A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

January 1, 1872 – December 31, 1872

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January 1, 1872: The metric system becomes mandatory in Germany.
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January 2, 1872: The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music by Friedrich Nietzsche is published in Leipzig.
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January 6, 1872: Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris replaces Thrasivoulos Andreou Zaimis as Prime Minister of Greece.
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January 6, 1872: Early afternoon. Alyeksandr Nikolayevich Skryabin is born in Moscow, Russian Empire, the only child of aristocratic parents, Nikolay Alyeksandrovich Skryabin, a lawyer, and Lyubov Petrovna Shchetinina, a pianist. Lyubov Petrovna gives birth on Christmas Day (according to the Russian calendar) after a four-day journey by train from Saratov, a distance of some 725 km. She is so seriously ill from the cold that she must be carried to the bedroom at the house of her in-laws.
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January 10, 1872: The Praise of Music for double chorus by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (61) to words of Oliphant, is performed for the first time, in Royal Albert Hall, London. It was composed at the request of the conductor, Charles Gounod (53).
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January 15, 1872: Le Roi Carotte, an opéra-bouffe-féerie by Jacques Offenbach (52) to words of Sardou after Hoffmann, is performed for the first time, at the Gaité, Paris. It is a big success.
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January 18, 1872: Fantasio, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (52) to words of de Musset, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris.
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January 21, 1872: Franz Grillparzer dies in Vienna at the age of 81.
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January 27, 1872: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (38) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Blinde Kuh op.58/1 to Italian words translated by Kopisch, and Während des Regens op.58/2 to words of Kopisch.
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January 28, 1872: Engineer Giovanni Battista Pirelli founds Pirelli & Co. to manufacture rubber products.
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February 1, 1872: An executive committee is formed to organize the Bayreuth Festival. Richard Wagner (58) buys land near the Bayreuth Hofgarten. Here his home Villa Wahnfried will be built.
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February 1, 1872: César Franck (49) enters upon duties as Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatoire.
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February 2, 1872: Beata, an operetta by Stanislaw Moniuszko (52) to words of Checinski, is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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February 2, 1872: The Netherlands cedes its Gold Coast possessions to Great Britain in return for a free hand in Sumatra.
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February 2, 1872: The Wedding Chorus from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (31) unperformed opera Oprichnik is performed for the first time, in Moscow. See 24 April 1874.
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February 8, 1872: Richard Southwell Bourke, Earl of Mayo, Viceroy of India, is stabbed to death by Sher Ali, a Pathan, while visiting Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.
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February 8, 1872: Giuseppe Verdi’s (58) opera Aida is performed for the first time in Europe, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. During the course of the evening, the composer is called out 32 times. Reviews are mixed.
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February 9, 1872: Sir John Strachey is named acting Viceroy of India.
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February 15, 1872: The Correspondencia teatral in Valladolid contains the first extant notice of a concert by Isaac Albéniz (11). “Words fail us in praising such mastery, such feeling, such perfection...he will be one of the glories of Spanish art.” However, this is not his first performance.
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February 16, 1872: Epithalam zu Eduard Reményi’s Vermählungsfeier for violin and piano by Franz Liszt (60) is performed for the first time. It was composed for Reményi’s wedding on 10 February but he does not actually perform it until today.
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February 17, 1872: Three priests, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora are executed by garotte in Bagumbayan Field (Rizal Park), Manila. The Spanish authorities convicted them of participation in the uprising of workers in Cavite.
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February 17, 1872: The second version of Romeo and Juliet, a fantasy-overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (31), is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg. See 16 March 1870 and 1 May 1886.
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February 17, 1872: The finale to Act I of Boris Godunov, an opera by Modest Musorgsky (32) to his own words after Pushkin and Karamazin, is performed for the first time, by the Russian Musical Society, St. Petersburg. The audience is encouraging enough for him to continue work. See 8 February 1874.
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February 20, 1872: The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens to the public in New York.
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February 21, 1872: Thérèse de Chorier d’Indy dies. She has left her not inconsiderable wealth to her grandson, Vincent d’Indy (20). This will allow him to pursue music rather than the legal career insisted upon by his father.
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February 22, 1872: Edvard Grieg (28) is elected a member of the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm.
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February 24, 1872: Francis Napier, Baron of Ettrick replaces Sir John Strachey as acting Viceroy of India.
