Timeline of Events in 1871

World US Arizona Mexico
World US Arizona Mexico
The death of Doña Margarita Maza de Juarez
January 2
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Doña Margarita Maza de Juarez, wife of the president of the Mexican Republic, Benito Juarez, dies. The two had eleven children.
The birth of Jesus Flores Magon
January 6
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Born in San Jeronimo Tecoatl, Oaxaca, Jesus Flores Magon was a Mexican politician, journalist, and jurist. As an adult, he was expelled from the country because of his anti-Porfirio Diaz writings; he later returned to serve in the cabinet of President Francisco I. Madero.
Descent of Man published
January 15
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Charles Darwin publishes his second book of evolutionary theory, detailing the evolution of human beings and sexual selection. The book is popular, but does not cause the sense of shock that surrounded Origin of Species.
German Unification
January 18
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The North German Federation and the South German states unite as the German Empire. The King of Prussia is crowned as Emperor Wilhelm I in Versailles.
France surrenders; Franco-Prussian War ends
January 28
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The siege of Paris ends with German victory, and France surrenders, bringing a conclusion to the Franco-Prussian War. An armistice is signed.
Apache bands make peace at Camp Grant.
February 1
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The Apache bands led by the chiefs Hashk`e`e bá nzín (“Angry, Men Stand in Line for Him”) and Captain Chiquito send a group of female elders to initiate peace negotiations with the U.S. Army troops commanded by Lieutenant Royal Whitman at Camp Grant. The Apaches agree to settle in Aravaipa Canyon near to Camp Grant; the U.S. Army agrees to issues rations to the Apache on a regular basis.
French legislative elections
February 8
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The first legislature of the French Third Republic is elected with a resounding victory for conservatives.
German Victory celebrated
February 17
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The Germany army celebrates its victory over the French with a victory parade through Paris.
Arizona Territorial Legislature releases report on Apache “outrages.”
February 17
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A special committee of the Arizona Territorial Legislature releases a report entitled Memorial and Affidavits Showing Outrages Perpetrated by the Apache Indians, in the Territory of Arizona, for the Years 1869 and 1870. The report asserts that “during the year 1870 the Apache Indians have been and are now in more active hostility than at any time since the Territory has been under the American flag.”
Lieutenant Whitman reports to his commanding officer
February 24
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Lieutenant Royal Whitman sends a dispatch to the commander of the Arizona Department, General George Stoneman, explaining his recent negotiations with the Apache in Aravaipa Canyon and requesting further instructions.
Treaty of Versailles signed
February 26
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France and Germany sign the first of the peace treaties of the Franco-Prussian War. France is to give up Alsace-Lorraine and must pay an indemnity to Germany.
2nd Enforcement Act passed
February 28
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This act gave the federal government control of congressional elections, especially in regards to vote registration, but also including where and when they are held It was passed in order to enforce the 15th Amendment.
Indian Appropriations Act passed
March 3
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This act marked the end of the US government’s practice of viewing Native American tribes as independent nations, and subsequently marked the end of treaties between the US government and those tribes. The US federal government is now given complete agency in determining Indian policy.
The death of José Fernando Ramírez
March 4
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Jose Fernando Ramírez was one of the most prominent Mexican historians of the 19th century. Most of Ramírez’s work focused on pre-Columbian and 16th century Mexican history, although he was also known as an excellent biographer. His works include Fray Toribio de Motolinía as well as several Amerindian codex translations such as The Quinantzin and The Aubin.
Census of Apaches at Camp Grant reaches 300
March 5
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As part of the ration-distribution process, the U.S. Army takes a regular count of the Apaches in Aravaipa Canyon. The March 5 tally is some 300 men, women, and children.
Apaches attack baggage train
March 10
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A baggage train between Camp Grant and the Pinal Mountains is attacked by an Apache raiding party. One soldier and one Mexican are killed and sixteen mules are seized.
Apaches attack Wooster’s Ranch
March 20
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The rancher Leslie Wooster and his common-law Mexican wife, Trinidad Aguirre, are killed in an Apache attack on Wooster’s ranch in Tubac, Arizona.
