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1606 - The "Susan Constant," "Godspeed" and "Discovery" set sail from London. Their landing at Jamestown, Virginia, was the start of the first permanent English settlement in America

1620 - The Pilgrim Fathers landed at New Plymouth, Ma., to found Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor

1622 - The Papal Chancery adopted January 1st as the beginning of the New Year (instead of March 25th)

1675 - The first corporation was chartered in the United States. The company was the New York Fishing Company

1690 the first American newspaper was published

1690 - The first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts colony. The currency was used to pay soldiers who were fighting in the war against Quebec.

1695 - The window tax was imposed in Britain, which resulted in many windows being bricked up

1696 - Born: James Oglethorpe, colonist: founded city of Savannah, Georgia; colonized Georgia; died June 30, 1785

1726 - The slang word "yahoo" first appeared in Swift's book Gulliver's Travels as the name of a race of sub-human brutes

1735 - Born: Paul Revere, silversmith, American revolutionary hero: "The British are coming!", member of Sons of Liberty and participant in Boston Tea Party; died May 10, 1818

1751---Born: James Madison, fourth president of the United States; died June 28, 1836.

1752 - The Pennsylvania Hospital opened as the very first hospital in America.

1752 - Flag seamstress Betsy Ross in January

1757 - Born: Alexander Hamilton, (statesman) First U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; died in duel with rival Aaron Burr July 11, 1804

1764 - The city of St. Louis was established.

1767 - Born Andrew Jackson, 7th U.S. President in 1829-1837; died June 8, 1845.

1770 - The first shipment of rhubarb was sent to the United States from London

1770 - Born Ludwig van Beethoven, composer: although totally deaf, led orchestra in premiere performance of his Ninth Symphony; died Mar. 26, 1827

1772 - The first traveler�s checks were issued by Thomas Cooks of London

1773 - Nearly 350 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbour off of British merchant ships by Colonial rebels. The revolutionaries who disguised themselves as native Americans, launched their protest in response to trading privileges granted to the British East India Company

1773 - Born Sir George Cayley, pilot: first manned glider flight; scientist: 'father of aerodynamics': designed gliders, helicopters, airplanes; died Dec. 15, 1857

1773 - William Henry Harrison, 9th U.S. President in 1841; caught a cold on inauguration day and died 30 days later on April 4; served shortest term of any U.S. president.

1775 - Born Jane Austen, author: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility; died July 18, 1817

1777 - France recognized American independence

1778 - The United States gained official recognition from France as the two nations signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris.

1783 - Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.

1783 - George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon, after the disbanding of his army following the Revolutionary War

1785 - Born: Jakob Grimm, librarian; fairy tale author [with brother, Wilhelm]: Hansel and Grethel, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White; died Sept. 20, 1863

1787 - New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

1788 - Georgia became the 4th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1788 - Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1788 - The state of Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government. About two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia

1789 - Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.

1790---The shoestring was invented in England. Prior to this time, all shoes were fastened with buckles.

1790 - The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, RI.

1790 - In the United States, George Washington delivered the first State of the Union address

1791 - Vermont became the 14th state of the union.

1791 - A traffic regulation in New York City established the first street to go "One Way"

1791 - In the U.S., the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect

1793 - Born: Sam Houston, fought for Texas' independence from Mexico; President of Republic of Texas; U.S. Senator; died July 26, 1863.

1799 - Jedediah Smith, explorer: helped to create Oregon Trail; 1st American to reach California by land, 1st to travel Pacific Coast from San Diego to Canada by land; killed by Comanche warriors in the spring of 1831 while looking for water on the Santa Fe Trail

1799---The Congress of the United States standardized weights and measures. Which meant that henceforth a foot would mean twelve inches, a yardstick would be three feet or 36" long, and that two pints would be a quart.

1800 - U.S. Congress met for the first time in the new capital, Washington, D.C., and President John Adams became the first occupant of the Executive Mansion (later called the White House).

1800's---No one was really in the habit of exchanging elaborate gifts until late in the 1800s. The tradition of a Christmas tree was widespread in Germany, then moved to England and then to America through Pennsylvanian German immigrants.

