• President Buchanan's request that Kansas be admitted to the Union as a slave state is rejected.   [Aisha].

  • AUGUST 5: First trans-Atlantic cable was completed, by Cyrus W. Field.   [Greg]

  • Slaves are sold at extremely high prices because of the strong demand for cotton, and Southerners start to seriously talk about re-opening the slave trade.   [Josh]

  • Ohio almost becomes first state to grant woman suffrage when Ohio Senate casts a tie vote (44 to 44) to enfranchise women.   [Eve]

  • Georgia passes a law forbidding owners from emancipating slaves in their wills.   [Aisha].

  • FEBRUARY 14: Oregon becomes the 33rd State.   [Pam]

  • JUNE 27: The melody of the song "Happy Birthday to You" was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher born in Louisville, KY.   [Pam]

  • "George Eliot" publishes Adam Bede and The Lifted Veil, establishing her as a prominant female author of Victorian England, despite her male pen-name.   [Katie F.]

  • AUGUST 27: First commercially productive oil well drilled near Titusville, PA, by Edwin L. Drake.   [Greg]

  • OCTOBER 16: With 21 men, abolitionist John Brown seizes U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry. U.S. Marines captured the raiders, killing several, and Brown was hanged for treason on Dec 2nd   [Greg]

  • Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Species in the Struggle for Life.   [Josh]

  • The Comstock Lode, the first large silver deposit discovered in the United States, is found in Nevada and it builds upon the gold rush to Pike's Peak in Colorado.   [Josh]

  • President James Buchanan rules that the New Mexico Territory should be turned into a reservation for American Indians   [Josh]

  • American Medical Association announces opposition to abortion. In 1860, Connecticut is the first state to prohibit all abortions, both before and after quickening.   [Eve]

  • Washington Irving dies.   [Terry]

  • Daniel Decatur Emmet composes "Dixie" for a minstrel show.   [Sidney].

  • During the decade just ending, a tidal wave of 2.5 million immigrants entered the U.S., including 66,000 Chinese.   [Kristen]

  • 1860
  • Erastus Beadle begins publishing the first "dime novels" (which originally cost only a nickel)   [Sidney].