January 1, 1858: A new decimal currency is instituted in Canada called the “dollar.”
January 1, 1858: Halka, an opera by Stanislaw Moniuszko (29) to words of Wolski, is performed in Warsaw for the first time. The public response is wild enthusiasm. See 18 February 1854 and 1 November 1848.
January 2, 1858: A grand “farewell concert” is given for and by Sigismond Thalberg (45) at the Academy of Music, New York. It includes four separate concerts: an opera, an orchestral performance, Thalberg and others, and Mozart’s (†66) Requiem. Thalberg premieres his Variations on Lilly Dale op.74. It is so successful it will be repeated in two days.
January 5, 1858: Second Opium War: British and French forces occupy Canton. They capture and imprison the Imperial Viceroy Yeh Ming-ch'en (Ye Mingchen).
January 7, 1858: A grand festival of Puerto Rican music is held in Ponce, organized by the visiting American, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (28). A makeshift stage is built at the local inn, over the coffin of a wealthy foreigner who recently died. While he is performing on the piano (which he had to tune), the stage collapses causing general pandemonium. Gottschalk survives unhurt.
January 11, 1858: Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha replaces Mustafa Resid Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
January 14, 1858: In an effort to cool the atmosphere between himself and the Wesendoncks over the ménage a trois, Richard Wagner (44) leaves Zürich for Paris.
January 14, 1858: Felice Orsini, an Italian patriot and follower of Mazzini, leads a small band in throwing several bombs at the carriage carrying Emperor Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie to the Paris Opéra. Two people are killed. The Empress and about 150 others are injured. Orsini will be captured and executed. As the Emperor reaches his box at the Opéra, the audience, aware of the attempt on his life, nevertheless remains mute.
January 14, 1858: Francisco Javier Istúriz y Montero replaces Francisco Armero y Fernández Peñaranda, marqués de Nervión as Prime Minister of Spain.
January 14, 1858: On the same day as the attempt on Emperor Napoléon III, Giuseppe Verdi (44) arrives in Naples with an opera about killing a king. See 28 January 1858.
January 15, 1858: Le médecin malgré lui, an opéra comique by Charles Gounod (39) to words of Barbier and Carré after Moliére, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, Paris in celebration of Moliére’s birthday. “My work was very well received,” the composer writes to Georges Bizet (19).
January 19, 1858: Liberal leader Benito Pablo Juárez García becomes president of a Mexican government in opposition to the conservatives in Mexico City.
January 19, 1858: Vibrationen op.204, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
January 21, 1858: Félix María Zuloaga Trillo replaces Ignacio Gregorio Comonfort de los Ríos as President of Mexico.
January 25, 1858: L’Enfantillage op.202, a polka française by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
January 25, 1858: Princess Victoria of Great Britain and Prince Friedrich of Prussia marry in the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace. Their use of Felix Mendelssohn’s (†10) “Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream will greatly popularize the practice.
January 26, 1858: Die Extravaganten op.205, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
January 27, 1858: Georges Bizet (19), in the company of other prize winners, reaches Rome to take up residence for his Prix de Rome year.
January 27, 1858: Hellenen-Polka op.203 by Johann Strauss (32) is performed for the first time, in the Palais Sina, Vienna.
January 28, 1858: Giuseppe Verdi (44) submits his newly completed opera Una vendetta in domino (with revised libretto) to the Neapolitan censors.
January 28, 1858: Second Opium War: The residence of the Imperial Viceroy in Canton (Guangzhou) is deliberately destroyed by French warships.
January 28, 1858: John Knowles Paine (19) gives the first of three concerts in Deering Hall, Portland, Maine. They are to raise money for his musical education in Europe.
January 30, 1858: The Hallé Orchestra gives its first concert under that name, in Manchester.
January 31, 1858: The Great Eastern is launched in London. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is the largest ship in the world, with two screw propellers and two paddle wheels.
January 31, 1858: Spiralen op.209, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna.
February 2, 1858: Künstler-Quadrille op.201 by Johann Strauss (32) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 5, 1858: Richard Wagner (44) returns to Zürich from Paris after receiving an Erard grand piano worth 5,000 francs from Madame Erard.
February 9, 1858: Stephen Foster (31) signs his fourth contract with the publishers Firth, Pond & Co. in New York. This one is much more in favor of the company than earlier contracts with Foster.
