January 1, 1868: Aristides Moraitinis replaces Alexanros Koumoundouros as Prime Minister of Greece.
January 1, 1868: Merchants in Porto refuse to submit their goods to inspection for a new sales tax and the government of Portugal is forced to resign.
January 2, 1868: After Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia imprisons the British consul, Great Britain sends an expedition to that country.
January 2, 1868: Hubert Joseph Walthère Frère-Orban replaces Charles Latour Rogier as head of government for Belgium.
January 3, 1868: Emperor Mutsuhito declares the Meiji Restoration, establishing the Emperor as the supreme political authority in Japan.
January 4, 1868: António José de Avila, conde de Avila replaces Joaquim António de Aguiar as Prime Minister of Portugal.
January 5, 1868: Parts of Franz Schubert’s (†39) unfinished opera Rüdiger D.791 are performed for the first time, in the Vienna Redoutensaal, 45 years after the music was composed. Also heard for the first time tonight is Sehnsucht D.656 for male vocal quintet to words of Goethe, 49 years after it was composed.
January 9, 1868: The last ship bearing convicts from Britain for Australia arrives at Perth.
January 15, 1868: Anton Bruckner (43) becomes director of Liedertafel “Frohsinn” in Linz for the second time.
January 16, 1868: Anton Bruckner (43) writes to his friend Rudolf Weinwurm, “Even during my illness, this was the only thing that was close to my heart: it was Mexico, Maximilian. I want at all cost to see the body of Maximilian.” He asks Weinwurm to find out if the body will lie in state visibly. Maximilian’s remains will be placed on view, but it is not known if Bruckner goes to see them.
January 18, 1868: The mortal remains of Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, are buried in the Imperial crypt in Vienna.
January 19, 1868: Stadt und Land op.322, a polka mazurka by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Gartenbau, Vienna.
January 31, 1868: After four days of fighting, Imperial forces defeat the Tokugawa shogunate at Toba-Fushimi.
February 3, 1868: Prime Minister Karl Mathy of Baden dies of heart disease in Karlsruhe.
February 4, 1868: Die Publizisten op.321, a waltz by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
February 6, 1868: Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris replaces Aristides Moraitinis as Prime Minister of Greece.
February 8, 1868: Hector Berlioz (64) gives the last of his St. Petersburg concerts, conducting excerpts from Roméo et Juliette, La Damnation de Faust, and Harold en Italiè. It is the last performance he will conduct.
February 9, 1868: Mily Balakirev (31) takes over sole directorship of the Free Music School, St. Petersburg.
February 11, 1868: Léon Foucault dies in Paris at the age of 48.
February 11, 1868: Ein Herz, ein Sinn op.323, a polka mazurka by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna.
February 12, 1868: Julius Jolly replaces Karl Mathy as Prime Minister of Baden.
February 13, 1868: Vaterländisches Weinlied for male chorus by Anton Bruckner (43) to words of Silberstein, is performed for the first time, in Linz, directed by the composer.
February 15, 1868: The second version of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (27) Symphony no.1 “Winter Daydreams” is performed for the first time, in Moscow. See 1 December 1883.
February 15, 1868: Le premier jour de bonheur, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (86) to words of d’Ennery and Cormon, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
February 16, 1868: Stanislaw Moniuszko’s (48) cantata Crimean Sonnets to words of Mickiewicz is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
February 16, 1868: Unter Donner und Blitz op.324, a polka schnell by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
February 17, 1868: Hector Berlioz (64) arrives home in Paris from St. Petersburg an artistic conqueror, a physical wreck.
February 19, 1868: General Venancio Flores, President of Uruguay, is murdered in Montevideo. The unstable political situation causes Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) to return to Buenos Aires.
February 21, 1868: US President Andrew Johnson sacks Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and appoints General Lorenzo Thomas in his place. This is in violation of the Tenure of Office Act and Stanton barricades himself in his office.
February 24, 1868: The United States House of Representatives, on a vote of 126-47, impeaches President Andrew Johnson on eleven counts of violating the Tenure of Office Act.
February 24, 1868: An uprising against Spanish rule called the Grito de Lares begins in Puerto Rico.