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February 24, 1872: Incidental music to Beaumarchais’ play (tr. Sadovski) The Barber of Seville by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (31) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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February 28, 1872: Kamenniy gost (The Stone Guest), an opera by Alyeksandr Dargomizhsky (†3) to words of Pushkin, completed by Cesar Cui (37) and orchestrated by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (27), is performed for the first time, in the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
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February 29, 1872: Léon Escudier launches a withering attack on the Société Nationale de Musique in his journal L’Art Musical.
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March 1, 1872: President Ulysses S. Grant signs a bill creating Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the world.
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March 8, 1872: Fleurette, oder Näherin und Trompeter, a komische Operette by Jacques Offenbach (52) to words of Hopp and Zell (pseud. of Walzel) after de Forges and Laurencin (pseud. of Chapelle), is performed for the first time, in the Carltheater, Vienna.
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March 11, 1872: Two songs by Johannes Brahms (38) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen op.32/2 to traditional words, and Ich schleich umher op.32/3 to words of Platen.
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March 13, 1872: The music publisher Georges Hartmann brings his young protégé Jules Massenet (29) to the home of the famous conductor Étienne Pasdeloup at 18 Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle, Paris. Massenet plays for him his new opera Marie-Magdeleine. Pasdeloup declines to perform it.
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March 16, 1872: The first FA cup is won by the Wanderers 1-0 over the Royal Engineers in Kennington Oval cricket ground, London.
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March 19, 1872: A board of Russian censors recommends the performance of Modest Musorgsky’s (32) opera Boris Godunov, the only objection being an 1837 edict prohibiting the operatic representation of a Tsar. See 17 April 1872.
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March 26, 1872: Introduction et variations for ten players by Jules Massenet (29) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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March 29, 1872: Oto drzewo krzyza (Ecce lignum crucis) for baritone, chorus, and organ by Stanislaw Moniuszko (52) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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April 2, 1872: Samuel Morse dies in New York at the age of 80.
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April 6, 1872: Romance for flute and orchestra op.37 by Camille Saint-Saëns (36) is performed for the first time, in the Salle Pleyel, Paris, conducted by the composer.
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April 10, 1872: Incidental music to Bjørnson’s play Sigurd Jorsalfar by Edvard Grieg (28) is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo). Criticism is mixed but the public is appreciative.
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April 10, 1872: Two songs by Antonín Dvorák (30) are performed for the first time, in Prague: The Reason, to words of Krásnohorská, and The Orphan to words of Erben.
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April 12, 1872: The Chief of the Central Administration for Publishing Matters of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs issues a report in the name of the Tsar which includes authorization for the production of the opera Boris Godunov by Modest Musorgsky (33). It will be signed by Tsar Alyeksandr in five days.
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April 14, 1872: The Canadian Parliament passes the Dominion Lands Act, offering 65 hectares of land in Manitoba or the Northwest Territories to any man over 18 years or any woman head of household. They must build a dwelling and cultivate at least 16 hectares.
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April 14, 1872: The overture to Antonín Dvorák’s (30) unperformed opera King and Charcoal Burner is performed for the first time, in Prague, conducted by Bedrich Smetana (48). On the same program is the premiere of Smetana’s Libuse overture. See 11 June 1881.
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April 14, 1872: Le Rouet d’Omphale op.31, a symphonic poem by Camille Saint-Saëns (36), is performed for the first time in its orchestral setting, in Paris. See 7 December 1871.
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April 15, 1872: Mily Balakirev (35) conducts the fourth concert of the 1871-72 Free School of Music subscription series. It is poorly attended and the fifth concert will be cancelled for lack of funds. Balakirev will not conduct again for ten years. The Polonaise from Modest Musorgsky’s (33) unperformed opera Boris Godunov is premiered. See 18 July 1872.
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April 17, 1872: Two brothers, Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale, open their Great East Side Bazaar on East 56th Street in New York City. They sell a variety of women’s clothing.
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April 21, 1872: Josef Rubinstein, a young, mentally unstable musician, arrives at Tribschen from his home in Kharkov. After reading Wagner’s (58) Das Judenthum in Musik he came to a choice between suicide or following the man who had shown him his inherent Jewish deficiencies. As Wagner is leaving for Bayreuth tomorrow, he invites Rubinstein to join him there.
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April 21, 1872: Third Carlist War: An insurrection begins in the north of Spain in favor of the pretender, Don Carlos de Borbon.
