World History 1838

About the history of the world in 1838, Samuel Morse invents Morse Code, the Arch of Triumph is completed in France, Queen Victoria is crowned.

TWO CENTURIES OF WORLD HISTORY: 1778-1978

1838

* Samuel F.B. Morse developed an alphabet of dots and dashes (Morse code), making possible full communication by his telegraph.

* The Arch of Triumph, a Paris landmark covered with relief sculptures commemorating Napoleon's victories, was completed after 32 years. Napoleon himself had commissioned Jean Francois Chalgrin to design it.

Feb. 6 In Natal, Dingaan and his Zulus followers murdered Boer governor Piet Retief and 40 of his men.

June 28 Queen Victoria was crowned at West-minster Abbey before 10,000 guests. She was majestic in crimson velvet ermine-lined robes, a diamond circlet on her head. Some mishaps occurred to mar the event. The coronation ring, made to fit Victoria's little finger, was forced by the Archbishop of Canterbury upon her forth finger, causing her great pain when she tried to take it off. An 88-year-old peer, Lord Rolle, tripped and rolled down the steps in front of the throne as he paid homage. A wit remarked to a foreign observer that Lord Rolle had done it on purpose, his family holding their title conditionally upon rolling at every coronation. Near the end of the ceremony, a presiding bishop overlooked a page in the coronation ritual and informed the queen that the service was over. She then retired to Edward the Confessor's Chapel. The prime minister thought the omission did not matter, but the clergy disagreed; after much consultation, the startled queen was ushered back. Many of the guests wondered if she had been taken ill. After the newly anointed queen returned to Buckingham Palace, her first act was to bathe her dog.

Dec. Boers crushed Dingaan's Zulu forces at the Battle of Blood River in Natal, believing they had secured the objective of the Great Trek: to find a fertile homeland free of British domination.

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