World History 1862

About the history of the world in 1862, Gatling gun invented, Victor Hugo published Les Miserables, the first Federal income tax enacted.



* The Gatling gun, a rapid-fire hand-cranked weapon with a cluster of barrels mounted about an axis and capable of firing 250 rounds per minute, was invented by Richard Jordan Gatling, 44, of Indianapolis. It was the forerunner of the modern machine gun.

* Swiss banker Jean Henri Dunant, 34, was appalled at the wholesale slaughter he had witnessed at the Battle of Solferino during the Italian War of 1859. He described the scene in his Un Souvenir de Solferino and called for an organization to care for war casualties. His plea led to the establishment of the Red Cross two years later.

* French author Victor Hugo, 60, already one of the most popular writers of his time, published his masterpiece, Les Miserables.

* Ivan Turgenev, 44, coined the term "nihilism" in his powerful novel Father and Sons and received such criticism in his native Russia that he resolved to remain in exile. The work dealt with the widening generation gap between Russia's old-guard conservatives and their radical offspring.

Jan. 1 To generate revenue for the Civil War, the first federal income tax went into effect in the U.S. The tax, graduated from a base of 3% on income of $800 a year, ended in 1872 with other Civil War taxes.

June 7 William Bruce Mumford, a retired gambler in New Orleans became the first U.S. citizen to be tried and hanged for treason. His offense: desecration of the American flag.

Aug. French tragedienne Sarah Bernhardt, 17, made her acting debut at the Comedie Francaise and received poor reviews.

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