• McCormick's Mechanical Harvester

    Cyrus McCormick introduces a mechanical harvester and twine binder, one of several new technologies increasing agricultural productivity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.The influence of the Knights of Labor quickly diminishes; membership will decline by more than 50% over the next year.
  • Rail Gauge Standardization

    Most southern railroads adopt the standard rail gauge of 4' 8.5", completing the process of standardizing the nation's rail system begun in the North several years earlier.
  • American Federation of Labor Founded

    The American Federation of Labor, an alliance of independent craft unions, is founded. Samuel Gompers is selected to serve as its first president.
  • Andrew Carnegie's "Gospel of Wealth"

    Industrialist Andrew Carnegie publishes an essay entitled "The Gospel of Wealth," which outlines the social responsibilities and social benefits of vast personal wealth.
  • 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