Czech Genealogy & History: Primer for the year 1885

Today we are pleased to be able to bring you a new exclusive translation from the pages of the Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář.  Today we are continuing our effort to translate the Table of Contents from every one of the seventy-nine annual editions of Amerikán Národní Kalendář.  Sadly, we are still stuck at only having located seventy-eight of these precious resources as the 1890 edition is still MIA.  You can read about our search and the missing year easily by clicking here.

But the good news is we are presenting the Table of Contents from the year 1885 in this post!
But first, as we like to do, we will be setting the table (pardon the pun) for you with a primer on what the world was like for our ancestors back in 1895.  Here we go:

The World of Our Ancestors in 1885

In 1885, the Vermonter, Chester A. Arthur was President of the Unite States until he was succeeded by the New Jersey-born, Grover Cleveland.

In Washington, D.C. the Washington Monument was dedicated while Auguste Rodin was commissioned to create “The Burghers of Calais” in Calais.

The Burghers of Calais

The Burghers of Calais

The Sino-French War was being fought.  Due to a Catholic priest’s mixture of politics and religion, this war, fought between the Chinese and the French, was what first brought France into Vietnam.

British Major-General Charles Gordon met his demise in Sudan, when he remained in Khartoum against orders while trying to convert his opponent to Christianity.

In Belgium, King Leopold II declared the Congo as a personal colonial possession, while in Germany Otto Von Bismarck gave Carl Peters management of East-Africa and Great Britain claimed Nigeria.

On a lighter note, Mark Twain published “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and in London, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera,“Mikado”, premiered.

The U.S. Congress declared all Native Americans wards of the Federal Government under the Indian Appropriations Act, the Postal Service began offering ‘Special Delivery’ for first-class mail, and American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) was formed.

The Boston Pops and the Salvation Army were both established, Niagara Falls State Park was established in New York State, and the first edition of “Good Housekeeping” went to press.

The Statue of Liberty arrived in the United States, the U.S. Mint in Carson City, Nevada was ordered to be shuttered, and Louis Pasteur successfully tested the first anti-rabies vaccine.

In Canada, Louis Riel was captured and executed for high treason after leading the North-West Rebellion in Saskatchewan and in London, England the first legal cremation took place.

The Prussian government exiled all Poles and Jews who did not hold German citizenship from Prussian lands.

In Chile, their first Matrimony and Civil Registry laws went into effect, the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, Illinois was completed and became known as the first skyscraper, and Bicycle Playing Cards were first produced.

1885 home insurance buildig

The first gasoline pump was delivered to a gasoline dealer, baseball declared all salaries for the 1885 season to be between $1,000 and $2,000, and in Tacoma, Washington vigilantes drove out the Chinese while burning their homes and belongings as white miners in Wyoming killed 28 of their fellow workers, all of whom were Chinese.

So you can see quite a lot was going on in the world of our ancestors in 1885!

Stay right here with Onward To Our Past® tomorrow as we bring you what was being offered for the reading pleasure of our Czech-American compatriots in the 1885 edition of the wonderful Czech-American journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!  We offer the only English translations of these awesome journals!

A Genealogical Historian, who is focused on family history and genealogy of the highest quality, but with a dose of fun. Avid about documentation and evidence. Loves helping folks of all levels in their genealogy pursuits, especially in the areas of Bohemia, Czech Republic, Italy, Cornwall, Kent, United Kingdom, U.S. Immigration and Cleveland, Ohio.

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