History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

30 July 2010

It was a very good year . . .

My current work in progress (a western) is set in the year 1871. Here’s what else was happening:

History Congress enacts a Reconstruction law regarding elections
Congress enacts the Ku Klux Klan Act to enforce 14th amendment
“Greenbacks” are adopted as legal tender
William “Boss” Tweed is convicted of fraud in New York
Brigham Young arrested for practicing polygamy
Fire obliterates Chicago
Race riots against the Chinese erupt in California

William I, King of Prussia, is proclaimed German Emperor
Paris capitulates; France signs armistice (Franco-Prussian War)
France cedes Alsace-Lorraine to Germany
The Commune in Paris rules for two months
Italian Law of Guarantees allows the pope possession of the Vatican
British Act of Parliament legalizes labor unions
British Columbia joins Dominion of Canada
Basutoland becomes part of Cape Colony
Britain annexes diamond fields of Kimberley
Rasputin, Russian monk, born (died in 1916)

Literature Lewis Carroll: “Through the Looking Glass”
Stephen Crane born (died 1900)
Theodore Dreiser born (died 1945)
George Eliot publishes “Middlemarch”
Marcel Proust born (died 1922)
Paul Valery born (died 1945)
Zola publishes “Les Rougon-Macquart”

Philosophy Charles Darwin publishes “The Descent of Man”
Jehovah’s Witnesses founded

Visual arts Rosetti publishes “The Dream of Dante”
George Rouault born (died 1958
Lyonel Feininger born (died 1956)

Music Albert Hall opened in London
“L’Internationale” composed by two French workers
Saint-Saens composes symphonic poem “Le Rouet d’Omphale”
Verdi’s opera “Aida” opens in Cairo

Science Simon Ingersoll invents pneumatic rock drill
Mount Cenis Tunnel opened
G.A. Hansen discovers leprosy bacillus
Ernest Rutherford born (wins 1908 Nobel Prize; died in 1937)

Daily Life Bank Holidays introduced in England and Wales
P.T. Barnum opens “The Greatest Show on Earth” circus in Brooklyn, NY
Stanley meets Livingstone at Ujiji
S.S. “Oceanic,” White Star Line launched
B.F. Goodrich manufactures rubber preserving rings
First margarine factory starts
Cracker Jacks invented
First hot dog sold at Coney Island
McCalls and Vogue paper patterns issued
Montgomery Ward, Chicago, begins catalog sales
Rubber clothes wringers invented
Double-pointed sad-iron with spring-loaded clamp-on handle patented
Roll toilet-paper developed
Wealthy Americans exchange Christmas cards
Rubber condoms sold

Sources: The Timetables of History (Bernard Grun); Domestic Technology (Nell du Vall)


Anonymous Kate Dolan said...

Out of all this, I'd have to say the most significant event was the invention of rolled toilet paper. At least, it's probably the one that hits most of us where we sit, so to speak.
Being from the Chicago, I guess I should acknowledge the fire, too. After all, without it no one would have heard of Mrs. O'Leary, let alone her cow.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

What a great post, Lynna! I love looking at all the various things going on round the world at the time one of my books is set. It gives such a wonderful context, even if I only use a small bit of it in the actual story.

11:26 AM  

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