Stanley begins his expedition in Africa
March 21
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Journalist Henry Morton Stanley, sent by the New York Herald, departs for Africa to commence his search for the Scottish missionary Dr. David Livingstone.
Governor William W. Holden impeached
March 22
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After mustering the state militia to fight the Ku Klux Klan, North Carolina’s Republican governor William Holden is impeached by the state legislature and is removed from office. He is the first governor in American history to be impeached and removed from office.
Meeting of angry Tucson residents
March 22
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Upset by recent Apache attacks, the residents of Tucson form a “Committee on Public Safety.” One item on the agenda is to send a delegation to General Stoneman to request increased military protection.
Editorial in Tucson’s Arizona Citizen newspaper decries U.S. Indian policy
March 25
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Referring to arrangements such as the one between Whitman and the Apaches at Camp Grant, the editorial asks, “Will the Department Commander any longer permit the murderers to be fed by the supplies purchased with the people’s money?”
Paris Commune established
March 26
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A municipal council, later to become known as the Paris Commune, is elected by Parisian workers in response to dissatisfaction with the French government.
Royal Albert Hall opened
March 29
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London’s Royal Albert Hall, notable for housing world-renowned concerts, is declared officially open by Queen Victoria and Edward, Prince of Wales.
General Stoneman declines to respond to Lieutenant Whitman’s report
April 1
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In early April, General George Stoneman, commander of the Department of Arizona, returns Lieutenant Royal Whitman’s report from February without comment. Although General Stoneman’s ostensible reason for doing so was that Lieutenant Whitman had not followed proper protocol in addressing his report, it is likely that General Stoneman hoped to avoid assuming responsibility for the situation at Camp Grant.
The birth of José Juan Tablada
April 3
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Born in Mexico City, José Juan Tablada was a Mexican poet, art critic, and diplomat. He is attributed with introducing the concept of haiku in Spanish literature, after encountering it during his journey to Japan in 1900.
The birth of Manuel Garza Aldape
April 6
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Manuel Garza Aldape was a prominent attorney in Mexico City. From 1912 to 1913 he served as Secretary of Education, Secretary of State and Secretary of Foreign Affairs for President Victoriano Huerta. As a result of his disagreements with Huerta’s policies, he was asked to leave Mexico within a period of twenty-four hours, not returning until 1924.
P.T. Barnum's Circus begins shows
April 10
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Barnum’s circus begins its first tour in Brooklyn, NY under the title: “P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome.”
Apaches attack Juan Elías’s ranch
April 12
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Apaches raid the ranch of Juan Elías outside San Xavier del Bac, seizing some fifty cattle. Juan, along with his brothers Tomás and Jesús, give chase, recovering some of the animals and killing an Apache who is thought be a member of the groups currently at Camp Grant.
The birth of Enrique González Martínez
April 13
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Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Enrique González Martínez was a Mexican poet, diplomat, surgeon and obstetrician. His poetry is thought be Modernist in nature; Octavio Paz once hailed Martinez, “the only true Modernist Mexico has ever had.”
Germany grants civic freedom to its Jews
April 16
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The German Empire eliminates civic restrictions dating back to the Middle Ages that had once limited the freedoms of its Jewish residents.
Ku Klux Klan Act passed
April 20
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The 3rd Enforcement Act, also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1871 or the Ku Klux Klan Act, provides for the protection of any person deprived of constitutional rights by antagonists acting, or claiming to act, under federal authority. It was passed quickly as emergency legislation to deal with the rising violence due to the KKK in the South.
Census of the Apache Indians at Camp Grant reaches almost 500
April 22
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U.S. Army Captain Frank Stanwood counts 493 Apache Indians present at Camp Grant.
The death of Martín Carrera Sabat in Mexico City
April 22
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Martin Carrera Sabat was a Mexican general and interim president of the republic for a month in 1855, replacing Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna as a result of the Plan de Ayutla. Carrera entered the military as a cadet at the age of 9, becoming a lieutenant by the age of 16.
