BROWSE DECADES
   
 

1870's

1650  1660  1670  1680  1690  1700  1710  1720  1730  1740  1750  1760  1770  1780  1790  1800  1810  1820  1830  1840  1850  1860  1870  1880  1890  1900  1910  1920  1930  1940  1950  1960  1970  1980  1990  2000 

     
 
 

Events of the Decade:

Franco-Prussian War. German Empire emerges in triumph; German Empire proclaimed by Bismarck with single Reich
Russia vs. Turkey and Roumania
Major fires in Chicago (The Great Chicago Fire),Boston and Peshtigo, Wisconsin
British Zulu War
Transvaal Republic founded- South Africa born
Civil War in Spain; Spain proclaimed a Republic
Sioux Indian War
Independence of Korea by China
Cities of Buda and Pest united as capital of Hungary
Population figures:
Germany 41 million
U.S. 39 million
France 36.1 million
Japan 33 million
Great Britain 26 million
Ireland 5.4 million
Italy 26.8 million
Armies of the world:
Russia 3,360,000
Germany 2,800,000
France 412,000
Great Britain 113,649
Emigration to U.S.
From U.K. 548,043
Ireland 436,871

Who's 'In':

President Ulysses S. Grant
President Rutherford B. Hayes
King William I of Prussia
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
British PM: Benjamin Disraeli
Emperor Kwang-su of China
Swimmer Matthew Webb
President Porfirio Diaz of Mexico
King Humbert I of Italy
King Alfonso XII, Bourbon king of Spain
Presidents Louis A. Thiers, Marie Edmé Patrice Maurice de MacMahon, and Jules Grévy of France
David Livingstone and William Morton Stanley
Capt. Matthew Webb, first to swim English Channel

Who Died:

Over nine million Chinese in severe droughts and...
Over three million in India from cholera after crops fail
Labrador Duck species becomes extinct
300 dead in the Great Fire of Chicago
Slave markets and slave exports in Zanzibar
1,300 British killed by Zulus in Transvaal
Charles Dickens, 58
Alexandre Dumas (père), 67
John Herschel, 79
Horace Greeley
Samuel Morse, 80
Théophile Gautier, 61
David Livingstone, 88
John Stuart Mill, 67
Camille Corot, 78
Georges Bizet, 36
J.F. Millet, 61
Hans Christian Andersen, 70
Gustave Courbet, 58
Italy King Victor Emmanuel
Pope Pius IX, 85
Honoré Daumier, 71
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Chang & Eng (Siamese Twins)
Henry Steinway
David Livingstone
George Sand
Robert Houdin
Howard Staunton
Gen. George Armstrong Custer
Samuel Wilberforce
Wild Bill Hickok
Admiral David Farragut
Brigham Young
William H. Seward
General Robert E. Lee
Pierre Larousse

Bad Guys:

William "Boss" Tweed
Famine in Bengal, India
Jesse & Frank James
Jack McCall, killer of Wild Bill Hickok
Convicted cannibal Alfred Packer
Fur farming begins in Canada
Bank robber George L. "Western" Leslie

What's 'In':

