|January 4, 1782 - The Bank of North America opens its doors as
Robert Morris, the superintendent of Finance, recommends the creation
of a national mint and decimal coins. The bank, along with the
Bank of New York and First Bank of the United States, will be the first
entities to obtain shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
March 20, 1782 - Lord North resigns as British Prime Minister, leading the way for a New British cabinet to agree to recognize United States independence.
June 20, 1782 - The Bald Eagle is adopted by Congress as the national bird.
July 11, 1782 - British troops begin to leave United States' soil, evacuating Savannah, Georgia. On December 14, they would continue their evacuation by leaving Charleston, South Carolina.
November 7, 1782 - British Parliament agrees to the recognition of U.S. independence. A preliminary peace treaty, later formalized as the "Treaty of Paris" is signed between American and British officials in Paris on November 30.
|April 15, 1783 - Congress ratifies the preliminary peace treaty, ending the Revolutionary War.
April 1783 - Massachusetts Supreme Court outlaws slavery, citing the state Bill of Rights “all men are born free and equal.”
September 3, 1783 - In Paris, France, John Adams leads an American delegation and signs the peace treaty officially ending the Revolutionary War between the United States and Britain.
November 3, 1783 - The Continental Army is ordered disbanded by General George Washington. After the British leave New York City on November 25, Washington bids goodbye to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York City on December 4.
Noah Webster publishes the American Spelling Book, a bestseller. More than a million copies are sold of "Webster's Dictionary." Webster's Dictionary is credited for standardizing spelling and pronunciation in the United States of America.
|January 14, 1784 - Congress ratifies the final peace treaty between
Great Britain and the United States, ending the conflict that would
give America its freedom.
March 1, 1784 - All children born after this date in 1784 in Rhode Island are free. Rhode Island’s passage of its Emancipation Act provided for the gradual abolishment of the right to hold slaves.
September 21, 1784 - The Pennsylvania Packet General Advertiser is published, the first successful daily newspaper in the United States.
By the end of 1784, trade with Great Britain had returned as Britain receives its first bales of imported American cotton.
November 24, 1784 - Zachary Taylor, who would become the 12th president of the United States, is born.
|January 7, 1785 - Dr. John Jeffries, an American physician, joins
John-Pierre Blanchard, a French aviation pioneer, to become the first
men to cross the English channel by air, traveling from Dover, England
to Calais, France in a hydrogen gas balloon.
June 3, 1785 - The Continental Navy is disbanded.
July 6, 1785 - The United States adopts a decimal coinage system, with the dollar overwhelmingly selected as the monetary unit, the first time any nation has done so.
August 23, 1785 - Oliver Hazard Perry, American naval officer, is born.
Stewart Dean, the most famous navigator of Albany, New York, sails from Albany to China from late 1784 through the year of 1785. Dean, on the private schooner Nimrod, had been captured by the British at St. Kitts in 1782, and later released.
|January 3, 1786 - The Third Treaty of Hopewell is signed between
representatives of the Confederation Congress of the United States and
the Indian nation of the Choctaw, originally located in the
southeastern states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana and known as
one of the five civilized tribes.
August 17, 1786 - American frontiersman David "Davy" Crockett is born.
September 11-14, 1786 - Five state delegates at a meeting in Annapolis, Maryland call for Congress to hold a convention in Philadelphia in order to write a constitution for the thirteen states.
December 1786 - Columbian magazine publishes sketch of John Fitch’s new invention, the steamboat. He launches it on the Delaware River in 1787 with six large paddles, like an Indian canoe, that was powered by a steam engine.
Rhode Island farmers strike against merchants who refused to accept the depreciated paper currency.
|January 25, 1787 - In Massachusetts, six hundred debt-ridden
farmers, led by Daniel Shays, revolt against their creditors and high
Massachusetts taxes. Faced with imprisonment and the loss of their
farms for not paying their debts, they engage in Shays’ Rebellion, but
it fails when state militia intervene. Daniel
Shays would escape to Vermont with the death penalty on his head, but later would be pardoned for his actions.
May 25, 1787 - With George Washington presiding, the Constitutional Convention opens in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.
July 5, 1787 - A compromise during the Constitutional Convention proposed by Roger Sherman of Connecticut solves the problem of the amount of votes each state would receive in Congress. A bicameral legislature would be enacted, with equal votes for the Senate and proportional representation based on population in the House of Representatives.
July 13, 1787 - The Northwest Ordinance, which determined a government for the Northwest Territory of the United States (north of the Ohio River and west of New York), is adopted by the Continental Congress. It guaranteed freedom of religion, school support, and no slavery, plus the opportunity for statehood.
September 17, 1787 - Delegates to the Constitutional Convention adopt the Constitution.
|January 2, 1788 - States of the United States continue to ratify
the U.S. Constitution when Georgia becomes the 4th state to do so.
January 22, 1788 - Cyrus Griffin is elected as the last president of the Continental Congress prior to official ratification of the United States Constitution.
March 21, 1788 - Twenty-five percent of the population of New Orleans perish in a tragic fire that destroyed 856 buildings and left the majority of the city in ruins.
June 21, 1788 - Ratification by New Hampshire of the United States Constitution, the 9th state to do so, indicates adoption of the document by the United States.
October 24, 1788 - Sarah Josepha Hale, American author of the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and her campaign to officially recognize Thanksgiving as a holiday, is born.
|February 4, 1789 - The 1st Congress meets in Federal Hall, New York
City with regular sessions beginning two months later on April 6.
Frederick A. Muhlenberg becomes the first Speaker of the newly formed
House of Representatives. George Washington is elected
unanimously by the Electoral College as the 1st President of the United
March 4, 1789 - In Federal Hall, New York City, a converted Customs House, the government of the United States under the United States Constitution begins to act. The U.S. Constitution is declared to be in effect.
April 30, 1789 - The 1st President, George Washington, is inaugurated in New York City. He had been chosen president by all voting electors (there was no direct presidential election) with John Adams elected Vice President.
September 24, 1789 - The Federal Judiciary Act is passed, creating the Supreme Court.
September 25, 1789 - The Bill of Rights is submitted to the states by Congress.
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Historic Travel Tip
History Historic Travel Tip
Get off the beaten path. Walk the land of the national
historic site near twilight, after the exhibits are closed,
and imagine what life was like during the time when
history was made.