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August Bebel
August Bebel
becomes the first chairman of
the newly founded Social Democratic Labor Party .
Mount Washington Cog Railway
The Mount Washington Cog Railway on Mount Washington in New Hampshire , the world's first rack railway , opens.
Sea Battle of Hakodate
At the beginning of the Meiji Restoration , Japan defeats the breakaway republic of Ezo in the naval battle of Hakodate .
1869 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1317/18 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1861/62 (September 10-11)
Baha'i calendar 25/26 (March 20/21)
Bengali solar calendar 1274/75 (beginning of April 14th or 15th)
Buddhist calendar 2412/13 (southern Buddhism); 2411/12 (alternative calculation according to Buddha's Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 76th (77th) cycle

Year of the Earth-Snake己巳 ( at the beginning of the year Earth-Dragon 龙 辰)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1231/32 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4202/03 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 1247/48 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1285/86 (April 12-13)
Japanese calendar Meiji 2 ( 明治 2 年 ) (from February 11th)
Jewish calendar 5629/30 (September 5-6)
Coptic calendar 1585/86 (September 10-11)
Malayalam calendar 1044/45
Rumi Calendar (Ottoman Empire) 1284/85 (March 1)
Seleucid era Babylon: 2179/80 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 2180/81 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1925/26 (April)


Politics and world events


  • January 1st : Emil Welti becomes President of Switzerland .
  • October 31 : In the Swiss parliamentary elections in 1869 , the liberals (or radical liberals) were able to gain, but missed an absolute majority, while the moderate liberals lost in favor of the democrats and catholic conservatives. For the first time, the elections are characterized by the development of formal election programs that have an impact on the formation of political will throughout Switzerland . The election campaigns are no longer limited to rivalries within the cantons, and the still loosely organized political groups are no longer content with simply ensuring the loyalty of their supporters. The main reason for this development is the forthcoming revision of the Swiss Federal Constitution , which is polarizing the Confederation. The supporters of a total revision in the centralistic sense and the federalist-minded proponents of a partial revision stand opposite one another. The newly elected parliament will meet for the first time on December 6th .

North German Confederation


Ferenc Deák 1869


The Spanish interim government 1868/69

Other events in Europe

  • In March and April the Belgian railway crisis reached its peak.
  • Summer / Autumn: After a further tightening of the British Contagious Diseases Acts , women of all walks of life are fighting for the first time against the decrees that criminalize prostitutes and grant police officers extensive rights to apprehend women and girls who appear to be or actually engaged in prostitution, to intern them and to order that they have to undergo a gynecological examination, but leave the customers unmolested. A petition signed by 140 women to abolish the Contagious Diseases Acts is one of the founding documents of modern feminism . The leading figure of the campaign is Josephine Butler .


Ulysses S. Grant in the White House
Grant's Inauguration Celebrations




Financial crises and gold rush

The two finders with their wives and the gold nugget


Business start-ups

Bank founder Marcus Goldman

More economic events

science and technology

The construction of the Suez Canal

Opening ceremony 1869


Departure from Bremerhaven on June 15th
  • June 15 : The second German North Pole Expedition , inspired by August Petermann and led by Carl Koldewey , leaves Bremerhaven with the ships Germania and Hansa . Subsequently, the coast of East Greenland between 73 ° and 77 ° north latitude will be explored and mapped. The expedition discovers and names u. a. the Germanialand peninsula and the Kaiser-Franz-Joseph-Fjord . In addition, the scientists carry out an extensive research program in the biological, geoscientific and archaeological fields. After wintering, the expedition returned to Germany in 1870.
  • After a two-year break, Alexandrine Tinné is putting together a new expedition to be the first European to cross the Sahara . From Tripoli , she and her entourage penetrate deep into the Libyan Sahara. In Murzuk she meets the German doctor and research traveler Gustav Nachtigal . He persuades Alexandrine to send the Saxon high school student Gottlob Adolf Krause , who has run away from home and who has joined the expedition, back to Tripoli. The Tuareg assure their support and escort for the further journey. On the way, among other things, she buys women free from slave traders who are destined for harems . Because of a political intrigue between the various tribal leaders of the Kel Ajjer , she is murdered during an attack on the expedition on August 1st . Only after a few days is she found by soldiers summoned and buried in the desert.
  • September 13th to October 3rd : David E. Folsom leads the Folsom Expedition to what is now Yellowstone National Park . His written notes are so untrustworthy on his return that they are only published by a single newspaper in Chicago.

Medicine and science

Mendeleev's periodic table


Big Trestle: The last bridge on the rail link
Celebration of the rail link on May 10th
The Hannibal Bridge 1869
Kansas City 1869 (above), the Hannibal Bridge over the Missouri on the right

Teaching and Research


A photograph of the giant's excavation


Architecture and fine arts


Music and theater

Johannes Brahms around 1866
Opening performance in the New House with Don Giovanni , May 25, 1869
The fire in the court theater in Dresden


The opening of the council
  • December 8th : Pope Pius IX. opens the First Vatican Council . Afterwards the deliberations of the Council Fathers take place in 89 General Congregations under the presidency of five Italian cardinals. In the beginning, 774 prelates take part. It is thus the council with the largest number of participants to date . A third of the participants come from non-European countries, including 61 from the United Eastern Churches, 121 from America, 41 from Asia, 18 from Oceania and nine from Africa. Most of them have a European education, which is why the Council is in principle dominated by European interests. Germany and Austria send 77 representatives, the representatives of the Italians (35%) and French (17%) together make up more than half of all participants. From the beginning, the debate about papal infallibility determined what happened in the Council and divided the Council Fathers into two camps. The 88 opponents of the declaration of infallibility account for 20%. But they include almost the entire German-Austrian episcopate, Swiss bishops and part of the French bishops' college. The majority of the Council succeeds in excluding opponents of the dogma of infallibility from the most important commission for this question, the Commission Deputatio Fidei . At the end of December, a petition on infallibility, signed by 450 Council Fathers, is sent to the Pope. The council minority then tries to dissuade the majority from their plans through theological brochures and treatises. To do this, she even breaks the Council's secret and starts a press campaign against the project. On December 28, the examination of the first draft of a dogmatic constitution against the error of modern rationalism begins . It fails the deliberations and is referred back by the commission presidents to the commission concerned for a new submission.



nature and environment

The meteorite, today in the Palatinate Museum for Natural History


James Moore (right) and second-placed Jean-Eugène-André Castera




Else Lasker-Schüler





Hans Spemann (before 1935)





Mahatma Gandhi, 1930s


Victor Emmanuel III, around 1905
André Gide, 1893


Henri Matisse, 1933

Exact date of birth unknown


January to March

Karl von Reichenbach, 1832

April to August

Hermann von Meyer

September to December

Franklin Pierce
Giulia Grisi
(as Donna Anna)

Exact date of death unknown

Web links

Commons : 1869  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files