- Jan 17 A group of Modoc warriors defeats the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War.
- Feb 20 British Naval Officer John Morseby discovers the site of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and claims it for Britain
- Jun 5 Sultan Bargash bin Said under British pressure closes the infamous slave market of Zanzibar in modern day Tanzania
- Sep 18 Government bond agent Jay Cooke & Co collapses, causing panic on Wall St, the start of the panic of 1873 and the Long depression
Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patent the first blue jeans with copper rivets
On May 20, 1873