1880 Proof Other information Current Values Condition Census

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The Year 1880 in History

In the presidential election contest of the year, traditional factions in the Republican party endeavored to have President Ulysses S. Grant run for a third term, but delegates to the nominating convention were deadlocked on the issue.

Finally, on the 36th ballot James Abram Garfield was selected to carry the party banner, and in November he beat the Democratic challenger, Winfield Scott Hancock. The decennial federal census put the population of the United States at 50,155,783

Many newspapers adopted the halftone photographic illustration process, using pictures composed of microscopic dots. In time, this method would replace steel engravings and other processes. Worcester Reed Warner and Ambrose Swasey founded the Warner-Swasey Company, maker of precision instruments (including astronomical telescopes) and machine tools, in Chicago. The following year the firm would move to Cleveland, where it grew to be one of the most prominent companies in its field. Ambrose Swasey became a numismatist, and in the early 1920s had George T. Morgan make some special Proofs for him.

Popular books published in 1880 included Ben-Hur, by General Lew Wallace, governor of the New Mexico Territory, and Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, by Marguerite Sidney (nom de plume of Harriet Mulford Stone Lothrop). Ben-Hur would become wildly popular, and many products, including a best-selling brand of coffee, would adopt the name.

French actress Sarah Bernhardt ("Divine Sarah") came to the United States on the first of several tours, and opened at Booth's Theatre in New York City on November 8, 1880. Fifteen years later, Alphonse Mucha would begin creating Art Nouveau posters featuring her. She is reported to have roused an audience to near hysteria by declaiming the Marseillaise, and reported to have brought another audience to tears by reciting the alhabet!

At the Mint, numerous metric patterns continued to be produced, including Flowing Hair and Coiled Hair $4 stellas.