NOTE: Some of the dates given below are approximate and some are subject to debate.
- The Acts of Union create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, effective January 1, 1801 (UK; Ireland).
- Alessandro Volta invents the voltaic pile, the first true battery (Italy).
- The Clothed Maja and The Naked Maja, paintings by Romanticist artist Francisco Goya (Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes) (Spain).
- Friedrich Wöhler is born in Escherscheim, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany).
- Charles Goodyear is born in New Haven, Connecticut, US.
- Despite a treaty of non-aggression, Russia unilaterally annexes eastern Georgia.
- Thomas Jefferson becomes the third president of the US.
- Original construction of the Neoclassical-style White House, in Washington, D.C. is complete (US).
- Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor “Moonlight”, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Great Britain recognizes the French Republic in the Treaty of Amiens, which leads to a one-year peace in the Napoleonic Wars (France).
- Thomas Davenport is born in Williamstown, Vermont, US.
- The United States more than doubles in size when it buys the Louisiana Territory from France.
- President Thomas Jefferson sends Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on an expedition to explore the American continent (US).
- The first commercially successful steamboat, the William Symington-designed Charlotte Dundas, is launched in Glasgow (UK: Scotland).
- Christian Doppler is born in Salzburg, Electorate of Salzburg (now Austria).
- Estimated world population is one billion.
- Serbia revolts against Ottoman rule.
- Napoleon crowns himself Emperor of France.
- Haiti, the first black republic, wins independence from France.
- The first steam locomotive, invented by Richard Trevithick, pulls a train containing 10 tons of iron and 70 passengers approximately nine miles (UK).
- Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major “Eroica”, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Death of Immanuel Kant.
- Matthias Schleiden is born in the Free Imperial City of Hamburg, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany).
- In October, the British Navy defeats the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar (Spain).
- British Admiral Horatio Nelson (Lord Nelson) is killed in the Battle of Trafalgar (Spain).
- The Treaty of Pressburg marks the effective end of the Holy Roman Empire (Slovakia).
- In December, a French army, led by Emperor Napoleon I, decisively defeats a Russo-Austrian army, under Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, in the Battle of Austerlitz (Czech Republic).
- Albanian-born Ottoman Pasha Muhammad Ali ousts Hurshid Ahmed Pasha from the governorship of Egypt and establishes a dynasty (Egypt).
- Ludwig van Beethoven composes his Symphony No. 6 in F Major “Pastoral”, Violin Concerto in D Major, and Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major (Germany).
- France and Spain invade Portugal, starting the Peninsular War.
- The Ottoman Janissaries revolt, deposing and killing modernizing Sultan Selim III (Turkey).
- Britain bans the slave trade (UK).
- Alexander von Humboldt publishes the complete 30-volume account of his scientific expedition to South America (Germany).
- Phenomenology of Spirit, a work of philosophy written in German by G.W.F. Hegel (Germany).
- Ode: Intimations of Immortality, a poem written in English by William Wordsworth (UK).
- Alfred Vail is born in Morristown, New Jersey, US.
- The May 2nd uprising in Madrid transforms the Peninsular War into the War of Spanish Independence.
- In the Peninsular War, France attacks Spain, its former ally.
- The Janissaries place Mahmud II on the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).
- John Dalton articulates the principles of modern atomic theory (UK: England).
- The Valpinçon Bather, a painting by French Neoclassical artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (France).
- Faust, Part 1, a play written in German by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Germany).
- Symphony No. 5 in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposes the first fully-developed theory of evolution (France).
- Charles Darwin is born in Shrewsbury, England, UK.
- Abraham Lincoln in born in Kentucky, US.
- Russia unilaterally annexes western Georgia.
- Piano Concerto No. 5 in Eb Major “Emperor”, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Egyptian Governor Muhammad Ali massacres the Mamelukes (Egypt).
- Skilled textile workers calling themselves Luddites begin a campaign to destroy new labor-saving machinery in British textile mills (UK).
- The Netherlands decriminalizes homosexual activity.
- Amedeo Avogadro discovers molecules and derives Avogadro’s Law, which states that equal volumes of all gases at the same temperature and pressure contain the same number of molecules (Italy).
- Paleontologist Mary Anning discovers a fossil ichthyosaur at Lyme Regis (UK: England).
- Harriet Beecher Stowe is born in Litchfield, Connecticut, US.
- Robert Bunsen is born in Göttingen, Westphalia, Rhine Confederation (now Germany).
- Napoleon invades Russia.
- The War of 1812 breaks out between the United States and the United Kingdom.
- Symphony No. 7 in A Major, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Birth of Charles Dickens in Landport, England, UK.
- The armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden, led by Russian Tsar Alexander I and Prince Schwarzenberg, defeat the French army, under Emperor Napoleon I, in the Battle of Leipzig, which involves over 600,000 soldiers (Germany).
- Robert Owen publishes A New View of Society, a work of social reform written in English (UK: Wales).
- Pride and Prejudice, a novel written in English by Jane Austen (UK: England).
- In the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Napoleon agrees to abdicate, and is sent into exile on the island of Elba (France).
- The Peace of Paris marks the end of the Peninsular War (France).
- The War of 1812 ends with a return to the status quo, but not before the British burn Washington, D.C. (US).
- Elisha Collier invents the flintlock revolver (US).
- The Third of May, 1808, a painting by Romantic artist Francisco Goya (Spain).
- The eruption of the Mount Tambora volcano kills 92,000 people (Indonesia).
- After escaping from Elba and raising an army, Napoleon is defeated at the Battle of Waterloo (Belgium).
- The Napoleonic Wars end with the Congress of Vienna, which redraws the map of Europe (Austria).
- The UK enacts the Corn Laws, which place tariffs on imported grain to protect local farmers.
- Emma, a novel written in English by Jane Austen (UK: England).
- Birth of Otto von Bismarck in Prussia (Germany).
- Low solar activity and major volcanic eruptions result in The Year Without A Summer.
- Argentina becomes independent from Spain.
- René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec invents the stethoscope (France).
- Gioachino Rossini’s Italian opera, The Barber of Seville, premieres in Rome (Italy).
- Birth of Charlotte Brontë in Thornton, England, UK.
- During the Chilean War of Independence, the Army of the Andes of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, led by General Captain José de San Martín, defeats a Spanish army led by Rafael Maroto at the Battle of Chacabuco.
- Karl Drais invents the Laufmaschine (also known as the velocipede, the draisenne and the dandy horse), a pedal-less precursor to the bicycle (Germany).
- The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, an economics treatise written in English by David Ricardo (UK).
- Death of Jane Austen.
- Chile becomes independent of Spain.
- The World as Will and Representation, a work of philosophy written in German by Arthur Schopenhauer (Germany).
- Ozymandias, a poem written in English by Percy Bysshe Shelley (UK).
- Frankenstein, a Gothic novel written in English by Mary Shelley (UK).
- Piano Sonata No. 29 in Bb Major “Hammerklavier”, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Birth of Emily Brontë in Thornton, England, UK.
- Birth of Karl Marx in Prussia (Germany).
- Birth of Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (Frederick Douglass) into slavery in Maryland, US.
- Simón Bolívar is elected president of Venezuela and first president of the Republic of Greater Colombia.
- Romantic artist Francisco Goya begins painting the Black Paintings on the walls of his home near Madrid (Spain).
- The Raft of the Medusa, a painting by French Romantic artist Théodore Géricault (France).
- Ode on a Grecian Urn, a poem written in English by John Keats (UK).
- Piano Quintet in A Major “The Trout”, by Franz Schubert (Austria).
- Death of James Watt.
- Léon Foucault is born in Paris, France.
- Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) is born in Nuneaton, England, UK.
- Carbonaro Guglielmo Pepe leads an uprising of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, leading to a short-lived reform constitution before being crushed by the Holy Alliance (Italy).
- Captains of a Russian Navy ship, a British Navy ship and an American sealing vessel are the first to discover Antarctica.
- André-Marie Ampère confirms that electricity and magnetism are two forms of the same force and invents the solenoid (France).
