- Jan 4 Andre Méchain discovers M80 (globular cluster in Scorpio)
Mar 1 Continental Congress officially adopts the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America after ratification by the 13th state, Maryland
Mar 15 Battle of Guilford Court House; British troops under Cornwallis defeat American forces but their heavy losses led to ceding of territory and a strategic loss
- Jul 11 Thomas Hutchins designated Geographer of US
- Aug 5 Battle of Dogger Bank (Fourth Anglo-Dutch War): a British strategic victory, although both sides claimed to have won
- Sep 6 The Battle of Groton Heights takes place, resulting a British victory.
- Sep 25 -26] Joan Derks scatters "On the People of Netherlands" pamphlets
- Sep 28 9,000 American and 7,000 French troops begin the siege of Yorktown
- Oct 9 Americans under George Washington and the French under Comte de Rochambeau begin bombardment of Yorktown, the last battle of American Revolutionary War
- Oct 19 Edict of Toleration issued by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, providing limited freedom of worship for non-Roman Catholic Christians
- Nov 5 John Hanson elected first "President of US in Congress assembled"
- Nov 13 British troops occupy Negapatam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
- Nov 29 Crew of slave ship Zong murder about 142 African slaves by dumping them into the sea, to claim insurance
- Dec 31 Bank of North America, 1st US bank opens