A Victorian Timeline: What Happened When?
Prepared by Judith Lynch
This timeline provides a horizontal link between people, events, inventions, and occurrences during the decades from 1860 until 1910, approximately the time when most surviving Bay Area Victorian homes were built. The items for each year are arranged so that Alameda County and Bay Area events are listed first, followed by those in the United States, England, and the Continent.
These happenings were selected from many sources, listed at the end. They were chosen for no particular reason, except they appealed to the author in some bizarre way. The juxtapositions thus created are strange and wondrous. For example, the year President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, roller skating was introduced to the United States. It is precisely this mix of the homely and the tragic, the everyday and the calamitous, that make these listings so fascinating. The listings also highlight the inventive ferment that was intrinsic to the Victorian Era.
- Alameda peninsula population is 449.
- Oakland is 38th largest city in California, with a population of 1,543.
- First baseball game played in San Francisco, although the sport was already popular in the East.
- Clipper ship Andrew Jackson makes a run from New York to San Francisco in 89 days.
- Abraham Lincoln elected 16th President of the United States; South Carolina secedes from the Union in protest.
- Rubber manufacturer Frederick Walton invents cork linoleum in England.
- During the last decade 424,000 people from Britain and 914,000 from Ireland emigrated to United States.
- Gustave Mahler, Austrian composer, born (died 1911).
- Kansas becomes a state.
- Confederates take Fort Sumpter, North Carolina; outbreak of Civil War in United States. Confederate victory at Bull Run.
- United States introduces passport system.
- Emancipation of Russian serfs.
- Queen Victoria's Prince Consort Albert dies (born 1819). In her grief, the Queen does not appear in public for several years.
- English author Charles Dickens writes Great Expectations.
- Sandringham House built in Norfolk, England as country residence for Queen Victoria.
- Royal Academy of Music founded in London.
- English designer William Morris establishes his design firm, he advocates a return to hand-crafted artifacts.
- Australian T.S. Mort builds first machine-chilled cold storage unit.
- English author Mrs. Isabella Beeton writes Book of Household Management.
- Daily weather forecasts are begun in England.
- First horse-drawn streetcars appear in London.
- Direct telegraph communication is established between San Francisco and New York.
- President Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves.
- Henry David Thoreau, American author of On Walden Pond, dies (born 1817).
- French physicist Leon Foucault successfully measures the speed of light.
- German botanist Julius Sachs demonstrates photosynthesis.
- Swiss humanist Jean Henri Dunant proposes foundation of the Red Cross.
- International Exhibition opens in London.
- Arizona and Idaho become Unites States territories.
- West Virginia becomes a state.
- William Randolph Hearst, American newspaper publisher, born (died 1951).
- President Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address at the dedication of military cemetery in Pennsylvania.
- Roller skating introduced in Unites States.
- American inventor, tailor and dressmaker Ebenezer Butterick develops first paper dress patterns in Sterling, Massachusetts.
- United States Congress establishes free city mail delivery.
- National Academy of Sciences founded Washington D.C.
- Open-hearth steel furnace developed in France by Pierre-Émile Martin.
- Football Association founded in London.
- Queen Victoria's son Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) marries Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
- London born attorney A.A. Cohen establishes the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad along Lincoln Avenue (then called Railroad Avenue). He also starts regular ferry service between Alameda's West End and San Francisco, using the ship Sophia McLane. Cohen also mapped the town of Woodstock (one of three small towns on the Alameda peninsula) laid out blocks and lots and named the streets for trees and landholders.
- The San Francisco & Alameda Railroad (also nicknamed Cohen's Line) opens five stations along its line: Fernside, Alameda (at Park), Fasskings (on Grand Street), Bay Street, and Mastick (on 8th Street).
- Alameda County supervisors rent an Oakland house to serve as the first county hospital.
- Broadway becomes the first street paved in Oakland at the cost of $3.18 per foot.
- General William Tecumseh Sherman's army marches from Chattanooga, Tennessee, through Georgia, defeats Confederate army at Atlanta, and occupies Savannah.
- Lincoln reelected President of the Unites States.
- Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians at Sand Creek, Colorado.
- Nevada becomes a state.
- First salmon cannery in Unites States opens in California.
- "In God We Trust" first appears on United States coins.
- Admiral David G. Farragut, attacking Confederate forces in Mobile Bay, Alabama, shouts, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"
- Confederate agents set Barnum Museum and Astor House afire in attempt to burn New York City.
- French scientist Louis Pasteur invents pasteurization.
- Archduke Maximilian of Austria accepts Mexican crown, and he and his wife, Carlotta, are made Emperor and Empress of Mexico.
- Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy writes “War and Peace.”
- First International Workingmen's Association founded by German political philosopher and socialist Karl Marx in London and New York.
- San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle newspapers founded.
- President Lincoln assassinated April 14; he is succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson.
- Confederate States of America formally surrenders at Appomattox, Virginia. United States Civil War ends May 26.
- Thirteenth Amendment to United States Constitution abolishes slavery.
- American Mary Mapes Dodge writes “Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates.”
- American aeronaut and inventor Thaddeus Lowe develops ice machine.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology founded.
- Ku Klux Klan founded in Pulaski, Tennessee.
- The first railroad sleeping car, designed by American inventor George M. Pullman, appears in Unites States.