1800 - Napoleon Bonaparte established himself as first consul in France.

1801 - Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as the third president of the United States; he was the first to be inaugurated in the new capital of Washington.

1801- France and Austria signed the Peace of Luneville, effectively ending the Holy Roman Empire.

1802 - the United States Congress passed an act establishing a military academy at West Point, New York.

1803 - Ohio was admitted as the 17th American state.

1803 - The United States Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million. The transfer was completed with formal ceremonies in New Orleans

1804 - The formal ceremonies transferring the Louisiana Purchase from France to the U.S. took place in St. Louis.

1805 - The Michigan Territory was created

1807 - Born; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet of The Song of Hiawatha, Paul Revere's Ride, The Wreck of the Hesperus; died Mar 24, 1882

1807 -Born: Robert E. Lee, Civil War: Confederate General; died Oct. 12, 1870

1807 - The U.S. Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe

1808 - The U.S. prohibited import of slaves from Africa

1809 - Born: Louis Braille, developed system of writing that could be felt and interpreted by the blind; not widely recognized until after his death; died Jan 6, 1852

1809 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state.

1809 - Born: Charles Darwin, naturalist: theory of evolution: On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection; died Apr 19, 1882

1809 - Born: Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President [1861-1865]; married to Mary Todd [four sons]; assassinated Apr 15, 1865

1810 - The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

1812 - Charles Lewis Tiffany, jeweller who's name is synonymous with highest quality jewelry; died Feb 18,1902

1812 - Born: Samuel Smiles, writer: Thrift: "A place for everything and everything in its place."; died Apr. 16, 1904

1812 - Charles Dickens, novelist: David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist; died June 9, 1870

1813 - The British burned Buffalo, NY, during the War of 1812

1815 - The Battle of New Orleans began. The War of 1812 had officially ended on December 24, 1814, with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The news of the signing had not reached British troops in time to prevent their attack on New Orleans

1815 - Ada Lovelace, born December 10, wrote a scientific paper that anticipated the development of computer software, artificial intelligence and computer music.

1815 - The world's first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.

1817--- The first commercial steamboat route was opened. It ran from Louisville to New Orleans.

1818 - "Silent Night" was performed for the first time, at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria

1819 - United States acquired Florida from Spain 1820 - Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1821 - Mexico declared independence from Spain

1821 - Born: Clara Barton, nurse; founder of American Red Cross; died Apr. 12, 1912

1822 - Born: Louis Pasteur, chemist, scientist: developed pasteurization process, rabies vaccination; died Sept. 28, 1895

1822---Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nick," which was later published as "The Night Before Christmas."

1823 - Stephen F. Austin received a grant from the Mexican government and began colonization in the region of the Brazos River in Texas

1823 - The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore (" 'Twas the night before Christmas...") was published

1824 - The U.S. War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Seneca Indian Ely Parker became the first Indian to lead the Bureau.

1824 - J.W. Goodrich introduced rubber galoshes to the public.

1824 - Born: Stonewall (Thomas) Jackson, Confederate General: one of the Civil War's most famous military officers; died May 10, 1863

1825 - The U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president. 1827, composer and pianist Ludwig Van Beethoven, who had a lasting influence on the development of music, died at the age of 56.

1825 - Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett of New York City patented a canning process to preserve salmon, oysters and lobsters

From: The Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.)
July 12,1826---Intelligence has been received, that these distinguished men have gone off the stage of action. On the same day--on the 4th of July--on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence--both of them members of the Committee which framed that Declaration--both of them Ex-Presidents of the United States--did they close their mortal eyes upon our country, which they had seen progressing in prosperity and glory for half a century; and in whose government they had borne so conspicuous a part.
The coincidence is most singular & most interesting.---John Adams died at Quincy, Mass. at 6 o'clock, and Thomas Jefferson, at Monticello, Vir. at 10 minutes before 1 o'clock, on the anniversary of our Independence--the 4th of this instant!
The age of the former was 91 years, of the latter 83.
But one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence yet survives!--Charles Carroll (of Carrollton).

