1879 events in history

Jan 11 The Anglo-Zulu War begins
Jan 22 Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Isandlwana – Zulu troops decisively defeat British troops
Jan 22 Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Rorke's Drift – 139 British soldiers successfully defend their garrison against an onslaught by three to four thousand Zulu warriors
Jan 23 Anglo-Zulu War: the Battle of Rorke's Drift ends
Jan 25 The Bulgarian National Bank is founded
Feb 8 Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute
Feb 8 The England cricket team led by Lord Harris is attacked during a riot during a match in Sydney
Feb 14 The War of the Pacific breaks out when Chilean armed forces occupy the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta
Feb 15 Women's rights: American President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States
Feb 22 In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and dime Woolworth stores
Mar 11 Shō Tai formally abdicated his position of King of Ryūkyū, under orders from Tokyo, ending the Ryukyu Kingdom
Mar 23 War of the Pacific: The Battle of Topáter, the first battle of the war is fought between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru
Mar 29 Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Kambula: British forces defeat 20,000 Zulus
Apr 5 Chile declares war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific
May 2 The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is founded in Casa Labra Pub (city of Madrid) by the historical Spanish workers' leader Pablo Iglesias
May 14 The first group of 463 Indian indentured laborers arrives in Fiji aboard the Leonidas
May 21 War of the Pacific: Two Chilean ships blocking the harbor of Iquique (then belonging to Peru) battle two Peruvian vessels in the Battle of Iquique
May 26 Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state
May 31 Gilmores Garden in New York, New York, is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue
Jun 1 Napoleon Eugene, the last dynastic Bonaparte, is killed in the Anglo-Zulu War
Jul 1 Charles Taze Russell publishes the first edition of the religious magazine The Watchtower
Jul 4 Anglo-Zulu War: The Zululand capital of Ulundi is captured by British troops and burned to the ground, ending the war and forcing King Cetshwayo to flee
Jul 8 Sailing ship USS Jeannette departs San Francisco carrying an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole
Jul 12 The National Guards Unit of Bulgaria is founded
Aug 7 The opening of the Poor Man's Palace in Manchester, England
Aug 21 The Virgin Mary, along with St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, reportedly appears at Knock Shrine in Knock, County Mayo, Ireland
Aug 28 Cetshwayo, last king of the Zulus, is captured by the British
Sep 3 Siege of the British Residency in Kabul: British envoy Sir Louis Cavagnari and 72 men of the The Guides are massacred by Afghan troops while defending the British Residency in Kabul. Their heroism and loyalty became famous and revered throughout the British Empire
Sep 19 The Blackpool Illuminations are switched on for the first time
Oct 7 Germany and Austria-Hungary sign the "Twofold Covenant" and create the Dual Alliance
Oct 8 War of the Pacific: The Chilean Navy defeats the Peruvian Navy in the Battle of Angamos, Peruvian Admiral Miguel Grau is killed in the encounter
Oct 21 Thomas Edison invents a workable electric light bulb at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J. which was tested the next day and lasted 13.5 hours. This would be the invention of the first commercially practical incandescent light. Popular belief is that he invented the first light bulb, which he did not
Oct 22 Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13½ hours before burning out)
Dec 21 World première of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark
Dec 28 Tay Bridge disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom collapses as a train passes over it, killing 75
Dec 31 Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey