- Jan 1 African Benevolent Society (education) forms
- Jan 1 Congress prohibits importation of slaves
- Jan 1 Sierra Leone becomes a British colony
- Jan 10 Herman Daendels succeeds A Wiese as Governor-General of Neth Indies
- Jan 12 The organizational meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is held in Edinburgh.
- Jan 19 Louis Napoleon signs 1st Dutch aviation law
- Jan 26 Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia
- Feb 11 Anthracite coal 1st burned as fuel, experimentally, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
- Mar 2 The inaugural meeting of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, was held in Edinburgh.
- Mar 6 1st college orchestra in US founded, at Harvard
Day depicted by Spanish painter Goya in his "The Third of May", painted 1814
On May 3, 1808