February 9, 1858: Cycloiden op.207, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 10, 1858: Second Opium War: The British blockade of Canton (Guangzhou) is lifted.
February 10, 1858: Concordia op.206, a polka mazur by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna.
February 11, 1858: Bernadette Soubirous has her first visions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France.
February 13, 1858: Richard Burton and John Speake become the first westerners to see Lake Tanganyika, at Ujiji, having traveled eight months overland from Zanzibar.
February 15, 1858: Jux-Brüde op.208, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in the Sperl Ballroom, Vienna.
February 17, 1858: Queen Victoria officially names Ottawa as the capital of the Province of Canada.
February 19, 1858: An amendment to the Conspiracy to Murder Bill, amounting to censure of the government, is approved by the House of Commons. The bill is intended as a response to the attempt on the life of Napoléon III last month. It outlaws all conspiracies to commit murder regardless of where the intended crime is to take place. The vote will result in the fall of the Palmerston government.
February 20, 1858: Giacomo Meyerbeer (66) reaches agreement with Mathilde Heine, widow of Heinrich Heine (died 17 February 1856), to prevent publication of four of Heine’s poems which cast the composer in an unfavorable light. He pays her 4,500 francs. They will be published in 1869 after Meyerbeer’s death.
February 25, 1858: Edward Geoffrey Stanley, Earl of Derby replaces Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
February 27, 1858: Following the attempt on the life of Emperor Napoléon III, the French government institutes several repressive measures in the Lois de sûreté générale.
February 27, 1858: Neapolitan censors return Giuseppe Verdi’s (44) new opera with a slashed and rearranged libretto and a new title: Adelia degli Adimari. The composer refuses to produce the work in Naples.
March 1, 1858: Das verlorene Paradies, a sacred opera by Anton Rubinstein (28) to words of Schlönbach after Milton, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting in the Weimar Hoftheater.
March 3, 1858: Mesdames de la Halle, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (38) to words of Lapointe, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
March 13, 1858: Felice Orsini is executed by guillotine for the attempted murder of Emperor Napoléon III two months ago.
March 16, 1858: Ludvig Manderström replaces Elias Lagerheim as Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
March 16, 1858: Sepoy Rebellion: British forces recapture Lucknow from the Sepoys.
March 17, 1858: Alyeksandr Borodin (24) reads his first published work to the Russian Academy of Sciences, “On the Action of Ethyl-iodide on Hydrobenzamide and Amarine.”
March 17, 1858: La magicienne, an opéra by Fromental Halévy (58) to words of Saint-Georges, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. The work is well received by the public, though the critical reaction is mixed.
March 17, 1858: The Irish Republican Brotherhood is founded in New York to support Irish independence.
March 18, 1858: Jan Jacob Rochussen and Peter Philip van Bosse replace Justinus Jacob Leonard van der Bruggen as chief ministers of the Netherlands.
March 23, 1858: Eleazar A. Gardner of Philadelphia receives a US patent for a cable streetcar.
March 29, 1858: Emperor Seraj ad-Din Abu’l Mozaffar Mohammad Bahadur Shah Padshah II of India is deposed by the British who take over direct rule.
March 30, 1858: Joseph Joachim and his Hannover orchestra run through the Piano Concerto no.1 of Johannes Brahms (24), the composer at the piano, at a private rehearsal in Hannover.
April 7, 1858: Louis Gerhard de Geer af Finspång replaces Claës Efraim Günther as Prime Minister for Justice of Sweden.
April 7, 1858: Anton Diabelli dies in Vienna at the age of 76.
April 7, 1858: Minna Wagner intercepts a letter from her husband to Mathilde Wesendonck wrapped in the first sketch of the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde. She then confronts Mathilde with it, thus ending the “arrangement” between Wagner (44) and the Wesendoncks and bringing the affair into the open.
April 9, 1858: Bedrich Smetana (34) and his family leave Sweden for Prague because of his wife’s ill health.
April 10, 1858: “Big Ben” is cast at Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.
April 11, 1858: During a visit to Pest, Franz Liszt (46) is admitted to the Franciscan order as a confrater in a monastery nearby.
April 12, 1858: After almost three years of work, Hector Berlioz (54) dates the final scene of Les Troyens.