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April 22, 1872: Richard Wagner (58) leaves his house near Lucerne, Tribschen, forever. He moves to Bayreuth to oversee construction of the Festspielhaus.
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April 23, 1872: Arthur George Farwell is born in a house on the corner of Grove and Olive Streets in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, second of two children born to George Lyman Farwell, owner of a hardware business, and Sara Gardner Wyer, a descendant of one of the first English families in New England, and the founder of the first kindergarten in St. Paul.
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April 29, 1872: Cosima Wagner, her five children, nursemaid, personal maid, and dog Russ leave Tribschen, setting up household tomorrow with Wagner (58) in the Hotel Fantaisie in Donndorf, near Bayreuth.
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May 1, 1872: Strasbourg University opens.
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May 1, 1872: Te Deum and Domine salvam fac reginam for chorus and orchestra by Arthur Sullivan (29) is performed for the first time, in the Crystal Palace, London, as part of a day of national thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales from typhoid.
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May 2, 1872: Rightist pretender Don Carlos crosses the border into Spain but will fail in his ambition to begin an uprising.
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May 3, 1872: Thomas George Baring, Viscount Baring of Lee replaces Francis Napier, Baron of Ettrick as Viceroy of India.
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May 4, 1872: Third Carlist War: Outnumbered government troops defeat the Carlists at Orquieta. Don Carlos escapes to France.
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May 6, 1872: The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Art in London opens. It includes Arrangement in Grey and Black no.1 by James McNeill Whistler. (known colloquially as Whistler’s mother)
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May 7, 1872: Giuseppe Verdi (58) receives a letter from a Signor Prospero Bertani of Reggio, demanding that the composer reimburse him for his train travel, supper and two viewings of Aida, which he finds totally lacking in virtue. Verdi pays for the tickets and train fare, but not the supper.
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May 8, 1872: Charles Gounod (53) conducts the first of four choral concerts in Royal Albert Hall. Critics do not like him or his music or the fact that he is not English and does not program English music.
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May 12, 1872: Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (former Emperor Napoléon III) issues a letter from England taking responsibility for the loss at Sedan.
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May 15, 1872: A memorial statue to Franz Schubert (†43) by Karl Kundmann is dedicated in the Stadtpark, Vienna.
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May 15, 1872: Charles Villiers Stanford (19) gives his first organ recital, on the newly rebuilt organ of Trinity College, Cambridge.
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May 17, 1872: Land Sighting for baritone, male chorus, and harmonium or organ by Edvard Grieg (28) to words of Bjørnson, is performed for the first time, in the Akershus fortress, to raise money for the restoration of Trondheim Cathedral.
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May 18, 1872: Richard Wagner (58) writes to Franz Liszt (60) offering an olive branch and inviting him to the laying of the foundation stone of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.
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May 18, 1872: Two songs by Gabriel Fauré (27) are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique: Lydia op.4/2, to words of de Lisle, and Seule! op.3/4 to words of Gautier.
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May 19, 1872: Mass in B flat “Piotrowinska” for solo voices, chorus, and organ by Stanislaw Moniuszko (53) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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May 20, 1872: Franz Liszt (60) writes to Richard Wagner (58), ending his anger at him and his daughter Cosima.
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May 22, 1872: Djamileh, an opéra comique by Georges Bizet (33) to words of Gallet, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. Bizet sits in the prompter’s box to make sure nothing goes wrong. Towards the end, he tells a friend, “It’s a complete flop.” It is not a flop, but neither is it a success. Later, the composer will say, “If you want to succeed today, you have to be dead, or German.”
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May 22, 1872: Spring Comes Hither op.1/4 for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (19) is performed for the first time, at Cambridge University.
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May 22, 1872: The Amnesty Act is signed by US President Grant, reinstating the citizenship rights to all southerners except for 500 Confederate leaders.
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May 22, 1872: On his 59th birthday, in a driving rain, Richard Wagner lays the cornerstone for the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Later, in the town’s opera house, Wagner speaks on how he envisions the building and then conducts a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (†45) Symphony no.9 in celebration. There is an enormous banquet. Friedrich Nietzsche, who accompanies Wagner, will write, “Everything that had happened up to now was a preparation for this moment.”
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May 24, 1872: Two days after the laying of the cornerstone, Richard Wagner (59) hires an architect to build the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. He signs a contract with Peter Otto Brückwald of Leipzig.
