A Year In History: 1866

Form will auto submit and a new page will load when this value changes.

This Year in History:


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

April 9

Ulysses S. Grant arrested for speeding in his horse buggy, newspaper reports

On April 9, 1866, exactly one year after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House—and decades before police officers would be pulling over speeding cars—the National Intelligencer reports that Ulysses S. Grant, Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army, had been pulled over for speeding in his horse buggy in Washington, D.C. According to the […]

April 10

ASPCA is founded

On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54. In 1863, Bergh had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to a diplomatic post at the Russian court of Czar Alexander II. It was there that he […]

October 6

The Reno brothers carry out the first train robbery in U.S. history

On October 6, 1866, the brothers John and Simeon Reno stage the first train robbery in American history, making off with $13,000 from an Ohio and Mississippi railroad train in Jackson County, Indiana. Of course, trains had been robbed before the Reno brothers’ holdup. But these previous crimes had all been burglaries of stationary trains […]

November 20

Pierre Lallement patents the modern pedal bicycle 

On November 20, 1866, a Frenchman named Pierre Lallement receives a U.S. patent for the nation’s first pedal bicycle. Lallement had arrived in the United States the year before, carrying the plans and components for his invention. Lallement constructed and patented the first bicycle in the United States, but received no significant reward or recognition […]