Tuesday, November 27, 2007

1858 to 1859

1858. Anatomy of the Human Body, Descriptive and Surgical by London physician Henry Gray is published for the first time. Gray's Anatomy will be a standard text for more than a century.

1858. Queen Victoria and President Buchanan exchange messages August 16 over the first transatlantic cable.

1858. Big Ben begins chiming out the hours, half-hours and quarter-hours in the 316-foot- tall clock tower of London's Westminster Palace.

1858. New York's Central Park opens to the public in the autumn although it remains five years short of completion.

The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. Oliver Wendell Holmes. American. 1858. Essays. Conversations that become monologues; epigrammatic; social, theological, scientific topics.

"Telling the Bees." John Greenleaf Whittier. American. 1858. Poetry. Custom of draping hives when someone is dead; lover discovers that the dead is his beloved.

A Thousand Souls. Aleksey Pisemsky. Russian. 1858. Novel. Marries woman who has 1000 serfs in order to further his career.

Our American Cousin. Tom Taylor. American. 1858. Play. Play that Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated.

"The Deacon's Masterpiece, or, The Wonderful 'One-Hoss Shay.' " Oliver Wendell Holmes. American. 1858. Poetry. Satirizing Calvinist dogma or any inflexible though highly logical system designed for permanence. The shay did not break down. It just fell apart all at once.

"The Chambered Nautilus." Oliver Wendell Holmes. American. 1858. Poetry. Sea creature that enlarges its shell as it grows is example to the human being.

"The Courtship of Miles Standish." Henry W. Longfellow. American. 1858. Poetry. Miles Standish sends John Alden to woo Priscilla for him. She prefers John. Miles gives his blessing.

1859. The Supreme Court upholds the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

1859. John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, Va., October 16, stirs passions throughout the country.

1859. Petroleum production begins at Titusville, Penna., giving the world a new source of energy and reducing demand for the whale oil, coal gas, and lard now used in lamps.

1859. Suez Canal construction begins. Ferdinand de Lesseps has financed the sea-level waterway between the Mediterranean and Red Seas chiefly by selling stock to French investors.

1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Species in the Struggle for Life by Charles Darwin creates a furor by flying in the face of fundamentalist religion.

1859. Cocaine is isolated from coca leaves brought home from Peru by Austrian explorer Karl von Scherzer, but physicians show little interest in the drug's potential for anesthesia.

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