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May 26, 1872: Juan Bautista Topete y Carballa replaces Práxedes Mateo-Sagasta Escolar as Prime Minister of Spain.
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May 29, 1872: Edward Elgar (14) dates his earliest surviving work, The Language of Flowers, for piano. He dedicates it “To my sister Lucy on her birthday.”
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May 31, 1872: Richard Strauss (7) hears his music for the first time when the Harbni, an amateur orchestra conducted by his father, rehearses his Panzenburg-polka at the home of Richard’s uncle Georg Pschorr in Munich. It was orchestrated by Richard’s father, Franz.
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June 2, 1872: Prime Minister Friedrich Adam Justus, Baron Hegnenberg-Dux of Bavaria dies in Munich.
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June 4, 1872: Stanislaw Moniuszko dies of a heart attack in Warsaw, Russian Empire, aged 53 years and 30 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in Powazki Cemetery, Wilno (Vilnius).
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June 4, 1872: Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio replaces Juan Bautista Topete y Carballo as Prime Minister of Spain.
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June 5, 1872: Triumphlied for baritone, chorus, and orchestra by Johannes Brahms (39) to words from the Bible is performed completely for the first time, in the Karlsruhe Hoftheater. It is spectacularly successful. Clara Schumann (52), who is present, writes that it is “certainly the deepest and grandest piece of church music since Bach.”
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June 8, 1872: Anton Rubinstein (42) signs a contract in Vienna for an American tour with Jacob Grau, tour manager, and CF Theodor Steinway of Steinway&Sons.
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June 12, 1872: The Cantata in Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Peter the Great by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (32) to words of Polonsky is performed for the first time, in Moscow. The performance takes place on the Troitsky Bridge as part of festivities opening a polytechnical exhibition.
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June 12, 1872: La princesse jaune, an opéra-comique by Camille Saint-Saëns (36) to words of Gallet, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
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June 13, 1872: Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla replaces Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio as Prime Minister of Spain.
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June 13, 1872: Johann Strauss (46) arrives in New York aboard SS Rhein from Bremerhaven after a 13-day crossing along with his wife, valet, maid, and dog. He is headed to Boston to conduct at the Boston Peace Festival.
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June 14, 1872: The Canadian Parliament passes the Trade Unions Act, legalizing unions.
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June 15, 1872: Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy is published.
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June 16, 1872: Mass no.3 in f minor for soloists, chorus, orchestra, and organ by Anton Bruckner (47) is performed for the first time, in the Augustinerkirche, Vienna under the direction of the composer.
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June 17, 1872: The World Peace Jubilee and International Music Festival opens in Boston. Among those who will perform over the next two weeks are Johann Strauss (46) and his orchestra, the Garde Republican Band of France, the English Grenadier Guards Band, and the Kaiser Franz Grenadiers Band from Germany. 19,000 players and singers will take part in a 100,000 seat structure.
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June 19, 1872: By act of the Reichstag, all members of the Society of Jesus are expelled from Germany during the ongoing Kulturkampf between Chancellor Bismarck and the Roman Catholic Church. The highly nationalistic mood of the country does not allow such an international organization.
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June 22, 1872: The St. Petersburg publisher Vasily Bessel presents Modest Musorgsky (33) with a copy of the first edition of his song cycle The Nursery.
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June 24, 1872: The Orchesterschule opens in Weimar to train orchestral musicians, mostly with new music.
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June 25, 1872: Hubert Parry (24) marries Elizabeth Maude Herbert, the daughter of the 1st Baron Herbert of Lea and granddaughter of the 11th Earl of Pembroke, in St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge. See 20 June 1870.
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June 26, 1872: Edward Elgar (15) finishes his last term at Littleton House and enters the law office of William Allen in Worcester.
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July 4, 1872: The World Peace Jubilee and International Music Festival concludes in Boston. See 17 June 1872.
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July 4, 1872: Pursuant to the Reichstag vote of 19 June, Chancellor Bismarck orders the expulsion of the Socity of Jesus from Germany.
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July 6, 1872: Gerrit de Vries and Isaac Dignus Fransen van de Putte replace Johann Rudolf Thorbecke as chief ministers of the Netherlands.
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July 8, 1872: Six months after being discharged, John Philip Sousa (17) reenlists in the US Marine Corps and rejoins its band.
