Monday, January 14, 2008


1873. "The country is fast becoming filled with gigantic corporations wielding and controlling immense aggregations of money and thereby commanding great influence and power," reports a Congressional investigating committee.

1873. European investors withdraw capital from the United States, the Wall Street banking house Jay Cooke & Co. fails September 18, Black Friday on the stock exchange sends prices tumbling September 19, the exchange closes for 10 days, and by year's end some 5,000 business firms have failed, millions of working Americans are obliged to depend on soup kitchens and other charities, and tens of thousands come close to starvation.

1873. San Francisco's cable streetcar, the world's first, goes into service August 1.

1873. Father Damien goes to the government hospital for lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai to care for victims of the disease that will be called Hansen's disease.

1873. DDT is prepared by German chemistry student Othmar Zeidler at Strasbourg, but he has no idea of the significance of his discovery.

1873. U.S. railroads are making deals with elevator companies, commission agents, and others to control both shipping and marketing rates and forcing farmers to sell to the nearest elevator company, agent, or railroad at rates favorable to the buyer. Grain is often downgraded as No. 2 because it is said to be wet, frozen, or weedy, and is then sold as No. 1 grade to millers, say the farmers.

1873. A farmers' convention at Springfield, Ill., attacks monopolies, calling them "detrimental to the public prosperity, corrupt in their management, and dangerous to republican institutions."

A Diary of a Writer. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Russian. 1873. Variety. Article, sketches published in the form of a journal. Concerned with political and social questions.

Around the World in Eighty Days. Jules Verne. French. 1873. Romance. Fogg wins bet, having circled the world in only 80 days, an incredible feat for its day.

A Pair of Blue Eyes. Thomas Hardy. British. 1873. Novel. Girl changes mind about eloping. Meets another man. However, former affair destroys her life.

A Chance Acquaintance. William Dean Howells. American. 1873. Novel. Kitty falls for a Boston snob; realizes he is a snob and breaks the engagement.

Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1873/76. Novel. Adulterous affair ending in suicide contrasted with a happy marriage between Levin and Kitty on the farm.

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