February 25, 1868: Benjamin Disraeli replaces Edward Geoffrey Stanley, Earl of Derby as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
March 2, 1868: A pneumatic mail system goes into effect in Berlin.
March 2, 1868: The “Dances of the Chambermaids” from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (27) unperformed opera Voyevoda is performed for the first time, in Moscow, directed by the composer. See 11 February 1869.
March 4, 1868: Mily Balakirev (31) answers Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (27) letter of 12 February. He can not perform the dances because the season is over, so he sent them to the Directorate of Imperial Theatres who have agreed to produce them. Balakirev writes that he will not encourage Tchaikovsky as that is for children. Tchaikovsky, he says, is a “completely finished artist. ”
March 5, 1868: Charles Henry Gould of Birmingham receives a British patent for a stapler.
March 5, 1868: Mefistofele, an opera by Arrigo Boito (26) to his own words, is performed for the first time, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The performance is accompanied by warring factions in the audience proclaiming their positions and the relative inferiority of their opponents.
March 5, 1868: The United States Senate convenes as a court of impeachment of the President.
March 7, 1868: So willst du des Armen op.33/5, a song by Johannes Brahms (34) to words of Tieck, is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
March 8, 1868: The organ of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris is opened by Camille Saint-Saëns (32), Alexandre Guilmant, Charles-Marie Widor, and Charles Chauvet.
March 9, 1868: Hamlet, an opera by Ambroise Thomas (56) to words of Barbier and Carré after Shakespeare, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
March 10, 1868: The Scherzo from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (27) Souvenir of Hapsal op.2/2 for piano is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
March 11, 1868: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (34) are performed for the first time, in Hamburg, the composer at the piano: Von ewiger liebe op.43/1 to traditional words, and Die Mainacht op.43/2 to words of Hölty.
March 12, 1868: Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh is shot and wounded by anti-British Irishman Henry James O’Farrell in Clontarf, near Sydney, New South Wales. O’Farrell is set upon by onlookers and barely saved from immediate death. The Prince will survive.
March 12, 1868: British protection is extended to Basutoland (Lesotho).
March 16, 1868: Scottish scientist Alexander Buchan reads a paper before the Royal Society of Edinburgh describing his first use of isobar maps to describe weather patterns. It is considered by many to be the beginning of modern meteorology.
March 17, 1868: Rolnická for male chorus by Bedrich Smetana (44) to words of Trnobransky is performed for the first time, in New Town Theatre, Prague.
March 20, 1868: A concert by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (38) in the Coliseo, Buenos Aires does not fill the hall. A recent cholera epidemic killed thousands of people.
March 22, 1868: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (27) first published music criticism, an appraisal of Rimsky-Korsakov’s (24) Fantasia on Serbian Themes, appears in the Contemporary Chronicle.
March 23, 1868: Governor Henry Haight sings the Organic Act creating the University of California.
April 4, 1868: The conclusion of Act 3 to Die Meistersinger by Richard Wagner (54) is performed for the first time, in Linz, conducted by Anton Bruckner (43). Also on the program is the premiere of Bruckner’s own Vaterlandslied O könnt’ ich dich beglücken for tenor, bass, and male chorus to words of Silberstein.
April 7, 1868: At the enthronement of Emperor Mutsuhito, the Charter Oath is announced, establishing deliberative assemblies and bringing all classes into the administration of government.
April 7, 1868: Thomas D’Arcy McGee, MP is shot to death, supposedly by Patrick Whelan outside McGee’s boarding house in Ottawa. McGee has spoken out against the Fenians.
April 9, 1868: Arthur Sullivan (25) reaches a favorable agreement with Boosey’s who must pay him £400 per year for three years, without prejudice to his royalties, for the privilege of publishing rights to his works.
April 10, 1868: Movements from Ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms (34) are performed in Bremen Cathedral conducted by the composer. Sections 4, 6 and 7 are heard for the first time. Many eminent musicians from around Europe attend including Clara Schumann (48), Joseph Joachim, and Max Bruch. The performance is a universal success. See 18 February 1869.
April 11, 1868: After two days of battle, the British punitive force defeats the Ethiopians near Magdala.
April 12, 1868: The electoral college for Argentina names Domingo Sarmiento as President.
April 13, 1868: British forces destroy Magdala, the capital of Ethiopia, freeing hostages held by the Ethiopians. To avoid capture, Emperor Tewodros II kills himself.
April 16, 1868: Geologist Louis Lartet presents evidence of a new hominid species found recently at Les Eyzies, Dordogne, France, to the Sorbonne. They are four skeletons, distinct from the recently found Neanderthal, called Cro-Magnon.
April 16, 1868: Rejoice in the Lord, an anthem by Arthur Sullivan (25), is performed for the first time, in Westminster Abbey.
April 21, 1868: Henry James O’Farrell is hanged in Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney for the attempted murder of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.
April 23, 1868: Prime Minister of Spain Ramón María Narváez y Campos, duque de Valencia dies in Madrid. He is replaced by Luis González Bravo.
April 24, 1868: A French patent is granted to Pierre Michaux for the first practical bicycle, which he developed in 1861.
April 30, 1868: Johannes Brahms (34) writes to his father giving up his space in Hamburg, thus becoming a full-time resident of Vienna.
May 1, 1868: The Théâtre-Lyrique and the Théâtre Ventadour in Paris close suddenly. In a few days, their director, Léon Carvalho, will be declared bankrupt.
May 2, 1868: Russian troops capture Samarkand from Bukharan forces.
May 5, 1868: Ragged Dick, or Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger is published in book form. It was serialized last year.
May 6, 1868: Le château à Toto, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (48) to words of Meilhac and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Palais-Royal, Paris.
May 9, 1868: Symphony no.1 (Linz version) by Anton Bruckner (43) is performed for the first time, in the Linz Redoutensaal, conducted by the composer.
May 10, 1868: Inveni David (I) for male chorus and four trombones by Anton Bruckner (43) is performed for the first time, in Linz, directed by the composer.
May 11, 1868: The Press Law passes the French Parliament, affirming freedom of the press.
May 12, 1868: Nicolae Constantin Golescu replaces his brother Stefan Golescu as Prime Minister of Romania.
May 12, 1868: Escorted by 100 horsemen and viewed by 80,000 people, a two-ton foundation stone for the new Czech National Theatre arrives in Prague.
May 14, 1868: After four days of fighting, Imperial forces defeat the Tokugawa Shogunate at Utsunomiya Castle.
May 16, 1868: The foundation stone for a permanent Czech National Theatre is laid in Prague. A parade of 60 different groups representing Czech society takes place. The largest group is made up of 2,600 choir singers. Representing Czech musicians in the ceremony is Bedrich Smetana (44). In the evening Dalibor, an opera by Smetana to words of Wenzig translated by Spindler, is performed for the first time, in the New Town Theatre, Prague. Among the violists is Antonín Dvorák (26).
May 16, 1868: The United States Senate, voting 35 guilty and 19 not guilty, acquits President Andrew Johnson, having failed to achieve the 2/3 majority necessary for conviction, by one vote.
May 17, 1868: Das Frauenherz, die Mannesbrust for chorus by Anton Bruckner (43) to words of Kerschbaum is performed for the first time, in Linz.
May 17, 1868: Cantata for the Unveiling of the WFK Christie Monument for male chorus and horns by Edvard Grieg (24) to words of Munch is performed for the first time, in Bergen.
May 21, 1868: In the Milan newspaper Il pungolo, Arrigo Boito (26) attacks the Italian Minister of Education Broglio for a public letter he wrote to Gioachino Rossini (76) snubbing Giuseppe Verdi (54). Verdi has already returned the title Commander of the Crown of Italy over the incident. The article is seen as the beginning of a reconciliation between Boito and Verdi.
May 24, 1868: L'Ogre, an operetta by Pauline Viardot (46) to words of Turgenev, is performed for the first time, in Baden-Baden. The librettist mimes the lead role, while someone in the wings sings the part.
