World Timeline of Facts #3 ~ 1750 - 1780

1750  The Blackfeet Indians were among the last Native American tribes to acquire horses.

1750  Rice production in China increases greatly.

1750  Japanese arts and commerce flourish under Tokugawa shogunate.

1750-1880s In Scotland this was the period of the Clearances. The peasants were swept aside to allow clan chiefs to raise sheep on clan lands until protests on the isle of Skye led to legal reform.

1751  Voltaire published "Micromegas" in which he mentioned "aliens from outer space." This is believed to be the first mention of such aliens in literature.

1751  Handel lost his sight.

1754  Thomas Chippendale published the first English book on furniture designs. He was also an upholsterer and a cabinetmaker.

1754-63  French and Indian War.  England hoped to conquer Canada.

1755  Nov 1, A great earthquake at Lisbon killed over 50,000 people. Heavy damage resulted from ensuing fires and flooding and nearly a quarter of a million people were killed.

1755  The last specimen of a dodo bird, a stuffed but rotted relic, was burned at the Ashmoleum Museum of Harvard.

1769  James Watts perfects the steam engine.

1770  Jun 11, Capt. James Cook, commander of the British ship Endeavour, discovered the Great Barrier Reef off Australia by running onto it.

1771  Benjamin Banneker, black mathematician and surveyor, helped create the initial boundaries of Washington D.C.

1771  By this time some 50,000 British convicts were dumped on American shores. Most of them came from Middlesex, the county that includes London.

1772  Shoelaces were invented in England.

1772  Jun 22, Slavery was outlawed in England.

1773  Jan 12, The first public museum in America was established, in Charleston, S.C.
 (AP internet, 1/12/98)

1773  Jan 17, Captain James Cook became the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle.

1773  In England Sir Robert Clive was acquitted of embezzlement.

1773  In Russia the Cossack Yemelyan Pugachev, pretending to be the dead emperor Peter III, incited a widespread rebellion.

1773 Dec 16, Some 50-60 "Sons of Liberty" of revolutionary Samuel Adams disguised as Mohawks defied the 3 cents per pound tax on tea boarded a British East India Tea Company ship and dumped more than 300 chests of British tea into the Boston Harbor in what became known as the Boston Tea Party. Parliament had passed the 1773 Tea Act not to regulate trade or make the colonies pay their own administrative costs, but to save the nearly bankrupt British East India Tea Company. The Tea Act gave the company a monopoly over the American tea trade and authorized the sale of 17 million pounds of tea in America at prices cheaper than smuggled Dutch tea. In spite of the savings, Americans would not accept what they considered to be taxation without representation. Overreacting to the Boston Tea Party, the British attempted to punish Boston and the whole colony of Massachusetts with the Intolerable Acts of 1774--another in the series of events that ultimately led to American independence.

1774   Jun 1, The Boston Port Bill, the first bill of the Intolerable Acts (called by the Colonists) became effective. It closed Boston harbor until restitution for the destroyed tea was made (passed Mar. 25, 1774).

1774  Dec, In Paris nearly 100 feet of the Rue d'Enfer ("street of Hell") collapsed to a depth of 100 feet.

1774  John Singleton Copley, painter, left for England. This allowed his student, Charles Willson Peale, to step in as the most fashionable colonial portraitist.

1774  Ann Lee, leader of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, arrived in the New World. She was a young Englishwoman and led the Shakers in their faith which is based on celibacy, confession of sin, and belief in human perfectibility. She never learned to read or write. They withdrew from the world into their own agricultural communities which spread to Ohio & Kentucky and produced a wealth of songs, as many as 10,000. One of the best known is Simple Gifts made famous by Aaron Copland in Appalachian Spring.

1774  Mexico exported 600 tons of the cochineal shell, known as carmine, to Spain. The acid color was extracted from the shell of the tiny red beetle that grew on cactus leaves. It was used to manufacture a red dye that was used in British "redcoats" and by Betsy Ross to color the first US flag.

