(Copyright 2004, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.  DO NOT REPRODUCE or distribute without permission.) 

For a more comprehensive list, including a Year by Year timeline, see our Research Guide. 

May 1st. . .

1218--Rudolf I of Hapsburg, King of Germany who founded the Imperial Hapsburg dynasty, born.

1672--Joseph Addison, English poet and co-founder of the Spectator, born.

1700--John Dryden, English poet and Poet Laureate, died.

1707--The Union with Scotland and England was proclaimed.

1840--The first Penny Black stamps with Queen Victoria's silhouette went on sale five days before the official issue date.

1841--The London Library, founded by Thomas Carlyle, Gladstone, Lord Macauley and others, opened.

1851--Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park.

1859--John Walker, English chemist who invented the first friction matches, died.

1873--David Livingstone, Scottish explorer, died.

1889--In Germany, the Bayer company introduced aspirin in a powder form.


May 2nd. . .

1519--Leonardo da Vinci, Florentine artist, died.

1660--Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer, born.

1670--The Hudson Bay Company was incorporated as "The Governor and the Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay".

1729--Catherine II (the Great), Empress of Russia, born.

1810--Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, English writer of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, born.

1857--Louis Charles Alfred de Musset, French playwright, died of a heart attack.

1859--Jerome K. Jerome, English humorous novelist and playwright, born.

1860--Theodor Herzl, founder of Zionism, born.


May 3rd. . .

1469--Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, Italian author and statesman, born.

1494--Columbus discovered Jamaica on his second expedition.

1500--The Portuguese explorer, Pedro Alvarez Cabral, claimed Brazil for his nation.

1606--Henry Garnet, English priest who knew of the Gunpowder Plot, was found guilty of treason and hanged this day.

1788--The first daily evening newspaper, the Star and Evening Advertiser, was published in London.

1808--The first duel fought from two hot-air balloons took place above Paris.  A Monsieur Le Pique was killed.

1810--Lord Byron swam the Hellespont in Turkey, taking one hour, ten minutes.

1844--Richard D'Oyly Carte, English impresario and producer of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, born.

1874--Francois Coty, perfume manufacturer, born in Corsica.


May 4th. . .

1471--The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Queen Margaret of Anjou, consort of Henry VI, at the Battle of Tewkesbury.  Henry's son, Prince Edward, was killed in the battle.

1655--Bartolommeo di Francesco Cristofori, harpsichord maker who made the first pianoforte, born.

1769--Sir Thomas Lawrence, English portrait painter, born.

1780--The first Epsom Derby was won by Charles Bunbury's Diomed.

1825--Thomas Henry Huxley, English naturalist and humanist, born.

1827--John Hanning Speke, English explorer who was the first European to see Lake Victoria, born.

1839--The Cunard Shipping Line was founded by Sir Samuel Cunard.

1852--Alice Liddell, the inspiration of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, born.

1863--The Maori uprising against the British began in New Zealand.

1896--The first edition of the half-penny Daily Mail was published.


May 5th. . .

1760--The first hanging took place at Tyburn in London; Earl Ferrers was executed for murdering his steward.

1800--Louis Hachette, French bookseller, publisher and editor, born.

1813--Soren Aaby Kierkegaarde, Danish philosopher and theologian, born.

1815--Eugene Martin Labiche, French playwright of over 100 comedies, farces and sketches, born.

1818--Karl Marx, German author and founder of international Communism, born.

1821--Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, died in exile on the Atlantic Island of St. Helena.

1830--John Batterson Stetson, American hat manufacturer of the wide-brimmed 'cowboy' Stetson hat, born.

1846--Henryk Sienkiewicz, Polish novelist of Quo Vadis, born.

1865--The first train robbery took place, near North Bend, Ohio.

1867--Nellie Bly, American journalist and campaigner of women's rights, born.


May 6th. . .

1626--A Dutch settler, Paul Minuit, bought what is now Manhattan Island from the local American native Indians for a handful of trinkets worth approximately $25.

