1885 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 2 General Wolseley receives last distress signal of General Gordon in Khartoum
  • Jan 3 The beginning of the Battle of Nui Bop in the Sino-French War
  • Jan 4 Dr W W Grant of Iowa, performs 1st appendectomy (on Mary Gartside, 22)
  • Jan 11 Henrik Ibsen's "Vildauden," premieres in Oslo
  • Jan 17 British beat Mahdists at Battle of Abu Klea in Sudan
  • Jan 19 Battle of Abu Klea, Sudan, between the British Desert Column and Mahdist forces: 76 British and 1,100 Mahdists killed
  • Jan 25 Vincent d'Indy's "Saugefleurie" premieres
  • Jan 26 Muhammad Ahmed ("Mahdi") rebels conquer Khartoum

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 28 Commission for Auguste Rodin's sculpture 'The Burghers of Calais' signed by the Municipal Council of Calais.

Sculptor Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin
  • Feb 5 News of fall of Khartoum reaches London
  • Feb 5 King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal colonial possession
  • Feb 9 1st Japanese arrive in Hawaii
  • Feb 12 Carl Peters founds German East-Africa Society

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 17 Bismarck gives Carl Peters' firm management of East-Africa

German Statesman Otto Von Bismarck
German Statesman
Otto Von Bismarck

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 18 Mark Twain publishes the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in the US

Author Mark Twain
Mark Twain
  • Feb 21 Washington Monument dedicated (Washington, D.C.)
  • Feb 25 US Congress condemns barbed wire around government grounds
  • Feb 26 Congress of Berlin; gives Congo to Belgium & Nigeria to Great Britain
  • Mar 3 1st US state (California) establishes a permanent forest commission
  • Mar 3 American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T) incorporates
  • Mar 3 US Congress passes Indian Appropriations Act (Indians wards of federal government)
  • Mar 3 US Post Office offers special delivery for 1st-class mail

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 4 Grover Cleveland inaugrated as 1st US Democratic President since Civil War

US President Grover Cleveland
US President
Grover Cleveland
  • Mar 15 1st performance of Caesar Franck's "Lesson Djinns"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 19 Louis Riel returns to Canada, proclaims provisional government, Sask

Politician Louis Riel
Louis Riel
  • Mar 20 John Matzeliger of Suriname patents shoe lacing machine
  • Mar 21 2nd French government of Ferry resigns
  • Mar 26 Eastman Film Co manufactures 1st commercial motion picture film
  • Mar 26 Louis Riel's forces defeat Canadian forces at Duck Lake, Sask
  • Mar 28 US Salvation Army officially organized
  • Mar 30 The Battle for Kushka triggers the Pandjeh Incident which nearly gives rise to war between the British Empire and Russian Empire.
  • Mar 31 Great Britain declares Bechuanaland a protectorate
  • May 1 Maria "Goeie Mie" Swanenburg sentence to life for killing 27 in Netherlands
  • May 2 "Good Housekeeping" magazine is 1st published
  • May 2 Congo Free State formed by King Leopold II of Belgium
  • May 7 John E W Thompson named US minister to Haiti
  • May 8 Sarah Ann Henley survives 76-m jump from Clifton Bridge, Avon, Engl
  • May 12 Battle of Batoche: Louis Riel and the Metis defeated by Frederick Middleton, leds to collapse of Provincial Government of Saskatchewan and surrender of Riel
  • May 15 Canadian Meti insurgent Louis Reil captured, Saskatchewan
  • May 19 1st mass production of shoes (Jan Matzeliger in Lynn, Massachusetts)
  • May 19 German chancellor Bismarck takes possession of Cameroon and Togoland
  • Jun 12 Roof collapse kills 30 at murder trial in France
  • Jun 17 Statue of Liberty arrived in NYC aboard French ship `Isere'
  • Jun 24 British government of Salisbury forms
  • Jun 24 Samuel David Ferguson becomes 1st US black bishop
  • Jul 1 The United States terminates reciprocity and fishery agreement with Canada.
  • Jul 2 Canada's North-west Insurrection ends with surrender of Big Bear