April 15, 1858: Minna Wagner departs Asyl for Brestenberg for treatment of a heart condition.
April 15, 1858: Sepoy Rebellion: British and Sikh troops rout rebels at Azimghur.
April 19, 1858: La chatte metamorphosée en femme, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (38) to words of Scribe and Mélesville, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
April 23, 1858: Giuseppe Verdi (44) leaves Naples, determined to produce his new opera elsewhere. See 17 February 1859.
April 23, 1858: Ethel Mary Smyth is born in a house on St. John's Road, Sidcup, Kent (now in Greater London), United Kingdom, the fourth of eight children born to Major General John Smyth, currently in India, and Nina Struth, descended from minor nobility. The birth certificate says 22 April, but Smyth and her family will always celebrate 23 April.
May 1, 1858: After three days of fighting, Montenegrins defeat a Turkish army at Grahovac, forcing them to retreat.
May 2, 1858: Fromental Halévy’s (58) setting of Adonay zecharanu for soloists, chorus, and orchestra is performed for the first time, at a wedding in Paris. The groom is the nephew of Halévy’s wife.
May 4, 1858: The Committee on Peasant Affairs, following the wishes of Tsar Alyeksandr II, forbids discussion of the termination of serfdom by the Russian press.
May 11, 1858: Minnesota becomes the 32nd state of the United States.
May 12, 1858: Texas Rangers and their Indian allies defeat Commanches at Antelope Hill on the Canadian River. 75 people are killed.
May 15, 1858: Alyeksandr Borodin (24) successfully defends his dissertation “On the like action of arsenic and phosphoric acids on the human organism” for the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
May 15, 1858: The Covent Garden Opera House reopens after the devastating fire of 1856.
May 16, 1858: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (29) gives the first of several concerts in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
May 19, 1858: Pro-slavery gunmen invade Blooming Grove, Kansas and place eleven citizens before a firing squad. They manage to kill four of them.
May 20, 1858: Second Opium War: British and French gunboats assault the Taku forts at Tientsin (Tianjin). After 90 minutes, the Chinese defenders flee.
May 22, 1858: A diplomatic conference opens in Paris which will create the constitution of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
May 27, 1858: Franz Liszt’s (46) Festgesang zur Eröffnung der zehnten allgemeinen deutschen Lehrerversammlung to words of von Fallersleben is performed for the first time, in Weimar.
May 28, 1858: By the Treaty of Aigun (Manchuria), China cedes the north bank of the River Amur to Russia. The Amur is fixed as the border as far east as the Ussuri.
June 4, 1858: Second Opium War: Lord Elgin begins negotiations with Imperial Chinese commissioners at Tientsin (Tianjin).
June 12, 1858: Sigismond Thalberg (46) plays his last concert in North America, in Peoria, Illinois. In the last 21 months, Thalberg has performed over 300 times in 79 cities.
June 13, 1858: While traveling on the Mississippi near Memphis, the boiler in the side-wheeler Pennsylvania explodes. Approximately 250 people are killed with about 200 rescued. Among those who survive the blast is Henry Clemens, who will die of his wounds in a week. His job on the Pennsylvania was obtained by his brother Samuel, who left the ship on 5 June in a dispute with the pilot.
June 13, 1858: Second Opium War: The first of four agreements known collectively as the Treaty of Tientsin (Tianjin) is signed by representatives of Russia and China. By these agreements, China is forced to open ten ports to western trade, admit European ambassadors, grant religious (Christian) toleration and pay indemnities to France and Great Britain.
June 17, 1858: Deciding to devote himself entirely to music, Modest Musorgsky (19) resigns his commission in the Preobrazhensky Regiment of Guards.
June 18, 1858: While writing Origin of Species, Charles Darwin receives a package from Alfred Russel Wallace in the Molucca Islands with a paper describing Darwin’s own theory of evolution.
June 18, 1858: Second Opium War: The second of four agreements known collectively as the Treaty of Tientsin (Tianjin) is signed by representatives of the United States and China.
June 19, 1858: Sepoy Rebellion: The last major stronghold of the Sepoy rebels, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), 350 km south of Delhi, falls to the British.
June 25, 1858: Hamlet, a symphonic poem by Franz Liszt (46) is performed for the first time, for a private performance of Shakespeare’s play in Weimar. See 2 July 1876.