Rome as the capital of Italy
Diamonds in South Africa
Casino at Monte Carlo
Emile Raynaud's Praxinoscope moving picture device
Saccharin
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
A roller-skating rink in England
Thomas Cook tours around the world and their first traveler's checks
Vaseline
Lawn tennis introduced
Standard Oil Company opens for business
Condoms made of vulcanized rubber
Correspondence courses by mail
Mr. Proctor and Mr. Gamble's floating soap, Ivory
Rubber watering hoses
Inter-collegiate football games played by the new Harvard Rules of Football
Pullman dining cars
Sliding into base and the bunt in baseball
Electric street lighting in London
Arbor Day celebrations
Kindergartens in schools
American-made bicycles
The Refrigerator
Tennis championships at Wimbledon
Trades Unions in Britain
The Brooklyn Bridge
Mr. Remington's type-writer
Alexander Graham Bell's telephone
Shipping frozen meat
from Argentina to Europe; Australian frozen meat in Britain
National League Baseball
Oleomargarine
First Sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta
Woolworth's 5¢ Store
Yellowstone - first National Park in America
Postcards with stamps printed on them
Polo in America
The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs
Canadian Mounties (Northwest Mounted Police).
Bicycle races in U.S.
The banana introduced to America
Discovery of the ruins of Troy
America's first zoo at Philadelphia
World's first cable car in San Francisco
Thomas Alva Edison's Phonograph (Wax Cylinder Machine), incandescent light bulb and his mimeograph machine
Montgomery Ward mail order catalogues
American Bar Association
Third Avenue El opens
Remington's Type-writer.
Rome - capital of Italy
Edison Electric Company
U.S. Weather Bureau
National Rifle Association (NRA) and the invention of the repeater rifle by Mannlicher
Society for the prevention of cruelty to children
Other new inventions: corrugated packing paper, DDT, Corncob pipe, barbed wire, the cigar lighter, cigarette manufacturing machine, the cash register, alarm clock, process for making cement, Sprinkler head, the truss, "the catamaran" boat, the electric dentists drill , baseball catcher's mask and the machine to cut blocks of wood into toothpicks, the microphone

Entertainment:

Barnum & Bailey's circus- "The Greatest Show on Earth"
Vienna World Exhibition
World Exhibition at Philadelphia
Paris World Exhibition
Musical comedy performers Harrigan and Hart
Turgeniev's play "A Month in the Country"
Actresses Eleanora Duse's and Ellen Terry début
Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas "Thespis," "Trial by Jury," and "H.M.S. Pinafore
Henrik Ibsen's plays "The Pillars of Society," "A Doll's House"
Strindberg's "The Red Room"
Georg Büchner's "Woyzeck"

Music:

Royal Albert Hall, London opens
Bayreuth Festspielhaus opens with first complete performance of Wagner's "Ring"
Verdi's "Aïda" first performed in Cairo, and "Requiem" in Milan
Bizet's "Carmen" first produced in Paris
Johann Strauss's opera "Die Fledermaus" first produced in Vienna
César Franck's oratorio "Les Béatitudes"
Moussorgsky's opera "Boris Godunov" premieres in Petrograde
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2, 1st Piano Concerto in B flat minor, "Francesca da Rimini," "Symphony No. 4 in F minor, ballet "Swan Lake," opera "Eugene Onegin"
Wagner's operas "Die Walküre," "Siegfried"
Anton Bruckner's 2nd, and 6th Symphonies
Saint-Saëns" symphonic poem "Le Rouet d"Omphale," and opera "Samson and Delilah"
Borodin's Symphony No 2 in B minor
Dvorák's "Three Slavonic Rhapsodies"
"Ivan the Terrible," opera by Rimsky-Korsakov
Brahms 1st Symphony in C minor, Symphony No. 2 in D, Violin Concerto in D, Hungarian Dances
Ponchielli's opera "La Gioconda" in Milan
Hit song: Frankie and Johnny Were Lovers

Literature:

Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass," "The Hunting of the Snark, an Agony in Eight Fits"
Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina"
Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days"
George Eliot's "Middlemarch"
published in installments every other month in Blackwood's magazine
Horatio Alger's Tattered Tom Series
Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas"
Émile Zola's starts his series "Les Rougon-Macquart," and "L"Assommoir"
Henry James" "The American," "Daisy Miller"
Charles Dickens unfinished novel "Edwin Drood"
Dostoievsky's "The House of the Dead"
Thomas Hardy's "The Return of the Native"
Robert Louis Stevenson's "Travels with a Donkey"
Swinburne's "Poems and Ballads"
Rosetti's "Poems"
Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat"
Louisa May Alcott "Little Men"

Art:

Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Third impressionist exhibition, Paris
Claude Monet's "Sunrise," "Boating at Argenteuil," "Camille Monet in the Garden at the House in Argenteuil," "Gare St.-Lazare"
Manet's "Le Bon Bock"; The Salon rejects his "Nana"
Boudin's "Canal in Brussels"
Henri Fantin-Latour's "Miss Edith Crowe," "Roses," "Peonies"
Gustave Moreau's "Salome Dancing Before Herod," "King David"
Winslow Homer's "The Cotton-Pickers," "Country School"
Corot's "Femme à la Perle," "Souvenir d"Italie," "The Gypsies"
Whistler's "The Artist's Mother"
Degas" "Le Foyer de la Danse"
Cézanne and Pissarro paint at Pontoise
Cézanne's shows 16 pictures at first Paris Impressionist Exhibition inc. "Straw Hat"
Renoir's "Au Théâtre," "Le Moulin de la Galette" "Mme Charpentier and her Children," "La Loge," "Eugène Murer," "Place Clichy"
Gauguin exhibits landscapes at the Salon, Paris
Rodin's sculptures "The Bronze Age," "John the Baptist"
Courbet's last painting "Marine-The Waterspout"

Fashion & Beauty:

Men:
Square-crowned felt hats
Ascot ties for "sportswear"
Trend toward padded shoulders
Homburg hats
"Broad-knotted" ties
Patterned suits, especially checks
Women:
Navy blue is the "in" color for bathing dresses
Bustles
Veiled silk hats
Veiled beaver hats

Media:

Christian Science Monitor founded by Mary Baker Eddy in Boston
Newspaper "agony" columns
World's first cartoon strip published in New York Daily Graphic
"Yale News"- first college daily newspaper.
The Washington Post founded
First Sunday edition - Philadelphia Times
First journalist University course at Univ. of Missouri
Thomas Nast cartoons in Harper's Weekly, the Journal of Civilization

Money:

Germany and U.S. goes gold standard;
Germany adopts the Mark and the Reichsbank is founded
Financial crisis in Europe spreads west; foreign investments in U.S. dry up; Bad times in Australia too.
Financial collapse of Turkey
Another "Black Friday" as Jay Cooke & Co. of Philadelphia fails provoking financial panic in U.S.
The silver dollar becomes legal U.S. tender.
Japanese open mint at Osaka
Leading American banker: J.P. Morgan
Boss Tweed takes $40,000 stock bribe for getting Brooklyn Bridge approved

Religion:

Jehovah's Witnesses founded
Jesuits thrown out of Germany and laws against them passed in France
Resurgence of Protestants in France
Unification of Presbyterians in England and Canada
Cardinal Giocchino Pecci becomes Pope Leo XIII
Roman Catholic hierarchy restored in Scotland
Mary Baker Eddy, pastor of Church of Christ Science, Boston
Pope Leo XIII

Science:

Discovery of gallium and scandium
The "Kelvin" developed for determining depth at sea
Development of the first-aid bandage and antiseptic iodoform
"Canals" observed on Mars by Schiaparelli
Cro-Magnon man's paintings discovered in caves in Spain
Leprosy and anthrax bacilli
Streptococci and staphylococci discovered by Billroth
Osteopathy founded in Kansas
London Medical School for Women
Oxygen liquefied
Staining and identification of bacteria

New Slang Words:

To abominate something
That's about the size of it
I can't believe my eyes
Someone is all thumbs
Make bricks without straw
Something is beneath contempt
Someone is a blue-blood
To eat humble pie
The burning question is...
A festive occasion
To fly/go off on a tangent
To give a wide berth to something
The love of a good woman
The grapes of wrath
Something goes hand in glove
A hard and fast rule
To have one's heart in the right place
Here, there and everywhere
It was not to be
To know where one stands
Something was loud enough to wake the dead
The missing link
A new lease on life
To have a nodding acquaintance with something
To demand one's pound of flesh
To rest on one's laurels
Something is rough and ready
Something is safe and sound
To (not) see eye-to-eye with someone
To sit on the fence about something
Six of one, half dozen of the other
Something is spick and span
Speaking tongue-in-cheek
That's about the size of it
Something is not half-bad
To be full of beans
To feel something in one's bones
To catch one's death of cold
To "dig in" (eat heartily)
Fit as a fiddle
Fish or cut bait
To have someone by the short hairs
It's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

 

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An introduction to History by Decades by Larry Belling. More...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
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