May 26, 1868: Fenian Michael Barrett is hanged outside Newgate Prison, London for the bombing of Clerkenwell Prison last December, while a crowd of 2,000 sing Rule, Britannia. It is the last public execution in Britain.
May 29, 1868: Queen Victoria grants royal assent to the Capital Punishment Act. It bans public executions.
May 30, 1868: Decoration (Memorial) Day is celebrated for the first time in the United States. Flowers are placed on soldiers’ graves in Arlington National Cemetery.
June 2, 1868: Russian forces defeat the main Bukharan army on the Zerbulak heights near Kattakurgan, relieving the besieged Russians in Samarkand.
June 2, 1868: The first Trades Union Congress meets in Manchester.
June 4, 1868: Peter Philip van Bosse and Cornelius Fock replace Julius Philipp Jacob Adriaan, Count van Zuylen van Nijevelt and Jan Heemskerk as chief ministers of the Netherlands.
June 4, 1868: Carl Wachtmeister replaces Ludvig Manderström as Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
June 6, 1868: The French ban on meetings of more than 21 people is largely lifted by the Second Empire.
June 7, 1868: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (28) leaves Moscow on a long trip to Europe. He was invited by a student, Vladimir Stepanovich Shilovsky, and there are three others in the company.
June 9, 1868: John Philip Sousa (13) is enlisted as an apprentice in the United States Marine Corps band in Washington by his father.
June 10, 1868: Russian forces capture the city of Khiva, 700 km west of Tashkent.
June 10, 1868: Prince Mihailo Obrenovic of Serbia is murdered at his residence near Belgrade by persons unkown. The assassins also kill his mother-in-law and injure his wife. He is succeeded by a three-man regency.
June 11, 1868: Charles Johnson Brooke replaces his uncle James Brooke as Rajah of Sarawak.
June 11, 1868: Tekle Giyorgis II replaces Tewodros II as Emperor of Ethiopia.
June 15, 1868: Turks carry out massacres of Christians around Iraklio, Crete.
June 18, 1868: The King of Bukhara accepts peace terms with Russia.
June 19, 1868: Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald op.325, a waltz by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
June 20, 1868: Anton Bruckner (43) is informed that his application for a faculty position at Vienna Conservatory has been approved.
June 21, 1868: Franz Liszt (56) performs in the Great Banquet Hall of the Vatican Library before Pope Pius IX and other high church officials at a gathering to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the elevation of the Pope.
June 21, 1868: Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, a music drama by Richard Wagner (55) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Königliches Hof-und Nationaltheater, Munich, conducted by Hans von Bülow, before King Ludwig and 1,500 invited guests. Although a success with the public, the critics are not impressed. The night watchman is played by Ferdinand Lang, brother of Josephine Lang Köstlin (53).
June 22, 1868: Arkansas is readmitted to the United States.
June 23, 1868: US inventor Christopher Lathian Sholes receives a patent for the first practical typewriter.
June 25, 1868: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina are readmitted to the United States.
June 25, 1868: The United States Congress orders an eight-hour day for federal workers.
June 28, 1868: After two years, the Doudart-Garnier expedition returns to Saigon, having mapped the Mekong as far as Jinghong, 6,700 km. The original leader of the expedition, Ernest-Marc-Louis Doudart de Lagrée died along the way.
June 28, 1868: Anton Bruckner (43) writes to the Vienna Conservatory accepting his appointment and requesting a formalization of the arrangements.
July 1, 1868: Exactly one year after construction began, the first elevated railway begins service along Ninth Avenue in New York.
July 2, 1868: 14-year-old Milan Obrenovic IV takes over from a provisional regency as Prince of Serbia, under a new three-man regency.
July 3, 1868: Djordje Cenic replaces Nikola Hristic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
July 4, 1868: Maori prisoners led by Te Kooti take over their prison on the Chatham Islands. They then take over a recently arrived ship and sail for New Zealand.
July 4, 1868: Imperial forces defeat the Shogitai at Ueno, Edo (Tokyo).
July 6, 1868: Anton Bruckner (43) is officially appointed lecturer for figured bass, counterpoint and organ at the Konservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna.
July 10, 1868: Te Kooti and about 300 Maori former-prisoners land at Whareongaonga near Gisborne and begin making for the southern Waikato.
July 13, 1868: The Scottish Reform Act is passed giving the vote to all male householders.
July 14, 1868: Bernardo de Sá Nogueira de Figueiredo, visconde e barão de Sá Bandeira replaces António José de Avila, conde de Avila as Prime Minister of Portugal.
July 15, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: Brazilian forces attack Humaitá, Paraguay but are beaten back with heavy losses.
July 19, 1868: Cantique à St.-Vincent-de-Paul, a song for voice and organ by Gabriel Fauré (23), is performed for the first time, in the Church of St. Sauveur de Rennes.
July 20, 1868: Colonial militia attempt to stop the march of about 300 Maori led by Te Kooti at Paparatu. They are completely defeated.
July 22, 1868: Cosima von Bülow flees the rumors and scandal in Munich over her adultery and goes to Richard Wagner (55) in Tribschen, thus confirming the rumors.
July 22, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: Over the night 22-23 July, noncombatants in Humaitá, Paraguay are evacuated by canoe.
July 24, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: The Paraguayan garrison of Humaitá escapes by night. When the Brazilians enter the town they find it empty.
July 27, 1868: Freikugeln op.326, a polka schnell by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Festhalle des Schützenfestes im Prater, Vienna.
July 28, 1868: The fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution, providing for equal protection of the law, is ratified.
August 8, 1868: Madagascar signs a treaty with France giving France jurisdiction over its nationals on the island.
August 12, 1868: The Khan of Khiva accepts peace with Russia, ceding all territory north of the Amu Darya (Uzbekistan) and accepting subjugation by Russia as a protectorate.
August 13, 1868: Le papillon et la fleur op.1/1, a song by Gabriel Fauré (23) to words of Hugo, is performed for the first time, at the Casino de Saint-Malo, the composer at the keyboard.
August 13, 1868: A 9.0 earthquake strikes at Arica, Peru (Chile). It is felt along the coast for 1,400 km in both directions. Several villages and the city of Arequipa are largely destroyed. Three large waves strike the Peruvian coast at 17:37, 18:50, and 19:10 destroying the port of Arica and sending three warships 300 meters inland. At least 25,000 people are killed. The waves are felt as far away as Australia and Japan.
August 15, 1868: The Teatro Verdi is opened in Busseto but the honoree (54) does not attend.
August 17, 1868: The North German Union makes the metric system mandatory as of 1 January 1872.
August 22, 1868: Chinese riot against the presence of Christian missionaries in Yangchow (Yangzhou). No one is killed, but there are many injuries, looting, and burning.
September 3, 1868: Le premier jour de bonheur op.327, a quadrille by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Gartenbau, Vienna.
September 3, 1868: The name of Edo is changed to Tokyo (eastern capital). The Emperor and his family will soon move here, making it the capital.
September 3, 1868: Intermezzo religioso for orchestra by Hubert Parry (20) is performed for the first time, in Gloucester.
September 6, 1868: In the Quarters, a ballet by Stanislaw Moniuszko (49), is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
September 7, 1868: Colonial militia and their native allies attack Maori at Te Ngutu o Te Manu. They are repulsed with heavy losses.
September 12, 1868: The ruler of Qatar, Muhammed ibn Thani, signs a treaty with Great Britain separating Qatar from Bahrein as an independent state.
September 14, 1868: Richard Wagner (55) and Cosima von Bülow depart Tribschen together for a two-week tour of Italy.
September 15, 1868: Patrick Whelan is found guilty of the murder of Thomas D’Archy McGee last 7 April and is sentenced to death. He continues to maintain his innocence.
September 17, 1868: A liberal revolution begins Cádiz, led by Marshal Juan Prim.
September 18, 1868: In Cádiz, Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete declares for a revolution to create a constitutional monarchy in Spain.
September 19, 1868: José Gutiérrez de la Concha, marques de La Habana replaces Luis González Bravo as Prime Minister of Spain.
September 23, 1868: A Revolutionary Junta proclaims the independence of Puerto Rico from Spain.