- Washington Irving publishes The Sketch Book, an English-language work containing the stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (US).
- Louis Pasteur is born in Dole, France.
- Birth of Susan B. Anthony in Adams, Massachusetts, US.
- Birth of Florence Nightingale in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany (now Italy).
- Araminta Ross (Harriet Tubman) is born into slavery in Maryland (US).
- The Treaty of Córdoba results in Mexican independence from Spain.
- Peru declares its independence from Spain.
- Simón Bolívar’s victory at the Battle of Carabobo leads to Venezuelan independence.
- Simón Bolívar becomes first president of Gran Colombia.
- Ottoman Egyptian Viceroy Muhammad Ali’s forces conquer Sudan and part of Libya.
- Santorre di Santarosa leads a revolt of the Piedmont, which leads to short-lived reforms, ultimately put down by Holy Alliance troops (Italy).
- Paleontologist Mary Anning discovers the first plesiosaur fossil at Lyme Regis (UK: England).
- The Hay Wain, a landscape painting by Romantic artist John Constable (UK).
- Premiere of Der Freischütz (The Marksman), a German opera by Carl Maria von Weber, in Berlin (Germany).
- Death of Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Brazil, led by Pedro, begins a war of independence from Portugal, led by Pedro’s father, King John VI.
- Chemist Joseph Fourier publishes his Analytic Theory of Heat, a French-language treatise on physical science (France).
- Charles Babbage designs a programmable Difference Engine (UK).
- Jean-François Champollion translates the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone (France).
- Symphony No. 8 in B minor “Unfinished”, by Franz Schubert (Austria).
- Gregor Mendel is born in Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austria (now Hynčice, Czech Republic).
- James Fenimore Cooper publishes The Pioneers, the first of the English-language Leatherstocking Tales (US).
- Die schöne Müllerin (The Lovely Maid in the Mill), a song cycle by Franz Schubert, based on German poems by Wilhelm Müller (Austria).
- William Herschel dies.
- Edward Jenner dies.
- Francis Galton is born in Birmingham, England, UK.
- Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir is born in Mussy-la-Ville, Luxembourg.
- The First Anglo-Burmese War erupts along the long border between the Burmese Empire and British India.
- Simón Bolívar becomes leader of Peru.
- Encouraged by the lobbying efforts of Francis Place, the UK repeals the Combination Acts, opening the door for trade unionism.
- Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot sets out the first statement of the second law of thermodynamics, and proposes the Carnot cycle and the Carnot engine (France).
- William Sturgeon invents the first electromagnet (UK).
- Joseph Aspdin invents Portland cement (UK).
- The Sea of Ice (The Wreck of Hope), a painting by German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich (Germany).
- Don Juan, an epic poem written in English by Lord Byron (UK).
- Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor “Choral” (Germany).
- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin is born in Belfast, Ireland, UK.
- Gustav Kirchhoff is born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Russia).
- In the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, the Kingdom of Portugal recognizes the independence of the Empire of Brazil (Brazil).
- Bolivia, named after Simón Bolívar, becomes independent of Spain.
- The Russian Empire defeats the Decembrist Revolt.
- A series of strikes leads Parliament to enact a new Combination Act placing severe restrictions on trade unions (UK).
- Social reformer Robert Owen attempts to create an experimental utopian community in New Harmony, Indiana (US).
- The Stockton and Darlington Railway, the first public railroad, opens (UK).
- String Quartet No. 13 in Bb Major, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Octet for Strings in Eb Major, by Felix Mendelssohn (Germany).
- Franz Schubert composes Ellens dritter Gesang (Hymn to the Virgin) (Austria).
- Eli Whitney dies.
- Joseph Nicéphore Niépce creates the first photograph using the heliography technique, which requires an exposure time of eight hours or more (France).
- John Walker invents the first true friction match (UK).
- James Sharp invents the first commercially-produced gas stove (UK).
- String Quartet No. 14 in C# Major and Grosse Fuge, by Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany).
- Muzio Clementi publishes the complete Gradus ad Parnassum, a collection of over 100 instructional piano pieces (Italy).
- Death of John Adams.
- Death of Thomas Jefferson.
- George Ohm discovers Ohm’s Law, which describes the relationship between electric current, electromotive force and circuit resistance (Germany).
- Petrache Poenaru invents the first practical fountain pen (France).
- Edwin Budding invents the manual lawn mower (UK).
- Death of Sardanapalus, a painting by French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix (France).
- Winterreise, a song cycle by Franz Schubert set to German poems by Wilhelm Müller (Austria).
- The death of Alessandro Volta comes as a shock to many.
- Death of Ludwig van Beethoven.
- Uruguay gains independence from Spain following the Cisplatine War.
- Friedrich Wöhler disproves vitalism by synthesizing organic urea using only inorganic materials (Germany).
- Ányos István Jedlik builds the first commutated rotary electromagnetical engine (Hungary).
- Franz Schubert composes his Symphony No. 9 in C Major “The Great”, Piano Sonata No. 21 in Bb Major, and String Quintet in C Major (Austria).
- Leo Tolstoy is born in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia.
- Joseph Lister is born in Upton, England, UK.
- Joseph Swan is born in Bishopwearmouth, England, UK.
- First discovery of a fossil Neanderthal skull (Belgium).
- George Stephenson’s state-of-the-art Rocket locomotive wins a contest to build locomotives for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (UK: England).
- Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus, a painting by English Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner (UK: England).
- Symphonie Fantastique, by Hector Berlioz (France).
- Felix Mendelssohn begins composing his Symphony No. 3 in A minor “Scottish”, Symphony No. 4 in A Major “Italian”; and Songs without Words (Germany).
- Jean-Baptiste Lamarck dies.
- After a decade of war, Greece wins independence from the Ottoman Empire.
- The July Revolution in France leads to the abdication of Bourbon King Charles X and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy under Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans.
- Polish officers in Warsaw led by Piotr Wysocki lead an armed uprising against Russia that spreads to Lithuania and parts of Belarus and Ukraine (Poland).
- Insurrections flare up in the Papal States (Italy).
- The Belgian Revolution leads to an independent Belgium.
- The nations of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela are formed.
- France colonizes Algeria.
- Brazil decriminalizes homosexual activity.
- Barthélemy Thimonnier invents the first commercially successful sewing machine (France).
- Andrew Ure invents the bi-metallic thermostat (UK).
- Charles Lyell publishes the first volume of the English-language text, Principles of Geology (UK).
- Liberty Leading the People, a painting by French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix (France).
- Stendhal’s French-language novel, The Red and the Black (France).
- Death of Simón Bolívar.
- Birth of poet Emily Dickinson in Amherst, Massachusetts, US.
- Tsar Nicholas I’s Russian troops, led by Ivan Paskevich, crush the Polish uprising (Poland).
- Austrian troops suppress the revolts in the Papal States (Italy).
- Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction and builds the first electrical generator (UK: England).
- Cyrus McCormick invents the first effective horse-drawn reaper (US).
- Abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp begin publishing The Liberator, an English-language anti-slavery newspaper, in Boston, Massachusetts (US)
- Gideon Mantell first publicizes the existence of dinosaurs in his English-language book The Age of Reptiles (UK: England).
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a novel written in French by Victor Hugo (France).
- La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) and Norma, Italian operas by Vincenzo Bellini, premiere in Milan (Italy).
- Steamboat pioneer William Symington dies.
- James Clerk Maxwell is born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
- Bending to strong public pressure, the UK Parliament passes the Reform Act, which extends the vote to the middle class and reduces the power of rich individuals in Parliamentary elections (UK).
- Faust, Part 2, a play written in German by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Germany).
- Eugene Onegin, a novel in Russian verse by Alexander Pushkin (Russia).
- The Slavery Abolition Act bans slavery in the British Empire (UK).
- Anselme Payen and Jean-François Persoz are the first to isolate and identify an enzyme, diastase (France).
- Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji, a series of color woodblock prints in the ukiyo-e style by Katsushika Hokusai (Japan).
