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It was a glorious day. People from many parts of Europe were overjoyed and very excited on this particular day. After all, there was something brand new; something that had never been seen before - the first photograph of the moon. It was taken by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre. Unfortunately, the room in which the photograph was placed burned down one year later. 

The First Photograph of the Moon

January 2, 1839

It was the "night of the big wind". A powerful windstorm swept across the Irish and English coast, and damaged property, killed hundreds of people, and wrecked 42 ships. Even well-built building suffered enormous structural damage. At the time, it was the worst storm to hit Ireland for 300 years. People affected were in great shock, and many believed that a storm so severe meant that the end of the world was at hand.

"Big Wind"

January 6, 1839

Since the 1800s, Great Britain has been one of the world's greatest tea consumers. Tea is a prominent feature of British culture and society. Although tea from China first arrived in England in the mid 17th century, it was not a very popular beverage until it gained popularity through so called "coffee houses", which advertised tea as a drink "making the body active and lusty", and "preserving perfect health until extreme old age". Coffee houses started importing tea from India, which was and still is very popular among tea consumers.

Indian Tea in the UK

January 10, 1839

The Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award and fellowship granted to individuals the society judges to have made "substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science, and medical science". Charles Darwin, an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his theory on evolution, had the honor to become a fellow of the royal society on this day.

Fellow of the Royal Society

January 24, 1839

1st Grand National

The Grand National is a national hunt horse race, which is held annually in Liverpool, England. It is a prominent event in British culture, which is often attended by members of the royal family. It is also the most valuable jump race in all of Europe. 

February 26, 1839

The first person to win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 was born on this day. His name is Rene Francois Armand Prudhomme and he was a French poet and essayist. He was given the award "in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection, and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect".

The Nobel Prize winning Poet

March 16, 1839

The Henley Royal Regetta is undoubtedly the best known regetta in the world. It was first held on March 26, 1839, and has been held annually ever since, except during the two World Wars. At first, it took place on a single afternoon but was so popular, that it was extended for another 2 days. In 1986, the Regetta was even extended to 5 days.

1st Henley Royal Regetta

March 26, 1839

The republic of Guatemala

After decades of being a Spanish colony, Guatemala officialy proclaimed its independence from Spain in 1821. In 1825, Guatemala created its own flag. Finally, in 1839, Guatemala formed a republic, officially known as the Rublic of Guatemala.

April 17, 1839

San Bonifacio

San Bonifacio is a municipality in the province of Verona, Italy. The municipality was formed by the Cunard Steamship Company, an Anglo-American cruise line, on May 4, 1839.

May 4, 1839

Hawaaian Declaration of Rights

The Hawaiian Kingdom was governed until 1838, without legal enactments, and was based upon a system of common law that had been passed down by tradition since time immemorial. The Declaration of Rights, proposed and signed by His Majesty King Kamehameha III on June 7, 1839, was the first essential departure from the ancient ways.

June 7, 1839

1st State school in the U.S.

The first state normal school in the United States was founded in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1839 with only 3 students. It operates today as Framingham State University.

July 3, 1839

It was the day of birth of the American oil industry business magnate and philanthropist known as John D. Rockefeller. He is considered to be the wealthiest American of all time  and is most likely the richets person in modern history. He founded the Standard Oil Company, which made him an enormous fortune. He used his money to create foundations that had major effects on medicine, education, and scientific research, pioneered the development of medical research, and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever. Rockefeller was also the founder of the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University, and funded the establishment of the Central Philippine Univeristy.


John D. Rockefeller

July 8, 1839

After the rejection of the Chartist petition, rioting occurred throughout England.  This included serious riots in Birmingham which are known as the Bull Ring Riots. A National Convention of all interested Chartists from England, begun in London in February 1839, moved to Birmingham in May.  Following the move, large Chartist meetings were held at the Bull Ring, sometimes twice a day. The police were sent in to disperse the crowd in the Bull Ring.  Houses were attacked and burned, and claims for property damage totalled £20,000. Arrests, imprisonment and transportations followed.    