- First train robbery North Bend, Ohio.
- Union stockyards open in Chicago.
- Purdue University, Cornell University, University of Maine, and University of Kentucky founded.
- Yale University opens first Department of Fine Arts in United States.
- English author and mathematician Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) writes “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
- First National Association for Women's Suffrage formed in Manchester, England. However, women do not win the right to vote until 1918.
- Rudyard Kipling, English author of “The Jungle Book” and “Kim,” born (died 1936).
- William Butler Yeats, Irish poet, 1923 Nobel Prize winner, born (died 1939).
- German Wilhelm Ricard Wagner composes Tristan and Isolde.
- Atlantic telegraph cable completed.
- English surgeon Joseph Lister initiates antiseptic surgery by using carbolic acid.
- Austrian biologist Gregor Mendel announces his Law of Heredity.
- English adventurer Edward Whymper climbs the Matterhorn, 14,688 feet high, in the Pennine Alps on the Italian-Swiss border.
- Frederick Law Olmsted completes campus plan for University of California at Berkeley, originally called the College of California and located in Oakland.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals founded by Henry Bergh.
- Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky writes Crime and Punishment.
- H.G. Wells, English author of War of the Worlds, born (died 1946).
- Swedish manufacturer and philanthropist Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
- English engineer Robert Whitehead invents underwater torpedo.
- Sun Yat-sen, Chinese statesman, born (died 1927).
- Park Station land tract opens as a planned subdivision around Jackson Park in Alameda.
- Dr. Samuel Merritt donates 155 acres of damned tidal water from Indian Slough. This body of water is named Merritt's Lake by the city.
- Nebraska becomes a state.
- Gold discovered in Wyoming.
- American author Mark Twain writes “The Jumping Frog.”
- Russia sells Alaska to Unites States for $7,200,000.
- John Galsworthy, English author of “The Forsyte Saga,” born (died 1933).
- Karl Marx writes “Das Kapital, vol. I.”
- Paris World's Fair introduces Japanese art to the West.
- Johann Strauss II composes “The Blue Danube Waltz.”
- Scottish missionary David Livingstone explores the Congo in Africa.
- French inventor Pierre Lallement begins to manufacture velocipedes (bicycles), nicknamed "boneshakers."
- In England, voting rights are extended to include urban working class males.
- Alameda Station land tract opened for development.
- Samuel Orr establishes a coconut oil plant in Alameda.
- A farmhouse with water tower is built in Oakland for the family of California Governor George C. Pardee. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- The first professional United States baseball club is founded, the Cincinnati Red Stockings.
- Ulysses S. Grant elected President of the United States.
- American Louisa May Alcott writes “Little Women.”
- Skeleton of Cro-Magnon man from Upper Paleolithic age (first homo sapiens in Europe, successor of Neanderthal man) found in France by French archeologist Eduard Lartet.
- American industrialist Phillip D. Armour's meat-packing factory opens in Chicago.
- First recorded bicycle race at the Parc de St. Cloud, Paris.
- A commission is formed in Alameda to write a charter emphasizing laying out and paving streets.
- Jenke and Mead land tracts open for development near Alameda Station.
- Fred K. Krauth, editor of The Encinal, begins publishing from a shop on Park Street and begins his campaign to unify the small towns on the peninsula into the city of Alameda. The newspaper began as a weekly, switched to twice a week in 1888 and then published daily from 1891 until 1906. (Note: Krauth bought out the owner of the Alameda Post, which had published one issue in September 21, 1869.)
- Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads joined at Promontory Point, Utah, completing the United States' first transcontinental railroad. For two months, Alameda was the west coast terminus of the transcontinental railroad until the Pacific Railroad extended its Oakland Pier. (A plaque celebrating this short-lived honor can be found on the bench at the corner of Lincoln and Webster Streets.)
- Oakland's first horse car line opens, running from the estuary to 40th and Telegraph.
- Earthquake strikes Bay Area, causing minor damage.
- General U.S. Grant inaugurated as 18th President of the United States.
- United States National Prohibition Party formed in Chicago.
- American humorist and newspaperman Mark Twain writes The Innocents Abroad.
- Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, born (died 1959).
- American inventor John Wesley Hyatt invents celluloid. It was originally used to make combs and decorative objects; later it was used to manufacture film for movies and still photographs.
- First postcards introduced in Austria.
- Mahatma Gandhi, Indian nationalist leader, born (died 1948).
- Alameda peninsula population reaches 1449.
- San Francisco population reaches 149,473.
- Land is set aside for Golden Gate Park by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
- American entrepreneur John D. Rockerfeller founds Standard Oil Company.
- French author Jules Verne writes Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
- Swedish Baron Adolph Nordenskjold explores Greenland.
- In England, the Elementary Education Act provides universal education up to the age of eleven years old.
- Charles Dickens dies (born 1812).
- First drawbridge is built on the estuary connecting Webster Street in Alameda with Oakland.
- Several blocks of Park Street in Alameda are lit by gas lamps.
- Oakland government moves into newly completed City Hall.
- San Francisco Art Association founded.
- First annual meeting of the California Women's Suffrage Society.
- American showman Phineas T. Barnum opens his circus, The Greatest Show on Earth, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Great Chicago Fire destroys 17,450 buildings; 100,000 people left homeless.