September 24, 1868: Edvard, Count Taaffe replaces Karl, Prince Auersperg as Chancellor of Austria, but he works under the title of Deputy Chancellor.
September 24, 1868: The parliaments of Hungary and Croatia agree to a settlement concerning the status of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia within the Kingdom of Hungary.
September 25, 1868: While carrying Grand Duke Alyeksey, the son of Tsar Alyeksandr II, the steam frigate Alyeksandr Nyevsky strikes ground off Jutland. All but five aboard are saved.
September 26, 1868: August Ferdinand Möbius dies in Leipzig at the age of 77.
September 26, 1868: Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert is born at 15 Monroe Street in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA, the son of Benjamin Franklin Gilbert, a bank clerk, composer, church organist, and a singer, and Therese Angeline Gilson, a professional singer and artist.
September 28, 1868: Blacks and Whites in St. Landry Parish, Louisana begin gun battles over the next several weeks. The death toll is impossible to determine but it seems probable that over 200 people, mostly blacks, are killed.
September 28, 1868: Spanish liberals defeat loyalists at Alcolea, east of Córdoba.
September 29, 1868: Felix Köstlin, oldest child of Josephine Lang Köstlin (53), dies in a fire at the Winnenthal asylum, near Stuttgart, at the age of 25. Since he is the only victim, it is believed that he may have set the fire himself.
September 30, 1868: Queen Isabella of Spain flees the country and is declared deposed. She is replaced by a republic. Pascual Madoz Ibáñez is leader of the Revolutionary Junta.
September 30, 1868: L’île de Tulipatan, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (49) to words of Chivot and Duru, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
September 30, 1868: The first volume of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is published in Boston.
October 1, 1868: Anton Bruckner (44) takes up duties as teacher of theory and organ at the Konservatorium der Gesellshaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna.
October 1, 1868: The metric system becomes mandatory in Portugal.
October 2, 1868: Chulalongkorn (Rama V) replaces Mongkut (Rama IV) as King of Siam.
October 3, 1868: Joaquín Aguirre de la Peña replaces Pascual Madoz Ibáñez as leader of the Revolutionary Junta of Spain. Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio becomes Prime Minister as the rebel forces of General Juan Prim enter Madrid.
October 3, 1868: Cosima von Bülow writes to her husband from Faido, Switzerland, presumably telling him that they must separate.
October 6, 1868: La Périchole, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (49) to words of Meilhac and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Variétés, Paris. It is very successful.
October 7, 1868: Die Nacht D.983c for male voices by Franz Schubert (†39) to words possibly by Krummacher is performed for the first time, in front of the composer’s birthplace in Vienna.
October 7, 1868: Cornell University opens its doors to students.
October 8, 1868: Francisco Serrano y Dominguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio becomes acting president of the Republic of Spain. The provisional government of Spain adopts a liberal program: universal male suffrage, religious freedom, trial by jury, freedom of the press and association.
October 10, 1868: Speaking from his plantation near Yara, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, leader of Cuban liberals, declares for an independent Cuban republic in the Grito de Yara. Along with other landowners he frees his slaves and organizes a rebel army.
October 12, 1868: The choral version of Sängerslust op.328, a polka française by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
October 14, 1868: Cosima von Bülow travels to Munich with her four daughters to ask her husband for a divorce. He will refuse.
October 15, 1868: The instrumental version of Sängerslust op.328, a polka française by Johann Strauss (42), is performed for the first time, at the Cursalon in Vienna.
October 16, 1868: Modest Musorgsky (29), Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (24), Cesar Cui (33), and Sergey Dargomizhsky (55) attend the first Russian performance of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner (55) at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. Rimsky-Korsakov recalls, “In our opinion, Lohengrin was contemptable.” They have no end of abuse for the work.
October 17, 1868: A constitution for the Duchy of Luxembourg is announced.
October 18, 1868: Cuban rebels capture Bayamo.