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 6 Louis Pasteur successfully tests an anti-rabies vaccine

Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur
  • Aug 7 Five German warships anchor off Zanzibar
  • Aug 10 Leo Daft opens America's 1st commercially operated electric streetcar in Baltimore
  • Aug 11 $100,000 raised in US for pedestal for Statue of Liberty
  • Aug 14 Japan's first patent is issued to the inventor of a rust-proof paint.
  • Aug 29 Gottlieb Daimler receives German patent for a motorcycle
  • Aug 30 13,000 meteors seen in 1 hour near Andromeda
  • Sep 2 In Rock Springs, Wyoming, 150 white miners, who were struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attack their Chinese fellow workers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
  • Sep 4 1st cafeteria opens (NYC)
  • Sep 5 1st gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer (Ft Wayne, Ind)
  • Sep 6 Eastern Rumelia declares its union with Bulgaria. The Unification of Bulgaria is accomplished.
  • Sep 11 Moses Hopkins, named minister to Liberia
  • Sep 18 Riots break out in Montreal to protest against compulsory smallpox vaccination.
  • Sep 21 Dutch demonstrate for general voting right
  • Sep 22 Lord Randolph Churchill makes a speech in Ulster in opposition to Home Rule e.g. "Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right".
  • Sep 24 Five German warships depart to Zanzibar
  • Sep 29 The first practical public electric tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool, England.
  • Sep 30 Bechuanaland becomes a British protectorate
  • Oct 1 Special delivery mail service begins in US
  • Oct 13 The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is founded in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Oct 15 Hoss Radbourne pitches his 60th win of season
  • Nov 1 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Immortale Dei
  • Nov 3 Tacoma vigilantes drive out Chinese, burn their homes & businesses
  • Nov 6 US mint at Carson City, Nevada, directed to close
  • Nov 7 Canadian Pacific Railway completed at Craigellachie
  • Nov 10 Gottlieb Daimler unveils the world's first motorcycle
  • Nov 12 Montreal & Britannia Football Clubs (QRFU) defeat Ontario Combined Team (ORFU) 3-0 in CRFU Championship game
  • Nov 13 Serbian army occupies Bulgaria
  • Nov 17 The Serbian Army, with Russian support, invades Bulgaria
  • Nov 19 Bulgarians, led by Stefan Stambolov, repulse a larger Serbian invasion force at Slivinitza
  • Nov 23 Amsterdam police attack meeting of social-democrats united
  • Nov 27 1st meteor photograph taken by Austro-Hungarian photographer Ladislaus Weinek in Prague
  • Nov 27 Earliest photograph of a meteor shower taken
  • Dec 7 49th Congress (1885-87) convenes
  • Dec 17 France declares Madagascar a protectorate
  • Dec 22 Pope Leo XIII proclaims extraordinary jubilee
  • Dec 22 Itō Hirobumi, a samurai, becomes the first Prime Minister of Japan.

Birthdays in History

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 140

  • Jan 2 Johannes Ringers, Dutch water engineer (dikes)
  • Jan 5 Humbert Wolfe, Italian-British poet (d. 1940)
  • Jan 8 John Curtin, Victoria, Australian PM (Labor, 1941-45)
  • Jan 8 A. J. Muste, Dutch pacifist and activist (d. 1967)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jan 11 Alice Paul, American suffragist (National Woman's Party), born in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey

Suffragist Alice Paul
Alice Paul
  • Jan 13 Alfred Fuller, CEO (Fuller Brush Man)
  • Jan 15 Lorenz Böhler, Austrian physician (d. 1973)
  • Jan 15 Huang Yuanyong, Chinese writer (d. 1915)
  • Jan 16 Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz, president of Poland (1939-40)
  • Jan 16 Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer (d. 1967)
  • Jan 17 E Ball-Hennings, writer
  • Jan 17 Joseph Arendt, Belgian worker's union leader
  • Jan 21 Umberto Nobile, Italian general
  • Jan 25 Kitahara Hakushū, Japanese poets and children's writers (d. 1942)
  • Jan 27 Maeda Seison, Japanese painter (d. 1977)
  • Jan 30 John Henry Towers, aviator/naval hero
  • Feb 1 Camille Chautemps, premier France
  • Feb 2 Aldo Palazzeschi, [Giurlani], Italian writer (I cavalli bianchi)
  • Feb 4 Cairine Ray Wilson, 1st female Canadian senator (appointed), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Feb 7 Sinclair Lewis, novelist/social critic (Main Street, Nobel 1930)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 13 Elizabeth Virginia [Bess] Truman, US First Lady (1945-52)

