February 4, 1797
The Riobamba earthquake strikes Ecuador.
1797 Riobamba earthquake
The 1797 Riobamba earthquake occurred at 12:30 UTC on 4 February. It devastated the city of Riobamba and many other cities in the Interandean valley, causing up to 40,000 casualties. It is estimated that seismic intensities in the epicentral area reached at least XI on the Mercalli scale, and that the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.3, the most powerful historical event known in Ecuador. The earthquake was studied by Alexander von Humboldt, when he visited the area in 1801/2.
January 31, 1797
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music.
July 17, 1797
Hippolyte Delaroche commonly known as Paul Delaroche, was a French painter born in Paris. Delaroche was born into a wealthy family and was trained by Antoine-Jean, Baron Gros, who then painted life-size histories and had many students.
November 29, 1797
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo, Lombardy. His best-known works are the operas L'elisir d'amore
(1832), Lucia di Lammermoor
(1835), and Don Pasquale
(1843), all in Italian, and the French operas La favorite
and La fille du régiment
(both from 1840). Along with Vincenzo Bellini and Gioachino Rossini, he was a leading composer of bel canto
December 17, 1797
Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution.