January 28, 1851Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in Illinois.
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has 12 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees. Northwestern was founded in 1851 by John Evans, for whom Evanston is named, and eight other lawyers, businessmen and Methodist leaders to serve the people of a region that had once been known as the Northwest Territory. Instruction began in 1855; women were admitted in 1869. Today, the main campus is a 240-acre (97 ha) parcel in Evanston, along the shores of Lake Michigan. The university's law and medical schools are located on a 25-acre (10 ha) campus in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. In 2008, the University opened a campus in Education City, Doha, Qatar with programs in journalism and communication. In academic year 2010-11, Northwestern enrolled 8,397 undergraduate and 7,870 graduate and professional students.
February 12, 1851Starting the Australian gold rush.
Edward Hargraves announces that he has found gold in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. The first gold rush in Australia started in 1851 when prospector Edward Hargraves claimed the discovery of payable gold near Bathurst, New South Wales, at a site Edward Hargraves called Ophir. Eight months later, gold was found in Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria causing large influxes of prospectors. In the late 1880s through to the mid 1890s, there were discoveries of rich goldfields in Western Australia which caused more gold rushes.
, Australian gold rush
, Edward Hargraves
March 11, 1851The first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice.
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse
by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851. It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi's middle-to-late career.
, Giuseppe Verdi
October 24, 1851
William Lassell discovers the moons Umbriel and Ariel (moon) orbiting Uranus.
Umbriel named after a character in Alexander Pope's poem The Rape of the Lock. Ariel named for a sky spirit in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock and Shakespeare's The Tempest.
November 13, 1851The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, the first settlers in what would become Seattle, Washington.
Alki Point is the westernmost point in the West Seattle district of Seattle, Washington; Alki is the peninsular neighborhood surrounding it. Jutting out into Puget Sound, Alki was the original white settlement in what was to become the city of Seattle. Part of the city of West Seattle from 1902 to 1907, Alki was annexed to Seattle along with the rest of West Seattle in 1907.
, Alki Point
December 9, 1851The first YMCA in North America is established in Montreal, Quebec.
The Young Men's Christian Association (commonly known as YMCA or simply the Y) is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs. It was founded on June 6, 1844 in London, England, and it aims to put Christian principles into practice, achieved by developing "a healthy spirit, mind, and body." The YMCA is a federated organization made up of local and national organizations in voluntary association. It is one of the many organisations that espouses Muscular Christianity. Today, YMCAs are open to all, regardless of faith, social class, age, or gender. The World Alliance of YMCAs is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
December 24, 1851Library of Congress burns.
The largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thirds of the Library's 55,000 book collection, including two–thirds of Jefferson's original transfer. Congress in 1852 quickly appropriated $168,700 to replace the lost books, but not for the acquisition of new materials.
Library of Congress
March 24, 1851
Garrett Putnam Serviss was an astronomer, popularizer of astronomy, and early science fiction writer. Serviss was born in upstate New York, and majored in science at Cornell.
January 27, 1851
John James Audubon (Jean-Jacques Audubon) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of North America
(1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species and a number of new sub-species.
December 10, 1851
Karl Drais was a German inventor and invented the Laufmaschine ("running machine"), also later called the velocipede, draisine
(English) or "draisienne" (French), also nicknamed the dandy horse. This incorporated the two-wheeler principle that is basic to the bicycle and motorcycle and was the beginning of mechanized personal transport. Drais also invented the earliest typewriter with a keyboard in 1821, later developed into an early stenograph machine, and a wood-saving cooker including the earliest hay chest.