October 20, 1868: Joseph Norman Lockyer, professor of astronomical physics at the Royal College of Science, London, records spectra of the luminous gases surrounding the sun and concludes from his findings that a gas exists on the sun that does not exist on Earth. He reports his findings to the Royal Society today. On the same day, Pierre Jules César Janssen, head of the Astrophysical Observatory at Meudon, France comes to the same conclusion based on his observation of a solar eclipse on 18 August in India, and writes to the French Academy. Both scientists will decide to share the honors of primacy. Lockyer will later name this element after the sun: helium.
October 22, 1868: Congressman James Hinds is killed by a Klansman in Monroe County, Arkansas.
October 24, 1868: A white mob fires on a Republican parade in New Orleans killing and wounding several blacks. They then attack white Republicans and policemen and lay siege to the police station. 63 people are killed.
November 3, 1868: Having recovered from a lung inflammation, Gioachino Rossini (76) undergoes surgery to remove a “rectal fistula.” Fearing that his patient’s heart condition precludes prolonged anaesthesia (chloroform), Dr. Auguste Nélaton completes the operation in five minutes. He removes as much as he can of what is probably cancer.
November 3, 1868: Voting in the United States ensures the election of General Ulysses S. Grant as President over former Governor of New York Horatio Seymour. Three states, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia are still under martial law and do not take part. In the northwest one-third of South Carolina, the Ku Klux Klan institutes organized terror to frighten blacks away from voting. Grant’s Republican Party loses two seats in the House of Representatives but retains its commanding majority.
November 5, 1868: Dr. Nélaton performs a second short operation on Gioachino Rossini (76), which causes an infection.
November 6, 1868: Alyeksandr Borodin (34) writes to his wife in St. Petersburg, telling her of his summer affair with Anna Nikolayevna Kalinina. “My feelings toward her do not alter the way I feel towards you, and I am giving only that which I cannot give to you; it is nothing more than that ‘feeling of mine towards children,’ in her words, towards weakness, youth, hopes, and the future.”
November 7, 1868: Colonial militia attack Maori at Moturoa and are soundly defeated.
November 8, 1868: While in Leipzig visiting his sister Ottilie and her husband Hermann Brockhaus, Richard Wagner (55) meets a young philology student named Friedrich Nietzsche. The two find common ground in their interest in Schopenhauer.
November 8, 1868: Over the last month a race war has taken place in Louisiana. Ku Klux Klan members have searched the countryside looking for blacks and white republicans. An estimated 1,723 people are dead.
November 10, 1868: Maori under Te Kooti attack the English settlement at Matawhero killing 54 residents along with 20 Maori.
November 10, 1868: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (39) premieres his 2me symphonie romantique “A Montevideo” at an enormous concert in Montevideo. The evening features a large number of musicians and is attended by President Lorenzo Batlle y Grau of Uruguay and members of naval squadrons from Brazil and the United States.
November 11, 1868: Gavotte in A for piano by Johannes Brahms (35) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
November 12, 1868: Serenade to Welhaven op.18/9 for male chorus by Edvard Grieg (25) to words of Bjørnson is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo), by a procession of students honoring their retiring professor, JS Welhaven. Also premiered is Grieg’s National Song op.12/8 to words of Bjørnson, arranged for male chorus.
November 13, 1868: Evening. Gioachino Antonio Rossini receives the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church and dies at 23:15 at his home (at present Avenue Ingres 16e) in Passy, French Empire, of what is probably cancer of the rectum, aged 76 years, eight months, and 15 days. Over the last ten days since his operation he was visited by the greats of the Parisian artistic world. A messenger brought news of his condition to the royal family daily and the Italian embassy regularly sent reports to Florence.
November 15, 1868: Some of the sixteen waltzes for piano op.39 by Johannes Brahms (35) are performed for the first time in the two-hand version, by the composer, in Hamburg. See 23 November 1866 and 17 March 1867.
November 16, 1868: Cosima von Bülow leaves her husband for the last time and with her two daughters moves permanently to Tribschen, the home of the girls’ father, Richard Wagner (55).
November 16, 1868: The mortal remains of Gioachino Rossini are placed in a temporary tomb in the Church of the Madeleine, Paris.
November 17, 1868: Giuseppe Verdi (55) writes from his villa Sant’Agata to his publisher, Tito Ricordi, suggesting a Requiem mass be composed by Italy’s best composers to be performed on the anniversary of Rossini’s death.
