Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen
exhibits the "Mechanical Turk", a chess-playing machine.
May 14 - Charles III of Spain sends Spanish missionaries, who found California missions in
San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Monterey and begin the settlement of California.
Famine in Bengal kills 10 million people, a third of the population, in the worst natural disaster
in human history (in terms of lives lost).
The Maharajah of Mysore forces the British to agree a treaty of mutual assistance in view of
the famine, but the British East India Company increases its demands on the Bengali people
to keep profits up.David Garrick
holds the first Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-upon-Avon.Richard Arkwright
invents the spinning frame.
April 13 - James Cook arrives in Tahiti on the ship HM Bark Endeavour, preparing to observe
the solar eclipse of the planet Venus, which took place on June 3rd. After the voyage, the data
was found to be inaccurate in determining the distance between the Sun and Earth.
The city of Brescia, Italy was devastated when the Church of San Nazaro, was struck by
lightning. The resulting fire ignited the 200,000 pounds of gunpowder that were being stored
there at that time, creating a massive explosion. The disaster prompted the Roman Catholic
Church to abandon their religious object to lightning rods to protect their property.Births
January 10 - Michel Ney
, a marshal of the French army.
February 9 - Susette Gontard
, girl-friend of poet Friedrich Hölderlin (+ 1802).
March 23 - William Smith
, English geologist and cartographer.
May 1 - Arthur Wellesley
, later 1st Duke of Wellington and nemesis of Napoleon Bonaparte.
August 15 - Napoleon Bonaparte
, future Emperor of France.
September 14 - Karl Salomo Zachariae Von Lingenthal
October 9 - Jacob (Jakob) van den Houten
November 12 - Abraham van den Houten
June 30 - Adriana Jacoba van den Houten
The Ottawa Chief Pontiac is murdered at Cahokia, Illinois.Interred
August 8 - Antonia Martha van den Houte
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