June 26, 1858: Second Opium War: The third of four agreements known collectively as the Treaty of Tientsin (Tianjin) is signed by representatives of the United Kingdom and China. China is required to pay £1,300,000 in silver to Britain. Foreigners are allowed to travel freely throughout China. Ambassadors will be allowed in Peking. Trade will be allowed on the Yangtze as far as Hankow. More treaty ports are designated. The Chinese will cease using the term “barbarian” to refer to the British.
June 27, 1858: Second Opium War: The fourth of four agreements known collectively as the Treaty of Tientsin (Tianjin) is signed by representatives of France and China. China is required to pay 16,000,000 francs in silver to France. Chinese Christians now imprisoned must be released.
June 30, 1858: Leopoldo O´Donnell Joris, conde de Lucena replaces Francisco Javier Istúriz y Montero as Prime Minister of Spain.
July 1, 1858: The Wallace-Darwin theory of evolution is presented publicly for the first time, to the Linnaean Society in London by geologist Charles Lyell and botanist Joseph Hooker. The ideas are included jointly in a paper entitled “On the tendency of species to form varieties; and on the perpetuation of varieties and species by natural means of selection.” Neither Wallace nor Darwin are present.
July 8, 1858: Governor-General Lord Canning proclaims the end of the Sepoy Rebellion in India.
July 10, 1858: Anton Bruckner (33) passes examinations in harmony, figured bass, and organ with Simon Sechter.
July 13, 1858: An Overture in d minor by Arthur Sullivan (16) is performed for the first time, at the Royal Academy of Music. This marks the end of his studies at the Royal Academy.
July 15, 1858: After three months in Brestenberg for treatment of her heart ailment, Minna Wagner returns to her husband Richard (45) at Asyl.
July 17, 1858: The French Minister of the Interior appoints a commission to investigate a universal pitch, what this pitch should be, and how to insure it becomes universal. Much of the investigative work will be done by Hector Berlioz (54). Other members include Daniel-François-Esprit Auber (76), Gioacchino Rossini (66), Giacomo Meyerbeer (66), Fromental Halévy (59), and Ambroise Thomas (46).
July 20, 1858: Emperor Napoléon III and Prime Minister Count Cavour of Sardinia meet at Plombières to prepare the unification of Italy. They agree that a war against Austria will be necessary.
July 23, 1858: An act of the British Parliament removes disabilities of Jews.
July 26, 1858: Baron Lionel de Rothschild becomes the first Jewish member of the British Parliament.
July 28, 1858: William James Herschel, a civil servant in Jungipoor, Bengal, concludes a contract with Rajyadhar Konai. Herschel requires that Konai leave his handprint on the document so that Konai will not deny his signature. It is the first known use of finger or handprints for identification.
July 29, 1858: Japanese and US officials reach a treaty agreement at Tokyo. It calls for exchange of diplomats, opening six more Japanese ports to US trade each with a US consul, a fixed tariff, opening of three Japanese ports as US Navy supply depots, and abolition of the opium trade.
July 29, 1858: After one failure, the USS Niagara and the HMS Agamemnon reach a point in the middle of the Atlantic and begin laying telegraph cable. The Niagara makes for Newfoundland, the Agamemnon for Ireland.
August 1, 1858: On the first anniversary of her death, a memorial marker is dedicated to Emilie Zumsteeg in Stuttgart, Kingdom of Württemberg. It is paid for entirely by private funds.
August 2, 1858: As a result of the Sepoy uprisings of 1857, Great Britain institutes the Government of India Act. The British East India Company is dissolved and the British government begins direct rule through a viceroy. This is to take effect 1 November.
August 2, 1858: The British Parliament organizes the territory of New Caledonia into the Crown Colony of British Columbia.
August 3, 1858: John Speake, having split off from Richard Burton reaches Isamiro Hill, near present Mwanza (Tanzania), and becomes the first white man to see the great lake he names Lake Victoria. He identifies it as the source of the White Nile.
August 4, 1858: The cable layer USS Niagara reaches Trinity Bay, Newfoundland.
August 5, 1858: The cable layer HMS Agamemnon reaches Valentia Bay, Ireland. The first Atlantic cable is completed and the first message is sent from Ireland to Newfoundland. Cyrus Field then telegraphs New York with the message “The cable is laid.”