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July 12, 1872: Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (28) marries Nadezhda Nikolayevna Purgold, a pianist with much better musical training than himself. His best man is Modest Musorgsky (33).
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July 14, 1872: Edward Elgar (15) plays the organ at mass for the first time, in St. George’s, Worcester.
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July 18, 1872: Because of so many career failures, Mily Balakirev’s (35) financial position is critical. On this day he begins work in St. Petersburg for the Central Railway Company, Warsaw Line, in the Goods Department. He continues to give lessons every weekday evening.
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July 18, 1872: The Ballot Act introduces the secret ballot into Great Britain.
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July 18, 1872: President Benito Pablo Juárez García of Mexico dies of heart failure in Mexico City at the age of 66.
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July 19, 1872: Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada y Corral replaces Benito Pablo Juárez García as President of Mexico.
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July 20, 1872: Leos Janácek (18) completes studies at the Teachers’ Institute in Brünn (Brno).
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July 20, 1872: Epameinontas Mitrou Deligeorgis replaces Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris as Prime Minister of Greece.
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July 24, 1872: Leos Janácek (18) receives a temporary certificate allowing him to teach provisionally in primary schools.
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July 28, 1872: France institutes general conscription to create a standing army.
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July 31, 1872: Midhat Pasha replaces Mahmud Nedim Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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August 11, 1872: Evening. Lowell Mason dies at his home, Silver Spring Estate, in Orange, New Jersey, USA, aged 80 years, seven months, and three days.
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August 15, 1872: After a funeral service in Orange Valley Congregational Church, the earthly remains of Lowell Mason are laid to rest in Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.
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August 18, 1872: The first mail-order catalogue is issued, a one-page price list by Aaron Montgomery Ward of Chicago.
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August 22, 1872: An overland telegraph wire is completed between Adelaide and Darwin. This meets a telegraph connection with the Netherlands East Indies and the rest of the world.
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August 22, 1872: Prince Milan Obrenovic IV of Serbia reaches majority and rules in his own right. Milivoje Petrovic Blaznavac replaces Radivoje Milojkovic as prime minister.
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August 23, 1872: Riots break out in Essen in opposition to the expulsion of the Jesuits.
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September 1, 1872: Anton Rubinstein (42) departs Liverpool aboard the Cuba making for New York.
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September 2, 1872: Richard (59) and Cosima Wagner visit Franz Liszt (60) at the Russischer Hof Hotel in Weimar, effecting a reconciliation. It is the first time the two men have met since 1867.
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September 3, 1872: While visiting her father, Franz Liszt (60), in Weimar, Cosima Wagner writes, “I am terribly upset by my father’s weariness of soul...I saw the tragedy of my father’s life as in a vision--during the night I shed many tears.” (C.Wagner, 148)
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September 7, 1872: Emperors Wilhelm I, Franz Joseph II, and Alyeksandr II meet in Berlin and form an entente between their countries: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia.
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September 11, 1872: Anton Rubinstein (42) disembarks in New York having crossed from Liverpool on the Cuba. There is excitement and anticipation on his arrival.
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September 12, 1872: Over 2,000 people gather outside Anton Rubinstein’s (42) hotel in New York where the Philharmonic Society serenades him. In between numbers, the pianist says a few words of thanks to the cheering crowd.
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September 12, 1872: Russische Marsch-Fantasie op.353 by Johann Strauss (46) is performed for the first time, in Schwender’s “Neue Welt”, Vienna.
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September 13, 1872: Karl von Hofmann replaces Friedrich, Baron Lindelof as Prime Minister of Hesse.
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September 14, 1872: A five-man international Court of Arbitration in Geneva finds the United Kingdom at fault and orders it to pay $15,500,000 to the United States for damages done by Confederate ships built in Britain.
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September 17, 1872: Philip W. Pratt of Abington, Massachusetts receives a US patent for an automatic fire sprinkler system.
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September 17, 1872: Im russischen Dorfe op.355, a fantasie by Johann Strauss (46), is performed for the first time, in Baden-Baden.
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September 18, 1872: King Carl XV of Sweden dies in Malmö and is succeeded by his brother Oscar II.
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September 21, 1872: Richard (59) and Cosima Wagner move to Bayreuth, in a temporary home at Dammalle 7.
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September 21, 1872: Der schwarzer Korsar, a komische Operette by Jacques Offenbach (53) to words of Genée, Nuitter, Tréfeu, and the composer, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna.
