A Year In History: 1852

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This Year in History:


Discover what happened in this year with HISTORY’s summaries of major events, anniversaries, famous births and notable deaths.

July 5

Frederick Douglass delivers his “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” speech

During an Independence Day celebration in Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivers what would become his most celebrated speech, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” Tensions over slavery in the early 1850s are high, and the famed abolitionist’s oration serves as a searing reminder that at the time, only […]

November 11

Louisa May Alcott publishes her first story

The Saturday Evening Gazette publishes “The Rival Painters: A Story of Rome,” by Louisa May Alcott, who will later write the beloved children’s book Little Women (1868). Alcott, the second of four daughters, was born in Pennsylvania but spent most of her life in Concord, Massachusetts. Her father, Bronson, was close friends with Transcendentalist thinkers […]