Puneet Varma (Editor)

1789 in the United States

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1789 in the United States

Events from the year 1789 in the United States. The Articles of Confederation, the agreement under which the nation's government had been operating since 1781, was superseded by the Constitution in March of this year.


Federal Government

  • Articles of Confederation (until March 3):
  • 10th Confederation Congress
  • Constitution (starting March 4):
  • President: George Washington (no political party-Virginia)
  • Vice President: John Adams (no political party-Massachusetts)
  • Chief Justice: John Jay (New York) (starting October 19)
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives: Frederick Muhlenberg (starting April 1)
  • Congress: 1st United States Congress (starting March 4)
  • January–March

  • January 7 – The 1789 United State presidential elections and House of Representatives elections are held.
  • January 21 – William Hill Brown's anonymous sentimental epistolary novel The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature, usually considered the first American novel, is published in Boston.
  • January 23 – Georgetown University is founded in Washington, D.C., becoming the first Catholic college in the United States.
  • February 4 – George Washington is unanimously elected the first President of the United States by the United States Electoral College.
  • March 4 – At Federal Hall in New York City, the 1st United States Congress meets and declares the new United States Constitution to be in effect.
  • March 29 – Thomas Collins, President of Delaware, dies in office.
  • April–June

  • April 1 – At Federal Hall, the United States House of Representatives attains its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker of the House.
  • April 6 – At Federal Hall, the United States Senate attains its first quorum and elects Senator John Langdon as its first President pro tempore; the first joint session of Congress is held on that same date, and the electoral votes of the first presidential election are formally counted. General George Washington is declared President-elect, and John Adams is declared Vice President-elect.
  • April 21 – John Adams takes office as Vice-President of the United States and begins to preside the sessions of the United States Senate.
  • April 30 – George Washington is inaugurated at Federal Hall in New York City, beginning his term as the first President of the United States.
  • July–September

  • July 4 – Congress passes its first tax on 30 different items at 8.5% with discount to American ships over foreign ones.
  • July 27 – The first U.S. federal government agency under the new Constitution, the Department of Foreign Affairs (later renamed the Department of State), is established.
  • August 7 – The United States Department of War is established.
  • September 2 – The United States Department of the Treasury is established.
  • September 15 – The Department of Foreign Affairs is officially renamed the Department of State.
  • September 24 – The Judiciary Act of 1789 establishes the federal judiciary and the United States Marshals Service.
  • September 25 – The United States Congress proposes a set of 12 amendments for ratification by the states. Ratification for 10 of these proposals is completed on December 5, 1791, creating the United States Bill of Rights.
  • September 29 – The U.S. Department of War establishes the nation's first regular army, with a strength of several hundred men.
  • October–December

  • November 6 – Pope Pius VI appoints John Carroll the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States.
  • November 20 – New Jersey ratifies the United States Bill of Rights, the first state to do so.
  • November 21 – North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution and becomes the 12th U.S. state (see History of North Carolina).
  • November 26 – A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.
  • December 11 – The University of North Carolina, the oldest public university in the United States, is founded.
  • Undated

  • Thomas Jefferson returns from Europe, bringing the first macaroni machine to the United States.
  • Influenced by Dr. Benjamin Rush's argument against the excessive use of alcohol, about 200 farmers in a Connecticut community form a temperance association.
  • Fort Washington is built in Cincinnati, to protect early U.S. settlements in the Northwest Territory.
  • Ongoing

  • Northwest Indian War (1785–1795)
  • Births

  • January 18 – Briscoe Baldwin, planter and Virginia politician (died 1852)
  • February 4 – Thaddeus Betts, United States Senator from Connecticut from 1839 till 1840. (died 1840)
  • February 18 – Solomon Metcalf Allen, professor (died 1817)
  • March 5
  • Michael Woolston Ash, United States Representative from Pennsylvania from 1835 till 1837. (died 1858)
  • William S. Archer, United States Senator from Virginia from 1841 till 1847. (died 1855)
  • July 18 – Thomas Carlin, 7th Governor of Illinois from 1838 till 1842. (died 1852)
  • September 9 – William Cranch Bond, astronomer (died 1859)
  • September 24 – James Bates, United States Representative from Maine from 1831 till 1833. (died 1882)
  • October 16 – William Burton, 39th Governor of Delaware from 1859 till 1863. (died 1866)
  • October 17 – James Alexander, Jr., United States Representative from Ohio from 1837 till 1839. (died 1846)
  • October 30 – Hiram Bingham I, missionary to Hawaii (died 1869)
  • December 17 – Clement Comer Clay, United States Senator from Alabama from 1837 till 1841. (died 1866)
  • December 21 – John Norvell, United States Senator from Michigan from 1837 till 1841. (died 1850)
  • full date unknown – John James Appleton, diplomat, born in France. (died 1864)
  • Deaths

  • March 29 – Thomas Collins, planter and president of Delaware (born 1732)
  • References

    1789 in the United States Wikipedia

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