1642--Montreal was officially established under its original name, 'Ville Marie'.

1733--The first international boxing match took place at Figg's Amphitheatre, London, when Bob Whittaker beat Italy's Tito di Carni.

1758--Maximillien Robespierre, leader of the French revolution, born.

1840--The first postage stamps, the 'Penny Black' and two-penny 'blues' officially went on sale in Britain.

1851--U.S. inventor Linus Yale patented his Yale lock.

1856--Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist and father of modern psychology, born.  ALSO--Robert Edwin Peary, U.S. polar explorer, born.

1862--Henry David Thoreau, U.S. poet and essayist, died.

1875--The first Kentucky Derby was run for three-year-olds at Churchill Downs track, Louisville, Kentucky.


May 7th. . .

1663--The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, built by Thomas Killigrew, opened under a charter granted by Charles II with a performance of The Humorous Lieutenant.

1763--Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa Indians, rose up against the English garrison at Detroit and laid siege to it for five months.

1812--Robert Browning, Victorian English poet, born.

1823--The deaf Beethoven conducted the first performance of his Ninth Symphony in Vienna.

1832--Greece was proclaimed an independent kingdom.

1833--Johannes Brahms, German composer and pianist, born.

1840--Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, born.

1888--George Eastman petented his Kodak box camera, a name he felt would be easy to remember.

1890--James Nasmyth, Scottish engineer and inventor of the steam hammer, died.


May 8th. . .

1794--Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist who identified oxygen, was guillotined because he had once accepted the office of farmer general of taxes.

1828--Jean Henri Dumant, Swiss founder of the Red Cross, born.

1849--The first international yacht race was won by Pearl of Bermuda when she beat the U.S. yacht Brenda.

1854--Captain Barclay-Allardice, English long-distance walker who covered 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours, died.

1873--John Stuart Mill, English political and economic philosopher and reformer, died.

1876--Truganini, the last Tasmanian Aborigine, died.

1880--Gustave Flaubert, French novelist of Madame Bovary, died.

1884--Harry S. Truman, 33rd U.S. President, born.


May 9th. . .

1657--William Bradford, Pilgrim Father and Governor of Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, died.

1671--Colonel Thomas Blood, Irish adventurer, gained entry to the Tower of London and stole the crown jewels.

1785--Joseph Bramah patented the beer pump handle.

1800--John Brown, U.S. abolitionist, born.

1805--Johann Cristoph Friedrich von Schiller, German romantic poet and playwright, died.

1860--Sir J.M. Barrie, Scottish playwright best known for Peter Pan, born.

1873--Howard Carter, English Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, born.

1887--Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opened at West Brompton, London, as part of the American Exhibition.

1896--The first Horseless Carriage Show opened to the motor trade, with ten models on show at London's Imperial Institute. 


May 10th. . .

1566--Leonhard Fuchs, German botanist after whom fuchsias are named, died.

1655--The English captured Jamaica from the Spanish.

1760--Claude Joseph de Lisle, French army officer who wrote and composed Marseillaise, born.

1774--Louis XV, King of France, died of smallpox.

1798--George Vancouver, English navigator and explorer, died.

1818--Paul Revere, American Revolutionary War hero, died.

1838--John Wilkes Booth, assassin of Abraham Lincoln, born.

1850--Sir Thomas Lipton, Scottish errand boy turned multimillionaire grocer by such innovative methods as putting tea in bags, born.

1857--The Sepoy Rebellion broke out in Meerat.

1863--Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson, Confederate general, died from wounds after being shot in error by his own troops.

1865--Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, was taken prisoner by Union forces at Irvinsville, Georgia.

1869--The Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met at Promontory, Utah, where the lines were linked to complete the transcontinental railroad. 


May 11th. . .

868--The first printed book, known as the Diamond Sutra, was published in China.

1610--Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit missionary to China, died.

1686--Otto von Guericke, German physicist who demonstrated the vacuum, died.

