1854 events in history

Jan 4 The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang
Feb 17 The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Orange Free State
Feb 23 The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared
Mar 1 German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; two years later his remains are found in a canal near Charlottenburg
Mar 20 The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin
Mar 24 In Venezuela, slavery was abolished
Mar 28 Crimean War: France and Britain declare war on Russia
Mar 31 Commodore Matthew Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade
Apr 1 Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times begins serialisation in his magazine, Household Words
May 30 The Kansas–Nebraska Act becomes law establishing the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas
May 31 The civil death procedure is abolished in France
Jun 10 The first class of United States Naval Academy students graduate
Jun 21 The first Victoria Cross is awarded during the bombardment of Bomarsund in the Åland Islands
Jul 6 In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the United States Republican Party is held
Jul 13 In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General José María Yáñez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset-Boulbon
Jul 28 USS Constellation (1854), the last all-sail warship built by the United States Navy, is commissioned
Aug 4 The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships
Aug 9 Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden
Aug 19 The First Sioux War begins when United States Army soldiers kill Lakota chief Conquering Bear and in return are massacred
Sep 20 Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeat Russians in the Crimea
Sep 27 The steamship SS Arctic sinks with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean
Oct 1 The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American system of watch manufacturing
Oct 6 In England the Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead starts shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured
Oct 9 Crimean War: The siege of Sebastopol begins
Oct 21 Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses are sent to the Crimean War
Oct 25 The Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War (Charge of the Light Brigade)
Nov 5 Crimean War: The Battle of Inkerman
Dec 3 Battle of the Eureka Stockade: More than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences
Dec 8 In his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin