- Jan 27 The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C. for "the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge"
- Mar 2 The Convention of Constantinople signed, guaranteeing free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace
- Aug 21 American inventor William Seward Burroughs patents the adding machine
- Sep 7 Edith Eleanor McLean is 1st baby to be placed in an incubator at State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island, New York
- Dec 23 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping
- Jun 29 First (known) recording of classical music made, Handel's Israel in Egypt on wax cylinder
Longest US men's single tennis tournament match Palmer Presbrey defeats T S Tailer, 19-21, 8-6, 6-1, 6-4, an 80 game 1st-round contest
On August 20, 1888