1828 - First edition of Noah Webster's dictionary is published.

1828 - Born: Jules Verne, 'the father of science fiction': writer: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days; died Mar 24, 1905

1829 - Born Feb. 28, Levi Strauss, creator of blue jeans or Levi's; died Sept. 26, 1902

1828---Poinsettias were attached to Christmas.

1831 - Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin's discoveries during the voyage helped him form the basis of his theories on evolution

1831 - Born: George Pullman, inventor of the railroad sleeping car; and founder of the Pullman Palace Car Company; died Oct 19, 1897

1832 -raincoats were invented, in Scotland

1832 - Abraham Lincoln, of New Salem, Illinois, announced he was running for political office for the first time. He campaigned for a seat in the Illinois state legislature; He didn't win.

1832 - Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), mathematician, writer: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass; died Jan 14, 1898

1835 - In New York, 530 buildings were destroyed by fire

1836 - Mexico's independence was recognized by Spain

1836---Samuel Colt patented his revolver in the U.S.

1836 - Texas adopted Declaration of Independence from Mexico.

1836 - Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, leading several thousand Mexican troops, began besieging the Alamo mission settlement

1836 - Samuel Colt made the first pistol, a .34-caliber 'Texas' model.

1836 - The siege of the Alamo ended when Mexican troops under Santa Anna captured the mission fort garrisoned by Davey Crockett and 154 Texans.

1837 - Michigan became the 26th state.

1838 - Born: General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton), entertainer: world's most famous midget; died July 15, 1883

1838 - Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph code he had devised using dots and dashes as letters. The code was the predecessor to Samuel Morse's code

1839 - Mr. William S. Otis, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patented the steam shovel.

1840's---The first commercial American valentines.

1840---The custom of sending Christmas cards started in Britain

1841---President William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia after serving one month. He was the first to die in office.

1841 - The word dinosaur was just invented

1842 - Hawaii's independence was recognised by the U.S

1843 - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published in England

1843 - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens was published

1843 - Francis Scott Key, the poet who penned the national anthem of the United States of America, died at the age of 63

1845---The last descendant of the musical Bach family died.

1845 - Dr. Crawford Williamson Long used anaesthesia for childbirth for the first time. The event was the delivery of his own child in Jefferson, Georgia

1845 - U.S. President James Polk and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States

1845 - Florida was admitted as the 27th state of the union.

1845 - The U.S. Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

1846 - Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began their exodus to the west from Illinois.

1846 - Born: William Cody (Buffalo Bill); died Jan 10, 1917

1846 - Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union

1846---Christmas cards started in America.

1847 - Born: Alexander Graham Bell, teacher of the deaf; inventor of telephone; founder of Bell Telephone Company; died Aug 2, 1922 1847 - Born: Thomas Alva Edison, inventor; died Oct 18, 1931 1848 - The Communist Manifesto was published.

1848 - The first shipload of Chinese emigrants arrived in San Francisco, CA.

1848 - James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California. The discovery led to the gold rush of '49

1848---JOHN B CURTIS of Bangor, Maine, first manufactured chewing gum

1848---The "Communist Manifesto" was published by authors, Frederich Engels and Karl Marx.

1849---James Polk's incumbency ended on a Sunday. His successor, Zachary Taylor, refused to be sworn in on the Sabbath.

1849 - For the first time, regular steamboat service to California by Cape Horn arrived in San Francisco. On October 6, 1848, the "SS California" left New York Harbour, making the trip in four months, 21 days.

1849 - The first photograph of a U.S. President, while in office, was taken by Matthew Brady in New York City. President James Polk was the subject of the picture.

1850 - Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.

1850--The American Navy abolished flogging as a punishment

1850---The type of sweet corn Americans enjoy today was first cultivated.

1851 the first edition of the NEW YORK TIMES was published.

1853 - The United States bought about 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase

1854 - In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine was put into use

1854 - Charles Miller received a patent for the sewing machine that stitched buttonholes.

1856 - Borax (hydrated sodium borate) was discovered by Dr. John Veatch

1857---A group called the Mystik Krewe of Comus staged the first modern-style Mardi Gras parade.