- English author Lewis Carroll writes Through the Looking Glass.
- English naturalist Charles Darwin writes The Descent of Man.
- British explorer Henry Martin Stanley meets Dr. David Livingstone at Ujiji, Africa.
- British philosopher Bertrand Russell, author of Principles of Mathematics, born (died 1970).
- Alameda Charter is passed, incorporating the three townships of the Encinal into the City of Alameda.
- Webster Street in Alameda is macadamized (paved). Then Central Avenue (the most traveled east-west street) is resurfaced and lined with wooden sidewalks.
- Encinal Editor Krauth estimates that more than 200 acres in Alameda are under cultivation to grow fruits, hay, and vegetables for the profitable San Francisco market.
- Oyster farms are established in Alameda, near Bay Farm and along the south shore.
- First edition of the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune published.
- Federal government begins dredging of Oakland shipping channel.
- Bar Association of San Francisco organized.
- California Stock Exchange organized.
- Grant reelected President of the United States in spite of public scandals during this administration.
- Aaron Montgomery Ward begins mail order catalogue merchandising.
- Jules Verne writes “Around the World in 80 Days.”
- English esthete Charles Eastlake's Hints on Household Taste first printed in United States.
- First international soccer game, England versus Scotland. (No record of which team won.)
- Pacific Avenue in Alameda is macadamized by the Oakland Paving Company.
- Alameda landowners are required by City Trustees to build wooden sidewalks and to paint hitching posts white so that people will not bump into them at night.
- Central Pacific Railroad completes a bridge across the estuary at Webster Street in Alameda and diverts passengers to Oakland ferry lines.
- Successful trial run of Scottish-born inventor Andrew Hallidie's cable car in San Francisco up the Clay Street hill, a grade of 307 feet.
- Silver Bonanza Kings James Flood, William O'Brien, James Fair, and John Mackay incorporate holdings as the Consolidated Virginia and California mines, thus establishing their dominance in the Comstock Silver Lode in Nevada.
- The gunsmith firm of Eliphalet Remington and Sons produces typewriters in New York.
- Russian author Leo Tolstoy writes Anna Karenina.
- Vienna World Exhibition opens.
- A wooden bridge connects Alameda and Bay Farm Island.
- A German-English school is established in Alameda for 25 students.
- Prohibition is defeated in the City of Alameda, 201 votes to 108.
- Chesnut Street in Alameda is paved and lined with wooden sidewalks.
- Robert Frost, American poet, born (died 1963)
- Gertrude Stein, American poet, born (died 1946).
- First American zoo established in Philadelphia.
- American Mary E. Outerbridge, vacationing in Bermuda, watches English officers play tennis and introduces the game to America.
- Benjamin Disraeli becomes prime minister of British Empire.
- Winston Churchill, British statesman, born (died 1965).
- Lotta's Fountain at Market and Kearny Streets donated to San Francisco by Lotta Crabtree, one of the West Coast's favorite actresses.
- Banker William Sharon opens $7 million Palace Hotel at Market and New Montgomery Streets.
- Mark Twain writes The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author of fairy tales, dies (born 1805).
- French Georges Bizet composes opera Carmen in Paris.
- English composers William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan compose their first operetta, Trial by Jury.
- London Medical School for Women founded.
- London's main sewerage system is completed.
- Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, author of Memories, Dreams and Reflections, born (died 1961).
- First roller-skating rink opens in London.
- First swim across English Channel, by Englishman Captain Matthew Webb, from Dover to Calais in 21 hours 45 minutes. In 1882 he was drowned while attempting to swim Niagara Falls.
- German novelist Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks and Death in Venice, born (died 1955).
- French composer Maurice Ravel, Bolero and Daphnis et Chloe, born (died 1937).
- Cameron-Stanford House built on Lake Merritt in Oakland. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- James Shinn house built in Fremont. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- San Francisco's first public exhibition of electric light, from roof of St. Ignatius Academy.
- Southern Pacific railroad line is completed, connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.
- Philadelphia Centennial Exposition celebrates 100th birthday of United States. By far the favorite exhibit is a huge Mechanics Pavilion featuring 54 acres of automated machinery for the express purpose of mass-producing wooden millwork--house decorations!
- Colorado becomes a state.
- Jack London, American author, born (died 1916).
- American Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.
- First tennis tournament held in the United States.
- United States National Baseball League founded.
- Queen Victoria is proclaimed the Empress of India.
- The Argus begins publication in Alameda, under the editorship of P.G. Daniels. It began as a weekly paper, in 1885 it published twice a week, then daily from 1892 until 1912.
- By this year, 25 miles of sidewalks have been installed in Alameda and some streets are renamed to avoid duplication and "unpopular" monikers. For example, Leviathan Street was renamed Grand, and Condor Street was renamed Clement.
- Work initiated by capitalist Leland Stanford on San Francisco's second cable car line, the California Street Railroad connecting the financial district with Nob Hill. (This line still functions as part of the Muni Railway.)
- American inventor Thomas Alva Edison invents carbon telephone transmitter in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
- Rutherford B. Hayes inaugurated as 19th President of the United States.
- First public telephones installed United States.
- Phonograph record player invented by Thomas Alva Edison.
- American expatriate to England Henry James writes The American.
