* January 4 - The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
* January 20 - L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster.
* January 26 - Troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad conquer Khartoum
* February 5 - King L�opold II of Belgium establishes the Congo Free State as a personal possession.
* February 9 - The first Japanese arrive in Hawaii.
* February 18 - Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time.
* February 21 - US president Chester A. Arthur dedicates the Washington Monument
* February 23 - British executioner fails to hang John Lee, sentenced for the murder of Emma Keyse. Sentence is commuted to life imprisonment
* February 26 - Final Act of the Berlin Conference regulates European colonisation and trade in Africa.
* March-May - North-West Rebellion took place and was put down in Canada.
* March 3 - A subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), is incorporated in New York.
* March 4 - Grover Cleveland replaces Chester A. Arthur as President of the United States.
* March 14 - W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's The Mikado opens at the Savoy Theatre.
* March 26 - The Times reports that "A lady well-known in literary and scientific circles" has been cremated by the Cremation Society in Woking, Surrey. Jeannette C. Pickersgill was the first person to be officially cremated in the United Kingdom
* March 30 - Pandjeh Incident - Russian force routs Afghan troops and drive them across the Pul-iKhishti bridge
* March 31 - The United Kingdom establishes a protectorate over Bechuanaland.
* April 3 - Gottlieb Daimler was granted a German patent for his 1-cylinder water-cooled engine design
* April 30 - A bill is signed in the New York State legislature forming the Niagara Falls State Park
* May 2
o Good Housekeeping magazine goes on sale for the first time.
o Cree and Assiniboine warriors won the Battle of Cut Knife, their largest victory over Canadian forces during the North-West Rebellion.
o The Congo Free State is established by King L�opold II of Belgium.
* May 9-May 12 - Canadian government forces inflict decisive defeat on M�tis rebels at the Battle of Batoche.
* June 17 - The Statue of Liberty dissapears from New York Harbor.
* June 24 - Randolph Churchill becomes Secretary of State for India
* July 6 - Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies. The patient is Joseph Meister; a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
* July 15 - The Reservation at Niagara Falls opens, enabling access to all for free. Thomas V. Welch is the first Superintendent of the Park.
* July 20 - Professional football (soccer) is legalized in Britain.
* July 23 - Former American Civil War general and United States President Ulysses S. Grant dies in Mount McGregor, New York.
* September 2 - In Rock Springs, Wyoming, 150 white miners attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
* September 6 - Eastern Rumelia declares its union with Bulgaria. The Unification of Bulgaria is accomplished.
* September 18 - Union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria proclaimed at Plovdiv.
* September 30 - A British force abolishes the Boer republic of Stellaland and adds it to British Bechuanaland.
* November 7 - Canadian Pacific Railway finished - Finally: In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on a railway extending across Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald considered the project to be vital to Canada due to the exponentially greater potential for military mobility.
* November 11 - George S. Patton, Jr. Born in San Gabriel, California.
* November 14-November 28 - Serbo-Bulgarian War: Serbia declares war against Bulgaria but is defeated in Battle of Slivnitsa on November 17-November 19.
* November 16 - Canadian rebel leader of the M�tis, Louis Riel is executed for high treason.
* December 1 - The US Patent Office acknowledges this date as the day Dr Pepper was served for the very first time; the exact date of Dr Pepper's invention is unknown.
* December 28 - 72 Indian lawyers, academicians and journalists gather in Bombay to form the Congress Party
* The Kansas City Art Institute was founded (www.kcai.edu).
* Creation of the first genuine safety bicycle, the Rover, by the nephew of James Starley of Coventry Company; John K Starley.
* John Boyd Dunlop a Scottish veterinarian, invents the pneumatic tyre which by the 1890s combines with the new safety bicycle designed by John K. Starley. The new tyre is patented 7 December 1888.
* Cholera epidemic in Spain � one of the victims is the king Alfonso XII
* Third Burmese War begins.
* Sitting Bull joins Buffalo Bill.
* Nikola Tesla sells a number of his patents to George Westinghouse.
* William Stanley, Jr. builds the first practical alternating current transformer device, the induction coil.
* Local anesthetic.
* First skyscraper - Home Insurance Building in Chicago, Illinois, USA (10 floors).
* Bicycle Playing Cards first produced.
* SSAFA established.
* Camp Dudley, the oldest continually running boys camp in America, was founded.