- Honoré de Balzac’s French-language novel Eugénie Grandet (France).
- Felix Mendelssohn completes the Symphony No. 4 in A Major “Italian” (Germany).
- Death of William Wilberforce.
- Alfred Nobel is born in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Jacob Perkins builds the first refrigerator (US).
- Thomas Davenport creates a battery-powered direct current motor (US).
- Hiram Moore invents the combine harvester (US).
- Robert Schumann, Friedrich Wieck and Ludwig Schuncke publish the first issue of the German-language periodical Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal of Music) in Leipzig (Germany).
- Dmitri Mendeleev is born in Verkhnie Aremzyani, Russia.
- Ernst Haeckel is born in the Governate of Potsdam (now Germany).
- Gottlieb Daimler is born in Schorndorf, Baden-Württemberg (now Germany).
- Residents of Texas rebel against Mexican rule (US).
- Samuel Colt patents a percussion cap revolver (US).
- William Talbot invents the calotype photographic process, which creates a negative image (UK).
- Alexis de Tocqueville publishes the first volume of Democracy in America, a French-language sociopolitical analysis (France).
- The Canti, poems written in Italian by Giacomo Leopardi (Italy).
- Le Pere Goriot, a novel written in French by Honoré de Balzac (France).
- Lucia di Lammermoor, an Italian opera by Gaetano Donizetti, premieres in Naples (Italy).
- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) is born in Missouri, US.
- Texans win independence from Mexico and establish the Republic of Texas (US).
- Charles Darwin returns to England after six years on the HMS Beagle (UK).
- John Deere introduces the first steel plow (US).
- Nature, an essay written in English by Ralph Waldo Emerson (US).
- Sartor Resartus, a novel written in English by Thomas Carlyle (UK: Scotland).
- Ballade No. 1 in G minor, by Frédéric Chopin (France).
- Les Huguenots, a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, premieres in Paris (France).
- André-Marie Ampère dies.
- Queen Victoria I begins her 63-year reign as British monarch (UK).
- Louis Agassiz, building on the work of Karl Friedrich Schimper and Jean de Charpentier, proposes the Ice Age theory (Switzerland).
- Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre invents the daguerrotype photographic process (France).
- William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone (UK); Edward Davy (UK); and Samuel Morse (US), working independently, invent the first commercial electrical telegraph systems.
- Charles Babbage designs (but does not build) an Analytical Machine with many of the properties of a computer (UK).
- Louis Braille invents the Braille reading system (France).
- Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse invent Morse Code for use in telegraph systems (US).
- Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the English-language lecture, The American Scholar (US).
- The French Revolution: A History, a work written in English by Thomas Carlyle (UK: Scotland).
- The Pickwick Papers, an English-language novel, the first by Charles Dickens (UK: England).
- The Trail of Tears, the forced westward relocation of the Cherokee people, begins (US).
- Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann propose the cell theory (Germany).
- Oliver Twist, a novel written in English by Charles Dickens (UK: England).
- The India Cyclone kills 300,000 people (India).
- The First Opium War begins between China and UK after China shuts down the lucrative opium trade.
- Beginning of the First Anglo-Afghan War, in which British troops invade Afghanistan due to fears of a possible Russian invasion.
- The British East India Company, supported by Royal Marines, establishes a colony and trading post at the Port of Aden (Yemen).
- Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery (US).
- William Talbot invents a process for making positive photographic prints from his calotype negatives (US).
- Charles Goodyear discovers the vulcanization process for making rubber more durable and versatile (US).
- The first Grand National horse race is run (UK).
- The Fighting Temeraire, a painting by English Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner (UK: England).
- Michael Faraday publishes the first volume of his English-language text Experimental Researches in Electricity (UK).
- Charles Darwin publishes The Voyage of the Beagle, an English-language account of his travels and scientific discoveries (UK).
- Edgar Allan Poe publishes Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, a collection of stories in English, including “The Fall of the House of Usher” (US).
- The Charterhouse of Parma, a novel written in French by Stendhal (France).
- Frédéric Chopin publishes 24 Preludes, Op. 28 (France).
- Following a civil war, the nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica are founded.
- Founding of the nation of New Zealand.
- The Act of Union unites Upper and Lower Canada in the Province of Canada, with its seat at Kingston (now Ontario).
- Christian Friedrich Schönbein isolates ozone and identifies it as a distinct compound (Switzerland).
- What Is Property? a French-language book on economics and political philosophy by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (France).
- Alexis de Tocqueville publishes the second and final volume of Democracy in America. (France).
- The Treaty of Nanking gives Hong Kong to the British (China).
- The British win a technical victory in the First Anglo-Afghan War, but they withdraw from Afghanistan and allow Dost Mohammad Khan to return to the throne.
- Christian Doppler first describes the Doppler Effect (Czech Republic).
- American physician Crawford Long is the first to use ether as an anesthetic for human surgery (US).
- William Lindley begins building the first modern sewer system, in Hamburg, Germany.
- Alexander Bain invents a chemical mechanical facsimile device, the first fax machine (UK).
- Snow Storm – Steam Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth, a painting by English Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner (UK: England).
- Dead Souls, a novel written in Russian by Nikolai Gogol (Russia).
- Edgar Allan Poe publishes the English-language stories “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Masque of the Red Death” (US).
- Frédéric Chopin’s Polonaise No. 6 in Ab Major, Op. 53 “Heroic” (France).
- British forces under Sir Charles Napier defeat the Talpur Amirs at the battles of Miani and Dubba, allowing the UK to annex Sindh (Pakistan).
- Fear and Trembling and Either/Or, works of philosophy written in Danish by Søren Kierkegaard (Denmark).
- A Christmas Carol, a novel written in English by Charles Dickens (UK: England).
- The Open Door, a photograph by William Henry Fox Talbot (UK).
- Robert Koch is born in Clausthal, Hanover (now Germany).
- After a long struggle, Juan Pablo Duarte and the Trinitarios achieve independence for the Dominican Republic and separate from Haiti.
- Charles Fenerty (Canada) and Friedrich Gottlob Keller (Germany), working independently, develop a process for making paper out of wood pulp.
- Gustaf Erik Pasch invents the safety match (Sweden).
- Francis Rynd invents a hollow needle and uses it to make the first recorded subcutaneous injections (Ireland).
- Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway, a painting by English Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner (UK: England).
- Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor (Germany).
- John Dalton dies.
- Birth of Friedrich Nietzsche in Prussia (now Germany).
- The First Anglo-Sikh War begins between the British East India Company and the Sikh Empire, led by Sher Singh (India; Pakistan).
- Tāufaʻāhau unites the Kingdom of Tonga.
- Beginning of the Irish Potato Famine.
- The Republic of Texas is dissolved and the United States annexes Texas as a slave state.
- Stephen Perry invents the rubber band (UK).
- Alexander Cartwright formalizes the rules for baseball (US).
- The rules of rugby are established (UK).
- The Condition of the Working Class in England, a German-language work of socioeconomics and political philosophy by Friedrich Engels (UK).
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, an English-language memoir.
- The Evening Mirror newspaper and The American Review magazine publish The Raven, a poem written in English by Edgar Allan Poe (US).
- Piano Concerto in A minor, by Robert Schumann (Germany).
- Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen is born in Lennep, North Rhine-Westphalia (now Remscheid, Germany).
- Disputes over the border between Texas and Mexico trigger the Mexican-American War.
- At the urging of urban dwellers, the UK repeals the Corn Laws, which leads to lower food prices (UK).
- Under the Treaty of Lahore, which ends the First Anglo-Sikh War, the victorious British annex much of the Sikh Empire in the Punjab (India; Pakistan).
- Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (France) and John Couch Adams (UK), working independently, calculate the location of an eighth planet. Relying on Le Verrier’s calculations, Johann Gottfried Galle (with Heinrich Louis d’Arrest) (France) discovers Neptune.
- Adolphe Sax invents the saxophone (Belgium).
- Cousin Bette, a novel written in French by Honoré de Balzac (France).