American Museum of Natural History opens
April 27
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New York City’s American Museum of Natural History opens in the Central Park Arsenal building.
Attackers leave Tucson and San Xavier del Bac
April 28
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Anglo Americans and Mexicans planning to attack Camp Grant leave Tucson in small groups to attempt avoid arousing the suspicion of U.S. Army officers at nearby Fort Lowell. They meet up with Tohono O’odham Indians from San Xavier del Bac near the Rillito Creek, south of Tucson.
Rations distributed
April 28
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The U.S. Army distributes rations to the Apache in Aravaipa Canyon. This would be the last distribution of rations prior to the Camp Grant Massacre.
Attackers journey to Camp Grant
April 29
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Traveling by night to avoid being seen and guided by Jesús María Elías, a combined force of over a hundred Anglos, Mexicans, and Tohono O’odham Indians makes it way towards the Apache camp in Aravaipa Canyon.
The Weekly Arizonan ceases publication
April 29
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After a bitter newspaper war between Tucson’s two newspapers, the Weekly Arizonan (published from 1859 to 1871) ceases publication. The Weekly Arizonan holds a special place in Arizona’s history as its first printed work, first newspaper, and first political organ.
Camp Grant Massacre
April 30
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A group of Anglo-Americans, Mexicans, and Tohono O’odham Indians surprises the Apache camp in Aravaipa Canyon near Camp Grant. The attackers kill some 140 Apache and take 29 Apache children captive.
General Crook assigned command of Arizona
May 1
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The War Department places General George Crook in command of the Department of Arizona, replacing General George Stoneman.
Rebellion in Tampico
May 2
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The federal garrison under Lieutenant Colonels Molina and Colleja rebels against Juarez’s government.
First Major League Baseball Game
May 4
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The first game between teams in what is now considered the major leagues is played between the Cleveland Forest Cities and the Fort Wayne Kekiongas. Fort Wayne wins, 2-0.
Lieutenant Cushing killed
May 5
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U.S. Army Lieutenant Howard Cushing is killed while on a patrol against the Chiricahua Apaches in southern Arizona.
The Tucson Citizen issues article bearing the headline “Bloody Retaliation”
May 6
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The article describes, without mentioning the names of those involved, the main details of the attack, including the number killed and captured (which it put at eighty-five dead, “28 children prisoners, and seven escaped”). This is the first published report of the Camp Grant Massacre.
Treaty of Frankfurt signed
May 10
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Signed between the French and the Germans, this treaty confirmed the new boundaries of France and ratified the previous Treaty of Versailles.
French troops enter Paris; invade Commune
May 21
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French national troops invade the Paris Commune with German consent. Workers and members of the commune are treated terribly, and it is believed that 17,000 to 30,000 are executed by the French army.
Jesse James robs Obocock Bank
June 3
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The James-Younger Gang, including brothers Jesse and Frank James, robs Obocock Bank in Corydon, Iowa of $15,000. This robbery spurs the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to become involved in the hunt for the gang.
US Marines land in Korea
June 10
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The Korean Punitive Expedition was launched by the American military when 650 Marines land on Kangwha Island near Seoul. The goal was to open up Korea, known as “The Hermit Kingdom,” to foreign trade. While the Marines defeated the Koreans, Korea remained closed to foreign trade.
Federal forces reclaim Tampico
June 11
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The Mexican Army seizes Tampico after a siege of several days. All rebel officers are killed in the assault.
General Crook arrives in Tucson
June 19
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General George Crook arrives in Arizona from California in early June. He establishes his military headquarters in Prescott, Arizona, and almost immediately launches a campaign against the Apache.
Presidential elections take place
June 25
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The 1871 election marks the fourth election in which the incumbent Benito Juarez runs, resulting in several complaints from fellow countrymen. Porfirio Diaz and Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada are the two other candidates running for president.
Yen adopted as the official currency of Japan
June 27
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The Meiji government in Japan passes the New Currency Act, which makes the Yen the official national currency, and places Japan on the gold standard.