August 8, 1858: Ferdinand Hiller writes to Johannes Brahms (25), offering him a position teaching piano at the Paris Conservatoire. He will decline.
August 10, 1858: Fürst Bariatinsky-Marsch op.212 by Johann Strauss (32) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
August 11, 1858: Christian Almer and Peter Bohren of Switzerland, and Charles Barrington of Ireland complete the first ascent of the Eiger (3,970 m).
August 12, 1858: Champagner-Polka op.211 by Johann Strauss (32) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
August 15, 1858: John Hughes, Bishop of New York, lays the cornerstone for St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
August 16, 1858: Queen Victoria and President James Buchanan exchange greetings over the newly completed transatlantic cable.
August 17, 1858: Pursuant to the end of his relationship with the Wesendoncks (see 7 April 1858), Richard Wagner (45) leaves Asyl, the cottage near Zürich provided for him by Otto Wesendonck. He heads for Venice where he will continue the composition of Tristan und Isolde.
August 18, 1858: A Treaty of Friendship and Commerce is concluded between Japan and the Netherlands.
August 19, 1858: A Treaty of Friendship and Commerce is concluded between Japan and Russia.
August 19, 1858: By agreement of Austria, Prussia, France, Great Britain, Russia, Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire, Moldavia and Wallachia are united, essentially creating a Romanian state.
August 21, 1858: The first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas takes place in Illinois.
August 26, 1858: A Treaty of Friendship and Commerce is concluded between Japan and Great Britain.
August 29, 1858: Richard Wagner (45) arrives in Venice and sees the city that will be such a large part of his life, for the first time. He is accompanied by his young friend Karl Ritter.
August 30, 1858: Having fled the Wesendoncks, Richard Wagner (45) takes up residence in the Palazzo Giustiniani in Venice.
August 31, 1858: After five years, Edvard Grieg (15) is taken out of Tank’s School in Bergen to pursue music.
September 1, 1858: French naval forces attack and occupy Da Nang, Vietnam.
September 1, 1858: Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical by Henry Gray is published for the first time, in London, on approximately this date.
September 1, 1858: Cyrus Field is given a parade up Broadway and a banquet at night. In Newfoundland, however, the messages are so scrambled as to be unusable. The cable itself soon fails.
September 5, 1858: Abschied von St. Petersburg op.210, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk. Also premiered is Bonbon-Polka op.213.
September 11, 1858: Swiss Hieronymus Brantschen, Johann Kronig, and Johann Zumtaugwald, along with J. Llewelyn Davies of Great Britain, become the first to reach the top of Dom (4,545m) in the Swiss Alps.
September 13, 1858: The German steamship SS Austria, out of Hamburg, catches fire and sinks east of Newfoundland. 449 passengers and crew are lost, 65 rescued.
September 18, 1858: Gioachino Rossini (66) buys land from the city of Paris near the Bois de Boulogne on which he will build his villa. The city approves the sale on condition that they are able to buy it back upon his death.
September 23, 1858: Gedankenflug op.215, a waltz by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
September 24, 1858: Flis, an opera by Stanislaw Moniuszko (39) to words of Boguslawski, is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
September 27, 1858: An English portrait artist named William Usherwood makes the first photographic image of a comet (Donati’s Comet), on Walton Common near Reigate in Surrey.
September 30, 1858: La Favorite op.217, a polka-française by Johann Strauss (32), is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
October 1, 1858: The first secondary school in Finland wherein classes are conducted in Finnish opens in Jyväskylä.
October 1, 1858: Texas volunteers attack a Commanche camp in Rush Springs, Oklahoma killing 70.
October 7, 1858: Die Einsiedelei D.337 for male vocal quartet by Franz Schubert (†29) to words of Salis-Seewis is performed for the first time, before the composer’s birthplace in Vienna.
October 7, 1858: King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia is removed from power because of mental incapacitation. His brother Wilhelm is named regent, a post he has been filling unofficially for a year.
October 9, 1858: A Treaty of Friendship and Commerce is concluded between Japan and France.
October 21, 1858: Orphée aux enfers, an opéra-bouffon by Jacques Offenbach (39) to words of Crémieux and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris. The public is tepid, the press is negative. It will eventually succeed.