US First Lady Bess Truman
US First Lady
Bess Truman
  • Feb 14 Syed Zafarul Hasan, Prominent Muslim Indian/Pakistani philosopher (d. 1949)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 24 Chester Nimitz, US admiral (commanded Pacific fleet in WW II)

US Admiral Chester Nimitz
US Admiral
Chester Nimitz
  • Feb 24 Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of Israeli Knesset (1949-59)
  • Feb 24 Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski, Polish novelist/satirist (Black Wings)
  • Feb 24 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter (d. 1939)
  • Feb 25 Sylvia Brett, Lady Brooke and Ranee of Sarawak, born in London, England (d. 1971)
  • Feb 26 Aleksandras Stulginskis, President of Lithuania (d. 1969)
  • Mar 4 Willem H Winkel, Dutch physician/founder (Red Cross of Curacao)
  • Mar 10 Hans Luther, politician and German Chancellor (1925-6), born in Berlin (d. 1962)
  • Mar 12 Raphael HLAJM Verwilghen, Flemish architect/urban developer
  • Mar 14 Raoul Lufbery, American World War I pilot (d. 1918)
  • Mar 20 Eugen Herrigel, Germany, philosopher/early pioneer of Zen in Europe
  • Mar 20 Hendrik A de Fish, [Henri Pauwels], Flemish philological/sociologist
  • Mar 22 Aryeh Levin [Reb Aryeh], Orthodox Jewish rabbi (d. 1969)
  • Mar 25 Veit Valentin, German/US historian (Deutsche Revolution)
  • Mar 26 Robert Blackburn, British aviation pioneer
  • Mar 31 Jules Pascin, [Julius Pincas], Bulgarian/US painter/cartoonist
  • Apr 1 Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill (Hozier), British barones
  • Apr 3 Harry St John Philby, [sheik Abdullah], British explorer
  • Apr 3 Bud Fisher, American cartoonist (d. 1954)
  • Apr 13 Pieter S Gerbrandy, Dutch lawyer/premier in London (1940-45)
  • Apr 13 Georg Lukács, Hungarian-born philosopher and literary critic (d. 1971)
  • Apr 15 Tadeusz Kutrzeba, Polish general (d. 1947)
  • Apr 17 Karen Blixen-Finecke, [pen name Isak Dinesen], Danish writer (Out of Africa)
  • Apr 29 Egon E Kisch, Czech writer/journalist (Rasende Reporter)
  • May 2 Hedda Hopper, American gossip columnist (d. 1966)
  • May 5 Henri Velge, 1st chairman (Belgian Council of State)
  • May 10 Fritz von Unruh, German writer, (d. 1970)
  • May 18 Eurico Gaspar Dutra, president of Brazil (1945-50)
  • May 21 Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg, wife of Prince William of Wied (d. 1936)
  • May 22 Giacomo Matteotti, Italian politician (d. 1924)
  • May 24 Susan Sutherland Isaacs, English educational psychologist (d. 1948).
  • May 29 Erwin F Finlay-Freundlich, British astronomer (theory of relativity)
  • May 31 Alois Hudal, bishop, helped Nazis escape trial (d. 1963)