- The Count of Monte-Cristo, a novel written in French by Alexandre Dumas (France).
- Young Goodman Brown, a story written in English by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US).
- Herman Melville publishes the English language novel Typee, his first, based on his adventures in the Marquesa Islands (US).
- William Kelly invents a method for improving steel production (US).
- Wuthering Heights, a novel written in English by Emily Brontë (UK).
- Charlotte Brontë’s English-language novel Jane Eyre (UK).
- Stephen Foster publishes the song “Oh! Susanna” (US).
- Mary Anning dies.
- Thomas Alva Edison is born in Milan, Ohio, US.
- Alexander Graham Bell is born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
- The Revolutions of 1848 sweep through Europe.
- The February Revolution in France ends the constitutional monarchy of Louis-Philippe and establishes the Second Republic under Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte.
- An uprising in Denmark leads to liberal reforms.
- A revolution in Hungary results in the short-lived liberal government of Lajos Kossuth.
- Austria and Hungary abolish serfdom.
- The Mexican-American War ends with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which sets the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas and gives California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and parts of Wyoming and Colorado to the US (Mexico).
- The American women’s rights movement begins at the Seneca Falls Convention (US).
- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin makes the first accurate calculation of absolute zero (UK).
- The Cambridge Rules of soccer/football are codified (UK).
- The Communist Manifesto, a work of political philosophy written in German by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (UK).
- Principles of Political Economy, an economics treatise written in English by John Stuart Mill (UK).
- Thomas Babington Macauley publishes the first two volumes of his History of England from the Accession of James II, a work of history written in English (UK).
- Vanity Fair, a novel written in English by William Makepeace Thackeray (UK).
- Annabel Lee, a poem written in English by Edgar Allan Poe (US).
- Death of Emily Brontë.
- In the First War of Italian Independence, Austria, led by Field Marshal Josef Radetzky, successfully defends its Italian possessions against Sardinia, Piedmont and Savoy, allied with the Papal States and Sicily (Italy).
- Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery (US).
- Walter Hunt invents the safety pin (US).
- Henry David Thoreau publishes the English-language essay Civil Disobedience and the travel memoir, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (US).
- The Sickness Unto Death, a work of philosophy written in Danish by Søren Kierkegaard (Denmark).
- Jacob Perkins dies.
- Proclaiming himself the brother of Jesus Christ, Hong Xiuquan leads the Taipei Rebellion in southern China against the Qing dynasty, resulting in 20 million deaths over the next 14 years.
- David Copperfield, a novel written in English by Charles Dickens (UK).
- The Scarlet Letter, a novel written in English by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US).
- The Prelude, an autobiographical poem written in English by William Wordsworth (UK).
- The Great Exhibition is held in London inside the Crystal Palace (UK).
- Léon Foucault definitively demonstrates the Earth’s rotation with his pendulum (France).
- The first America’s Cup yacht race is held (US).
- Moby Dick, a novel written in English by Herman Melville (US).
- The House of the Seven Gables, a novel written in English by Nathaniel Hawthorne (US).
- Rigoletto, an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, premieres in Venice (Italy).
- Thomas Davenport dies.
- Death of photography pioneer Louis Daguerre.
- Portugal decriminalizes homosexual activity.
- Elisha G. Otis invents the first safety elevator (US).
- Léon Foucault designs and builds the first modern gyroscope (France).
- The Neoclassical-style British Museum, designed by Sir Robert Smirke, is completed (UK: England).
- Ophelia, a painting by Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais (UK: England).
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel written in English by Harriet Beecher Stowe (US).
- Henri Becquerel is born in Paris, France.
- U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry uses the threat of force to open Japan’s ports to trade.
- The Crimean War among France, UK, Ottoman Empire and Russia begins.
- Charles Frédéric Gerhardt first synthesizes acetylsalicylic acid (France).
- Charles Pravaz (France) and Alexander Wood (UK), working independently, create the first true hypodermic syringes.
- Bleak House, a novel written in English by Charles Dickens (UK: England).
- Piano Sonata in B minor, by Franz Liszt (Hungary).
- La Traviata, an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, premieres in Venice (Italy).
- Verdi’s Italian opera Il Trovatore debuts in Rome (Italy).
- Le Stryge, a photograph by Charles Nègre (France).
- Fire at Ames Mill, Oswego, NY, a photograph by Georg N. Barnard (US).
- Christian Doppler dies.
- Heike Kamerlingh Onnes is born in Groningen, The Netherlands.
- Birth of Vincent van Gogh in Zundert, The Netherlands.
- Henry David Thoreau publishes his English-language philosophical memoir, Walden (US).
- Georg Ohm dies.
- Birth of Oscar Wilde in Dublin, Ireland.
- Paul Ehrlich is born in Strehlen, Lower Silesia, Prussia (now Germany).
- Alexander Parkes makes celluloid, the first man-made plastic (UK).
- Robert Yeates invents the first true can opener (UK).
- The first modern ice hockey game is played in Kingston, Ontario (Canada).
- Realist artist Gustave Courbet’s painting The Painter’s Studio (France).
- The first edition of Leaves of Grass, containing poems written in English by Walt Whitman (US).
- Andrea del Sarto, a poem written in English by Robert Browning (UK).
- The Valley of the Shadow of Death, a Crimean War photograph by Roger Fenton (Russia).
- Death of Charlotte Brontë.
- The Treaty of Paris ends the Crimean War, recognizing the Ottoman Empire and removing the Russians from the Black Sea (France).
- Henry Bessemer independently invents a steelmaking process that allows for mass steel production (UK).
- William Henry Perkin creates mauveine, the first synthetic organic dye (UK).
- History of Rome, a treatise written in German by Theodor Mommsen (Germany).
- Herman Melville publishes The Piazza Tales, an English-language collection of stories including “Bartleby the Scrivener” (US).
- Amedeo Avogadro dies.
- Nikola Tesla is born in Smiljan, Austrian Empire (now Croatia).
- Sigmund Freud is born in Freiberg in Mähren, Austrian Empire (now Příbor, Czech Republic).
- J.J. Thomson is born in Manchester, England, UK.
- Woodrow Wilson is born in Staunton, Virginia, US.
- A mutiny of British East India Company soldiers grows into a rebellion in the upper Gangetic Plain and central India, which is eventually suppressed by the British.
- Gustave Flaubert’s French-language novel Madame Bovary (France).
- Flowers of Evil, poems written in French by Charles Baudelaire (France).
- Two Ways of Life, a composite photograph by Oscar Gustav Rejlander (UK).
- Heinrich Hertz is born in Hamburg, German Confederation (now Germany).
- The United Kingdom takes over direct rule of India from the now-dissolved British East India Company, marking the start of the British Raj.
- The Ottoman Empire decriminalizes homosexual activity.
- Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace propose that the mechanism of evolution is natural selection (UK).
- Hymen Lipman invents the first combination pencil-eraser (US).
- The first recorded Australian Rules football game is played.
- Fading Away, a composite photograph by Henry Peach Robinson (UK).
- Max Planck is born in Kiel, Duchy of Holstein (now Germany).
- Birth of Theodore Roosevelt in New York, New York, US.
- Birth of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester, England, UK.
- The Armistice of Villafranca ends the Second Italian War of Independence, in which France and Sardinia defeat Austria in Italy; Sardinia obtains Lombardy, and France acquires Savoy and Nice.
- Tanyus Shahin, a Maronite, leads Lebanese peasants in an uprising against their Druze landlords in Keserwan (Lebanon).
- Construction of the Suez Canal begins (Egypt).
- Louis Pasteur proposes and proves the germ theory of disease, which states that each disease is caused by a particular microorganism, or ‘germ’ (France).
- Pasteur’s experiments disprove spontaneous generation (France).
- Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen invent spectrum analysis (spectroscopy) and discover the elements cesium and rubidium (Germany).
- Edwin Drake begins drilling the first modern oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania (US).
- Charles Darwin publishes the English-language text The Origin of Species (UK: England).
- On Liberty, a work of political philosophy written in English by John Stuart Mill (UK: England).