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September 23, 1872: Anton Rubinstein (42) makes his American debut in Steinway Hall, New York. It is a triumph before a standing room only crowd. He will perform 15 times in greater New York between now and 12 October.
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September 24, 1872: Adolf, Baron Pfretzschner replaces Friedrich Adam Justus, Baron Hegnenberg-Dux as Prime Minister of Bavaria.
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September 29, 1872: United States troops attack a Commanche village on McClellan’s Creek, Carson County, Texas. 23 people are killed, 124 women and children are imprisoned and 262 homes destroyed. Two soldiers are killed, two wounded.
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September 30, 1872: Incidental music to Daudet’s play L’arlesienne by Georges Bizet (33) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre du Vaudeville, Paris. Present in the audience are Ambroise Thomas (61) and Jules Massenet (30). According to the playwright, “It was a most dazzling failure.”
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October 1, 1872: Johannes Brahms (39) enters upon duties as director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.
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October 1, 1872: The first case of equine influenza appears in Toronto. It will spread throughout North America over the next year. Although fatal in only one percent of cases, the disease incapacitates horses for as much as two weeks. It has a seriously detrimental effect on the economy of the continent.
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October 8, 1872: Jane Anton Satie dies in Paris. Two of her three children, Erik (6) and younger brother Conrad, are sent to live with their paternal grandparents in Honfleur.
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October 12, 1872: Almost three months of voting end in the second general election in Canada. Conservative parties led by John A. MacDonald continue to hold power.
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October 12, 1872: Ralph Vaughan Williams is born in the Old Vicarage at All Saints Church, Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, the youngest of three children born to Rev. Arthur Charles Vaughan Williams, Vicar of Christ Church, Down Ampney, and Margaret Susan Wedgwood.
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October 14, 1872: The first railroad in Japan officially opens with 29 km of track between Tokyo and Yokohama.
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October 14, 1872: Anton Rubinstein (42) gives the first of nine concerts in New England, in Boston. The audience is smaller here than New York, but no less enthusiastic.
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October 15, 1872: Franz Liszt (59) makes his first visit to Bayreuth to visit Richard (59) and Cosima Wagner.
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October 17, 1872: Prague Opera musicians, led by Antonín Dvorák (31), send a letter in support of Bedrich Smetana (48) to the theatre’s intendant, FL Rieger, who has been trying to remove him.
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October 19, 1872: Mütercim Mehmed Rüstü Pasha replaces Midhat Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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October 21, 1872: Emperor Wilhelm of Germany issues his arbitration of the border dispute between Great Britain and the United States. He accepts the US claim to the San Juan Islands and names the Haro Strait as the border with Vancouver Island.
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October 22, 1872: Claude Debussy (10) enters the Paris Conservatoire in the piano class of Antoine Marmontel and the solfege class of Albert Lavignac.
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October 25, 1872: Claude Debussy (10) attends his first piano class at the Conservatoire.
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October 28, 1872: John Knowles Paine (33) gives the inaugural lecture at the College of Music of Boston University.
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October 28, 1872: Anton Rubinstein (42) gives a concert in Philadelphia, the first of nine in that city, Washington, and Baltimore over the next two weeks to tumultuous acclaim.
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October 31, 1872: On Reformation Day, Cosima Wagner officially converts to the Protestant faith in the parish church of Bayreuth.
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October 31, 1872: Mondnacht WoO21, a song by Johannes Brahms (39) to words of Eichendorff, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
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November 5, 1872: Japan accepts sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands.
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November 5, 1872: Voting in the United States ensures the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant over former Representative Horace Greeley. Grant’s Republican Party gains 63 seats in the House of Representatives.
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November 7, 1872: Claude Debussy (10) attends his first solfege class at the Conservatoire.
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November 9, 1872: 19:00 Fire breaks out in Boston and will continue through tomorrow. By its end it will destroy 776 buildings over 26 hectares of the city. 33 people are killed and $73,500,000 damage is done. 2,163 firefighters from 31 communities are involved. The march of the flames is finally halted by using dynamite to destroy buldings in its path. The insurance firm of A.C. Chadwick scrambles to pay claims. Its overworked clerk, George Whitefield Chadwick (17) will have to quit his studies at New England Conservatory to keep up with the massive workload.
