" train travels from New York City to East Buffalo, a distance of 436 miles, in a record 7 hours 6 minutes

November 10-19 - First Convention of the World’s Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Held in Boston, MA. By this time the organization had a worldwide membership of more than 183,000.

December - James Naismith claims to invent basketball while working for the YMCA Training School. It was more likely invented by Lambert Will earlier in the year and stolen by Naismith. Dated photos of the first game prove Will's claim.

§U.S. Industry

March 15 Jesse W. Reno patents the first escalator at Coney Beach.

April 1 - The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago.

May 16 - George A Hormel and Co introduce Spam

May 20 - Thomas Alva Edison's prototype kinetoscope is first displayed at Edison's Laboratory, for a convention of the National Federation of Women's Clubs.

June 21 - First long-distance transmission of alternating current by the Ames power plant near Telluride, Colorado by Lucien and Paul Nunn.

July 7 - American Express patents the travelers check with the first check being issued August 5.

August 17 - Electric self-starter for automobile patented

August 24 - Thomas Edison patents motion picture camera

Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla coil. Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transmission as early as 1891. This so-called Tesla effect refers to the movement of energy through space and matter.

On November 7 Whitcomb L. Judson filed a patent on the zipper. The patent, 504038, was titled: CLASP LOCKER OR UNLOCKER FOR SHOES. The patent issued August 29, 1893. Other interesting patents this year were the threshing machine and the first vending machine (apparatus) by Sidney Whiteside. Invented, probably to stand next to the vending apparatus was the COIN CONTROLLED PHOTOGRAPH APPARATUS.

December 29 - Edison patents "transmission of signals electrically" (radio)

§U.S. Law

March 3 - The International Copyright Act of 1891 is passed by the Fifty-first United States Congress.

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

§U.S. Politics

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

December 7 - 52nd Congress (1st to appropriate $1 billion) holds 1st session


April 23 - Jews are expelled from Moscow, Russia

May 31 N.S. (May 19 O.S.) - In the area of Kuperovskaya fold in Vladivostok, a ceremony marking the grand laying of the Trans-Siberian Railroad is carried out and a service on this occasion is held. Czarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich (future emperor Nikolai II) takes part in this ceremony.

August 27 - France and Russia conclude a defensive alliance.

§South America


Civil war occurs in Chile.


May 12 - Riot against tax increase in Paramaribo Suriname

§South Pacific

§Hawaiian Islands

On January 20th King David Kalakaua died after an illness at a hotel in San Francisco. His final words were, "Tell my people I tried." His remains were returned to Honolulu aboard the American cruiser, USS Charleston (C-2). Because he and his wife, Queen Kapiolani, did not have any children, Kalakaua's sister, Liliʻuokalani, succeeded him to the Hawaiian throne.

On January 17th, Liliʻuokalani, originally named Lydia Kamakaʻeha, also known as Lydia Kamakaʻeha Paki, and by her married name, Lydia K. Dominis, became the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Like Kalakaua before her, she began her reign by touring five of the eight islands.

Shortly after Liliʻuokalani gained power, she tried to abrogate the existing Bayonet Constitution and draft a new constitution that would restore power to the monarchy. American and European subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii, threatened by the elimination of suffrage by the queen's proposed constitution, asserted that the queen had "virtually abdicated" by trying to subvert the constitution and organized to depose her. Besides the threatened loss of suffrage, business interests within the Kingdom were concerned about the removal of foreign tariffs in the American sugar trade due to the McKinley Act (which effectively eliminated the favored status of Hawaiian sugar due to the Reciprocity Treaty), and considered the possibility of annexation to the United States (and enjoying the same sugar bounties as domestic producers) as a welcome side effect of ending the monarchy.


June 9 - Painter Gauguin arrives in Papeete, Tahiti


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