- A Tale of Two Cities, a novel written in English by Charles Dickens (UK: England).
- Faust, a French opera by Charles Gounod, premieres in Paris (France).
- Alexander von Humboldt dies.
- Alfred Vail dies.
- In the wars for Italian independence, revolutionary leader Giuseppe Garibaldi captures Sicily and King Victor Emmanuel II takes Naples (Italy).
- Despite Garibaldi’s dream of an Italian Republic, he and Victor Emmanuel II agree to fight for a monarchy, the Kingdom of Italy.
- Maronite-Druze tensions in Lebanon and Syria lead to riots and ultimately a massacre of Christians by Muslims, which triggers military intervention by France.
- Florence Nightingale founds the first secular nursing school at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (UK).
- Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir invents the first two-stroke gas-fired internal combustion engine with cylinders, pistons, connecting rods, and a flywheel (Belgium).
- The first men’s British Open golf tournament is held in Scotland (UK: Scotland).
- The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, a work of history written in German by Jacob Burckhardt (Switzerland).
- The Mill on the Floss, a novel written in English by George Eliot (UK: England).
- The Woman in White, a novel written in English by Wilkie Collins (UK: England).
- Ascension of Mont-Blanc, a photograph by August-Rosalie Bisson (France; Italy).
- Charles Goodyear dies.
- William Dickson is born in Le Minihic-sur-Rance, France.
- Jane Addams is born in Illinois, US.
- Following the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln, the southern states secede, leading to the American Civil War (US).
- After fighting off a rebellion led by General Félix María Zuloaga, interim President Benito Juárez is officially elected President of Mexico.
- Russia abolishes serfdom.
- Even though significant sections of Italy remain unconquered, Victor Emmanuel assembles a Parliament in Turin which declares the Kingdom of Italy.
- Great Expectations, a novel written in English by Charles Dickens (UK).
- Silas Marner, a novel written in English by George Eliot (UK: England).
- Tartan Ribbon, the first color photograph, by James Clerk Maxwell and Thomas Sutton (UK: Scotland).
- The Catacombs of Paris, a series of photographs by Nadar (France).
- Frederick Gowland Hopkins is born in Eastbourne, England, UK.
- Nikolaus Otto invents an indirect acting, compressionless four-cycle free-piston internal combustion engine (Germany).
- Richard Jordan Gatling invents the Gatling Gun, the first machine gun (US).
- Alexander von Humboldt publishes the final volume of Kosmos, his attempt to synthesize all the sciences (Germany).
- Victor Hugo’s French novel Les Misérables (France).
- Fathers and Sons, a novel in Russian by Ivan Turgenev (Russia).
- President Lincoln on the Battlefield at Antietam, a photograph by Alexander Gardner (US).
- The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, marks a turning point in the American Civil War (US).
- President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, which frees slaves in the rebel states (US).
- Poles rise up against Russian rule (Poland).
- A fire and crush in a crowded Santiago church, followed by the collapse of the roof, leaves more than 2,000 people dead (Chile).
- Opening of the London Underground, the world’s first underground railway (UK).
- Swiss businessman Henry Dunant and others form the organization that would become the International Committee of the Red Cross (Switzerland).
- The Plongeur, the first submarine to operate without human power, is launched (France).
- James Plimpton invents four-wheeled quad roller skates (US).
- The Salon des Refusés exhibits paintings by Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissaro and others who were rejected from the Paris Salon (France).
- A Harvest of Death, Battlefield of Gettysburg, a photograph by Timothy O’Sullivan (US).
- Nanjing, Hong Xiuquan’s capital, falls to Qing imperial troops, ending the Taipei Rebellion (China).
- Russian troops quash the uprising in Poland.
- The International Workingmen’s Association (the First International) is founded in London (UK: England).
- Louis Pasteur invents pasteurization (France).
- Édouard Manet’s paintings Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) and Olympia create an uproar (France).
- Portrait of Georges Sand, a photograph by Nadar (France).
- Walther Nernst is born in Briesen, Prussia (now Wąbrzeźno, Poland).
- Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the American Civil War and restoring the southern states to the US.
- Confederacy supporter John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln (US).
- The United States abolishes slavery.
- Gregor Mendel publishes the laws of heredity, which he derived from his experiments with pea plants (Czech Republic).
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a novel written in English by Lewis Carroll (UK: England).
- The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, a story written in English by Mark Twain (US).
- Tristan und Isolde, a German opera by Richard Wagner, premieres in Munich (Germany).
- Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt, a photograph by Nadar (France).
- The Peace of Prague puts an end to the Austro-Prussian War and awards Austrian-controlled Venetia to the Kingdom of Italy.
- Crime and Punishment, a novel written in Russian by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia).
- Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, by Max Bruch (Germany).
- Yosemite Valley from the Best General View, a photograph by Carleton E. Watkins (US).
- Thomas Hunt Morgan is born in Lexington, Kentucky, US.
- Birth of Sun Yat-Sen in Guangdong, China.
- Tokugawa Yoshinobu’s resignation and abdication to Emperor Meiji marks the end of the Tokugawa shogunate (Japan).
- The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 establishes the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, consisting of two monarchies (Austria and Hungary) and one autonomous country under the Hungarian crown, Croatia–Slavonia.
- The British Parliament enacts the first British North America Act, which creates a federal dominion of Canada and sets out a large part of the Canadian Constitution (UK).
- The US buys Alaska from Russia.
- Diamonds are discovered in South Africa.
- Alfred Nobel invents dynamite (Sweden).
- Joseph Monier invents reinforced concrete (France).
- Charles Wheatstone (UK), Werner von Siemens (Germany) and Samuel Alfred Varley (UK), working independently, invent the dynamo.
- Joseph Lister publishes his English-language medical text Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery (UK: Scotland).
- Karl Marx publishes his German-language treatise on political economy, Das Kapital (UK).
- Peer Gynt, a play written in Norwegian by Henrik Ibsen (Norway).
- Night on Bald Mountain, a tone poem by Modest Mussorgsky (Russia).
- Don Carlos, an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, debuts in Paris (France).
- Portrait of Sir John Herschel, a photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron (UK).
- Michael Faraday dies.
- Maria Salomea Skłodowska (Marie Curie) is born in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland, Russian Empire (now Poland).
- Wilbur Wright is born in Millville, Indiana, US.
- The Mejii Restoration returns practical imperial rule to Japan.
- Christopher Latham Sholes invents the first commercially successful typewriter (US).
- Sporting goods store Peck & Snyder begins selling the first baseball cards (US).
- Little Women, a novel written in English by Louisa May Alcott (US).
- Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- Piano Concerto in A minor, by Edvard Grieg (Norway).
- Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, a German opera by Richard Wagner, premieres in Munich (Germany).
- Léon Foucault dies.
- Karl Landsteiner is born in Baden bei Wien, Austria.
- Felix Hoffmann is born in Ludwigsburg, Kingdom of Württemberg (now Germany).
- The first transcontinental railroad is completed in the US.
- The Suez Canal opens (Egypt).
- Dmitri Mendeleev creates the first modern periodic table of the elements (Russia).
- Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association (US).
- Johannes Friedrich Miescher isolates and identifies deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) (Germany).
- William Crookes invents the Crookes Tube (UK).
- Johann Hittorf discovers cathode rays (Germany).
- War and Peace, a novel in Russian by Leo Tolstoy (Russia).
- The Idiot, a novel in Russian by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia).
- Sentimental Education, a novel in French by Gustave Flaubert (France).
- Mohandas K. Gandhi is born in Porbandar, British Indian Empire (now India).
- Forces of the Kingdom of Italy under Raffaele Cadorna capture Rome and the Papal States.
- Siegfired Marcus attaches an internal combustion engine to a handcart and becomes the first person to propel a vehicle with gasoline (Austria).
- Thomas Edison invents the Universal Stock Ticker (US).
- The Gothic Revival-style Houses of Parliament in London are completed (UK: England).