- Englishman Frederick Walton (creator of linoleum in 1863) patents process for manufacturing the wall covering called Lincrusta-Walton.
- All-England Lawn Tennis championship first played at Wimbledon, London.
- Skiing begins in Norway as an organized sport.
- Southern Coast Railroad is completed in Alameda, built by Nevada Silver Bonanza King James Fair. The line runs along Encinal to a ferry boat landing at Alameda Point. It had eight stations enroute: High Street, Versailles Avenue, Park Street, Chestnut Street, Morton Street, 5th Street, Webster Street and Weber Street.
- First bathing resorts open west of 8th Street, attracting thousands of visitors to Alameda each weekend.
- Another Alameda Charter is written and, without a local vote, is passed by the State Legislature. It included new restrictions on city expenditure, strengthened property owners' right to forbid new streets from opening, and other measures. Its narrowness caused the era following adoption of this document to be nicknamed "the dead letter years" in The Encinal.
- Hastings College of Law founded in San Francisco by S. Clinton Hastings.
- Edweard Muybridge (born Edward Muggeridge in England) completes series of photographs to settle a bet over whether or not all four legs of a galloping horse leave the ground at the same time (They do!).
- Prussian-born inventor Adolph Sutro completes Sutro's Tunnel through base of Mt. Davidson, Nevada, facilitating water drainage and ore transportation from Comstock Silver Lode.
- American David Hughes invents the microphone.
- Thomas Alva Edison patents the phonograph.
- Fur farming is begun in Canada.
- Paris World Exhibition opens.
- First electric street-lighting in London.
- English designer William Morris writes The Decorative Arts.
- Cleopatra's Needle, a red granite obelisk originally constructed in Heliopolis, Egypt, is taken from Alexandria, Egypt and installed at the Thames embankment in London.
- Gilbert and Sullivan compose H.M.S. Pinafore.
- Croll Building completed on Webster and Encinal in Alameda. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- Versailles Avenue in Alameda is extended to the Bay to open up lots for home building. The new street runs directly through a 20-acre tract of vegetables.
- Ferryboats Alameda and El Capitan collide in dense fog.
- First San Francisco public library opened on Bush Street between Kearny and Dupont (now Grant Avenue).
- First successful electric incandescent lamp with carbon filament developed by Thomas Edison, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
- English metallurgists Perry Gilchrist and Sidney Thomas develop process for making steel from iron ore.
- Joseph Stalin, Russian Communist leader born (died 1953).
- Leon Trotsky, Russian Communist leader, born (died 1940).
- E.M. Forster, English author of Howard's End and Passage to India born (died 1970).
- Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist, 1921 Nobel Prize winner, born (died 1955).
- London's first telephone exchange established.
- Alameda peninsula population reaches 5,708.
- San Francisco population reaches 233,959.
- Second Empire style home completed by Oakland builder Edward Childs for mining expert Adolph H. Schnabel at 2233 Santa Clara Avenue. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- Captain R.R. Thompson receives franchise to provide the City of Alameda with artesian water from wells sunk east of High Street.
- A petroleum refinery is established on Alameda Point, interfering with the prosperity of oyster farms.
- "Emperor" Joshua Norton, San Francisco character and bon vivant, dies (born 1817).
- French novelist Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, died (born 1821).
- Bingo was adapted from the Italian lotto game, Tombola.
- Douglas MacArthur, American general, born (died 1964).
- James A. Garfield inaugurated as 20th President of the United States, then shot and killed in September, and succeeded by Vice President Chester Arthur.
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, author of Brothers Karamazov, dies (born 1821).
- The first cabaret, Chat Noir, Paris, France founded by Rodolphe Salis.
- D'Oyly Carte builds the Savoy Theatre, London, lit by electricity.
- Spanish artist Pablo Picasso born (died 1973).
- Flogging abolished in British Army and Navy.
- Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada formed.
- City population (in millions): London 3.3; Paris 2.2; New York 1.2; Berlin 1.1; Vienna 1.0; Tokyo 0.8; St. Petersburg 0.6.
- Rabies immunization developed by French scientist Louis Pasteur.
- A 17-room house is built in Martinez; it later becomes the home of naturalist and writer John Muir. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- English author and playwright Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Grey and Salome, visits San Francisco.
- United States bans Chinese immigration for ten years.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, United States President from 1933 to 1945, born (died 1945).
- Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson writes Treasure Island.
- Russian Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky composes 1812 Overture.
- World Exhibition opens in Moscow, Russia.
- Architect Bernard Maybeck , creator of the Bay Area Style, settles in San Francisco. (born 1862, died 1957).
- Brooklyn Bridge opens in Brooklyn, New York.
- Frederick Beck and Company of Stamford, Connecticut begin making Lincrusta-Walton wall covering in the United States.
- First skyscraper, 10 stories high, Home Insurance Building, built in Chicago by William LeBaron Jenney.
- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, opens.
- American frontiersman William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) organizes his Wild West Show.
- Franz Kafka, Austrian novelist, The Castle and The Trial, born (died 1924).
- German architect Walter Gropius, leader in modern architectural design movement, born (died 1969).
- Orient Express train from Paris to Istanbul makes its first run.