  • Jun 5 Georges Mandel, [Louis Rothschild], French politician and resistance leader, born in Chatou, Yvelines (d. 1944)
  • Jun 8 Karl Genzken, Nazi physician (d. 1957)
  • Jun 20 Andrzej Gawroński, Polish scholar (d. 1927)
  • Jun 22 Milan Vidmar, Slovenian engineer and chess player (d. 1962)
  • Jun 26 Andre Maurois, [Emile Herzog], French writer (Balzac)
  • Jun 26 Anna M F van Wageningen-Salomons, author (Girl Student) [or 9/26]
  • Jun 26 Billy Jenkins, [Erich Rosenthal], Magdeburg
  • Jun 28 Berthold Viertel, writer
  • Jun 29 Virginia Pope, (NY Times)
  • Jul 5 Andre Lhote, French painter/art historian (Traité du paysage)
  • Jul 6 Ernst Busch, German field marshal (d. 1945)
  • Jul 8 Ann Jemima Flower, oldest resident of Netherlands
  • Jul 8 Emil Bloch, German philosopher
  • Jul 11 Roger de la Fresnaye, French sculptor/painter
  • Jul 14 King Sisavang Vong of Laos (d. 1959)
  • Jul 20 Gustave Charlier, Belgian literature historian/critic
  • Jul 21 Frances Parkinson Keyes, American novelist (Dinner at Antoine's), born in Charlottesville, Virginia (d. 1970)
  • Jul 25 Benito Lynch, Irish/Argentine writer (Caranchos de la Florida)
  • Jul 26 Andre Maurois, Elbeuf, France, novelist/biographer
  • Aug 1 George de Hevesy, Hungarian chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1966)
  • Aug 6 Jozef M E Meeus, Belgian director H-Heart union
  • Aug 12 Jean Cabannes, French physicist (d. 1959)
  • Aug 15 Edna Ferber, American author & playwright (American Beauty, Cimarron) (d. 1968)
  • Aug 17 Clara [G Meijer-]Wichmann, German anarchists/feminist (Wife & society)
  • Aug 17 Kurt Hiller, German writer, born in Berlin (d. 1972)
  • Aug 18 Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist (d. 1964)
  • Aug 19 Werner Elert, German Lutheran theologian (d. 1954)
  • Aug 20 Dino Campana, Italian poet (Canti orfici)
  • Aug 23 Henry Thomas Tizard, scientist
  • Aug 26 Jules Romains, France, novelist/playwright/poet (Men of Good Will)
  • Aug 28 Vance Palmer, Australian author (d. 1959)
  • Aug 31 DuBose Heyward, US novelist (Porgy)
  • Sep 4 Antonio Bacci, Italian cardinal (d. 1971)
  • Sep 5 John Raedecker, Dutch sculptor (National monument on the Dam)
  • Sep 6 Franz T Csokor, Austrian author (Writings on the Wall)
  • Sep 7 Harry Sinclair Lewis, US, writer (Babbitt, Nobel 1930)
  • Sep 10 Berthold Altaner, German church historian (Patrologie)
  • Sep 10 Carl Clinton Van Doren, US literary (9th Wave)
  • Sep 10 Johannes de Jong, cardinal/archbishop of Utrecht (Handbook)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 11 D. H. Lawrence, English poet and writer (Lady Chatterley's Lover), born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire (d. 1930)