1708--Jules Hardouin-Mansart, French architect who designed the Galerie de Glaces at Versailles, died.

1720--Baron von Karl Munchhausen, German hunter and soldier, born.

1778--William Pitt (the Elder), first Earl of Chatham, died.

1811--The original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng, were born of Chinese parents in Siam.

1812--Spencer Perceval, British Prime Minister, was shot and killed by a bankrupt Liverpool broker.

1848--Tom Cribb, English prizefighter, died.

1858--Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.

1871--Sir John Herschel, British astronomer royal, died.


May 12th. . .

1765--Lady Hamilton, lover of Admiral Horatio Nelson, baptized.

1803--Justus, Baron von Liebig, German chemist who discovered chloroform, born.

1812--Edward Lear, English artist and humorous poet of the Book of Nonsense, born.

1820--Florence Nightingale, English hospital reformer, born.

1828--Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English poet and Pre-Raphaelite painter, born.

1842--Jules Massenet, French composer of the opera Manon, born.

1845--Gabriel Faure, composer and organist, born.

1860--Sir Charles Barry, English architect who rebuilt the Houses of Parliament, died.

1870--The Red River Colony, now called Manitoba, was purchased from the Hudson Bay Company by Canada and became a province.

1870--The London Swimming Association drafted the rules of water polo.


May 13th. . .

1607--The first permanent English settlement in America was established with the landing of soldiers from three ships on the Virginian coast at Jamestown.

1717--Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, born.

1828--Josephine Butler, English social reformer, born.

1835--John Nash, English architect and town planner of Regent Street and Regent's Park, died.

1842--Sir Arthur Sullivan, English composer (The Pirates of Penzance) associated with the librettist, W.S. Gilbert, born.

1868--A team of Aboriginal cricketers arrived to play 47 matches, the first Australian team to travel to England.

1883--James Young, Scottish industrial chemist who was the first to produce paraffin oil, died.

1884--Cyrus Hall McCormick, U.S. inventor of the mechanical harvester, died.


May 14th. . .

1610--Henry IV of France was assassinated by Francois Ravailac, a Jesuit fanatic.

1643--Louis XIV, aged four, became King of France on the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1727--Thomas Gainsborough, English painter who was a founder of the English School of portrait and landscape painting, born.

1767--The British government imposed a tax on importing tea into America.

1796--Edward Jenner carried out his first successful vaccination against smallpox.

1842--The first edition of the London Illustrated News was published.

1847--The first steamship to navigate the world, HMS Driver, arrived back at Spithead.

1856--The trial began of William Palmer, a doctor who poisoned creditors, four of his illegitimate children, his mother-in-law, his wife and other relations.


May 15th. . .

1718--The machine gun was patented by a London lawyer, James Puckle.

1773--Prince Clemens Metternich of the Austrian Empire, born.

1800--James Hatfield attempted to assassinate George III at Drury Lane.

1833--Edmund Kean, English actor, died.

1856--Lyman Frank Baum, American journalist and playwright who created The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, born.

1859--Pierre Curie, French scientist who with his wife discovered radium, born.

1862--The first baseball stadium was opened at Union Grounds, Brooklyn.

1886--Emily Dickinson, whose thousands of poems remained unpublished until after her death, died.

1895--Joseph Whitaker, English publisher of Whitaker's Almanac, died.


May 16th. . .

1703--Charles Perrault, French fairy-tale writer of Sleeping Beauty and Red Riding Hood, died.

1763--Dr. Johnson and James Boswell met for the first time, at Tom Davie's bookshop in Russell Street. ALSO--Louis Vauquelin, French scientist who discovered chromium, born.

1770--The Dauphin of France (later Louis XVI) married Marie Antoinette.

1799--Honore de Balzac, French novelist, born.

1811--Wellington's General Beresford was victorious over Napoleon's Marshal Soult at the battle of Albuera, Spain.

1831--David Edward Hughes, U.S. inventor of the telegraph typewriter and microphone, born in England.