- Citizens of Alameda pass yet another Charter, established under a new state General Law for California cities under 10,000 population. Thus after a vote of 729 to 180 the Town of Alameda becomes the City of Alameda. This more liberal Charter established "the power to establish, build, and repair bridges; to establish, lay out, alter, keep open, open, improve and repair streets . . . and to drain, sprinkle and light the same . . . ."
- Alameda City Trustees hire I.N. Abel to measure blocks and assign house numbers so that mail can be delivered. Dairymen are forbidden to graze cattle on public streets. "Fruitvale cement"--orange clay-gravel--is used to make "stone" sidewalks as a real estate sales enticement.
- Cohen-Bray House built in Oakland. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- American George Eastman introduces photograph film in rolls.
- Harry S. Truman, United State President (1945-1953), born (died 1972).
- Damon Runyon, American author of Guys and Dolls, born (died 1946).
- Mark Twain writes Huckleberry Finn.
- Oxford English Dictionary first published.
- Sir Charles Parsons invents first practical steam turbine engine.
- First underground railroad built in London.
- Gold discovered in the Transvaal, South Africa.
- Official seal of the City of Alameda is adopted, including a Latin inscription that means "prosperity from land and sea." The central figure in the seal is Ceres, the goddess of grain and harvests. The seal was designed by William V. Gray, who was paid $11.00 for his services.
- Queen Anne tower house built in San Francisco for businessman William Haas, designed by architect Peter Schmidt. Now operated as a house museum by the Foundation for San Francisco's Architectural Heritage. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- John M. Fox of Philadelphia learns about golf on a trip to Scotland and introduces the game to the United States.
- Grover Cleveland inaugurated as 22nd President of the United States.
- Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh paints The Potato Eaters.
- Anna Pavlova, Russian ballet dancer, born (died 1931).
- First English electrical tram car in Blackpool.
- First successful gasoline-driven car was invented by Karl Benz, in Germany. It went on sale in 1888.
- First motorcycle invented in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler.
- Alameda becomes the first city in California and the second in the Nation to open and operate its own electrical plant.
- Clark and Sons Pottery Works is established in Alameda at the foot of Pacific Avenue. The factory makes bricks and sewer tiles that are shipped throughout California via the Southern Pacific Railway.
- A 12-room farmhouse built for Scotsman Neal McConaghy in Hayward. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- Coca-Cola was invented by American Dr. J. Pemberton, and advertised as "Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage."
- Statue of Liberty dedicated in New York Harbor.
- American Federation of Labor founded.
- Ty Cobb, American baseball player, born (died 1961).
- British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone introduces bill for Home Rule in Ireland.
- First National Congress of India meets.
- Robert Louis Stevenson writes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- English author Frances Hodgson Burnett writes Little Lord Fauntleroy.
- Eighth Impressionist Painting Exhibition, Paris.
- Snow blankets San Francisco Bay Area.
- English author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes story.
- Le Corbusier, Swiss architect, born (died 1965).
- Golden Jubilee celebrates the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's coronation as ruler of British Empire.
- Eugene O'Neill, American playwright, Long Day's Journey into Night, born (died 1953).
- Irving Berlin, American composer, born (died 1991).
- American inventor and industrialist George Eastman perfects Kodak box camera.
- Scottish inventor John Born Dunlop develops pneumatic tire.
- "Lawrence of Arabia," Thomas Edward Lawrence, born (died 1935).
- Croatian-born American electric engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla constructs the first electric motor, later manufactured by American inventor George Westinghouse.
- Maurice Chevalier, French actor, born (died 1972).
- In Oakland H.C. Capwell opens The Lace House, eventually to become Capwell's at Broadway and 20th Street.
- Architects Samuel and Joseph Newsom make Queen Anne addition to George W. Patterson House on Ardenwood Farm in Fremont. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington become states.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, American general and President 1952-60, born (died 1969).
- American psychologist William James writes The Principles of Psychology.
- Rubber gloves are used for the first time in surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Daughters of the American Revolution founded in Washington D.C..
- The first entirely steel-framed building erected in Chicago.
- Benjamin Harris inaugurated as 23rd President of the United States.
- Adolph Hitler, Austrian Nazi dictator, born (died 1945).
- Charles Chaplin, English film actor, born (died 1977).
- French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designs the 1,056-foot high Eiffel Tower for the Paris World Exhibition.
- Barnum and Bailey's Circus opens at the Olympia, London.
- Charles de Gaulle, French soldier and statesman, born (died 1970).
- Masonic Temple completed in Alameda, designed by architect Charles Mau. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- Alameda population reaches 11,165.
- San Francisco population reaches 298,997, making it the eighth largest city in the United States.
- American capitalist and philanthropist Andrew J. Carnegie develops first large steel furnace in Pennsylvania.
- New York City streets are first lit by electricity.
- Canned fruits and meats first appear in United States stores.
- Idaho and Wyoming become states.
- John Garfield elected President of the United States.
- American Joel Chandler Harris writes Uncle Remus.
- Helen Keller, American deaf and blind educator, born (died 1936).
- French artist Auguste Rodin sculpts The Thinker.
- Gilbert and Sullivan write The Pirates of Penzance.
- Parcel post mail service introduced in England.
- David Greenleaf residence completed at 1724 Santa Clara Avenue, designed by architect Ernest Coxhead. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- The first electric streetcar leaves the foot of Broadway in Oakland, bond for Berkeley,
- American W.L. Judson invents clothing zipper (not in practical use until 1919).