1858 - Born: Giacomo Puccini, musician, Italian opera composer: La Boheme, Tosca, Madame Butterfly; died Nov. 29, 1924

1859 - Born: George Ferris, inventor: Ferris wheel; died Nov 22, 1896

1860---In 1860, the illustrator and caricaturist Thomas Nast, who was working for the New York newspaper Harper's Illustrated Weekly, dressed Santa Claus in a red costume trimmed with white fur and held up with a wide leather belt.

1860 - The Pony Express only lasted 18 months, from April to October

1860 - South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union

1860 - First Pony Express rider arrives in SF from St. Joseph, Missouri.

1861 - Samuel Goodale patented the moving picture peep show machine.

1861 - In America, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.

1862 - The first paper money of the United States government was issued.

1862 - U.S. President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union

1863 - Born: George Santayana, philosopher/writer: The Last Puritan; "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."; died Sept. 26, 1952

1863---American president ABRAHAM LINCOLN officially designated the last Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day

1863 - Samuel Langhorne Clemens used a pseudonym for the first time. He is better remembered by the pseudonym which is Mark Twain.

1863 - The fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane.

1864---The first book was published: How To Do It; or,Directions for Knowing or Doing Everything Needful

1864---Born: Songwriter Stephen Foster ("Oh Susanna," "Camptown Races") died at age 37

1865 - The coffee percolator was patented by James H. Mason

1865 - Abraham Lincoln assassinated in Ford's Theater.

1867 - The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson.

1867 - Nebraska became the 37th state of the Union.

1867 - Laura Ingalls Wilder, writer: Little House series including Little House on the Prairie and Little House in the Big Woods; died Feb 10, 1957

1867---The first year that Macy's department store in New York City remained open until midnight on Christmas Eve.

1868 - Born: Harvey Firestone, industrialist: founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company; died Feb. 7, 1938

1869 - The Suez Canal , Egypt, was opened, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas.

1870's---The first Easter Egg rolls were held during the administration of President Andrew Johnson.

1870---Rome was declared the capital of Italy

1870 - John D. Rockerfeller incorporated Standard Oil

1870 - The United States Weather Bureau was authorized by Congress. The bureau is officially known as the National Weather Service.

1870 - The state of Virginia rejoined the Union.

1871 - Andrew S. Hallidie received a patent for a cable car system

1871 - Corrugated paper was patented by Albert L. Jones

1871 - Henry W. Bradley patented oleomargarine

1871---The Great Fire of Chicago, Illinois, America, started. It lasted three days, killing more than 250 people and making 95,000 homeless

1872 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.

1872 - Yellowstone, the World's first National Park, was set up

1872 - George Westinghouse patented the air brake.

1874---1874 was the year of the first window displays with a Christmas theme at Macy's.

1875 - Born: FBI czar J. Edgar Hoover in January

1876---On June 25, 1876 George Armstrong Custer went to his last stand on the Little Big Horn river.

1876--- Sardines were first commercially canned.

1876---MELVILLE BISSELL, American inventor, patented the carpet sweeper.

1876 - All Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.

1876 - Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone.

1877---Guernsey Cattle Club, the very first of such organizations, was started.

1877 - The "American Bicycling Journal" went on sale for the first time

1877 - John Stevens applied for a patent for his flour-rolling mill, which boosted production by 70%

1877 - Thomas Edison patented the phonograph

1877---The first human cannonball was shot out of a cannon at a London circus

1878---the first Chinese Embassy was opened in Washington

1878---Thomas Edison patented the first phonograph.

1878---The world's first telephone book was issued (in Connecticut.)

1879 - Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting to an audience in Menlo Park, NJ.

1879 - Thomas Edison began construction on his first generator

1879 - The discovery of saccharin.

1879 - The first artificial ice rink opened in North America. It was at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY.

1879 - Frank W. Woolworth opened his first 5 and dime store.

1880 - New York's Broadway became known as the "Great White Way" when it was illuminated by electricity

1880---ALONZO T CROSS patented the first ball point pen.

