Smallpox Variolation is Made Illegal
This is NOT vaccination per se. We are talking about "variolation" where you find a person who already has smallpox. You rub the pustules to get some infected material, and then rub that material into the open wound of an uninfected person. The UK has made THAT illegal. The safer form of inoculation is the COW POX vaccine. ("Vacca" is Latin for "cow" which is why it is called a VACCINATION!) It was discovered in the 1770s after it was noticed that milk maids (the gals who milk the cows) had unusually pretty skin. Most people ended up with scars on their face if they lived through smallpox, but milk maids had caught the cow pox disease which was similar to small pox and it gave them immunity. The vaccine has been available for years to aristocrats, but it hasn't caught on with the masses. That is probably why it is being offered for free to encourage more people to use the vaccine rather than the more dangerous method described above. By 1853, the smallpox vaccination of children will be made compulsory (if health permits) and each physician will be required to certify to the government that said child was vaccinated.  
The Damascus Affair
For the first time the US Jewish community speaks up in international affairs.... and it works. It begins in Syria. Christians and Jews have been competing for business within the Muslim community, but when a French Catholic priest and his servant go missing, the Christian community accuses the Jews of kidnapping them for a strange blood ritual. The Muslim officials play along with this canard for a while, arresting a Jewish barber and torturing him until he implicates himself and several other Jews. One Jew escapes torture by converting to Islam. (It is not made clear why a conversion to Islam exonerates one from murder charges.) Other Jews die during questioning or pass away in prison. The rest hold up under the torture. The world is outraged. ("The world" is defined as Austria, the UK and the USA which is a fair chunk of the world.) Jews in the United States beg President Van Buren to protest this injustice. He does so. Negotiators from several countries go to the Ottoman Sultan to appeal this injustice. The Sultan agrees that the accusations of a blood ritual are absurd. The nine Jews who are still alive are declared innocent and released. The Damascus Affair will have far-reaching implications in terms of the power of international public opinion and the unification of the Jews.  
Natchez Landing is Missing
It is an hour after noon with the sound of thunder turning into a roar as black billowing clouds overcome the people at Natchez Landing along the Mississippi. It's a twister! Trees are stripped of their leaves. Buildings are flattened. Timbers, bricks, and entire walls fly though the air, "as if thrown from a mighty catapult". Within 5 minutes 48 people lay dead, but the worst of the disaster is taking place on the Mississippi River itself. The river ferry has sunk with all hands. Boats are picked up and flung onto the land with the people still hanging on. A chunk of a steamboat will be found 30 miles away. Mrs. Alexander will be found broken and bleeding but still alive. Her two children will lay dead in her arms. The tornado will hit Vidalia on the Louisiana side next. When it is all over, the death toll will be 317. That will make it the second deadliest tornado in US history. The deadliest will come in 1925 when the Great Tri-State Tornado will kill 695 people.   
In Other News
- The world's 1st penny postage stamp is sold. A letter can be sent anywhere in the UK for 1 penny. This makes the Royal Mail more easily available to the masses. 
- The Fortas Collection of rare books is up for auction. It's a hoax! The catalog of fake books that was prepared for a non-existent auction is worth a pretty penny now. 
- Hiram Maxim is born in Maine. The Maxim Gun will be the first portable, fully automatic machine gun. He will also invent the mousetrap and the curling iron. Which of these will be the most important contribution? You be the judge. 
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 1840, Wikipedia.
- Variolation - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
- Vaccination Act - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “In general, the disadvantages of variolation are the same as those of vaccination, but added to them is the general agreement that variolation was always more dangerous than vaccination.”
- Smallpox John Adams. YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016.
- Blau, Joseph Leon. Modern Varieties of Judaism: Lectures on the History of Religions. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231028679. “Jewish groups in both Europe and America, when this shocking affair became public, were vocal in their protests. In both the Damascus Affair and the case of the Swiss-American Treaty, the protests of the Jews of the United States were influential in determining the position taken by their government.”
- DAMASCUS AFFAIR. Jewish Encyclopedia (1906). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “They arrived at Alexandria Aug. 4, and after repeated interviews with Mohammed Ali, obtained from him, on Aug. 28, the unconditional release and recognition of the innocence of the nine prisoners who still remained alive of the thirteen imprisoned. They then went to Constantinople, and obtained from the sultan Majid a firman declaring the accusation of ritual murder to be absurd (see Blood Accusation).”
- Alex Shrugged notes: Being Jewish I've studied Jewish subjects, so my remarks comes mainly from my reading.
- Great Natchez Tornado - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “A piece of a steamboat window was reportedly found 30 miles (50 km) from the river.”
- Withington, John. Disaster! A History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues, and Other Catastrophes. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 9781602397491. “At two o'clock in the afternoon it started knocking down houses. 'The air was filled with bricks and large pieces of timber,' said one eye- witness, 'and even ox carts were uplifted and thrown hundreds of yards.' Those who saw it and lived to tell the tale said the tornado looked like a rolling fog or boiling clouds on the ground. Within five minutes it had destroyed much of the city's residential area, and had killed forty-eight people.”
- The Great Natchez Tornado of May 7th, 1840. weathersnapshot.com (May 6, 2014). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “Reports and damage paths from 1840 are hardly reliable, but there was some evidence to suggest that the legendary tornado may have approached 2 miles wide at its largest. In his monumental work on historical tornadoes, Thomas Grazulis (1993) quoted an eyewitness from a journal, 'the air was black with whirling eddies of walls, roofs, chimneys and huge timbers from distant ruins…all shot through the air as if thrown from a mighty catapult.' One of the most dramatic pieces of lore from this event was the notion that the tornado was so strong, it actually sucked the moisture from leaves on the local trees.”
- May 27, 1997 -- Jarrell, TX F5 - YouTube. youtube.com (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016.
- Aftermath of the 1997 Jarrell Tornado – The Most Intense Tornado Damage Ever Photographed -. extremeplanet.me (June 26, 2012). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “On May 27, 1997, an unusual tornado formed in the Central Texas foothills. Just after 2pm that day, despite unfavorable atmospheric conditions, two supercell thunderstorms exploded like atomic bombs in the afternoon sky. A little after 3pm, a thread-like funnel descended near the Bell County line. The tornado was weak initially, but suddenly entered a period of rapid intensification as it entered Williamson County from the north. Winds reached F5 intensity as the tornado thundered to the southwest and passed near the small town of Jarrell.”
- Uniform Penny Post - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “The campaign for cheap postage was actually initiated by Robert Wallace, who in 1835 argued, before a governmental commission set up to investigate the problems, that greater use of the mailing system would lead to increased revenue for the government.”
- Fortsas hoax - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “Ironically, the original catalogue of fictitious unique books Chalon had sent to his victims has itself become a sought-after collectors' item. It has since been reprinted several times.”
- Hiram Maxim - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “He was the inventor of the Maxim Gun – the first portable, fully automatic machine gun – and held patents on mechanical devices such as a mousetrap, hair-curling irons, and steam pumps.”