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- May 10: The first transcontinental railroad is completed with the Central Pacific Railroad, building from California eastward, and the Union Pacific Railroad, building west from Nebraska, meeting at Promontory, Utah.
- August 26: Mark Bernard Hardin weds Miss Mary M. Payne, of Warrenton, Virginia.
- October 25: John Heisman, future Clemson football head coach, is born.
- November 6: What is considered to be the first college football game is played between the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) and Rutgers College, played at College Field at Rutgers in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Rutgers wins, 6 - 4.
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