- The Sioux surrender at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
- In Java, Dutch anthropologist Eugene Dubois discovers Pithecanthropus Erectus (Java Man).
- Construction begun on Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladisvostock
- Oscar Wilde writes The Picture of Dorian Gray.
- Park Street Bridge is completed in Alameda.
- James J. Corbett (Gentleman Jim) of San Francisco knocks out American boxer John L. Sullivan in the twenty-first round to win world heavyweight boxing championship, first title match with gloves under Marquis of Queensberry Rules.
- Grover Cleveland elected president of the United States.
- Pearl S. Buck, American novelist, The Good Earth, born (died 1973).
- First canned pineapples appear in markets.
- William Gladstone becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.
- Irish-born British playwright George Bernard Shaw writes Mrs.Warren's Profession.
- German mechanical engineer Rudolph Diesel patents internal-combustion engine.
- Alaska Packers formed in Alameda to catch and can salmon. Its fleet is anchored in a yard near Paru Street.
- Pacific Bank fails, starting San Francisco economic depression.
- Buddy Boldin's Ragtime Band organized in New Orleans; first "jazz" band, although that name for the music was not used until 20 years later.
- Columbian World Exposition opens in Chicago.
- Minnesotans Richard Sears and A.C. Roebuck found their mail order catalogue company to compete with Montgomery Ward.
- First modern dry breakfast cereal, Shredded Wheat, invented by W.L. Judson.
- Cole Porter, American songwriter, born (died 1964).
- Frank Lloyd Wright begins his architectural practice.
- American industrialist Henry Ford builds his first automobile.
- Rudolf Deisel produces a heavy oil engine.
- Hawaii proclaimed a republic and annexed to United States by treaty.
- Czech Antonin Dvorak composes The New World Symphony.
- Art Nouveau style in art, design, and architecture appears in Europe.
- Midwinter International Exposition is held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to promote the City's salubrious climate and boost its sagging economy.
- James Thurber, American humorist and author, My Life and Hard Times, born (died 1961).
- Nikita Khrushchev, Russian statesman, born (died 1971).
- Rudyard Kipling writes The Jungle Book.
- Pierre, Baron de Coubertin, founds committee in France to organize modern Olympic Games.
- Adolph Sutro elected mayor of San Francisco.
- American King C. Gillette invents the safety razor.
- Oscar Hammerstein, American songwriter, born (died 1960).
- Lewis Mumford, American author of The Life of Cities, born (died 1990).
- First professional football game played in United States at Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
- Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi converts radio waves into electronic signals and transmits them in first successful long-wave radio signal broadcast.
- Austrian-born psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud publishes his first work on psychoanalysis, Studies in Hysteria, in Vienna.
- Tchaikovsky composes Swan Lake ballet.
- British South Africa territory south of Zambezi becomes Rhodesia.
- English author H.G. Wells writes The Time Machine.
- Gustav Mahler composes Symphony No. 2.
- German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovers x-rays.
- French photographers Auguste and Louis Lumiere invent a moving picture camera called the cinematograph. They screen moving pictures in public for the first time at the Hotel Scribe in Paris.
- Alameda City Hall opens, designed by architects Percy and Hamilton, who also built homes, churches, and commercial buildings in San Francisco. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- Sutro Baths, world's largest indoor swimming pool, opens in San Francisco to a first-day crowd of 25,000.
- Utah becomes a state.
- John dos Passos, American novelist, USA Trilogy, born (died 1970).
- British chemist Sir William Ramsay discovers helium.
- French physicist A.H. Becquerel discovers radioactivity.
- First modern Olympics held in Athens, Greece.
- Klondike gold rush at Bonanza Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada.
- Meyers House built in Alameda for prominent architect Henry H. Meyers; bequeathed to the City of Alameda by the family in 1993. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- James Duval Phelan elected mayor of San Francisco.
- Gentleman Jim Corbett loses heavyweight boxing title when he is knocked out in the first round by Bob Fitzsimmons in Carson City, Nevada.
- William McKinley inaugurated as President of the United States.
- Ransom E. Olds and a group of investors form the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing, Michigan. One of their early models, the Oldsmobile Runabout, sold for $650.
- Katzenjammer Kids, first American comic strip, begun by Rudolph Dirks, published in the NewYork Journal.
- Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her coronation. At the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, a banquet in Victoria's honor was served to hundreds of guests, including the royal daughter Princess Beatrice. The nine courses included mutton cutlets, English style, timbale of chicken Queen Victoria, and, naturally, prime roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.
- H.G. Wells writes The Invisible Man.
- French playwright Edmond Rostand writes Cyrano de Bergerac.
- Tate Gallery opens in London, featuring the collection of Victorian paintings donated by sugar cube inventor Sir Henry Tate.
- Hay and Wright Yard is moved from San Francisco to Alameda, where it builds wooden steam schooners.
- San Francisco's second Ferry Building opens on the Embarcadero.
- Ernest Hemingway, American author of The Sun Also Rises, born (died 1961).
- American Paul Robeson, singer and actor, born (died 1976).
- Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, dies (born 1832).
- German playwright Bertolt Brecht, Threepenny Opera, born (died 1956).
