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 Historical Perspectives

 

 

Here are events (at somewhat random intervals starting with the death date of our oldest documented relative) to help put our ancestors' lives into historical context -- more will be added as time permits...

1620 Mayflower arrives in Massachusetts - Plymouth Rock
1639 Connecticut colony organizes under Fundamental Orders, Mustapha I sultan of Turkey (1622-23), dies and in 1640 Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule
1643 Sir Isaac Newton born (gravity)
1665 English King Charles II declares war on Netherlands; English rename New Amsterdam, New York, after Dutch pull out
1689 English King Willem III declares war on France, English Parliament guarantees freedom of religion for Protestants, Scotland dismisses Willem III & Mary Stuart as king & queen
1714 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach German composer, son of JS Bach, is born; Typewriter patented by Englishman Henry Mill (built years later)
1764 St Louis founded as a French trading post by Pierre Laclade Ligue,
1789 Ben Franklin writes "Nothing . . . certain but death & taxes" ; Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre developed a method of photography, North Carolina ratifies constitution, becomes 12th US state; George Washington inaugurated as 1st president of US
1814 Forces allied against Napoleon capture Paris France, Francis Scott Key inspired to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" , Treaty of Ghent (end of the War of 1812) signed
1839 1st celestial photograph (the moon) made in US, John Draper, New York New York; George Armstrong Custer Major General (Union volunteers, of Little Big Horn fame) born; Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia; Paul CÚzanne France, impressionist painter, born;  Tea from India 1st arrives in UK
1864 George Washington Carver born; Nevada admitted as 36th state, General Sherman's armies reach Savannah & 12 day siege begins; Confederate sub "HL Hunley" sinks Union ship "Housatonic" (1st submarine to sink an enemy ship)
1889 1st trainload of fruit (oranges) leaves Los Angeles for the eastern US;  Dakotas, Montana & Washington admitted as states; 1st ship-to-shore wireless message received in US; Jawaharlal Nehru 1st Indian Prime Minister is born
1911 Madam Marie Curie wins Nobel Prize for chemistry; Irvin Berlin writes "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
1914 US State Department starts requiring photographs for passports, 1st patent for liquid-fueled rocket design granted (Dr R Goddard) ; Austria-Hungary attacks Serbia-WW I begins ; 1st transcontinental phone link made between New York City & San Francisco
1928 First color motion pictures demonstrated by George Eastman
1931 Empire State Building opens in New York City, the tallest building in the world at 102 stories
1939 Ernst Heinkel demonstrates 800-kph rocket plane to Hitler; Guy Lombardo & Royal Canadians 1st record "Auld Lang Syne" ; Pope Pius XII crowned in Vatican ceremonies; World premiere of "Gone With The Wind" in Atlanta Georgia; Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer; 1st commercial manufacture of nylon yarn, Seaford Delaware
1953 Salk vaccine proves effective against polio; "Red Scare" period initiated by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, leads to blacklisting in the movie
industry
1964 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Dr Martin Luther King Jr; Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" released; US begins bombing North Vietnam; Beatles land at New York's John F. Kennedy airport, for 1st US tour; 1st BASIC program runs on a computer (Dartmouth)
1972 Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP-35, the first scientific handheld calculator.
1989 US launches Magellan to Venus; Kenya announces worldwide ban on ivory to preserve its elephant herds;  Beijing students take over Tiananmen Square in China; US invades Panama and ousts General Noriega
1997 Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with Mir Space Station, Discovery captures Hubble Space Telescope; Scientists in Scotland announced they succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly"

To create your own timeline,

visit  www.OurTimeLines.com

 

 

A Chronology of Conflict

offered by Family Tree Magazine

American military actions, large and small, throughout history

Dates of Epidemics in the United States from the MI GenWeb site

In case you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors disappeared during a certain period in history, this might help. 

Epidemics have always had a great influence on people - and thus influencing as well, the genealogists trying to trace them. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to their dying during an epidemic or moving away from the affected area. Some of the major epidemics in the United States are listed below: 

1657 Boston Measles 
1687 Boston Measles 
1690 New York Yellow Fever 
1713 Boston Measles 
1729 Boston Measles 
1732-3 Worldwide Influenza 
1738 South Carolina Smallpox 
1739-40 Boston Measles 
1747 CT,NY,PA,SC Measles 
1759 N. America [areas inhabited by white people] Measles 
1761 North America and West Indies Influenza 
1772 North America Measles 
1775 N. America [especially hard in NE] epidemic Unknown 
1775-6 Worldwide [one of the worst epidemics] Influenza 
1783 Dover, DE ["extremely fatal"] Bilious Disorder 
1788 Philadelphia and New York Measles 
1793 Vermont [a "putrid" fever] and Influenza 
1793 VA [killed 500 in 5 counties in 4 weeks] Influenza 
1793 Philadelphia [one of the worst epidemics] Yellow Fever 
1793 Harrisburg, PA [many unexplained deaths] Unknown 
1793 Middletown, PA [many mysterious deaths] Unknown 
1794 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever 
1796-7 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever 
1798 Philadelphia, PA [one of the worst] Yellow Fever 
1803 New York Yellow Fever 
1820-3 Nationwide [starts Schuylkill River and spreads] "Fever" 
1831-2 Nationwide [brought by English emigrants] Asiatic Cholera 
1832 NY City and other major cities Cholera 
1837 Philadelphia Typhus 
1841 Nationwide [especially severe in the south] Yellow Fever 
1847 New Orleans Yellow Fever 
1847-8 Worldwide Influenza 
1848-9 North America Cholera 
1850 Nationwide Yellow Fever 
1850-1 North America Influenza 
1852 Nationwide [New Orleans-8,000 die in summer] Yellow Fever 
1855 Nationwide [many parts] Yellow Fever 
1857-9 Worldwide [one of the greatest epidemics] Influenza 
1860-1 Pennsylvania Smallpox 
1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, New Orleans} {Smallpox 
Baltimore, Memphis, Washington DC} Cholera and a series of recurring 
epidemics of: Typhus, Typhoid, Scarlet Fever, Yellow Fever 
1873-5 North America and Europe Influenza 
1878 New Orleans [last great epidemic] Yellow Fever 
1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid 
1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever 
1918 (high point year) Influenza Worldwide more people were hospitalized in WWI from this epidemic than wounds. US Army training camps became death camps, with 80% death rate in some camps. 

Finally, these specific instances of cholera were mentioned: 
1833 Columbus, OH,  
1834 New York City,
1849 New York,  and 1851 Coles Co., IL, The Great Plains, and Missouri 

For More Perspective:

Irish History

HyperHistory

The History Channel