1880---In 1880, Woolworths first sold manufactured Christmas tree ornaments. 1881 - Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

1882 - 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of the best loved of all American poets, passed away.

1882---The first electrically lighted Christmas tree appeared

1882---Outlaw Jesse James was shot to death by Robert Ford, a former gang member.

1883 - Samuel Morse demonstrated the telegraph for the first time

1883 - Thomas Edison's first village electric lighting system using overhead wires began operation in Roselle, NJ.

1883 - Oscar Hammerstein patented the first, practical, cigar-rolling machine.

1884 - Percy Everitt received a patent for the first coin-operated weighing machine

1885 - Dr. William Grant performed the first successful appendectomy. The patient was Mary Gartside

1885 - The roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson

1885 - Born: Alice Paul, US women's rights activist; founder of National Women's Party in 1913; died July 9, 1977

1885---Established Santa's official residence at the North Pole.

1885 - Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published in the U.S. for the first time.

1886 - Charles M. Hall finished his invention of aluminum

1886 - The first successful petrol-driven motorcar, built by Karl Benz, was patented.

1886 - At a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Oh., the American Federation of Labor was founded

1887 - The beginning of groundhog day in Punxsutawney, PA.

1887 - Everett Horton patented the telescopic fishing rod, made of one steel tube inside another.

1888 - The "Blizzard of '88" began along the U.S. Atlantic Seaboard shutting down communication and transportation lines. More than 400 people died. between March 11-14.

1888 - The typewriter ribbon was patented by Jacob L. Wortman.

1888 - The drinking straw was patented by Marvin C. Stone

1888---JACK THE RIPPER killed two women in London

1889 - The tabulating machine was patented by Dr. Herman Hollerith. His firm, Tabulating Machine Company, later became International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)

1889 - North and South Dakota were admitted to the Union.

1890 - The U.S. Seventh Cavalry massacred over 400 men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek, SD. This was the last major conflict between Indians and U.S. troops

1890 - American Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, SD, during an incident with Indian police working for the U.S. government

1891 - New York's new Immigration Depot was opened at Ellis Island, to provide improved facilities for the massive numbers of arrivals

1892 - Alexander T. Brown and George Stillman patented the pneumatic tire

1892 -Born J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien, writer: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit; died Sept. 2, 1973

1892 - William Painter patented the crown bottle cap.

1893 - Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ. 1894 - C.B. King received a patent for the pneumatic hammer.

1895 - German physicist Wilhelm R�ntgen made the first X-ray, of his wife's hand

1896 - Utah became the 45th U.S. state

1896---The first college basketball game took place on January 18, 1896 between the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa

1896 - U.S. physician Emile Grubbe became the first to use radiation treatment for breast cancer on his patient, Rose Lee of Chicago.

1897---Vegetarian/ nutritionist/ physician John Kellogg first served corn flakes to his patients at a Battle Creek, Michigan sanitarium.

1897---Book published, "The Bright Side of Prison Life"

1898 - Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were consolidated into New York City

1898 - The Spanish-American War began after the battleship USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor. The cause of the explosion still remains a mystery.

1899 - Humphrey O'Sullivan patented the rubber heel.

1899---Book published, "How to Cook Husbands"

1899---Aspirin was patented.

1900---Candy canes around 1900 were first decorated with red stripes and bent into the shape of a cane.

1900 - U.S. President McKinley placed Alaska under military rule

1900 - Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.

1901---William McKinley, 25th U.S. President [1897-1901]; assassinated six months after the start of his second term: Sept. 14

1901 - "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time

1902 - New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public

1903 - The first successful gasoline-powered airplane flight took place near Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville and Wilbur Wright made the flight

1903 - The Panama Canal Zone was acquired 'in perpetuity' by the U.S. for an annual rent

1903 - The Williamsburg Bridge opened in New York City. It was the first major suspension bridge in America

1903 - Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants, introduced the first teddy bear in America.

1904 - Born: Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), Pulitzer Prize-winning author in 1984: The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham; died Sept. 24, 1991

1904 - James Barrie's play "Peter Pan" premiered in London

1904---The average life expectancy in the US was 47 years.

