- Construction of Shelby Furnace began.
- Nicholas Cobbs became the first Episcopal Bishop of Alabama.
- Baylis Grace became Jefferson County Sheriff.
- Joseph Riley Smith married Margaret Harvie Jordan.
- Michael Tuomey was appointed state geologist for South Carolina.
- January 5: Benjamin Roden, businessman
- February 29: Frank O'Brien, civic leader and Mayor of Birmingham
- May 23: A. B. Loveman, merchant
- June 10: Mortimer Jordan, Jr, physician
- November 16: James Bowron, businessman
- December 25: N. F. Thompson, industrial promoter
- Mary Gordon Duffee, historian
- Henry, possible inspiration for the legend of John Henry
In 1844, the Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti. Samuel Morse made the first public demonstration of his telegraph. The Great Flood of 1844 struck the Missouri River and Mississippi River. George Williams founded the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in London. Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization. James K. Polk defeated Henry Clay in the U.S. presidential election.
Notable births in 1844 included department store founder Aaron Montgomery Ward, physicist Ludwig Boltzmann, artist Henri Rousseau, artist Mary Cassatt, Bahá'í religious leader `Abdu'l-Bahá, poet Edward Carpenter, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, Vienna mayor Karl Lueger, and automotive pioneer Karl Benz. Notable deaths included King Charles XIV John of Sweden, chemist Thomas Charles Hope, poet Thomas Campbell, Mormon leaders Hyrum Smith & Joseph Smith Jr, and chemist & physicist John Dalton.
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