Philadelphia Timeline, 1889
- January 11. Dynamite Cruiser Vesuvius on her official trial trip made a speed of 21.64 knots per hour.
- January 14. Third Regiment Armory formally opened.
- January 18. Portion of the Reading Railway where at the foot of Willow Street sank into the river. No lives lost.
- January 26. New building of the Medico-Chirurgical College and the Philadelphia Dental College formally opened.
- March 25. Gunboat Yorktown formally accepted by the government.
- April 19. The family of the late George L. Harrison presented $200,000 to the Episcopal Hospital to found and endow a building for incurables.
- April 23. U.S. warship Yorktown put in commission, and sailed for New York two days later.
- May 10. Philadelphia Belt-Line Railroad Company organized, and received a charter.
- May 13. A salmon weighing 12-1/2 pounds caught in the Delaware the first salmon caught in the Delaware for many years.
- May 31. Walt Whitman's seventieth birthday anniversary celebrated in Camden by a banquet, at which distinguished guests from all parts of the country were present.
- June 23. A rowboat containing John H. DeBarry, Jr., William S. Castnett, Mary A. Young and Rosaline Eattock carried over Fairmount dam and the occupants drowned.
- August 2. Claus Spreckels announced that he would double the size of his great sugar-refinery at Reed Street Wharf, making a total investment of $4,000,000 to $5,000,000.
- September 2. Labor Day. Celebrated as a legal holiday for the first time in Pennsylvania.
- September 3. Contact for the metal work of the clock tower of the new Public Buildings awarded to the Tacony Iron and Metal Company, the price to be paid estimated at $325,000 and four years being required to complete the work.
- September 6. Mass meeting of property owners and residents along the line of the Cohocksink sewer urged the finance committee of Councils to take immediate measures to prevent further breaks in the sewer.
- September 9. Annie E. Leconey brutally murdered at her home, near Merchantville, New Jersey. Francis Lingo was suspected of the crime and was arrested, and subsequently the murdered girl's uncle, Chalkley Leconey, was also arrested and held to answer.
- September 12. New Park Theater opened for inspection.
- October 1. A storm caused the extension of the break in the Cohocksink sewer. William F. Keppler was carried down in the break and drowned.
- October 4. Mr. Joseph Wharton presented $25,000 to the University of Pennsylvania to found a library for the Wharton School of Finance.
- October 17. Cornerstone laid of the administration building of the new House of Refuge at Glen Mills, Delaware county.
- November 6. The schoolship Saratoga arrived at the League Island navy yard.
- November 13. U.S. cruiser Baltimore started on her second trial trip being successfully accomplished.
- December 11. Joseph G. Ditman, a well-known wholesale paper dealer, left his home to tale a drive to the park. His horse and carriage were found the same evening on the towpath, but no trace of the missing man's body was found until January 26. The coroner's jury found a verdict of accidental drowning.
Excerpted from "Happenings in ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900" by Rudolph J. Walther, 1925, Walther Printing House, Philadelphia, PA