1904---Only 14% of the homes in the US had a bathtub.

1904---Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.

1904---A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.00

1904---There were only 8,000 cars in the US, and only 144 miles of paved roads.

1904---The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

1904---Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

1904---The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

1904---The average wage in the US was 22 cents an hour.

1904---The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

1904---A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year.

1904---A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.

1904---A mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

1904---More than 95 percent of all births in the US took place at home.

1904---Ninety % of all US physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

1904---Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

1904---Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

1904---Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

1904---Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

1904---The five leading causes of death in the United States were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

1904---The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

1904---The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30!

1904---Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

1904---There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

1904---Two of 10 US adults couldn't read or write. Only 6% of all Americans had graduated high school.

1904---Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." (Shocking!)

1904---Eighteen percent of households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

1904---There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire US

1906---American civil rights leader Susan B. Anthony, who fought for over sixty years for the vote while also advocating the abolition of slavery and women's rights, died at the age of 86.

1908 - Mark Breith, Cincinnati, Ohio's mayor, stood before the city council and announced, "Women are not physically fit to operate automobiles."

1908 - The Sullivan Ordinance was passed in New York City making smoking by women became illegal. The measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.

1909 - The first payments of old-age pensions were made in Britain. People over 70 received five shillings a week

1909 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.

1911 - Willis Farnworth, from Petaluma, California, patented the coin-operated locker.

1912 - Captain Albert Berry executed the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

1912 - The U.S. Congress prohibited the immigration of illiterate persons

1912 - New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state

1913 - The Federal Reserve System was established as the first U.S. central bank

1913 - Grand Central Station opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.

1913 - The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized the power to impose and collect income tax. 1913 - the first crossword puzzle was printed.

1915 - The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote

1915 - George Claude, of Paris, France, patented the neon discharge tube for use in advertising signs

1916 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that income tax was unconstitutional.

1916 - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1917 - Germany announced its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

1919 - By an act of US Congress, Grand Canyon National Park was established.

1922 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed

1922 - At Toronto General Hospital, Leonard Thompson became the first person to be successfully treated with insulin

1923 - The first issue of "Time" magazine was published.

1924---dollars to 2000 dollars:
$100 would now be $977.19
$25 would now be $244.30
$15 would now be $146.58
$10 would now be $97.72

1928 - The first home TV set was demonstrated, the size of the screen was 3" by 4"

1929 - The United States and Canada reached an agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls

1929 - Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time

1929 - The Seeing Eye was incorporated in Nashville, Tn. The company's purpose was to train dogs to guide the blind

1930 - Prepackaged frozen food produced by the company set up by Clarence Birdseye went on sale for the first time in 10 stores in Springfield Massachusetts.

1934 - Henry Ford restored the $5 a day wage.

1937 - Walt Disney debuted the first, full-length, animated feature in Hollywood, CA. The movie was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

1938 - The first nylon bristle toothbrush was made, marking the first time nylon yarn was used commercially. Two years later, nylon hosiery would be introduced.

Pieces of bread were used to erase lead pencil before rubber came into use.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it - hence the saying "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw - piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof - hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway - hence, a "thresh hold."

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while - hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale bread which was so old and hard that they could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."

Mead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up - hence the custom of holding a "wake."

100 years ago....
Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.
There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the twenty-first most populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two cents an hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Drive-by-shootings - in which teenage boys galloped down the street on horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or anything else that caught their fancy - were an ongoing problem in Denver and other cities in the West.
Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.
There were about 230 reported murders in the U.S. annually.
More than 100 years ago, the felt hat makers of England used mercury to stabilize wool. Most of them eventually became poisoned by the fumes, as demonstrated by the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Breathing mercury's fumes over a long period of time will cause erythrism, a disorder characterized by nervousness, irritability, and strange personality changes.

