1854


1854

Year 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).

Events of 1854

January - June


* January 21 - The "RMS Tayleur" is lost; 380 drown (a disaster later dubbed "the first Titanic").
* January 3 - Charles Dickens commences writing the novel "Hard Times".
* February 11 - Major streets are lit by coal gas for the first time.
* February 13 - Mexican troops force William Walker and his troops to retreat to Sonora.
* February 14 - Texas is linked by telegraph with the rest of the United States, when a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas is completed.
* February 17 - The British recognize the independence of the Orange Free State; its official independence is declared 6 days later.
* February 27 - Britain sends Russia an ultimatum to withdraw from two Ottoman provinces it had conquered, Moldavia and Wallachia.
* February 28 - The Republican Party (United States) is founded in Ripon, Wisconsin.
* March 1 - German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; 2 years later his remains are found in the canal near Charlottenburg.
* March 3 - Australia's first telegraph line, linking Melbourne and Williamstown, opens.
* March 11- A Royal Navy fleet sails from Britain under Vice Admiral Sir Charles Napier.
* March 20 - The Boston Public Library opens to the public.
* March 27 - Crimean War: The United Kingdom declares war on Russia.
* March 28 - France declares war on Russia.
* March 31 - Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy signs the Treaty/Convention of Kanagawa with the Japanese government (the Tokugawa Shogunate), opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade (see History of Japan).
* April 1 - "Hard Times" begins serialisation in Charles Dickens' magazine, "Household Words".
* May 18 - The Catholic University of Ireland (forerunner of University College Dublin) is founded.
* May 27 - Taiping Rebellion: United States minister Robert McLane arrives at the Heavenly Capital aboard the USS Susquehanna.
* May 30 - The Kansas-Nebraska Act becomes law, rescinding the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and creating the Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory. A provision that settlers will vote on slavery in the new territories leads to "Bleeding Kansas" violence, beginning the next year.
* June - The Grand Excursion takes prominent Eastern United States inhabitants from Chicago, Illinois to Rock Island, Illinois by railroad, then up the Mississippi River to St. Paul, Minnesota by steamboat.
* June 10 - The first class of the United States Naval Academy graduates at Annapolis, Maryland.
* June 21 - Battle of Bomarsund in Åland: Royal Navy mate Charles D. Lucas throws a live Russian artillery shell overboard by hand before it explodes, for which he is awarded the first retroactive Victoria Cross in 1857.

July - December


* July 6 - In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the U.S. Republican Party is held.
* August 16 - Russian troops in the island of Bomarsund in Åland surrender to French-British troops.
* September 20 - Crimean War - Alma: The French-British alliance wins the first battle of the war.
* October 1 - The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury, Massachusetts by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham to become the Waltham Watch Company, pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.
* October 6 - The great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead is ignited by a spectacular explosion.
* October 17 - "The Age" newspaper is founded in Melbourne, Australia.
* October 21 - Florence Nightingale leaves for the Crimea with 38 other nurses.
* October 25 - Crimean War - Battle of Balaclava: The allies gain an overall victory, except for the disastrous cavalry Charge of the Light Brigade, from which only 200 of 700 men survive.
* November 5 - Crimean War - Battle of Inkerman: The Russians are defeated.
* November 17 - In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony.
* December 3 - The Eureka Stockade Miner's Rebellion breaks out in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
* December 8 - Pope Pius IX in the Papal Bull "Ineffabilis Deus" defines "ex Cathedra" the dogma of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin.

Undated

.
* Ignacy Lukasiewicz drills the world's first oil well in Poland, in Bóbrka near Krosno.
* Frederick Augustus Albert succeeds to the throne of Saxony.
* Chemistry Professor Benjamin Silliman of Yale University is the first to fractionate petroleum by distillation.
* Abraham Pineo Gesner invents a process for extracting kerosene from coal.
* Said Pasha succeeds his nephew Abbas as pasha of Egypt.
* A Russian fort is established at the present site of Almaty.
* Aurora, Ontario is first settled.
* The Ambrotype is introduced for photography.
* An epidemic of cholera in London kills 10,000. Dr John Snow traces the source of one outbreak (the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak that killed 500) to a single water pump, validating his theory that cholera is water-borne, and forming the starting point for epidemiology.
* The Iceland trade is opened to foreigners.
* The French fashion label "Louis Vuitton" was founded.
* Timex was founded in Waterbury.