1774  In England Sir Robert Clive (b.1725), considered by some as the richest man ever, committed suicide.

1774-1792 In France, Louis XV died and his grandson, King Louis XVI, ruled.

1775  Jun 7, The United Colonies changed name to United States.

1775  Jul 26, The Continental Congress established a postal system for the colonies with Benjamin Franklin as the first postmaster general.

1775  Aug 23, King George III of England refused the American colonies' offer of peace and declared them in open rebellion

1775  Dec 31, George Washington ordered recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.

1775  Catherine the Great of Russia received an ornament containing over 1000 diamonds, the "Sultan Feather" from the Turkish Sultan Abdulhamid.

1775-1880 The Shaker community produced handmade furniture until 1880 when manufactured furniture became acceptable and their workshops were forced to close.

1776  Apr 3, George Washington received an honorary doctor of law degree from Harvard College.

1776  May 2, France and Spain agreed to donate arms to American rebels.

1776 July - The Declaration of Independence was adopted, signed, published and read to every solider.  The state of King George III was pulled down in New York City.

1776  Oct 9, A group of Spanish missionaries settled in present-day San Francisco. The formal dedication of Mission San Francisco de Asis was made.

1776  Dec 19, Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay, writing: "These are the times that try men's souls."

1776  George Washington ordered his chief of artillery, Henry Knox, to establish an American arsenal to manufacture guns and ammunition for his army. Knox chose Springfield, Mass., on the Connecticut River. The Springfield Armory stayed open 173 years and was closed in 1967, but continues as a museum. Book Review.

1776  The all-black First Rhode Island Regiment was composed of 33 freedmen and 92 slaves who were promised freedom if they served to the end of the war. The regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Newport.

1776-1781 During this period Britain sent 60,000 troops to America.

1776-1781 It is estimated that 30,000 Hessian soldiers fought for the British during the American Revolution. After Russia refused to provide troops for the war, the German states of Brunswick, Hesse-Cassel, Hesse-Hanau, Waldeck, Anspach-Bayreuth and Anhalt-Zerbst supplied mercenary soldiers, collectively referred to as Hessians. Seven thousand Hessians died in the war and another 5,000 deserted and settled in America. The British paid the German rulers for each soldier sent to North America and an additional sum for each killed.

1777  Mar 31, A young Abigail Adams encouraged her husband John to give women voting privileges in the new American government. She wrote to her husband on this day while he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention: "I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous to them than were your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound to obey any laws in which we have no voice or representation." Twenty years later her husband was a candidate in America's first real election.

1777  Jul 27, The Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, arrived in New England to help the rebellious colonists fight the British. He was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.

1777  Aug 16, France declared a state of bankruptcy.

1777  Captain James Cook, while exploring the Pacific, reported on long-board surfers in Tahiti and Oahu and observed that the sport appeared recreational rather than competitive.

1777  Dec 17, France recognized American independence.

1778  Jan 18, English navigator Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he dubbed the "Sandwich Islands" after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich. About 350,000 Hawaiians inhabited them.

1778  Apr 1,  Oliver Pollock, a New Orleans businessman, created the "$" symbol.

1778  Jun 28, Mary "Molly Pitcher" Hays McCauley, wife of an American artilleryman, carried water to the soldiers during the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth, N.J. and, supposedly, took her husband's place at his gun after he is overcome with heat.

1778  Jul 10, In support of the American Revolution, Louis XVI declared war on England.

1778  In England the Catholic Relief Act was enacted. It inspired London riots in Jun 1780.

1779  Mar 31, Russia and Turkey signed a treaty by which they promised to take no military action in the Crimea.

1779  Sep 13, Frederick II of Prussia issued a manifesto in which he bemoaned the increased use of coffee and called for more consumption of beer.

