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Dec. 10-The Russians capture Plevna- an event decisive of the war in their favor.

"13-President McMahon submits to his defeat, and forms a cabinet acceptable to the majority of the French Assembly. It is one of the most significant events of the century, as indicating the progress of popular government in Europe.


Jan. 9-Victor Emanuel, King of Italy, during whose reign Italian unity
was effected, dies. His son, Prince Humbert, succeeds him.
Feb. 7-Pope Pius IX. dies, aged eighty-five; succeeded February 20th by
Cardinal Pecci, styled Leo XIII.

"20-An amendment to a post-office bill revives the franking privilege for members of Congress.

"28-A bill remonetizing silver, making the old silver dollar of 4121⁄2 grains a legal tender, becomes a law by its passage over the veto of the President in both Houses of Congress.

Mar. 3-Peace is signed between Russia and Turkey.

"18-The Louisiana court before which General Anderson, of the

Returning Board, was tried, had sentenced him to two years in the penitentiary. The Supreme Court of the State overrules the decision, and orders his release.

Apr. 1-Since July, 1877, the public debt has been reduced more than twenty million dollars, in spite of financial trouble.

The most noteworthy fact of the month has been the success of the Secretary of the Treasury in preparing for formal resumption of specie payments by the Government; the nominal difference between the value of greenbacks and gold, and actual resumption by many banks and business houses.

May 1-The national debt was reduced $3,015,865.

The International Exposition of France is formally opened by
President McMahon, a vast concourse of people being present.
Sitting Bull, the Sioux chief, proposes to make peace.

" "Congress is in session during this month, and produces some important legislation, among which is the repeal of the Bankrupt. law, from September 1st, voting the payment to England of the Halifax Fisheries Award, ($5,500,000,) and measures to prevent further contraction of the currency.

June 12-William Cullen Bryant, a distinguished American poet, dies, aged 83.

"20-The second session of the Forty-fifth Congress comes to a close. The first session commenced in December, 1877; the second, in March, 1878.

July 9-A "heated term" of unusual severity commences, during which hundreds of deaths by sunstroke occur.

Aug. -The Yellow Fever commences with great fatality in Memphis, New Orleans and other parts of the South, mostly ner the Mississippi River, causing a general suspension of business in those regions. All parts of the country, and especially large no thern cities, supply the sick and suffering with many hundred thousand dollars in money.

Great political activity, and an attempt to build p new political parties, have characterized the spring and summer

Sept. 3-The State election occurs in Vermont, followed

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Oct. 8-Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and West Virginia hold State ections. Nov. 5-Thirty-one States hold elections for State officers an Representatives to the Forty-sixth Congress. There is a conside ble reaction in favor of the Republicans on the whole, although the Democrats will have a small majority in both Houses of the Forty-sixth Congress. New parties show less strength than was expected, owing chiefly to the success of preparations by the U. S. Government to resume specie payments in January coming.

Dec. 2-The third session of the Forty-fifth Congress commences.


Public Debt, less cash in the Treasury, Dec. 1st, was $2,027,414,235. "17-Gold was sold at par in New York for the first time in nearly seventeen years.


Jan. 1-Resumption by the U. S. Treasury becomes an accomplished fact. Railways have been built in the last year to the extent of 2,688 miles, making the total miles in the U. S. 81,896. Iron has been produced in the country during the year to the amount of 4,154,000 tons, about one-fourth the production of the world. The mining of precious metals for the year gives a value of about $84,000,000; the crops raised by the farmers were the largest in our history. The export of merchandise for the year was about $100,000,000 more than in the previous, or any other year, in our history. Mar. 4-The Forty-fifth Congress comes to an end with its work incomplete. The President, by proclamation, calls together the Fortysixth Congress in extra session for March 18th.

18-The Forty-sixth Congress met in extra session. The Forty-fifth Congress had expired without having passed the necessary appropriation bills.

Apr. 29-The President vetoed the Army Appropriation Bill, to which Congress had attached legislation called "political riders." The bill failed to pass over the veto.

May 15-A Congress of Engineers and eminent men met in Paris, France, to consider the project of a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama. It resulted in an effort to organize a company to commence the undertaking.

May 29-The Presi..ent vetoed the Legislative Appropriation Bill, on account of objectionable legislation joined to it.

June 23-The Judic al Appropriation Bill was vetoed for a similar reason. 28-The track of the Iron Mountain Railroad, in Missouri, 700 miles long, was changed to standard gauge in one day by 3,000 men. July 1-Congress djourned, after an extra session of 105 days. All the appropriations necessary for carrying on the Government, except that for the pay of United States Marshals, were finally agreed on by Congress and the President.