- Premiere of Coppélia, a comic ballet choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to the music of Léo Delibes, with libretto by Charles Nuitter, in Paris (France).
- Death of Charles Dickens.
- Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Vladimir Lenin) is born in Simbirsk, Russia.
- After Prussia defeats France in the Franco-Prussian War, all German states except Austria unite to form the German Empire.
- Otto von Bismarck becomes the first Chancellor of a united Germany.
- King Victor Emmanuel II establishes the capital of the Kingdom of Italy at Rome, symbolizing the unification of Italy.
- A socialist uprising establishes the Paris Commune, which rules Paris for less than three months before being brutally suppressed (France).
- Gold is discovered in South Africa.
- The Descent of Man, a book on human evolution written in English by Charles Darwin (UK).
- Through the Looking Glass, a novel written in English by Lewis Carroll (UK: England).
- Aida, an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, debuts in Cairo (Egypt).
- Communards in their Coffins, a photograph by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (France).
- Hot Springs on the Gardiner River, Upper Basin, a photograph by William Henry Jackson (US).
- Charles Babbage dies.
- Ernest Rutherford is born in Brightwater, New Zealand.
- Orville Wright is born in Dayton, Ohio, US.
- Arthur Tansley is born in London, England, UK.
- Women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony is arrested in Rochester, New York for voting in the presidential election (US).
- Impression, Sunrise, a painting by French Impressionist Claude Monet (France).
- The Possessed, a novel in Russian by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia).
- Middlemarch, a novel written in English by George Eliot (UK: England).
- Samuel Morse dies.
- The Panic of 1873 financial crisis leads to economic depression in the US and Europe.
- A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, an English-language work by James Clerk Maxwell (UK).
- A Season in Hell, poems written in French by Arthur Rimbaud (France).
- Mount of the Holy Cross, a photograph by William Henry Jackson (US).
- Ancient Ruins in the Canyon de Chelly, a photograph by Timothy O’Sullivan (US).
- Joseph Glidden invents barbed wire (US).
- Othmar Zeidler synthesizes DDT, which would become the first pesticide (Austria).
- McGill University and Harvard College play the first American football game (US).
- The Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers holds its first exhibition, at Nadar’s Paris studio; a critic will label the group “impressionists” based on the title of a painting by Claude Monet (France).
- The Dance Class, a painting by French Impressionist Edgar Degas (France).
- Far from the Madding Crowd, a novel written in English by Thomas Hardy (UK: England).
- Messa da Requiem, by Giuseppe Verdi (Italy).
- Pictures at an Exhibition, by Modest Mussorgsky (Russia).
- Mussorgsky’s Russian opera Boris Godunov debuts in St. Petersburg (Russia).
- Guglielmo Marconi is born in Bologna, Italy.
- Winston-Leonard Spencer Churchill is born in Woodstock, England, UK.
- The first Kentucky Derby horse race is held (US).
- The Paris Opera House, designed by Charles Garnier, is completed (France).
- Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket, a painting by American Tonalist artist James McNeill Whistler (UK).
- Climate and Time, in their Geological Relations, a scientific text written in English by James Croll, convinced many of the Ice Age theory (UK).
- Piano Concerto No. 1 in Bb minor, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russia).
- Carmen, a French opera by Georges Bizet, debuts in Paris (France).
- Charles Lyell dies.
- Gilbert N. Lewis is born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, US.
- Drought in China leaves nine million dead by 1879.
- After a military coup, the Young Ottomans force Sultan Abdülaziz to abdicate in favor of the mentally ill Murad V, who is deposed within a few months, to be replaced by Abdülhamid II, who rules for two years under the first Ottoman constitution, the Kanûn-u Esâsî (Turkey).
- Native Americans of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples, led by Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, defeat General George Custer and the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Little Bighorn in what is now Montana (US).
- Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone (US).
- Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, a painting by French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (France).
- Symphony No. 1 in C minor, by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- The first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s German opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle), at Bayreuth (Germany).
- Willis Carrier is born in Angola, New York, US.
- Konrad Adenauer is born in Cologne, Germany.
- The Russo-Turkish War begins when Russia attacks Ottoman lands in the Balkans and Romania declares its independence.
- Modernization efforts by the new Meji Empire lead disaffected samurai, led by Saigo Takamori, to launch the short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful Satsuma Rebellion (Japan).
- Federal troops are brought in to stop the Great Railroad Strike, which was triggered by wage cuts (US).
- Astronomer Asaph Hall discovers the moons of Mars (US).
- David Edward Hughes, Emile Berliner and Thomas Edison, working independently, invent the carbon microphone (US).
- Thomas Edison invents the phonograph (US).
- The first Wimbledon tennis tournament is held (UK: England).
- Anna Karenina, a novel in Russian by Leo Tolstoy (Russia).
- Symphony No. 2 in D Major, by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- Premiere of Swan Lake, a ballet with choreography by Julius Wenzel Reisinger and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, at the Bolshoi in Moscow (Russia).
- Street Life in London, a book of photographs and English-language text by photographer John Thomson and journalist Adolphe Smith (UK).
- Oswald Avery is born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Frederick Soddy is born in Eastbourne, England, UK.
- The Treaty of San Stefano, at the end of the Russo-Turkish War, creates a sovereign Bulgarian principality (Turkey).
- The Treaty of Berlin grants sovereignty to Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania and divides Bulgaria in three parts, leaving Eastern Rumelia autonomous and giving Macedonia to the Ottomans (Germany).
- Belgian King Leopold II, acting as a private individual, hires Henry Stanley to explore the Congo and establish a colony there on behalf of the International African Society (Dem. Rep. of Congo).
- Joseph Swan (UK) and Thomas Edison (US), working independently, invent commercially-viable incandescent electric light bulbs.
- Violin Concerto in D Major, by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- Symphony No. 4 in F minor and Violin Concerto in D Major, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovksy (Russia).
- Eadweard Muybridge publishes Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, a series of photographs of a horse in motion (US).
- Britain wins the Anglo-Zulu War and annexes the Zulu Kingdom (South Africa).
- Egyptian Officer Ahmed ‘Urabi leads a mutiny that develops into a revolt against Khedive Tewfik (Egypt).
- James Ritty invents the cash register (US).
- A Doll’s House, a play written in Norwegian by Henrik Ibsen (Norway).
- Má Vlast, six symphonic poems by Bedřich Smetana (Czech Republic).
- Eugene Onegin, a Russian opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, premieres in Moscow (Russia).
- James Clerk Maxwell dies.
- Albert Einstein is born in Ulm, Germany.
- Otto Hahn is born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
- Birth of Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili (Joseph Stalin) in Gori, Georgia, Russian Empire (now Georgia).
- The First Boer War begins between the South African Republic and the United Kingdom (South Africa).
- Explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza signs a treaty with Makoka, king of the Kongo, establishing French control over the region (Rep. of the Congo).
- Werner von Siemens invents the electric elevator (Germany).
- Fredrik and Otto Kampfe invent the safety razor (US).
- Cologne Cathedral is finally completed, 600 years after construction began (Germany).
- Symbolist Arnold Böcklin paints the first of five versions of The Isle of the Dead (Switzerland).
- The Brothers Karamazov, a novel in Russian by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia).
- Anton Chekhov publishes his first short story in the Russian magazine Dragonfly (Russia).
- Death of George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans).
- Alfred Wegener is born in Berlin, Germany.
- Assassination of Russian Tsar Alexander II by members of the Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will) revolutionary movement.
- Ahmed ‘Urabi’s forces topple the Khedive of Egypt and establish a new government.
- American nurse Clara Barton founds the American branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross (US).
- Lucien Gaulard and John D. Gibbs demonstrate an alternating current transformer in London (UK).
- The first men’s US National Tennis Tournament (precursor to the US Open) is held (US).
- Luncheon of the Boating Party, a painting by French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (France).
- The Portrait of a Lady, a novel written in English by Henry James (US/UK).
- Matthias Schleiden dies.
- Alexander Fleming is born in Lochfield, Scotland, UK.
