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The year 1863 began with the opening of the world’s first underground railway – London’s Tube – on 9 January, 150 years ago today! Further significant events from 1863 include:
- JANUARY: In railway-related news, construction began in Sacramento, California, of the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States.
- FEBRUARY: US inventor Alanson Crane patents a fire extinguisher that uses a combination of sodium bicarbonate and sulphuric acid to shoot pressurised water (the world’s first fire extinguisher was patented in England in 1723)
- MARCH: A Royal Wedding in the UK when The Prince of Wales Albert Edward (later Edward VII) married Princess Alexandra of Denmark at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
- APRIL: George Gilbert Scott’s design for the Albert Memorial was formally approved by Queen Victoria (it took 10 years to build and opened in 1872).
- MAY: The Salon des Refuses exhibition opens in Paris, featuring works of avant-garde artists including Manet’s Le dejeuner sur l’herbe.
- JUNE: The Victoria & Albert Museum‘s recently opened North Court featured its first exhibition this year – a display of the wedding presents given to the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandria.
- JULY: Madame Tussauds has been open in London’s Baker Street for 21 years. The exhibition at this time featured around 400 famous figures in wax including Horatio Nelson and Sir Walter Scott.
- AUGUST: You could enjoy a summer visit to Hampton Court Palace gardens, which were opened to the public by Queen Victoria in 1838.
- SEPTEMBER: London Zoo‘s public aquarium (the first in the world) has been open for 10 years.
- NOVEMBER: US President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania.
- DECEMBER: In more railway news, Romania’s first mountain railway opens between Anina to Oravita.