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In your family searches, many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to dying during bad weather, an epidemic or moving away from the affected area. This may account for your missing ancestors. These are some of the events that caused many deaths in Tennessee:

February-March 1780---Smallpox epidemic in the Cherokee nation near Chattanooga

1795-1796---Severe winter in Tennessee

1800---Fever in Knoxville

May 24 1807---Tornadoes hit Roane, Knox, Sevier, Jefferson and Coyoka Counties

1808---Tennessee River floods December

1812---Severe winter Summer

1816---The Year Without A Summer - unusually low temperatures state wide

1819---Drought February

1823---Severe winter statewide

March 1826---Tennessee River floods

May 1830---Drought

1832-1833---Cholera epidemic statewide

November 13-15, 1833---Meteor shower - heavy, general panic statewide

February 1835---Severe Winter East Tennessee

1838---Cholera epidemic Knoxville

June - winter

1838---Malarial fever epidemic in Knoxville

May 1840---Tennessee River floods

1842---Tennessee River floods

November 28, 1844---Earthquake - Knoxville

March 1847---Tennessee River floods

December 19, 1847---Tennessee River Floods

June - August 1849---Cholera epidemic

Mid-April 1849---Severe cold and snow statewide

June 1850---Cholera epidemic

April 29, 1852---Earthquake - Virginia, N. Carolina, and Tennessee

August 28-30, 1852---Tennessee River flood

1854---Cholera Epidemic

July 17, 1859---Tornado in December in Tennessee

1861-1865---American Civil War February

1862---Tennessee River flood

April 27, 1865---Sultana explodes on Mississippi River

September 1866---Cholera Epidemic

1867---Yellow Fever epidemic

March 1-7, 1867---Tennessee River floods

March 6-14, 1867---Tennessee River floods Knoxville and Chattanooga

1869---Riverboat wreck on Tennessee River near Dayton "RP Converse" and "Last Chance"

1870---Tennessee River near Chattanooga Riverboat "Mary Byrd" wrecks

1871---Major fire in Chattanooga

April 20, 1871---Tennessee River floods

1873---Yellow Fever Epidemic

January 22, 1873---Blizzard in Middle Tennessee

May-August 1873---Cholera Epidemic

1875---Tennessee River Riverboat wreck near Chattanooga "Hugh Martin"

March 1875---Tennessee River floods Knoxville

March 3, 1875---Tennessee River floods Harriman

November 2, 1875---Earthquake N. Georgia and S. Carolina

March 17, 1876---Tennessee River floods

June 17, 1876---Tennessee River floods

December 1876-1877---Severe Cold statewide


August-October 1878---Yellow Fever epidemic

January 1882---Tennessee River floods

Winter 1882-1883---Smallpox epidemic- Chattanooga, Cleveland and Morristown

1883---Tennessee River floods

February 1884---Tennessee River floods

February 9, 1884---Tornadoes thru-out Tennessee

March 1885---Tennessee River floods March

1886---Tennessee River floods 1887---Drought

March 11-14, 1888(or 1885)?---Great Blizzard (largest before March 1993)

March 1890---Tennessee River floods

1893---Financial panic statewide January

1893---Tennessee River wreck near Chattanooga "JC Warner"