Ongoing events

* Crimean War (1854-1856)
* Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864)

Births

January - June


* January 18 - Thomas A. Watson, American telephone pioneer (d. 1934)
* February 17 - Friedrich Alfred Krupp, German industrialist (d. 1902)
* March 4 - Sir Napier Shaw, British meteorologist (d. 1945)
* March 8 - Ignacy Lukasiewicz, Polish pharmacist and inventor of the first method of distilling kerosene from seep oil, creator of the first oil lamp (d. 1882)
* March 10 - Sir Thomas MacKenzie, New Zealand Prime Minister and High Commissioner (d. 1930)
* March 14
**Paul Ehrlich, German scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1915)
**Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President of the United States (d. 1925)
* March 15 - Emil Adolf von Behring, German physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1917)
* April 22 - Henri La Fontaine, Belgian lawyer and activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1943)
* April 29 - Henri Poincaré, French mathematician and physicist (d. 1912)
* May 11 - Albion Woodbury Small, American sociologist (d. 1926)
* May 24 - John Riley Banister, law officer, cowboy, and Texas Ranger (d. 1918)
* June 8 - Douglas Colin Cameron, Canadian politician (d. 1921)
* June 14- Dave Rudabaugh, outlaw and gunfighter (d. 1886)
* June 26 - Robert Laird Borden, eighth Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1937)

July - December


* July 3 - Leoš Janáček, Czech composer (d. 1928)
* July 7 - Nikolai Alexandrovich Morozov, Russian poet, scientist and revolutionary (d.1946)
* July 12 - George Eastman, American inventor (d. 1932)
* July 27 - Takahashi Korekiyo, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1936)
* August 2 - Milan I, King of Serbia (d. 1901)
* August 23 - Moritz Moszkowski, Polish/German composer (d. 1918)
* September 1 - Engelbert Humperdinck, German composer (d. 1921)
* September 6 - Georges Picquart, French general and Minister of War (d. 1914)
* October 16
** Oscar Wilde, Irish writer (d. 1900)
** Karl Kautsky, Marxist theoretician (d. 1938)
*October 26 - C. W. Post, American cereal manufacturer (d. 1914)
* October 20 - Arthur Rimbaud, French poet (d. 1891)
* November 5 - Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
* November 6 - John Philip Sousa, American composer and conductor (d. 1932)
* November 17 - Hubert Lyautey, Marshal of France (d. 1934)
* November 21 - Pope Benedict XV (d. 1922)
* December 22 - Jokichi Takamine, Japanese chemist (d. 1922)
* December 23 - Victoriano Huerta, President of Mexico (d. 1916)
* December 24 - Thomas Stevens, English cyclist (d. 1935)

Deaths

January - June


* January 8 - William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician (b. 1768)
* February 17 - John Martin, English painter (b. 1789)
* March 6 - Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (b. 1778)
* March 11 - Willard Richards, American religious leader (b. 1804)
* March 13 - Thomas Noon Talfourd, English jurist (b. 1795)
* March 27
** William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland, politician (b. 1768)
** Charles III, Duke of Parma (b. 1823)
* April - Domingo Eyzaguirre, Chilean philanthropist (b. 1775)
* April 11 - Karl Adolph von Basedow, German physician (b. 1799)
* April 15 - Arthur Aikin, English chemist and mineralogist (b. 1773)
* April 29 - Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, British general (b. 1768)
* July 6 - Georg Ohm, German physicist
* July 16 - Abbas I, Pasha of Egypt (b. 1813)
* July 31 - Samuel Wilson, thought to be the real-life basis for Uncle Sam (b. 1813)
* August - Conquering Bear, Lakota chief
* August 9 - Frederick Augustus II of Saxony (b. 1797)
* September 8 - Angelo Mai, Italian cardinal and philologist (b. 1782)
* September 12 - Jarvis W. Pike, former Mayor of Columbus, Ohio
* October 26 - Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, queen consort of Bavaria (b. 1792)
* November 25 - John Gibson Lockhart, Scottish writer (b. 1794)
* December 9 - Almeida Garrett, Portuguese writer (b. 1799)
* December 15 - Kamehameha III, King of Hawaii (b. 1814?)


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