Orange Riots in New York City
July 12
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Rioting breaks out in the Irish neighborhoods of New York when a parade of Irish Protestants, protected by the National Guard, is attacked by Irish Catholics.
General Crook’s campaign against the Apache suspended
July 17
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On orders from the War Department, General Crook suspends his campaign against the Apache until Vincent Colyer of the Board of Indian Commissioners (the “Peace Commission”) completes his visit to Arizona Territory.
British Columbia joins Canada
July 20
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Fears over annexation by the United States and rising debt due to population growth spur British Columbia to become the sixth province of Canada. The Canadian government also planned to link British Columbia to the east with a railroad line.
Beginning of the Hayden Geological Survey of Yellowstone National Park area
July 21
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Geologist Ferdinand Hayden’s federally funded expedition, including painter Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson, enter the Yellowstone region and begin their survey of what would become Yellowstone National Park. Moran and Jackson’s images would become instrumental in the creation of the park.
“Whistler’s Mother” painted
August 1
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In London, the American artist James McNeill Whistler completes his Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother, more famously known as “Whistler’s Mother.”
The Diaz brothers stockpile weapons
August 22
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Porfirio Diaz estimates that around 3,000 soldiers, 500 horses, and 12 pieces of artillery are at his disposal for his proposed rebel army against Benito Juarez.
Fiesta de San Agustín
August 28
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The residents of Tucson hold their yearly celebration in honor of Saint Augustine, the town’s patron saint.
Han system abolished in Japan
August 29
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Japan's long-standing feudal (han) system is abolished by the Meiji government and replaced with a more centralized system of prefectures. This emphasized the power of the state government and the emperor over feudal lords.
Whaling Disaster of 1871
September 1
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In early September, a fleet of 33 American whaling ships were trapped in ice off the coast of northern Alaska. The ships were subsequently abandoned, with losses of about $1,600,000, dealing a staggering blow to the whaling industry.
The Sixth Mexican Congress installed.
September 1
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The Mexican Congress gathers to begin calculating the results of the 1871 election.
Colyer visits Camp Grant
September 13
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Vincent Colyer, Secretary of the Board of Indian Commissioners (the “Peace Commission”), comes to Camp Grant to confer with Lieutenant Whitman and the Apache leaders Hashk`e`e bá nzín and Captain Chiquito. As a result of this parlay, Colyer creates a reservation for the Apache in Aravaipa Canyon.
Eight generals and four colonels write to Diaz
September 20
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After news reaches them, that Juarez is most likely to win the election, Generals Manuel Márquez, Donato Guerra, Jerónimo Treviño, Francisco Naranjo, Eulogio Parra, Luis Mier y Teran, Francisco Carreon, and Ramon Marquez Galindo, as well as the Colonels Sabas Lomeli, Tomas Borrego, Francisco Mena, and Fernando Gonzales, write to Porfirio Diaz informing him that they are willing to lead a rebel army to depose Juarez’s government.
U.S. District Attorney for Arizona, W. C. Rowell, arrests the alleged ringleaders of the Camp Grant Massacre
October 1
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Jesús María Elías, Juan Elías, William Oury, and four other suspects are arrested. The men all plead not guilty.
Rebellion in Mexico City
October 1
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A force of Mexico City police officers and elements of a cavalry regiment release some 800 prisoners and attempt to seize control of the Mexican capital. The revolt is suppressed the same day by forces in the Mexican Army that remain loyal to Juarez.
Brigham Young arrested
October 2
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Mormon leader Brigham Young, who by this time had married 16 women, is arrested by U.S. marshals under charges of polygamy.
Juarez announced as the winner of presidential elections in all major Mexican newspapers
October 7
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After months of counting ballots and several debates regarding a necessary majority, the results of the election are announced: Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada – 2864 votes, Porfirio Diaz – 3555 votes, and Benito Juarez – 5837 votes.
Peshtigo Fire
October 8
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Dry, windy conditions in northern Wisconsin spur one of the largest forest fires in American history. Over 1,875 square miles, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, are burned and upwards of 1,500 people perish, making it the deadliest fire in American history.
