Friday, February 8, 2008


1889. The British South Africa Co. headed by Cecil Rhodes receives almost unlimited rights and powers of government in the area north of the Transvaal and west of Mozambique.

1889. The first Pan-American Conference opens October 2 at Washington, D.C., to cement relations among Western Hemisphere nations.

1889. Oklahoma Territory lands formerly reserved for Native Americans are opened to white homesteaders at high noon April 22, and a race begins to stake land claims. "Sooners," who have entered the territory prematurely, claim prior rights in many areas.

1889. Electric lights are installed at the White House, but neither President Harrison nor his wife will touch the switches.

1889. France's Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique goes bankrupt after having spent the equivalent of $287 million in an effort to build a Panama Canal. Thousands lose their savings in the canal company's collapse.

1889. Nellie Bly leaves Hoboken, NJ, November 14, in an attempt to outdo the hero of the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. New York World reporter Elizabeth "Nellie Bly" Cochrane, 22, has earlier feigned madness in a successful attempt to gain admission for 10 days to New York's insane asylum on Blackwell's Island.

1889. The Mayo Clinic has its beginning in Rochester, Minn.

1889. The Wall Street Journal begins publication July 8.

1889. Boston pugilist John L. Sullivan, 30, defeats Jake Kilrain at Richburg, Miss. in July. The 75-round fight lasts for 2 hours, 16 minutes in 106-degree heat; it is the last major bare-knuckle prizefight.

1889. The first All-America football team selected by Yale athletic director Walter Camp.

1889. The Flexible Flyer sled introduced by Philadelphia farm-equipment maker Sam Leeds Allen has runners that can be flexed over their entire length to permit turns twice as tight at twice the speed possible with other sleds.

1889. Former Texas outlaw Belle Starr is shot dead February 3 in Oklahoma Territory by person or persons unknown.

1889. The Eiffel Tower designed by French engineer Alexander Eiffel is completed at Paris for the Universal Exhibition that opens May 6.

1889. New York's first real skyscraper opens September 27, a 13-story structure.

1889. The Johnstown Flood May 31 kills 2,000 to 5,000 Pennsylvanians in a city of 30,000. An earthen dam 90 feet high on the Conemaugh River has given way 14 miles away in the mountains, a torrent of water roars down on the city at 50 miles per hour, and its force toses a 48-ton locomotive 1 mile.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Mark Twain. American. 1889. Novel. Blow sends Yankee back to the days of King Arthjur. His Yankee ingenuity and "know how" vs. medieval superstition.

"A Dreary Story." Anton Chekhov. Russian. 1889. Story. Difficulty of real communication btween people. Professor and his ward see life as fragmented, aimless and worthless. Despair. They fail to communicate to each other and remain isolated.

"The Man Who Would Be King." Rudyard Kipling. British. 1889. Story. Man sets himself up as god/king. He is betrayed, tortured and killed.

"Crossing the Bar." Alfred Lord Tennyson. British. 1889. Poetry. Metaphor for death; putting out to sea on a calm evening.

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