Monday, January 21, 2008


1877. The "Molly Maguires" make headlines after a decade of activity in Pennsylvania mining towns by the secret Irish-American terrorist society.

1877. Wage cuts lead to a strike by railroad workers, shutting down the railroads for a week. The strike is not ended until federal troops are called in, firing on the workers, killing some, wounding many.

1877. A San Francisco mob burns down 25 Chinatown wash houses in July and anti-Chinese riots ensue for months.

1877. Gen. James Carleton orders Apaches in Arizona Territory out of the reservation at Warm Springs in November, telling them to move to San Carlos where temperatures in summer reach as 140 degrees, F., in a region with no game and with no food except the meager rations issued by Indian agents. Any man, woman or child found off the reservation is to be shot without being given a chance to surrender.

1877. German country doctor Robert Koch will confirm Louis Pasteur's suggestion that every disease produced by microorganisms is produced by a specific bacillus, such as the tuberculosis bacillus.

1877. The first university press is founded at Baltimore's John Hopkins University where the American Journal of Mathematics begins publication.

1877. The first Bell telephone is sold in May. 778 are in use by August.

1877. A hand-cranked "phonograph or speaking machine" demonstrated by Thomas Edison November 29 records sounds on grooved metal cylinders wrapped in tinfoil.

1877. Congress establishes a U.S. Entomological Commission to control grasshoppers which have been devastating western farms and range lands.

Virgin Soil. Ivan Turgenev. Russian. 1877. Novel. Concerns the revolutionary movement in Russia; a revolutionary discovers that he is not fitted to be a revolutionary leader and in despair kills himself. His wife marries again and works for a democratic Russia in a more gradual, realistic way.

"A Simple Heart." Gustave Flaubert. French. 1877. Story. Endless self-denial of Felicite's existence. Only her faith remains.

Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse. Anna Sewell. British. 1877. Novel. Imaginary autobiography of a horse. Describes ill treatment. Pleads for humane treatment of animals.

The Golden Dog. William Kirby. Canadian. 1877. Novel. Set in old French Quebec; served as model for numerous Canadian historical romances.

The American. Henry James. American/British. 1877. Novel. Simple, innocent American Christopher Newman vs. sophisticated, corrupt European aristocrats.

L'Assommoir (The Dram Shop). Emile Zola. French. 1877. Novel. Written in the argot of French streets. Study of the demoralizing effects of alcohol on the working class.

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