Thursday, February 7, 2008


1888. "We Germans fear God, and nothing else in the world," says Bismarck in a speech to the Reichstag at Berlin.

1888. Wilhelm I dies at Berlin, less thant 2 weeks before his 91st birthday, after a 27-year reign of Prussia and Germany that has seen the unification of Germany under Bismarck.

1888. U.S. voters elect Indiana Republican Benjamin Harrison, 55, grandson of the ninth president William Henry Harrison.

1888. The first sucessful electric trolley cars go into service at Richmond, Va.

1888. A suez Canal Convention signed at Constantinople October 29 declares the canal to be free and open to merchant ships and warships in war and peace.

1888. U.S. inventor John Robert Gregg introduces a new shorthand system he calls "Light Line Phonography." It will largely replace the Pitman system in America.

1888. The National Geographic begins publication in October at Washington, D.C.

1888. "Casey at the Bat" appears June 3 in the San Francisco Examiner which pays Ernest Lawrence Thayer, 24, $5 for his contribution. The comic verse about baseball will be popularized by comedian-singer William DeWolf Hopper, 30, who will recite it thousands of times to enthusiastic audiences.

1888. The Kodak camera ("You Press the Button, We Do the Rest") introduced by George Eastman revolutionizes photography by making it possible for any amateur to take satisfactory snapshots. Eastman will explain the name Kodak by saying, "I knew a trade name must be short, vigorous, incapable of bein misspelled to an extent that will destroy its identitiy, and, in order to satisfy the trademark laws, it must mean nothing."

1888. "There are only about four hundred people in New York society," says social arbiter Ward McAllister. In 1872, he organized the Patriarchs, a group comprised of the heads of New York's oldest families on whose approval social aspirants depend.

1888. Jack the Ripper makes headlines.

1888. The Washington Monument that will remain the world's tallest masonry structure is completed at Washington, D.C., after 40 years of construction.

1888. The blizzard that strikes the U.S. Northeast in March comes on the heels of the mildest winter in 17 years and follows a warm spell in which buds have opened on trees in New York's Central Park. New York's temperature drops to 10 degrees March 12 and winds off the Atlantic build up to 48 miles per hour, bringing unpredicted snow which continues off and on into the early morning of Wednesday, March 14. The 3-day accumulation totals 20.9 inches, but snowdrifts 15 to 20 feet high bring traffic to a standstill. Washington is isolated from the world for more than a day, 200 ships are lost or grounded from Chesapeake Bay north, at least 100 seamen die in the the "Great White Hurricane," pedestrians and horses freeze to death in the streets, and at least 400 die, including former U.S. Senator from New York, Roscoe Conkling, who catches pneumonia and dies in mid-April.

Miss Julie. August Strindberg. Swedish. 1888. Play. Love-hate relationship of men and women; Julie is brought up to hate men. She seduces the footman, which creates conflicts in her, and she commits suicide.

We'll to the Woods No More. Edouard Dujardin. French. 1888. Novel. First example of an interior monologue and the stream of consciousness. Thoughts, impressions of Dan Prince as he walks the streets, meets friends, sits in a restaurant, rides in a carriage or visits an actress. Influenced by Wagner's leitmotif, Browning's monologues, and the psychological monologues of Dostoevsky.

The Soil. Emile Zola. French. 1888. Novel. Deals with greed for land. Peasants are portrayed with merciless realism.

The Aspern Papers. Henry James. American/British. 1888. Novel. Narrator tries to gain possession of a collection of a famous poet's papers held by the poet's former mistress. When he can gain them at the expense of marrying her niece, he cannot pay that price.

Soldiers Three. Rudyard Kipling. British. 1888. Stories. Stories of Anglo-Indian life.

Plain Tales from the Hills. Rudyard Kipling. British. 1888. Stories. Stories of life in India.

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