November 18, 1868: Emperor Franz Joseph II approves a basic law of seventy articles creating the Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia under his crown. It is to have internal self-government and Croatian is the official language.
November 20, 1868: The earthly remains of Gioachino Rossini (†0) are moved to L'Église de la Trinité for the funeral. This venue is chosen owing to the number of people desirous of attending. Giuseppe Verdi (55) writes this day, “A great name has disappeared from the world! His was the most extensive, the most popular reputation of our time, and it was an Italian glory!”
November 21, 1868: 4,000 people attend the funeral in memory of Gioachino Rossini at L’Église de la Trinité, Paris Hundreds of singers, many of them famous, take part in the music, accompanied only by the organ. Daniel Auber (86) is in charge of the musical presentation, which features works by Rossini and others. The streets along the procession to the Pére-Lachaise Cemetery are filled with onlookers. After many orations, the remains of Gioachino Rossini are laid to rest. In the evening, performances of Rossini’s music take place at the Théâtre-Italien and the Théâtre-Lyrique.
November 23, 1868: Louis Ducos du Hauron receives a French patent for a process of color photography.
November 25, 1868: Enfeebled since a stroke in March, Hector Berlioz (64), accompanied by his manservant, goes to the Institute to vote for a new member.
November 27, 1868: The first complete performance of Sergey Dargomizhsky’s (55) opera The Stone Guest takes place in the composer’s home in St. Petersburg. Modest Musorgsky (29) plays the parts of Leporello and Don Carlos.
November 27, 1868: Members of the United States Cavalry under George A. Custer attack Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians peacefully encamped on the Washita River (north of present Elk City, Oklahoma). 103 Indians are killed, of whom only eleven are warriors. 21 soldiers are killed, 14 wounded. The troops also kill 875 Cheyenne ponies.
November 28, 1868: Prince Dimitrie Ghica replaces Ion Constantin Bratianu as Prime Minister of Romania.
December 3, 1868: The treason trial of Jefferson Davis begins in Richmond, Virginia.
December 6, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: Brazilians attack across the Itororó Creek pushing back a smaller Paraguayan force.
December 7, 1868: Three weeks of voting conclude in the British general election. William Gladstone’s Liberal Party gains 18 seats, defeating the Conservative Party of Benjamin Disraeli.
December 8, 1868: One of the Three Odes of Anacreon for solo voice and piano by Hubert Parry (20), translated by Moore, Away, away, you men of rules, is performed for the first time, at Exeter College, Oxford.
December 9, 1868: William Ewart Gladstone replaces Benjamin Disraeli as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
December 10, 1868: The first traffic signals go into service in Westminster, London.
December 11, 1868: The Ottoman Empire gives an ultimatum to Greece, demanding that Greek volunteers be withdrawn from Crete.
December 11, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: A Brazilian force wipes out a Paraguayan army at Avahy.
December 12, 1868: Hector Berlioz (65) attends a meeting of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris for the last time.
December 13, 1868: Adrast D.137, an unfinished opera by Franz Schubert (†40) to words of Mayrhofer, is performed for the first time, in the Vienna Redoutensaal, approximately 50 years after it was composed.
December 15, 1868: The Greek government rejects the Ottoman demands of 11 December.
December 16, 1868: The Ottoman Empire breaks diplomatic relations with Greece.
December 20, 1868: Romance op.5 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (28) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
December 21, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: Brazilians attack Paraguayans at Itaibaté almost carrying the day. But at the last minute, the Paraguayan reserves push them back. An allied attack at Pikiciry Creek is more successful.
December 25, 1868: United States President Andrew Johnson decrees an unqualified amnesty for all those taking part in the late rebellion.
December 27, 1868: War of the Triple Alliance: A second attack by Brazilians at Itaibaté puts the Paraguayans to flight.
December 31, 1868: American painter George Healy and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visit Franz Liszt (57) at the monastery of Santa Francesca Romana. He shows them around and then plays for them on the grand piano sent to him by Frank Chickering of Boston.