1877--Sir Bernard Spilsbury, British pathologist known for his conclusive evidence in the trial of 'Dr.' Crippen, born.

1888--Emile Berliner gave the first demonstration of flat disc recording and reproduction before members of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.


May 17th. . .

1163--Heloise, secret wife of Abelard, died.

1510--Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, died.

1620--The first merry-go-round is referred to in records as being set up at a fair in Philippolis, Turkey.

1749--Edward Jenner, English surgeon and pioneer of vaccination, born.

1836--Joseph Norman Lockyer, English astronomer and co-discoverer of helium, born.

1861--The first package holiday arranged by Thomas Cook set off for Paris.

1866--Erik Satie, French composer, born of Scottish parents.

1890--The first weekly comic paper, Comic Cuts, was published by Alfred Harmsworth, in London.


May 18th. . .

1474--Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua, patron of art and letters, born.

1742--Lionel Lukin, English coachbuilder, born.

1804--Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of France.

1827--William Corder murdered Maria Marten in the Red Barn, Polstead, Sussex, after luring her there on the promise of marriage.  The murder became the subject of ballads and melodramas.

1830--Edwin Budding of Gloucestershire signed an agreement for the manufacture of his invention, the lawn mower.

1834--Sheldon Jackson, American missionary, born.

1836--William Steinitz, chess master and world champion, born in Czechoslovakia.

1868--Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia, born.

1872--Bertrand Russell, the third Earl Russell, English philosopher, mathematician and Nobel Prize recipient, born.


May 19th. . .

1536--Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Elizabeth I, was beheaded at Tower Green after being accused of incest and adultery.

1657--The Publick Advertiser first appeared in London, devoted entirely to classified advertisements.

1715--Charles Montague, 1st Earl of Halifax, politician, poet and founder of the Bank of England, died.

1795--James Boswell, biographer of Dr. Johnson, died.

1802--Napoleon instituted the Legion d'honneur to be awarded for civil and military distinction of the highest order.

1848--Dame Nellie Melba, Australian operatic soprano, born.

1864--Nathaniel Hawthorne, U.S. novelist and short-story writer, and author of The Scarlet Letter, died.

1879--William Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount, English politician and proprietor of the Observer newspaper, born.

1898--William Gladstone, British statesman and Prime Minister, died.


May 20th. . .

1347--Rome was established as a republic by Cola di Rienza, tribune of the people who had driven out the nobles and senators.

1364--Sir Henry Percy, supporter of Henry IV and model for Shakespeare's Hotspur, born.

1498--Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut, southern India, via the newly-discovered route via what would be named the Cape of Good Hope.

1506--Christopher Columbus, Italian navigator, died.

1759--William Thornton, U.S. architect of the Capitol building, Washington, born.

1799--Honore de Balzac, French novelist, born.

1818--William George Fargo, U.S. founder, with Henry Wells and Daniel Dunning of Wells Fargo, born.

1834--Marie Joseph Gilbert de Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, French soldier and statesman, died.

1867--Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the Royal Albert Hall.

1895--Income tax was declared unconstitutional in the United States.


May 21st. . .

1471--Henry VI, King of England, was murdered in the Tower of London where he had been imprisoned by Edward. ALSO--Albrecht Durer, German painter and engraver who became court painter for Charles V, born.

1502--The remote island of St. Helena was discovered by Portuguese explorer Joao de Nova.

1542--Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer of South America and the Mississippi area where he died this day from a fever.

1688--Alexander Pope, English poet and satirist who wrote The Rape of the Lock, born.

1780--Elizabeth Fry, English Quaker and prison reformer, born.

1804--The Pere Lachaise, burial ground of the famous, opened in Paris.

1840--New Zealand was proclaimed a British colony.

1844--Henri Rousseau, French painter, born.

1856--The first eight-hour working day was achieved by Australian stonemasons in Victoria.

1894--Queen Victoria opened the Manchester Ship Canal.


May 22nd. . .

337--Constantine the Great, Roman emperor, died.

