Gilded age

Important Events of 1876-1900: The Gilded Age

  • Alexander Graham Bell Invents Telephone

    Alexander Graham Bell Invents Telephone
    Inventor Alexander Graham Bell successfully transmits a human voice over a wire. The telephone will revolutionize personal and business communication.
  • Hayes Wins Disputed Presidency

    Hayes Wins Disputed Presidency
    The Electoral Commission established by Congress to investigate the presidential election of 1876, in which disputed returns from Louisiana, South Carolina, Oregon, and Florida have left the outcome undecided, declares that Rutherford B. Hayes is elected President of the United States.
  • Railroad Strike of 1877

    Railroad Strike of 1877
    Brakemen and firemen from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad walk off the job at Camden Junction, Maryland, initiating a wildcat strike that will shut down thousands of miles of track throughout the northeastern United States.
  • James Garfield Elected President

    James Garfield Elected President
    Republican James Garfield is elected President of the United States. His popular-vote margin of victory over Democrat Winfield Hancock is 7,018 votes out of more than 9 million cast. Garfield receives 214 Electoral College votes; Hancock receives 155. James Weaver, the candidate of the Greenback Labor Party, receives 308,578 votes.
  • Garfield Assassination

    Garfield Assassination
    President James Garfield is shot by Charles Guiteau, a deranged federal office-seeker. Garfield will die on September 19th. Vice President Chester A. Arthur will be sworn is as president one day later.
  • Pendleton Act

    Pendleton Act
    Hoping to reduce corruption in the distribution of government jobs, the United States Congress passes the Pendleton Act, introducing an examination system for selecting federal civil servants. Only 10% of all federal appointees are made subject to this process of selection by examination.
  • Railroads Create Standard Time Zones

    Railroads Create Standard Time Zones
    America's railroads implement the standardized time zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific) devised by William F. Allen of the General Time Convention.
  • Cleveland Elected President

    Cleveland Elected President
    Democrat Grover Cleveland defeats Republican James Blaine and is elected President of the United States. Cleveland's popular vote margin of victory is 62,683 votes out more than 10 million cast. Greenback Labor Party candidate Benjamin Butler receives 175,370 votes; John St. John, candidate for the Prohibition Party, receives 150,369 votes. In the Electoral College, Cleveland receives 219 votes to Blaine's 182.
  • Haymarket Riot

    Haymarket Riot
    A rally in Chicago's Haymarket Square in support of striking workers from McCormick Harvester Works ends when a bomb is thrown, killing six policemen and wounding more than 60 others. Eight anarchists are convicted of the crime, but all supporters of unions and the eight-hour day are found guilty by association in the public eye. The influence of the Knights of Labor quickly diminishes; membership will decline by more than 50% over the next year.
  • Harrison Loses Popular Vote, Wins Presidency

    Harrison Loses Popular Vote, Wins Presidency
    Republican Benjamin Harrison is elected President of the United States despite polling almost 100,000 fewer votes nationwide than Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland. Harrison carries the critical swing states of Indiana and New York in winning 233 Electoral College votes to Cleveland's 168.
  • Populist Party Convention

    Populist Party Convention
    1,300 delegates gather at Omaha, Nebraska to select a presidential nominee and draft a platform for the recently formed Populist Party. James Weaver is selected as the party's presidential candidate; James G. Field is named the party's vice presidential candidate.
  • Battle at Homestead Steel

    Battle at Homestead Steel
    Two barges filled with armed Pinkerton Detectives attempt to land at Homestead to guard Carnegie's steel plant. Striking steel workers prevent the barges from landing. During the 14-hour battle, seven steel workers and three detectives are killed.
  • Cleveland Returns to Presidency

    Cleveland Returns to Presidency
    Democrat Grover Cleveland is elected President of the United States, returning to a second term in the White House after a four-year hiatus. He receives 5,554,414 popular votes; Republican Benjamin Harrison receives 5,190,802; Populist James Weaver receives 1,027,329. In the Electoral College, Cleveland receives 277 votes to Harrison's 145 and Weaver's 22.
  • Debs Expands Rail Strike

    Debs Expands Rail Strike
    The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, instructs it members not to handle Pullman cars in support of the striking workers at Pullman's factory.
  • William McKinley Elected President

    William McKinley Elected President
    Republican William McKinley is elected president of the United States, receiving 7,035,638 popular votes. Democrat and Populist candidate William Jennings Bryan receives 6,467,946 votes.
  • McKinley Assassination

    McKinley Assassination
    Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as President of the United States after President William McKinley dies eight days after being shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.