- George Bernard Shaw writes Caesar and Cleopatra.
- French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium.
- German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin builds airship.
- Paris Metro underground railroad opens.
- British sculptor Henry Moore born (died 1986).
- Spanish-American War: Spain loses Cuba and Puerto Rico to United States.
- Dunsmuir House, a 37-room Colonial Revival mansion, built in Oakland for coal and lumber magnate Alexander Dunsmuir. See Field Trip Resources Appendix 1.
- American philosopher and educator John Dewey writes School and Society.
- American author Frank Norris writes McTeague, A Story of San Francisco, set in the shopping district of Polk Street during the 1890s.
- Anglo-Boer War in South Africa.
- Oscar Wilde writes The Importance of Being Earnest.
- Johann Strauss II, Blue Danube Waltz, dies (born 1825).
- Motion picture Cleopatra is produced by French director George Melies, who made more than 400 films between 1899 and 1913.
- Alameda population reaches 16,464.
- San Francisco population reaches 342,782.
- William McKinley, 25th President of the United states, reelected.
- Thomas Wolfe, American author of You Can't go Home Again, born (died 1938).
- American Aaron Copland, composer of Appalachian Spring, born (died 1990).
- American radio engineer Reginald Aubrey Fessenden transmits human speech via radio waves.
- Escalators were first installed, developed independently in early 1890s in both France and the United States.
- The Commonwealth of Australia is created.
- Sigmund Freud writes The Interpretation of Dreams.
- Picasso paints Le Moulin de la Galette (The Flour Mill).
- French artist Paul Gauguin writes Noa Noa, a report on his travels through Tahiti.
- English archeologist Sir Arthur Evans's excavations in Crete uncover Minoan culture.
- The Cake Walk becomes the most fashionable dance.
- German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, dies (born 1844).
- World Exhibition opens in Paris.
- High Street and Fruitvale Bridges are completed in Alameda.
- More than 13,000 teamsters, seamen, and longshoremen close down port of San Francisco for eight weeks; battles between strikers and strikebreakers kill four and injure hundreds, Union Labor party formed in aftermath.
- President William McKinley visits San Francisco. Later this year, he is assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz and succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Frank Norris writes The Octopus.
- Walt Disney, American film producer, born (died 1966, according to informed sources).
- First American Bowling Club tournament held in Chicago.
- Queen Victoria dies at the age of eighty-two, succeeded by her son Edward VII.
- Italian operatic composer Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto and Il Trovatore, dies (born 1813).
- Marconi transmits telegraphic radio messages from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland, Canada.
- Wilhelm Maybach, technical director at the Daimler works in Germany, constructs the first Mercedes car.
- Oil drilling begins in Persia (now Iran).
- First British submarine launched.
- The electric-powered vacuum cleaner is invented in England by Herbert C. Booth.
- Tidal canal is finally completed, making the City of Alameda an island. The work started in 1874 with a federal grant to improve the Oakland and Alameda Harbor. Tons of dredged silt and soil were used to fill marsh land along the Estuary from the east end to Grand Street.
- A Colonial Revival home is built at 2017 Central Avenue for Charles C. Gardner, designed by architects Cunningham and Politeo. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- Alameda Free Library opens at Oak and Santa Clara Avenue, designed by architects Willcox & Curtis. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- A Colonial Revival farmhouse built at Shadelands Ranch in Walnut Creek. Now a house museum, with a garden and research center. See Field Trip Resources, Appendix 1.
- Band leader and bassoon player Eugene E. Schmitz elected mayor of San Francisco.
- First Rose Bowl football game held in Pasadena, California.
- John Steinbeck, American author of Grapes of Wrath, born (died 1968).
- Leon Trotsky escapes from a Siberian prison and settles in London.
- Rudyard Kipling writes Just-so Stories.
- English author and illustrator Beatrix Potter writes Peter Rabbit.
- Rodin sculpts Romeo and Juliet.
- Italian Opera singer Enrico Curuso makes his first phonograph recording.
- J.M. Bacon crosses the Irish Channel in a balloon.
- French novelist Emile Zola, Nana, dies (born 1840).
- Aswan Dam opens in Upper Egypt to regulate the flow of the Nile River for irrigation of crops.
- Sanctuary Building of the First Presbyterian Church completed at 2001 Santa Clara Avenue, designed by architect Henry Meyers. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- American film director Edwin S. Porter completes “The Great Train Robbery.” At 12 minutes in length, it is the longest film to date.
- American aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright fly a powered airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
- Henry Ford founds the Ford Motor Company in Michigan.
- First coast-to-coast crossing of the American continent by car takes 65 days.
- Jack London writes “The Call of the Wild.”
- American toy manufacturer Morris Michum, New York City, makes the first teddy bear, ostensibly in honor of President "Teddy" Roosevelt.
- Germans Richard and Margarete Steiff produce the Steiff Teddybear, nicknamed ‘Friend Petz’ (Friend Bruin).
- Alaskan frontier is settled.
- George Bernard Shaw writes “Man and Superman.”
- Paul Gauguin, French painter, dies (born 1848).
- Motorcar regulations in Britain set a 20 mile-per-hour speed limit.
- Emmeline Pankhurst founds National Women's Social and Political Union in England.
- First motor taxis appear in London.
- First Tour de France bicycle race.
- Alameda stages three-day Water Carnival to celebrate becoming The Island City.
- First Congregational Church completed 1912 Central Avenue, designed by architect D. F. Oliver. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- First public recreation area, Bushrod Playground, is deeded to Oakland by Bushrod Washington James.
- Amadeo Peter Giannini founds Bank of Italy in San Francisco.
- Jack London writes “The Sea Wolf.”
- First railroad tunnel under Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey.
- Broadway subway opened in New York City.
- World Exhibition and American Olympics held in St. Louis, Missouri.
- New York policeman arrests woman for smoking cigarette in public.
- James Barrie writes “Peter Pan.”
- Abbey Theatre founded in Dublin, Ireland.
- O. Henry writes “Cabbages and Kings.”
- Sigmund Freud writes “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.”
- First radio transmission of music at Graz, Austria.
- Work begins on the Panama Canal.
- Rolls-Royce Ltd., automobile manufacturers, founded in England
- Ten-hour work day established in France.
- Sinn Fein Party founded in Dublin, Ireland.
- Theodore Roosevelt inaugurated as U.S. President for second term.
- William (Big Bill) Haywood and others found the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) at a convention in Chicago.
- Bernard Shaw writes “Major Barbara.” His earlier play, “Mrs. Warren's Profession,” opens in New York. Police censor closes it after one performance.
- The first regular moving picture theater established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the first films feature comedian Max Linder (1883-1925).
- Albert Einstein formulates theory of relativity.
- First motor buses used in London.
- Earthquake estimated at 8.25 intensity on the Richter Scale strikes Northern California (5:12-5:13 am., April 18).
- President Theodore Roosevelt, on first trip outside United States by a president in office, visits Canal Zone.
- American dancer and educator Ruth St. Denis introduces modern dancing in the United States.
- Upton Sinclair writes “The Jungle.”
- United States Pure Food and Drugs Act passed.
- Night-shift work for women is internationally forbidden.
- Lawyer Abe Ruef, political power behind San Francisco mayor Eugene Schmitz, pleads guilty to extortion charges. Schmitz sentenced to five years in San Quentin Prison for corruption in office.
- Sutro's Cliff House at Ocean Beach in San Francisco destroyed by fire.
- Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, becomes federal military prison.
- First Ziegfeld Follies staged in New York City.
- Oklahoma becomes 46th state.
- English poet W.H. Auden born (died 1973).
- First exhibition of Cubist art in Paris.
- Robert Baden-Powell founds Boy Scouts in England.
- British steamship Lusitania launched, sets new transatlantic speed record, steaming from Queenstown, Ireland to New York City in five days and 45 minutes.
- The Adelphian Club is completed at 2167 Central Avenue in Alameda, designed by architect W.C. Willcox. (An official Alameda City Monument).
- City of Alameda begins installation of 4,000 new electric lamps, reinforcing the City's reputation as one of the best-lit cities in California.
- Lyndon Baines Johnson (later President of the United States 1963-68) born (died 1973).
- General Motors Corporation formed in Michigan.
- First steel and glass building is constructed in Berlin, Germany, by Peter Behrens.
- Union of South Africa established.
- Olympic Games held in London.
- Oakland's area almost triples as various places are annexed, including Claremont, Elmhurst, Fitchburg, Fruitvale, and Melrose.
- San Francisco launches first fire boat, The David Scannel.
- William H. Taft is inaugurated as 27th President of the United States.
- Sigmund Freud visits United States, lectures on psychoanalysis to large audiences.
- Frank Lloyd Wright designs Robie House in Chicago, Illinois.
- American explorer Robert E. Peary reaches the North Pole.
- Plastic (originally called Bakelite) first manufactured commercially; invented by American L.H. Baekeland in 1908.
- First permanent waves given by London hairdressers.
- Alameda population reaches 23,383.
- San Francisco population reaches 416,912.
- Mark Twain dies (born 1835).
- King Edward VII dies, is succeeded by George V., father of current Queen Elizabeth II.
- Compose Igor Stravinsky presents his ballet “The Firebird” in Paris to almost universal revulsion.
- Halley's Comet is observed.
- Father's Day is first celebrated.
- Neon light is invented by French engineer Georges Claude.
Alameda: A Geographical History, Imelda Merlin, Friends of the Alameda Free Library, 1977.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Houghton Mifflin: Boston, 1992.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Second Edition, Columbia University Press: New York.
Historical Atlas of Alameda County, 1878, Thompson & West, reproduced by Valley Publishers: Fresno, California
Historic Commercial Buildings of Alameda, Woodruff C. Minor, Historical Advisory Board, City of Alameda, 1993.
Historic Preservation Element, City of Alameda Planning Department, 1980.
History of the World, J.M. Roberts, Oxford University Press, 1993.
Oakland Timeline, provided by Oakland Tribune columnist Annalee Allen, Director of Oakland Tour.
The San Francisco Bay Area: A Metropolis in Perspective, Mel Scott, University of California Press: Berkeley, 1959.
The Timetables of History, Bernard Grun, Simon and Schuster: New York, 1963.
The Victorians, a brochure published by the National Gallery of Art for its 1997 exhibition, The Victorians: British Paintings in the Reign of Queen Victoria.
Webster's New Biographical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc.: Springfield, Massachusetts, 1983.