1881 News

London's Natural History Museum opens

Natural History Museum

Originating from collections within the British Museum, the landmark Alfred Waterhouse building was built and opened by 1881. The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Darwin.

Sir Alexander Fleming - the start of modern antibiotics

Sir Alexander Fleming

Sir Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881 – 11 March 1955) was a Scottish biologist and pharmacologist. Fleming published many articles on bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy. His best-known achievements are the discovery of the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance penicillin from the fungus Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Walter Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. Fleming's accidental discovery and isolation of penicillin in September 1928 marks the start of modern antibiotics.

Portrait of a Lady first published

Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady is a novel by Henry James, first published as a book in 1881. The most interesting aspect of the work, observed literary critic Harold Bloom, is of the novel being James’ portrait of himself as a woman.

With the inevitable exceptions, The Portrait of a Lady has been the subject of critical acclaim since its first publication, and it remains the most popular of James' longer fictions. Contemporary critics recognized that James had pushed the analysis of human consciousness and motivation to new levels.

Billy the Kid escapes!

Billy the Kid

Henry McCarty (November 23, 1859 — July 14, 1881), better known as Billy the Kid, was a 19th-century American frontier outlaw and gunman who participated in the so-called Lincoln County War. According to legend, he killed 21 men, one for each year of his life, but he most likely participated in the killing of fewer than half that number.

With his execution scheduled for May 13, McCarty was removed to Lincoln, where he was held under guard by two of Garrett's deputies, James Bell and Robert Ollinger, on the top floor of the town courthouse. On April 28, while Garrett was out of town, McCarty stunned the territory by killing both of his guards and escaping. Around 3 months after his excape, he was shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.

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