Great Chicago Fire
October 8
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Though not, as some sources would say, due to Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, the fire did start in a small shed near the O’Leary residence on DeKoven Street. It would continue to burn for two more days. 4 square miles of Chicago are destroyed, and $222 million in property is destroyed. Furthermore, 200-300 people are killed, and 90,000 are left homeless.
Criminal Tribes Act passed in India
October 12
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Passed by the British government, this act required all ethnic or social communities involved in criminal activity to be registered by the government, and subsequently subject to surveillance, search, and arrest. It would remain in effect until 1949.
President Grant’s ultimatum to the KKK in South Carolina
October 12
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President Grant orders the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina to disperse and disarm within 5 days. The ultimatum is not heeded.
Writ of Habeas Corpus suspended in South Carolina
October 17
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In order to persecute the KKK, President Grant suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus in South Carolina and sends in US Army troops to hunt down Klan members. Over 600 arrests are made.
Boss Tweed arrested
October 27
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Boss Tweed, political leader of New York City’s Tammany Hall, is arrested on charges of grand larceny and fraud. His corruption had been exposed by the New York Times and the work of political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Wickenberg Massacre
November 5
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Unknown assailants attack a stagecoach traveling from Wickenberg, Arizona, to California. Six passengers are killed, including Frederick Wadsworth Loring, a promising young writer from Boston.
Copies of El Plan de La Noria printed in Oaxaca
November 8
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The Mexican newspaper, El Ferrocaril, describes the document as genuine. The plan vigorously attacks Juarez and his reelection.
Stanley finds Livingstone
November 10
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The journalist Henry Morton Stanley locates Scottish missionary Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, a town located in present day Tanzania. He may or may not have uttered the famous words: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
El Plan de La Noria published for the first time in Mexico City
November 13
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Copies of the plan sell quickly, especially in crowded plazas where there is a consensus to the plan’s notion of “no reelection.”
National Rifle Association established
November 17
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The National Rifle Association obtained a charter from the state of New York. Former Governor of Rhode Island and Civil War general Ambrose Burnside becomes the NRA’s first President.
Revolt in Guaymas
November 20
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The military forces in the city of Guaymas, Sonora, declaring themselves in favor of Diaz in the presidential election, revolt and kill their commander. Sonoran governor Pesqueira reoccupies the city shortly afterwards.
Juarez opens new session of the Mexican Congress
December 1
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In his speech before the new session of Congress, Juarez calls for an end to the frequent revolts against his government.
Camp Grant Massacre Trial Begins
December 6
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One hundred alleged participants in the Camp Grant Massacre are tried in the U.S. District Court on charges that with “malice aforethought [they] did kill and murder” the Apache. Over the next five days, a local audience of Anglos, Mexicans, and Tohono O’odham Indians hears from an array of witnesses, each presenting their versions of the killings in Aravaipa Canyon.
Camp Grant Massacre Trial Ends
December 11
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After five days of testimony, the presiding judge, John Titus, remands the case to a jury made up of twelve Mexican and Anglos from Tucson. After only nineteen minutes of deliberation, the jury finds Sidney DeLong, William Oury, Jesús María Elías, Juan Elías, and their fellow suspects all not guilty.
Virgin of Guadalupe Day
December 12
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National holiday celebrating the appearance of the Virgin Mary before Juan Diego, a poor Mexican Indian, outside Mexico City in December of 1531.
Mariano Riva Palacio becomes governor of the state of Mexico for the third time
December 16
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Mariano Riva Palacio serves a governor of the state of Mexico for a third time, after also running in 1849 and 1857. He was the lawyer appointed to defend the deposed Emperor Maximilian.
Aida premieres
December 24
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Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida, written for the Khedive of Egypt, premieres in Cairo. Verdi, angered by the fact that no members of the general public are allowed to attend, skips the performance.
The birth of José Inocente Lugo Gómez Tagle
December 25
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Born in Santa Ana del Águila, Guerrero, José Inocente Lugo Gomez Tagle was a famous lawyer, politician, and Mexican revolutionary, known for his strong military opposition against Victoriano Huerta.