October 26, 1858: Hamilton Erastus Smith of Philadelphia receives a US patent for a washing machine. It features crank-operated, rotary action, with a wooden tub and a moving cylinder in the center.
October 28, 1858: Rowland H. Macy opens a dry goods store at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street in New York.
October 28, 1858: Prime Minister Ferdinand von Zschinsky of Saxony dies in Dresden and is succeeded by Friedrich Ferdinand, Baron von Beust.
November 1, 1858: Governor-General Charles John Canning, Viscount Canning of India proclaims Queen Victoria sovereign over all India. All powers and territories held by the British East India Company are transferred to the British crown. Viscount Canning becomes the first British Viceroy of India.
November 1, 1858: Oliver Wendell Holmes dates the preface to his collection of essays, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, in Boston.
November 6, 1858: Karl Anton, Prince Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen replaces Otto Theodor, Baron von Manteuffel as Prime Minister of Prussia.
November 8, 1858: An agreement between France, Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, reached in Constantinople, sets the boundaries of Montenegro.
November 12, 1858: Prince Alois II of Liechtenstein dies in Eisgrub (Lednice), Moravia, and is succeeded by his son Johann II.
November 15, 1858: After years of growing depression, Johanna Mockel Mathieux Kinkel kills herself by jumping from the bedroom window of her London home, aged 48 years, four months, and seven days. The death will be listed as a heart attack. Her mortal remains will be laid to rest in Woking (Brookwood) Cemetery.
November 17, 1858: France annexes Clipperton Island.
November 17, 1858: Robert Owen dies in Newtown, Montgomeryshire at the age of 87.
November 19, 1858: Created by the British Parliament on 2 August, the Crown Colony of British Columbia is proclaimed at Fort Langley.
November 22, 1858: Land speculator William Larimer stakes a mining claim on the South Platte River near Auraria and names it after the Governor of the Kansas Territory, James W. Denver.
November 24, 1858: Franz Liszt (47) writes from Weimar to the poet, Ludwig Eckardt, “Art is for us none other than the mystic ladder from earth to Heaven--from the finite to the Infinite--from mankind to God: an everlasting aspiration and impulse towards redemption through love!” (Williams, 351)
November 24, 1858: Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka op.214 by Johann Strauss (33) is performed for the first time, in “Zum großen Zeisig,” Vienna.
November 30, 1858: John Landis Mason receives a US patent for his invention known as the Mason jar.
December 7, 1858: France and Spain begin a blockade of Cochin-China following attacks on European missionaries and others.
December 8, 1858: An electric light is first used in a public installation, an arc lamp, in the lighthouse at South Foreland, Kent, England.
December 15, 1858: Der Barbier von Bagdad, a comic opera by Peter Cornelius (33) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Weimar Hoftheater conducted by Franz Liszt (47). Although the work and performance are excellent, there are noisy demonstrations in the audience which Liszt takes to be against him. In the face of this, he will resign his post of Grand Ducal Director of Music Extraordinary at Weimar.
December 18, 1858: The first of the “Samedi soirs” takes place at the Rossini (66) residence in Paris (they will later be held at Villa Rossini). Over the next ten years, Rossini and his wife will entertain the giants of the artistic world. Composers who will attend at least one of these Saturday Nights include Auber, Boito, Gounod, Liszt, Meyerbeer, Rubinstein, Saint-Saëns, Thalberg, Thomas, and Verdi. Other notables include Sir Julius Benedict, Delacroix, Ernest and Gustave Doré, Dumas pére, Hanslick, Joachim, Tito di Giovanni and Giulio Ricordi, and Sarasate.
December 22, 1858: Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini is born at at 30 Via di Poggio in Lucca, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the fifth of nine children born to Michele Puccini, an organist and choirmaster at San Martino, and Albina Magi, member of a prominent local family.
December 23, 1858: Manuel Robles Pezuela replaces Félix María Zuloaga Trillo as acting President of Mexico.
December 24, 1858: Aleksandar Karadjordjevic is deposed as Prince of Serbia by the Parliament. They declare Milos Obrenovic as prince.
December 25, 1858: Oratorio de Noël for chorus, strings, harp, and organ by Camille Saint-Saëns (23) to words from the Vulgate Bible is performed for the first time, in the Church of the Madeleine, Paris.