1455--The Lancastrians defeated the Yorkists at St. Albans in the first battle in the War of the Roses.  Henry VI was taken prisoner by the Yorkists.

1783--William Sturgeon, English physicist who built the first moving-coil galvanometer, born.

1795--The Scottish explorer, Mungo Park, set sail on his first voyage to Africa which he would relate in his Travels in the Interior of Africa.

1809--More than 40,000 men were killed or wounded at the battle of Aspern-Essling between the armies of Napoleon and Archduke Charles Louis of Austria.

1813--Richard Wagner, German composer of the Ring, born.

1859--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish-born novelist of Irish parents, who created the detective Sherlock Holmes, born.

1885--Victor Hugo, French author of Les Miserables, died.


May 23rd. . .

1498--Girolamo Savonarola, Italian religious and political reformer, strangled and burnt at the stake.

1533--Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, resulting in a break with the church in Rome.

1701--'Captain' William Kidd, Scottish privateer-turned-pirate, was hanged with three others at London's Execution Docks.

1706--Marlborough defeated the French at the Battle of Ramillies.

1707--Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, born.

1734--Franz Mesmer, Austrian physician who developed the technique of 'mesmerism' or hypnosis, born.

1795--Sir Charles Barry, English architect who designed the Houses of Parliament, born.

1797--A cartoon by Gilray was published which gave the Bank of England its nickname, 'The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.'

1799--Thomas Hood, English poet, journalist and humorist, born.

1868--Kit Carson, American frontiersman, died.

1887--The French crown jewels went on sale and raised six million francs.


May 24th. . .

1543--Nicolas Copernicus, Polish astronomer, died.

1686--Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist who invented the mercury thermometer, born.

1738--John Wesley experienced his conversion.  This was the start of Wesley's Methodism.

1743--Jean Paul Marat, French revolutionary leader, born.

1809--Dartmoor Prison opened to house French prisoners-of-war.

1819--Victoria, Queen of England from 1837 to 1901, born.

1844--William Crockford, English fishmonger and gambler who opened the gambling club Crockfords in 1827, died.  ALSO--Samuel Morse transmitted the first message of the US Telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore in Morse code.

1855--Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, English playwright of The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, born.

1856--John Brown, US anti-slavery campaigner, led the Free-Staters to massacre pro-slavers at Pottawatamie Creek.

1862--London's Westminster Bridge opened.

1883--The Brooklyn Bridge opened over the East River in New York.


May 25th. . .

1660--King Charles II of England rowed ashore from the Royal Charter at Dover, ending his nine-year exile, and with it, Puritanism.

1675--Gespard Poussin, French landscape painter, died.

1768--Captain Cook set sail on his first voyage in the Endeavour which circumnavigated New Zealand.

1787--The Philadelphia Convention met under George Washington to draw up the U.S. constitution.

1803--Ralph Waldo Emerson, U.S. poet and essayist, born.

1833--The first flower show in Britain was held at the Royal Horticultural Society in Chiswick, west London.

1840--The first drama school in Britain, Miss Kelly's Theatre and Dramatic School, opened in Dean Street.

1850--The first hippopotamus arrived in Britain for Regent's Park Zoo.

1871--The House of Commons passed the Bank Holiday Act creating the now-established public holidays of Easter Monday, Whit Monday and Christmas Day.

1882--The first mutton from New Zealand arrived in Britain.


May 26th. . .

604--Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, died.

735--The Venerable Bede, English monk, scholar and writer, died.

1650--John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, English general and statesman, born.

1703--Samuel Pepys, English Admiralty official and diarist, died.

1733--John Kay patented the Flying Shuttle to operate on Richard Arkwright's spinning frame.

1805--Napoleon was crowned King of Italy, in Milan Cathedral.

1865--The Confederate General Kirby Smith surrendered in Texas to end the American Civil War.

1867--Queen Mary, wife of King George V, born Princess Mary of Teck.

1868--Michael Barrett, Irish nationalist responsible for the Clerkenwell Outrage which left 13 dead, was hanged outside Newgate Prison, the last public execution in England.