  • Sep 11 Eratstus Flaval Beadle, publisher (Beadle's Dime Novels)
  • Sep 13 Wilhelm Blaschke, Austrian geometer (d. 1962)
  • Sep 16 Karen Horney, German/US, neo-freudian psychoanalyst
  • Sep 22 Gunnar Asplund, Swedish architect (d. 1940)
  • Sep 22 Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1951)

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

Apr 29 Novelist Edith Wharton (23) weds Edward Robbins Wharton (35)

Pulitzer prize winning novelist Edith Wharton
Pulitzer prize winning novelist
Edith Wharton

HeartWedding of Interest

May 5 Author Gerhart Hauptmann (22) weds Marie Thienemann

Author and Nobel Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann
Author and Nobel Laureate
Gerhart Hauptmann

HeartWedding of Interest

Jun 24 28th US President Woodrow Wilson (28) weds Presbyterian minister's daughter Ellen Louise Axson (25) in Savannah, Georgia

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson

HeartWedding of Interest

Aug 5 Author Arthur Conan Doyle (26) weds Louisa Hawkins

  • Aug 25 "Little House On The Prairie" author Laura Ingalls Wilder (18) weds Almonzo James Wilder (28)
  • Aug 29 Pulitzer Prize-winning American author (Age of Innocence) Edith Jones (23), marries Edward "Teddy" Wharton (36)

Deaths in History

  • Jan 6 Peter C Asbjornsen, Norwegian fairy tale writer, dies at 72
  • Jan 13 Schuyler Colfax, American politician (b.1823)
  • Jan 19 Fred Burnaby, English colonel/balloon pioneer, dies in battle
  • Jan 24 Martin R Delany, African American nationalist and Physician (1st African American major in US Army), dies at 72
  • Jan 26 Charles George Gordon, British gov-gen (Sudan), executed at 51
  • Jan 26 Edward Davy, English inventor (b. 1806)
  • Feb 14 Jules Vallès, French writer (b. 1832)
  • Apr 7 Carl Theodor Ernst von Siebold, German physiologist (b. 1804)
  • Apr 10 John H Scholten, theologist (Free Want), dies at 73
  • Apr 30 J. P. [Jens Peter] Jacobsen, Danish writer (Niels Lyhne), dies of tuberculosis at 38
  • May 4 Aleksandar I Karadjordjevic, monarch of Serbia (1842-58), dies at 78
  • May 13 Juliana Horatia [Gatty] Ewing, author (Lob Lie-by-the-Fire), dies
  • May 13 Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle, German physician (b. 1809)
  • May 19 Peter W. Barlow, English engineer (b. 1809)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 22 Victor(-Marie) Hugo, French writer (Les Miserables), dies at 83

Author Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
  • May 29 Alfred von Meissner, Austria physician/writer (Ziska), dies at 63
  • Jun 8 Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal (b. 1799)
  • Jun 14 Agustin Bethencourt, Venezuelan publisher on Curacao, dies at 58
  • Jun 16 Wilhelm Camphausen, German painter (b. 1818)
  • Jun 17 Gen Edwin H K Freiherr von Manteuffel, mayor (Elzas-Lothar'n), dies
  • Jul 1 Hermann von Fehling, German chemist (Fehling's reagens), dies at 73
  • Jul 15 Rosalia de Castro, Spanish writer and poet in the Galician language ('Séculos Escuros') (b. 1837)
  • Jul 17 Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (b. 1811)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 23 Ulysses S. Grant, 18th US President (1869-77) and Union general, dies of esophageal cancer in Mount McGregor NY at 63

US President & Union General Ulysses S. Grant
US President & Union General
Ulysses S. Grant
  • Aug 7 Antony EJ Modderman, Dutch minister of Justice (1879-83), dies at 46
  • Aug 12 Georg Curtius, German classical/linguist/philologist, dies at 65
  • Aug 20 Edouard J A Agneessens, Flemish painter (Slave Market), dies at 42
  • Sep 15 Jumbo, P. T. Barnum's circus elephant (hit by a train)
  • Oct 10 John McCloskey, 1st American cardinal and Archbishop of New York, dies at 75
  • Oct 23 Charles S. West, Texas jurist and politician (b. 1829)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Oct 29 George McClellan, Union army major general, dies of a heart attack at 58

Union General George McClellan
Union General
George McClellan
  • Oct 29 James Hannington, English missionary, murdered in Uganda


Nov 16 Louis Riel, Canadian rebel leader and "Father of Manitoba", hanged for treason at 41

Politician Louis Riel
Louis Riel
  • Nov 24 Alfonso XII, king of Spain (1875-85), dies at 27
  • Nov 25 Alfonso XII, king of Spain (1874-85), dies at 27
  • Nov 25 Thomas A. Hendricks, 21st US Vice President (D), dies 8 months after taking office at 66
  • Nov 26 Thomas Andrews, Irish chemist and physicist (ozone), dies at 71
  • Dec 8 William Henry Vanderbilt, member of the Vanderbilt family (b. 1821)
  • Dec 24 Louis-Prosper Gachard, Belgian historian, dies at 85