- Jan 24 The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first full-fledged university in south Asia.
- Mar 3 Second Opium War: France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.
- Mar 6 Dred Scott Decision: US Supreme Court rules Africans cannot be US citizens
- May 10 Indian Mutiny begins with revolt of Sepoys in Meerut
- Jun 26 The first 62 recipients are awarded the Victoria Cross for valour in the Crimean war by Queen Victoria
- Oct 24 World's first soccer club, Sheffield F C, founded in Yorkshire, England
Elisha Otis installs his 1st elevator at 488 Broadway in New York City
On March 23, 1857
- Jan 20 Edward Francis Fitzwilliam, composer, dies at 32
- Jan 27 Dorothea von Benckendorff, Baltic monarch of Lieven, dies at 72
- Feb 7 Félix PBOG, Earl of Merode, Belgian minister of War, dies at 65
- Feb 9 Dionysios Solomos, Greek poet of the Greek national anthem (b. 1798)
- Feb 10 David Thompson, Canadian explorer (b. 1770)