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9-The first death this year, from yellow fever, occurred in Memphis, Tenn., and produced wide-spread alarm and obstruction of busi


21-The United States Government sent 1,500 tents and rations for 10,000 people to Memphis, for the use of the suffering people. Sept. 20-General U. S. Grant landed at San Francisco, on his return from a two-years' tour around the world.

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Oct. 29-Yellow fever was officially declared at an end in Memphis. 1,530 cases were reported, and 470 deaths. In 1878 the number of cases reported in the United States were 65,976, and 14,809 deaths, of which 5,160 were in Memphis. In that year $4,548,672 were contributed in aid of the sufferers-about $176,000 of it being from foreign countries.

Nov. 1-Hon. Z. Chandler, U. S. Senator from Michigan, died, aged 66. 4-Elections were held in eleven States.

Dec. 1-The first regular session of the Forty-sixth Congress commenced. "31-Hon. George S. Houston, U. S. Senator from Ala., died, aged 68.


Jan. 1-The great national facts of 1879 were the brilliant success of resumption; the refunding, at 4 per cent., of such U. S. bonds, bearing interest at 5 and 6 per cent., as could be legally called in; a great and general revival of business; a still larger volume of agricultural produce than ever before, and an increased balance of trade with Europe in favor of the United States. About 5,000 miles of new railway were built, and 270,00 immigrants from other countries settled here.

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66 The public debt-less cash in the Treasury and bonds and interest of Pacific railroads-was $2,011,798,504.

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Since the debt reached the highest point, at the close of the civil war, the principal has been reduced by $769,325,030.31; and the annual interest is less by $67,847,809.37; while the annual revenue has been reduced, in various ways, by about $200,000,000. Success in finance has been added to our long and brilliant record of

progress in other lines, and a new decade begins with bright promise of a still more wonderful future.

Feb. 1-The public debt decreased during January $11,014,263. A quiet session of Congress leaves the general forces of business and poli

tics to work out their own issues, undisturbed by doubtful legislation.

Mar. 1-The decrease of the debt during February was $5,677,019. This leaves the whole, less cash in the Treasury and obligations temporarily assumed for the Pacific railroads, $1,995,112,221. The part of the debt on which interest is to be paid is much less-$1,770,212,850-the annual interest on this being $82,211,663. Meantime business is so brisk, and so much greater in volume that it is estimated that $80,000,000 of the principal may be paid off in 1880, unless taxation is reduced. February, 1880, produced $7,000,000 more revenue to the Treasury than February, 1879.

"2-A new set of Parliamentary Rules were adopted by the U. S. House of Representatives. They go into operation March 8, 1880.



We give in this chapter the rules for conducting business in the House of Representatives of the United States, as a proper compend of Parlia mentary rules for the people of the United States. They are naturally a · standard of procedure in all public bodies in this country so far as the circumstances are parallel; they have been carefully compiled and used by our highest popular Legislative Body during the course of more than three-quarters of a century, and may therefore be considered thoroughly well adapted to the genius of our people and the character of our institutions; and they were originally based on Jefferson's Manual, compiled by him for the use, and at the request of, the Senate, when, as Vice President of the United States, he became its presiding officer, and was digested by him from the usages of the English Parliament and other Legislative bodies in Europe.

The value of this manual is attested by its use continued to the present day, so far as it is applicable. The Rules of the House are therefore representative of the wisdom of the Old World on this point as well as of the usages of the New.

They deserve to be carefully studied by American citizens above any other body of parliamentary rules for several reasons besides those mentioned above. Hardly any other will be likely to contain so many points of adaptation to popular use; every one should be fairly acquainted with the prevailing usages that he may be ready to act his part well if called on to preside in any public meeting; all who read the reports of congressional doings require such acquaintance with parliamentary usage to fully appreciate many points in such reports, and these rules are a fine illustration of the spirit of our government and the genius of the American people.

The following Rules were adopted March 2, 1880. A committee had been appointed to digest and prepare them during the interval between two sessions of Congress, and they were carefully examined and discussed by the members of the House at intervals for more than two months during the winter of 1879-80.

During the last quarter of a century, and more especially between 1870 and 1880, the United States has grown with bewildering rapidity. The activ ities and interests of the people have spread over more than twice as much surface as that to which they were chiefly confined twenty-five years ago; the population has doubled; the realized wealth, and the vast resources about to be developed, are probably ten times as great. Production and exchanges have been made with constantly increasing rapidity and mas

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