Notes from the 1890s

History Notes – Chronology  1891-1900


1891 – Princess Liliuokalani ascends to the throne in Hawaiian kingdom when her brother King Kalakaua dies after a long illness.


1891- Leland Stanford opens new college in California - named for his son who died at the age of 15 in 1884. The coeducational college is located 30 miles south of San Francisco.


1891 – American sailors attacked on the streets of Valparaiso, Chile after a saloon brawl got out of hand. Two sailors were killed and 18 wounded during the melee.


1892 – Strikers and strike breakers clash in bloody conflict in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Strikers were originally able to rout the strike breakers, but the state militia was brought in and open the steel mills to non-union workers.


1892 – Grover Cleveland was able to defeat Benjamin Harrison in the presidential election. Cleveland had lost to Harrison in the previous election in 1888. This was the third consecutive time that Cleveland had received the most popular votes.


1893 – James Hill’s Great Northern Railroad completed in September. This northern transcontinental line did not use government land grants to finance the construction. The line connects the Minneapolis area with the Puget Sound region.


1893 – Financial panic grips the nation. Depression follows. 600 banks fail, 74 rail lines close, and more than 15,000 businesses go bankrupt. Unemployment rose sharply.


1894 – Squeeze play first used in a baseball game – between Yale and Princeton.


1894 – Milton Hershey, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, introduces his chocolate bar for all Americans to enjoy. The affordable treat is instantly popular.


1894 – Sanford Dole and the sugar planters who supporter him, seize control of the Hawaiian government, deposing the standing monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Voting rights denied to native islanders.


1895 – The United States intervenes in the border dispute between British Guiana and neighboring Venezuela. Arbitration is used to settle the dispute.


1895 – J. P. Morgan bails out the government by selling $65 million in gold to the United States to boost their reserves.


1896 – Utah enters the Union as the 45th state. Polygamy is outlawed, and Salt Lake City is chosen as the capital.


1896 – American James B. Connolly wins first gold medal of the modern Olympics, capturing first place in the triple jump.


1896 – William McKinley defeats William Jennings Bryan in the presidential election.


1896 – U.S. Postal service begins Rural Free Delivery (RFD)


1897 – Thousands swarm to the Klondike to seek gold. Seattle is the top jumping off point for ships headed to Alaska. Population growth in Seattle exceeds that of Tacoma.


1898 – USS Maine explodes in Havana Harbor, claiming the lives of 252 American soldiers and officers. U.S. claims that Spain is responsible.


1898 – Public pressure, spurred by yellow journalism, prompts President McKinley to ask congress to declare war on Spain. Congress does.


1898 – Commodore George Dewey and the U.S. Pacific fleet destroy the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. U.S. ground forces help liberate the Philippine Islands from Spanish control.


1898 – U.S. forces in Cuba overwhelm Spanish troops. Roughriders capture San Juan Hill and use the high ground to flush the Spanish fleet out to open waters. Spanish fleet in the Caribbean is destroyed by Admiral Sampson’s U.S. fleet.


1898 – Hawaii is annexed by the United States.


1898 – Paris peace treaty brings Spanish American War to a close. U.S. acquires Puerto Rico and Guam in the deal.


1899 – Filipino rebels fight to liberate the islands from U.S. control. Rebel forces led by guerilla fighter Emilio Aguinaldo.


1899 – U.S., German, and British divide and occupy the Samoan Islands. United States plans to use the islands as a refueling station for navy and merchant vessels.


1900 – U.S. Population reaches 76,000,000


1900 – U.S. and coalition forces put down the Boxer Rebellion in China. Ultra-patriotic Chinese rise up and attempt to oust foreigners from the country.


1900 – President McKinley and new running mate Theodore Roosevelt defeat William Jennings Bryan in presidential election – 284 electoral votes to 155.


1900 – Author L. Frank Baum introduces new children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


1900 – George Eastman’s Kodak company introduces an easy to use Brownie camera – for $1.