January 1893---Severe cold statewide

February 18, 1893---Tennessee River floods


December 20, 1895---Coal mine disaster at Dayton, Rhea Counties

April 1896---Tennessee River flood

1897---Niota fire February

1897---Tennessee River flood March

1897---Tennessee River flood

1898-1899---Cerebro-Spinal meningitis epidemic Knoxville

October 1900---Tennessee River flood

November 26, 1900---Tennessee River flood

May 18-21, 1901---Tennessee River flood

August 14, 1901---Tennessee River flood

December 1901---Tennessee River flood

February 28, 1902---Tennessee River flood

March 1902---Tennessee River flood

July 5, 1902---Tennessee River flood

February 27, 1903---Tennessee River flood

February 3, 1905---Severe cold statewide

April 30, 1909---Tornadoes statewide

May 31, 1909---Tennessee River floods

Knoxville March 28, 1913---Earthquake

Knoxville April 17, 1913---Earthquake Ducktown

1913-1914---Drought 1914---Tornado

1916---Polio epidemic statewide

July 15-16, 1916---Tennessee River floods March

1917---Tennessee River floods

1917---America enters WWI; ends November 1918 Winter

1917-1918---Winter storm statewide

January 27-28, 1918---Tennessee River floods Fall

1918---Influenza pandemic statewide/worldwide

March 16-17, 1919---Tennessee River floods

April 3-4, 1920---Tennessee River floods

April 12, 1920---Tennessee River floods

December 24, 1921---Severe storms statewide

1923---Measles statewide


1925---Forest fires statewide

October 4, 1926---Rockwood, Roane County Coal mine disaster

November 25-26, 1926---Tornado

December 31, 1926---Tennessee River floods

February 3, 1929---Tennessee River flood

March 22, 1929---Severe Storm East Tennessee

May 2, 1929---Tennessee River flood

October 29, 1929---Stock Market crash-- beginning of great depression


March 19, 1933---Flood Tennessee River

1933---Measles epidemic statewide

January 21, 1935---Tennessee River floods

March 25, 1935---Tennessee River floods

December 1935---Forest fires statewide

1936---Meningitis statewide

January 1936---Tennessee River floods Summer-Fall

1936---Polio epidemic statewide Winter

1936-1937---Influenza and pneumonia epidemic

1936-1937---Knoxville "Black death"

July 21, 1938---Tennessee River floods

July 8-10, 1939---Tennessee River floods

1940---Severe winter


June 7, 1940---Tennessee River floods August

1940---Tennessee River floods

1941---Whooping cough statewide Summer -fall

1941---Polio epidemic Hamilton County

August 1941---Tennessee River floods

1941-1943---Measles epidemic statewide

February 5-6, 1942---Tornado Tennessee

December 1942---Tennessee River floods

1943---Whooping cough statewide

1943---Meningitis statewide


September 29, 1944---Tennessee River floods

1945---Diphtheria epidemic statewide

1945-1946---Polio epidemic statewide

1945---Tennessee River flood

January 7, 1946---Tennessee River flood

August 1, 1946---Battle of Athens

February 13, 1948---Tennessee River floods

December 31-January 1, 1948-1949---Tornado in Tennessee

January 1949---Tennessee River floods

1950-1951---Infectious hepatitis outbreak Knox County

January -February 1951---Severe winter

September 1, 1951---Tennessee River floods

February 29, 1952---Tornado in McMinn County

June-July 1952---Heat wave Statewide

May 2, 1953---Tornados in McMinn and Meigs Counties


April 28, 1954---Tennessee River floods

August 9, 1954---Tennessee River floods

March 1955---Tennessee River floods

1957---Influenza statewide

January 23-31, 1957---Severe ice storm statewide

January 28, 1957---Tennessee River floods

November 18-19, 1957---Flood Spring City, Rhea County

November 18, 1957---Tennessee River floods

March 27, 1959---Tennessee River floods

1960-1961---Infectious hepatitis epidemic statewide

March 2, 1960---Ice storm statewide

December 12-18, 1961---Tennessee River floods

March 19, 1963---Tornadoes Bradley and McMinn Counties

April 28, 1964---Tennessee River floods

October 5-6, 1964---Tennessee River floods

October 16, 1964---Tennessee River floods

March 16, 1965---Tennessee River floods

April 15, 1965---Tornado Bradley County



February 21, 1971---Tornado

January 7-8, 1973---Ice storm SE Tennessee

February 8-11, 1973---Winter storm

April 3, 1974---Tornadoes in Knox, Polk, Bradley, McMinn Counties

February 4, 1976---Earthquake in Conasauga

1977---Winter storm

April 4, 1977---Tennessee River floods

1979---Tennessee River floods


May-September 1981---Weather related deaths--lightning strikes across state of Tennessee

December 6, 1981---Chattanooga coal mine disaster

April 2-12, 1983---Tennessee River flood

May 27, 1983---Explosion at Benton fireworks factory

1985-1986---Drought May-September

1986---Weather related deaths - lightning strikes across state of Tennessee

Fall 1987---Forest fires statewide

March 1993---Greatest blizzard in 108 years

February 16, 2003---Knoxville and East Tennessee have several major waterway floods and mud slides

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