"The Bull Ring Riots"

July 27, 1839

On the evening of the eighth day of the eighth month of the year 1839, eight young men, all students at Miami University, held the first meeting of Beta Theta Pi. Beta Theta Pi is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, including recognition as the “Pioneering Fraternity” and “Leadership Fraternity.” With more than 200,000 initiated brothers since 1839, many influential men have worn the Beta Badge and gone on to have a large impact on society. Members include the 17th Vice President of the United States, the 17th Prime Minister of Canada, 200+ members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 32 ambassadors, 50 governors to 23 states, two Canadian Premiers, six Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and seven Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees, 34 Olympic gold medalists, three Nobel Prize winners, and many more. 


Beta Theta Pi

August 8, 1839

In 1839, the British Cabinet decided that the Chinese should be made to pay for the destruction of British property, either by threat or use of force, so the British captured Hong Kong from China. Hong Kong was under British Crown rule from 1841 to 1997. It was established as a Crown colony.

 In 1898, new territories were added under a 99-year lease. The new territories – which comprised over 90 per cent of Hong Kong's land – had such a vital role in the economy that the British government agreed to transfer sovereignty of Hong Kong to China upon the expiration of the lease in 1997.


British Hong Kong

August 23, 1839

First Opium war

The First Opium War began in China in 1839 and lasted until 1842. It was fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing dynasty over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice for foreign nationals in China. The ease with which the British forces defeated the numerically superior Chinese armies damaged the Qing dynasty's prestige.


September 5, 1839

1st Glass plate photograph

On this day, Sir John Frederick William Herschel, an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, and experimental photographer, took the first glass plate photograph. He made numerous important contributions to photography, such as improvements in photographic processes (by inventing the cyanotype), and process and variations (such as the chrysotype), the precursors of the modern blueprint process.


September 9, 1839

Rail transport in the Netherlands began on September 20, 1839 when the first train successfully made its 16 kilometer trip from Amsterdam to Haarlem. People in the Netherlands were amazed by this huge technological advance and hundreds of them came to see the train depart from Amsterdam to Haarlem. 


1st railroad in the netherlands

September 20, 1839

Georg von siemens

A great German banker, liberal politician, and businessman was born on this day. His name was Georg von Siemens. He founded the Deutsche Bank, a German global banking and financial services company, which is the largest foreign exchange dealer in the world. Georg von Siemens is the nephew of Werner, William, and Carl von Siemens, who were famous inventors and industrialists and founded the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens AG.


October 21, 1839

Liberty Party

The Liberty Party, a US anti-slavery party, was announced on November 13, 1839 with its first gathring in Warsaw, New York. It was a minor political party and was the first advocate of the abolitionist cause in the world.


November 13, 1839

"Oberto Conti di"

The opera "Oberto Conti Di" premiered on the evening of November 27, 1839, in Milan, Italy. It was composed by the renowned Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, and was one of his first operas. The opera accounted for much of Guiseppe Verdi's prominence, and achieved a respectable 13 additional performances.


November 17, 1839

The coringa cyclone

Coringa is a relatively small village situated near the southeastern coast of India. On November 25, 1839, Coringa was brutally slammed by a disastrous cyclone that delivered terrible winds, as well as a giant 12 meter storm surge. The city's port was left completely destroyed and was never fully rebuilt. Storm waves swept inland, wrecking 20,000 ships and killing an estimated 300,000 people.


November 25, 1839

It has been 178 years since the first successful celestial photograph (of the Moon) was taken by John William Draper in the Winter of 1839. He used a method called daguerreotype, which exposed a silver-covered copper plate to the moon through a 5-inch telescope for 20 minutes. The resulting photograph was only one inch in diameter and still exists until today.


The first celestial photograph

December 18, 1839