May 27th. . .

1564--John Calvin, French theologian who promoted the Protestant Revolution, died.

1679--The Habeas Corpus Act, which demands that the prisoner must be brought before the courts, not unlawfully detained, was passed in Britain.

1703--Tsar Peter the Great proclaimed St. Petersburg the new Russian capital.

1815--Sir Henry Parkes, Australian statesman, born in England.

1818--Amelia Bloomer, U.S. women's rights campaigner who in 1849 designed 'bloomers', born.

1819--Julia Ward Howe, U.S. suffragette, born.

1837--James Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok, U.S. frontiersman and Civil War scout, born.

1840--Nicolo Paganini, Italian virtuoso violinist, died.

1851--The first Chess International Masters tournament was held in London and was won by Adolf Andersen of Germany.


May 28th. . .

1588--The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia to invade England.

1738--Joseph Ignace Guilllotin, French physician and revolutionary who suggested a decapitating machine, born.

1742--The first indoor swimming-pool in England opened in London.  The entrance fee was one guinea.

1759--William Pitt the Younger, English statesman and Prime Minister, born.

1779--Thomas Moore, poet of Lalla Rookh, born in Ireland.

1805--Luigi Boccherini, Italian cellist and composer, died.

1843--Noah Webster, U.S. lexicographer and publisher of Webster's Dictionary, died.

1849--Anne Bronte, author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, died.

1858--Tonic water was patented by Erasmus Bond of London.

1891--The first world weightlifting championships were held at the Cafe Monico, Piccadilly.


May 29th. . .

1453--Constantinople fell to the Turkish army after a year's siege.

1500--Bartolomeu Diaz, Portuguese explorer, drowned at sea during a voyage with Cabral, the discoverer of Brazil.

1630--Charles II, King of England, born.

1660--Charles II returned to London to be restored as King of England.

1769--Philippe Lebon, French chemist who developed gas illumination, born.

1781--Dr. John Walker, English inventor of the friction match, born.

1795--In the Virginia Assembly, Patrick Henry challenged the proposed taxing of the American Colonies by the Stamp Act.

1829--Sir Humphrey Davy, English chemist and inventor of the miner's safety lamp, born.

1848--Wisconsin became the 38th state of the Union.

1879--On this Monday, Britain enjoyed its first Bank Holiday.

1884--The first steam cable tramway began operating in London's Highgate.


May 30th. . .

1498--Columbus set sail on his third voyage of discovery which would take him to the South American mainland.

1536--Jane Seymour became Henry VIII's third wife.

1593--Christopher Marlowe, English playwright, killed in a tavern brawl.

1640--Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, died.

1656--The Grenadier Guards were formed in the British Army.

1744--Alexander Pope, English poet and satirist, died.

1788--Voltaire, French philosopher, historian, playwright and novelist of Candide, died.

1814--Mikhail Bakunin, Russian anarchist, born.

1842--Jon Francis attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria as she rode in her carriage with Prince Albert.

1846--Peter Carl Faberge, Russian goldsmith, born.

1859--Pierre Marie Janet, French psychologist, born.


May 31st. . .

1594--Tintoretto, Italian painter of The Last Judgment, died.

1669--Samuel Pepys stopped writing his diary because of failing eyesight.

1701--Alexander Cruden, Scottish bookseller who published his Biblical Concordance in 1737, born.

1809--Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, died.

1819--Walt Whitman, U.S. poet of The Leaves of Grass, born.

1837--Joseph Grimaldi, English clown and comic actor, died.

1838--The last battle on English soil took place at the Battle of Bosendon Wood, when 40 peasants and a Cornish wine merchant led an armed uprising of Kentish peasants.

1857--Pope Pius XI, scholar, librarian and diplomat, born.

1859--Big Ben began tolling the time this day.

1889--A flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania brought great loss of life and property.

1891--Construction began on the Trans-Siberian Railway.