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November 10, 1872: Johannes Brahms (39) conducts his first performance with the Vienna Gesellschaftskonzerte, beginning a championing of the music of JS Bach (†122) and GF Handel (†113). The organist is Anton Bruckner (48). His interest in Baroque music is not shared by his audience.
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November 10, 1872: The first suite from the incidental music to L’arlesienne by Georges Bizet (34) is performed for the first time, in the Cirque d’hiver, Paris. The music, unlike the play, proves a great success. See 1 October 1872.
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November 12, 1872: A major storm hits the Baltic coast of Denmark and Germany causing a severe storm surge. 271 people are killed. Over 15,000 are homeless.
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November 16, 1872: Georges Bizet’s (34) operetta Sol-si-re-pif-pan to words of Busnach is performed for the first time, at the Chateau d’Eau, Paris.
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November 18, 1872: Susan B. Anthony is arrested at her home in Rochester, New York for voting in the election of 5 November. 14 other women, and the elections inspectors who accepted their ballots, are also arrested.
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November 22, 1872: Quintet for piano and strings op.5 by Antonín Dvorák (31) is performed for the first time, in Konvikt Hall, Prague.
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November 27, 1872: Von waldbekränzter Höhe op.57/1, a song by Johannes Brahms (39) to words of Daumer, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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November 27, 1872: Incidental music to Legouvé’s play Les deux reines by Charles Gounod (54) is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre-Ventadour, Paris.
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November 27, 1872: At the request of Charles Villiers Stanford (20), the Cambridge University Music Society admits women to its choir.
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November 28, 1872: Conscription is introduced in Japan.
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November 30, 1872: Don César de Bazan, an opéra comique by Jules Massenet (30) to words of d’Ennery, Dumanoir, and Chantepie after Hugo, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. It will receive only 13 performances.
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November 30, 1872: The first International Association football match takes place between England and Scotland in Patrick, near Glasgow. It ends in a draw, 0-0.
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November 30, 1872: Before a Southern Convent op.20 for solo voices, female chorus, and orchestra by Edvard Grieg (29) to words of Bjørnson is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo), directed by the composer.
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December 1, 1872: Middlemarch by George Eliot is published.
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December 2, 1872: The US House of Representatives empanels a special committee to investigate whether any congressmen received kickbacks from the Union Pacific Railroad. It is the beginning of the Credit Mobilier Scandal.
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December 3, 1872: English archaeologist George Smith reads his translation of the flood story, the end of the Epic of Gilgamesh which he found at Nineveh, to a meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology in London.
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December 4, 1872: József Szlávy de Erkenéz et Okány replaces Manyhért Count Lónyay de Nagylónya et Vásáros-nameny as Prime Minister of Hungary.
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December 4, 1872: Eric Satie (6) and his three-year-old brother Conrad are baptized into the Roman Catholic faith in St. Catherine’s Church, Honfleur. Their Scottish mother had them baptized as Anglicans but upon her death two months ago, the boys are sent to live with their paternal grandparents, who insist on the change.
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December 5, 1872: The British brig Dei Gratia discovers the Mary Celeste, 650 km east of the Azores and 28 days out of New York. There is no one on board. (although there are many theories, we still don’t know for sure what happened to the crew)
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December 7, 1872: To Springtime My Song I’m Singing op.21/3 for voice and piano by Edvard Grieg (29) to words of Bjørnson, is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo) by the composer and his wife.
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December 7, 1872: Sonata no.1 op.32 for cello and piano by Camille Saint-Saëns (37) is performed for the first time, in Paris, the composer at the keyboard.
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December 8, 1872: Divertissement for orchestra by Edouard Lalo (49) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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December 11, 1872: King Kamehameha V of Hawaii dies in Honolulu.
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December 12, 1872: On his arrival to conduct a performance at the Prague Provisional Theatre, Bedrich Smetana (48) is greeted by a ten-minute ovation from artists, orchestra, and audience in response to attempts by rivals to remove him from his post.
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December 17, 1872: Oscar Magnus Fredrik Björnstjerna replaces Baltzar von Platen as Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
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December 18, 1872: Serenade for Nikolay Rubinstein’s Name Day for small orchestra by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (32) is performed for the first time, privately, in the Moscow apartment of the dedicatee. See 5 November 1953.
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December 18, 1872: Seven of the songs op.57/2-8 by Johannes Brahms (39) to words and translations by Daumer, are performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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December 22, 1872: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours by Jules Verne is published in serial form beginning today in Paris.