1780  May 19, A mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon; the cause has never been determined.

1780  Jun, The London riots led by George Gordon in opposition to the Catholic Relief Act of 1778 took place.

1780  Aug 24, King Louis XVI abolished torture as a means to get suspects to confess.

1780  September 21-22, General Benedict Arnold, American commander of West Point, met with British spy Major John André to hand over plans of the important Hudson River fort to the enemy. Unhappy with how General George Washington treated him and in need of money, Arnold planned to "sell" West Point for 20,000 pounds--a move that would enable the British to cut New England off from the rest of the rebellious colonies. Arnold's treason was exposed when André was captured by American militiamen who found the incriminating plans in his stocking. Arnold received a timely warning and was able to escape to a British ship, but André was hanged as a spy on October 2, 1780. Condemned for his Revolutionary War actions by both Americans and British, Arnold lived until 1801.

1780  US Gen'l. Benedict Arnold, newly married and strapped for cash to maintain an extravagant lifestyle, began providing information to the British. He eventually joined the British as a brigadier general.

1780  The giant Mosasaurus dinosaur head was found in the Netherlands near Maastricht.

1780s  English plumber, William Watts, built a tower to let fall drops of molten lead to a water well in his cellar to create shot for guns. Just as raindrops turn spherical on falling, so did his lead drops. His tower stood till 1968.

1781  Mar 1, The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.

1781  Mar 13, Astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, which he named 'Georgium Sidus,' in honor of George III. It is the 7th planet from the sun and revolves around the sun every 84.02 years. It is 14.6 time the size of Earth and has five satellites.

1781  Aug. Lt. Gen. Cornwallis began the defensive earthworks around Yorktown with 8,300 regulars and 2,000 escaped slaves, who believed British victory would mean freedom. The British army numbered 8,700.

1781  Sep 4, 44 Spanish settlers named a tiny village near San Gabriel, Los Angeles. 26 were of African ancestry.

1781  Sept. 5, The British fleet arrived off the Virginia Capes and found 26 French warships in three straggling lines. Rear Adm. Thomas Graves waited for the French to form their battle lines and then fought for 5 days. Outgunned and unnerved he withdrew to New York. The French had some 37 ships and 29,000 soldiers and sailors at Yorktown while Washington had some 11,000 men engaged.

1781  Sept. 16, Lt. Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis directed the sinking of a fleet of ships at Yorktown to block a French landing and to keep them out of enemy hands.

1781  Sep 28, American forces in the Revolutionary War, backed by a French fleet, began their siege of Yorktown Heights, Va.

1781  Oct (mid), French siege engineers under American command destroyed the British fortifications at Yorktown.

1781  Oct 19, British troops under Lord Cornwallis, surrounded at Yorktown, Va., by American and French regiments numbering 17,600 men, surrendered as the American Revolution neared its end.

1782  Apr 12, The British navy won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American Revolution at the Battle of Saints, off Dominica.

1782  Apr 19, Netherlands recognized the United States.

1782  Apr 21, Friedrich Froebel, founder of kindergarten, was born.

1782  Jun 20, The US Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States.

1782  Aug 7, General George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers. Washington authorized the award of the Purple Heart for soldiers wounded in combat.

1782  The first English Bible in America was published.

1783  Jan 20, The fighting of the Revolutionary War ended. Britain signed a peace agreement with France and Spain, who allied against it in the American War of Independence.

1783  Sep. 3, The Treaty of Paris between the United States and Great Britain officially ended the Revolutionary War. The Treaty of 1783, which formally ended the American Revolution, is also known as the Definitive Treaty of Peace, the Peace of Paris and the Treaty of Versailles. Under the treaty, Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States

1783  Oct 15, Francois Pilatre de Rozier made the first manned flight in a hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet.

1783  Oct 23, Virginia emancipated slaves who fought for independence during the Revolutionary War.

1783  Nov 2, Gen. George Washington issued his "Farewell Address to the Army" near Princeton, N.J.

1783  Nov 21, Jean de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes made the first free-flight ascent in a balloon, to over 500 feet, in Paris.

1783  Nov 25, The British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.

1783  Dec 23, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Army and retired to his home at Mount Vernon, Va.

1783  In the US, Noah Webster's Spelling Book was first published. As a Grammatical Institute of the English Language, the Spelling Book was influential in standardizing and differentiating, from the British forms, English spelling and pronunciation in America