- British forces invade and occupy Egypt; ‘Urabi is defeated at the battle of Tel el-Kebir.
- Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy form the Triple Alliance.
- Thomas Edison builds the first large-scale electrical supply network, supplying 110 volts of direct current to 59 customers in New York City (US).
- Robert Koch identifies the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the cause of tuberculosis (Germany).
- Schuyler Skaats Wheeler invents the electric fan (US).
- Henry W. Seeley invents the first practical and safe electric iron (US).
- Paul Beiersdorf invents the adhesive bandage (Germany).
- Shihan Kano develops the sport of judo (Japan).
- Work begins on Sagrada Família church, designed by Antoni Gaudí, in Barcelona (Spain).
- Completion of the Romanesque Revival Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany).
- A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, a painting by Édouard Manet (France).
- The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, a painting by John Singer Sargent (France).
- Parsifal, a German opera by Richard Wagner, debuts at Bayreuth (Germany).
- Charles Darwin dies.
- Friedrich Wöhler dies.
- Robert Goddard is born in Worcester, Massachusetts, US.
- Eruption of the Krakatoa volcano and the resulting tsunami kill between 36,000-120,000 people in Indonesia and elsewhere.
- Robert Koch identifies the bacterium Vibrio cholerae as the cause of cholera (Germany).
- The Brooklyn Bridge, the first steel-wire suspension bridge, opens in New York (US).
- Treasure Island, a novel written in English by Robert Louis Stevenson (UK: England).
- Symphony No. 7 in E Major, by Anton Bruckner (Austria).
- Symphony No. 3 in F Major, by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- Death of Karl Marx in London, England, UK.
- At the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, the powers of Europe impose their colonial claims on Africa and establish boundaries that remain today (Germany).
- Edward Butler invents the three-wheeled Butler Petrol Cycle (UK).
- Charles Renard and Arthur Constantin Krebs achieve fully controllable free flight in the French Army airship La France (France).
- Lewis Waterman produces a new, improved fountain pen (US).
- Hiram Maxim invents the Maxim Gun, the first self-powered machine gun (UK).
- George Eastman invents roll film (US).
- Charles Parsons invents the modern reaction-type steam turbine (UK).
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a novel written in English by Mark Twain (US).
- Storks, a series of nature photographs by Ottomar Anschütz (Germany).
- Gregor Mendel dies.
- Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, an autonomous province within the Ottoman Empire, declare their unification, leading Serbia to declare war and resulting in a decisive win by Bulgaria.
- The parties to the Berlin Conference recognize the Congo as a personal possession of Belgian King Leopold II, despite competing claims from France and Portugal (Germany).
- The Indian National Congress is founded (India).
- Louis Pasteur uses weakened pathogens to vaccinate citizens against anthrax and rabies (France).
- Carl Benz builds the first practical automobile, the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car, which has a high-speed gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine (Germany).
- Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach design and build the Daimler Reitwagen, considered by some to be the first motorcycle (Germany).
- John Starley’s safety bicycle, which has pedals between two equal-sized wheels and a rear wheel chain drive, is the first modern bicycle (UK).
- Thus Spake Zarathustra, a work of philosophy written in German by Friedrich Nietzsche (Germany).
- Symphony No. 4 in E minor, by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- Niels Bohr is born in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- The Treaty of Bucharest, which ends the Serbo-Bulgarian War, paves the way for the European powers to recognize the Unification of Bulgaria (Hungary).
- An anarchist’s bomb kills seven police officers and four civilians at a rally in support of striking workers in Haymarket Square in Chicago, Illinois (US).
- Samuel Gompers forms the American Federation of Labor (US).
- Charles Martin Hall (US) and Paul Héroult (France), working independently, invent a process for extracting aluminum from other minerals.
- France’s gift to the US, the Statue of Liberty, which was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, is erected in New York harbor.
- Coca-Cola, a carbonated soft drink, is introduced (US).
- A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, a painting by Post-Impressionist artist Georges Seurat (France).
- Beyond Good and Evil, a work of philosophy written in German by Friedrich Nietzsche (Germany).
- The Death of Ivan Ilyich, a novella in Russian by Leo Tolstoy (Russia).
- The Mayor of Casterbridge, a novel written in English by Thomas Hardy (UK: England).
- Symphony No. 3 in C minor “Organ”, by Camille Saint-Saëns (France).
- Violin Sonata in A Major, by César Franck (Belgium/France).
- The Art of Living a Hundred Years, a series of photographs by Nadar of his interview with chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul (France).
- Death of Emily Dickinson.
- Flooding of the Yellow River kills 900,000-2,000,000 people (China).
- Albert Michelson and Edward Morley conduct the Michelson-Morley experiment, which finds no evidence of ‘luminiferous aether’ (US).
- Heinrich Hertz proves the existence of electromagnetic, or radio waves (Germany).
- Nikola Tesla builds a two-phase commutatorless alternating current induction motor (US).
- Josephine Cochran invents the first reliable manual dishwasher (US).
- John Boyd Dunlop invents the first commercially viable pneumatic tires (Ireland).
- First women’s US National Tennis Tournament (precursor to the US Open) is held (US).
- George Hancock invents the sport of softball in Chicago, Illinois (US).
- At Dusk, a collection of Russian short stories by Anton Chekhov, wins the Pushkin Prize (Russia).
- Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C minor (Germany).
- Otello, an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, premieres at La Scala in Milan (Italy).
- Gustav Kirchhoff dies.
- Erwin Schrödinger is born in Vienna, Austria.
- Henry Moseley is born in Weymouth, England, UK.
- The London matchgirls’ strike (UK).
- George Eastman invents the first portable camera (US).
- Adolf Fick makes the first true contact lenses (Germany).
- Sunflowers, a series of paintings by Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh (France).
- Christ’s Entry into Brussels in 1889, a painting by Les XX artist James Ensor (Belgium).
- Miss Julie, a play written in Swedish by August Strindberg (Sweden).
- Symphony No. 5 in E minor, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russia).
- Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, by Edvard Grieg (Norway).
- Scheherazade, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (Russia).
- Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman is born in Thiruvanaikoil, Madras, India.
- John Logie Baird is born in Helensburgh, Scotland, UK.
- Dockers’ strike in London leads to strong trade unions (UK: England).
- Founding of the Second International in Paris (France).
- May 1 is declared International Workers’ Day.
- Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr found Hull House, a settlement house, in Chicago, Illinois (US).
- Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach build the four-wheeled Stahlradwagen automobile, which is licensed by Peugeot for production in France (Germany).
- Singer produces the first electric sewing machines (US).
- The Eiffel Tower in Paris, designed and built by Gustave Eiffel, is completed (France).
- The Burghers of Calais and The Kiss, sculptures by Auguste Rodin (France).
- The Starry Night, a painting by Post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh (France).
- Time and Free Will, a work of philosophy written in French by Henri Bergson (France).
- The Onion Field, a photograph by George Davison (UK).
- Edwin Hubble is born in Marshfield, Missouri, US.
- Luxembourg achieves independence.
- In the Wounded Knee Massacre, the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment fires on Lakota people led by Spotted Elk at the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, killing at least 200, while 31 soldiers also die (US).
- William Dickson and Thomas Edison invent the first practical movie camera (US).
- Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovolsky makes the first three-phase alternating current induction motor (Germany).
- Principles of Psychology, an influential text written in English by William James (US).
- Knut Hamsun’s Norwegian-language novel Hunger (Norway).
- Hedda Gabler, a play written in Norwegian by Henrik Ibsen (Norway).
- The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel written in English by Oscar Wilde (Ireland).
- Premiere of Sleeping Beauty, a ballet with choreography by Petipa and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, in St. Petersburg (Russia).
- An Ancient Lodger and the Plank on which She Slept, at Eldridge Police Station, a photograph by Jacob A. Riis (US).
- Death of Vincent van Gogh, by suicide (France).
- Birth of Nguyễn Sinh Cung (Ho Chi Minh) in Hoàng Trù, French Indochina (now Vietnam).
- Birth of Charles de Gaulle in Lille, France.
- Eugène Dubois discovers “Java Man” (Homo erectus) in Java (Indonesia).
- Dr. James Naismith invents basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts (US).
- The Palazzo-style Wainwright Building in St. Louis, Missouri, designed by Louis H. Sullivan and Dankmar Adler (US).
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles, a novel written in English by Thomas Hardy (UK).
- Clarinet Quintet in B minor, by Johannes Brahms (Germany/Austria).
- Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, by Edvard Grieg (Norway).
- Chronophotographic Study of Man Pole Vaulting, a photograph by Etienne-Jules Marey (France).
- Frederick Banting is born in Alliston, Ontario, Canada.
- James Chadwick is born in Bollington, England, UK.
- Tafari Makonnen Woldemikae (Haile Selassie) is born in Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia.
- Rudolf Diesel invents the diesel engine (Germany).
- Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla coil (US).
- John Froelich builds the first gasoline-powered tractor (US).
- Jesse Reno and George Wheeler, working independently, invent the escalator (US).
- James Dewar invents the Thermos vacuum flask (UK).
- The Nutcracker, a ballet with choreography by Lev Ivanov and music by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, premieres in St. Petersburg (Russia).
- The Terminal, New York, a photograph by Alfred Stieglitz (US).
- Louis de Broglie is born in Dieppe, France.
- New Zealand becomes the first modern country to give women the right to vote.
- French troops, led by Lt. Gaston Boiteux, occupy Timbuktu (Mali).
- The Scream, a painting by Expressionist artist Edvard Munch (Norway).
- Symphony No. 6 in B minor “Pathetique” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russia).
- Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World”, by Antonin Dvořák (Czech Republic).
- String Quartet, by Claude Debussy (France).
- Falstaff, an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi, opens at La Scala in Milan (Italy).
- Raymond Dart is born in Brisbane, Australia.
- Birth of Mao Zedong in Shaoshan, China.
- The First Sino-Japanese War begins in Chinese-controlled Korea.
- Germany colonizes Rwanda.
- Captain Alfred Dreyfus is convicted of treason, triggering the Dreyfus Affair (France).
- Eugene V. Debs leads a national strike against the Pullman Company (US).
- Australia gives women the right to vote.
- Charles Francis Jenkins uses his Phantoscope projector to project a motion picture he filmed onto a screen for an audience in Richmond, Indiana (US).
- Sir Oliver Lodge (UK) and Jagadish Chandra Bose (India), working independently, demonstrate the transmission of radio waves at a distance.
- William Ramsay and Lord Rayleigh, John William Strutt discover argon (UK).
- John Harvey Kellogg invents breakfast cereal flakes (US).
- Claude Debussy’s Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (France).
- Heinrich Hertz dies.
- Georges Lemaître is born in Charleroi, Belgium.
- Japan defeats China in the First Sino-Japanese War and takes Korea, Taiwan and the port of Weihai from China.
- France invades Madagascar.
- Westinghouse’s hydroelectric Adams Power Plant begins supplying alternating current electricity to Buffalo, New York (US).
- Oscar Wilde is sentenced to two years in prison for “gross indecency” for a homosexual relationship.
- Wilhelm Röntgen discovers X-rays (Germany).
- Guglielmo Marconi transmits radio waves to a receiver 1.5 miles away (Italy).
- The Lumière brothers present a public, commercial exhibition of projected motion pictures to a paying audience in Paris (France).
- Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin designs and seeks a patent for the first rigid airship (Germany).
- William Morgan invents the sport of volleyball in Springfield, Massachusetts (US).
- At the Moulin Rouge, a painting by Post-Impressionist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (France).
- Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud publish Studies in Hysteria, a German-language text that introduces the principles of psychoanalysis (Austria).
- Jude the Obscure, a novel written in English by Thomas Hardy (UK).
- The Time Machine, a science fiction novel written in English by H.G. Wells (UK: England).
- Cello Concerto in B minor, by Antonin Dvořák (Czech Republic).
- Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, a tone poem by Richard Strauss (Germany).
- Louis Pasteur dies.
- Gerhard Domagk is born in Lagow, Prussia (now Łagów, Poland).
- Death of Frederick Douglass.
- The Philippines become free of Spanish rule.
- Ethiopia defends its sovereignty by defeating Italy at the Battle of Adwa (Ethiopia).
- Georges Picquart proves that Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy committed treason, not Alfred Dreyfus, but Esterhazy is acquitted at trial (France).
- The first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece.
- Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity (France).
- The Jewish State, a German-language pamphlet by Zionist theorist Theodor Herzl (Germany; Austria).
- Matter and Memory, a work of philosophy written in French by Henri Bergson (France).
- A.E. Housman’s English-language poem A Shropshire Lad (UK).
- Also Sprach Zarathustra, a tone poem by Richard Strauss (Germany).
- Symphony No. 9 in D minor, by Anton Bruckner (Germany).
- Premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s Italian opera La bohème in Turin (Italy).
- Alfred Nobel dies.
- Wallace Carothers is born in Burlington, Iowa, US.
- Gojong declares himself Emperor Gwangmu, first leader of the Korean Empire.
- Theodor Herzl convenes the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.
- The United Kingdom colonizes Benin.
- The first homosexual rights groups are founded: Magnus Hirshfeld starts the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee in Germany and George Cecil organizes the Order of Chaeronea in the UK.
- J.J. Thomson discovers the electron (UK).
- Felix Hoffmann at Bayer synthesizes a pure form of acetylsalicylic acid that is marketed as Bayer aspirin (Germany).
- The first Hornsby-Akroyd Patent Safety Oil Traction Engine (tractor) is sold (UK).
- The first Boston Marathon is run (US).
- Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry, a painting by Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne (France).
- Dracula, a novel written in English by Bram Stoker (Ireland).
- Cyrano de Bergerac, a French play by Edmond Rostand (France).
- Birth of Amelia Earhart in Atchison, Kansas, US.
- The Spanish-American War begins when the US sends troops to support Cuban rebels against Spain and ends with US occupation of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
- The Treaty of Paris recognizes Cuba’s independence from Spain but the US does not hand over sovereignty until 1902.
- After the Guangxu Emperor begins the Hundred Days’ Reform, Empress Dowager Cixi, aided by General Ronglu, stages a coup d’état (China).
- The anti-imperialist, anti-foreign, anti-Christian nationalist Boxer Rebellion begins (China).
- After 16 years of warfare, France defeats the Wassoulou Empire, led by Samori Ture (Guinea).
- The UK, led by Sir Herbert Kitchener, defeats the army of Abdullah al-Taashi (Sudan).
- In the Fashoda Incident, France, fearing that Britain will take Sudan, sends an expedition to Fashoda on the Nile, but is forced to withdraw under international pressure (Sudan).
- The French newspaper L’Aurore prints J’accuse….!, an open letter by Émile Zola in support of Alfred Dreyfus (France).
- Marie and Pierre Curie discover the radioactive elements radium and polonium (France).
- Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin’s painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (Tahiti, French Polynesia).
- The War of the Worlds, a science fiction novel written in English by H.G. Wells (UK).
- The Turn of the Screw, a novella written in English by Henry James (US/UK).
- Death of Otto von Bismarck.
- Germany colonizes Burundi.
- After a second conviction for treason, Alfred Dreyfus is pardoned (France).
- Ernest Rutherford discovers alpha and beta radiation (Canada).
- Otis Elevator Co. produces the first commercially-successful escalator (US).
- Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams, a German-language treatise on psychology (Austria).
- The School and Society, a work about education, written in English by John Dewey (US).
- Oscar Wilde’s English-language play The Importance of Being Earnest (Ireland).
- Arnold Schoenberg’s string sextet Verklärte Nacht (Austria).
- Variations on an Original Theme For Orchestra “Enigma”, by Edward Elgar (UK).
- Robert Bunsen dies.
- Charles Best is born in West Pembroke, Maine, US.
- Ernest Hemingway is born in Oak Park, Illinois, US.