1854 1855 1856 - 1857 - 1858 1859 1860
1820s 1830s 1840s - 1850s - 1860s 1870s 1880s
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 9 - Earthquake at Fort Tejon, California with an estimated magnitude of 7.9
- February 16 - The National Deaf Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University) is established in Washington, DC becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf.
- March 3 - France and the United Kingdom declare war on China.
- March 4 - End of term for President of the United States Franklin Pierce. He is succeeded by James Buchanan.
- March 5 – In London, ex-solicitor James Towsend Saward is sentenced for transportation for forging number of cheques over the years
- March 6 - The Supreme Court of the United States rules in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, driving the country further towards the American Civil War.
- March 23 - Elisha Otis' first elevator is installed (at 488 Broadway, New York City)
- May 10 - Indian Mutiny: In India, the Mutiny of XI Native Cavalry of the Bengal Army in Meerut, revolt against the British Army
- May 11 - Indian Mutiny: Indian rebels seize Delhi from the British.
- June 6 - Sophia of Nassau marries the future King Oscar II of Sweden-Norway.
- July 15 - Second Cawnpore massacre during the Indian Mutiny
- August - Calcutta University established.
- November 30 - End of term for President of Mexico Ignacio Comonfort. He is succeeded by F�lix Mar�a Zuloaga.
- December 31 - Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, Ontario as the capital of Canada
- Divorce without parliamentary approval becomes legal in Britain
- Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah
- Speculation in US railway shares causes financial crisis in Europe
- Russian serfs emancipated
- The Mormons abandon Las Vegas
- Founding of Hollywood
- Restoration of the Mexican republic (see Mexico/History)
- Discovery of La Tene culture artifacts in Switzerland by Hansli Kopp.
- Philip Henry Gosse writes Omphalos text elaborating a Creationist school of thought
- University of Bombay established
- The Mughal Empire is finally destroyed by the British Empire.
- January 4 - [[�mile Courtet]] (later known as [[�mile Cohl]]), French caricaturist and animator.
- February 22 - Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting youth movement (†1941)
- February 22 - Heinrich Hertz, physicist
- March 8 - Ruggiero Leoncavallo, composer († 1919)
- April 5 - Alexander of Battenberg, first prince of Bulgaria
- May 15 - Williamina Fleming, astronomer († 1911)
- May 31 - Pope Pius XI († 1939)
- July 23 - Carl Meinhof († 1944) German linguist
- July 30 - Thorstein Veblen, economist († 1929)
- September 5 - Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, scientist, inventor († 1935)
- September 13 - Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company
- November 26 - Ferdinand de Saussure, Swiss linguist
- November 28 - Alfonso XII of Spain, later one of the Kings of Spain
- December 3 - Joseph Conrad, Polish/British novelist (Heart of Darkness)
- Joseph Tabrar, one of the most famous songwriters of British Music Hall
- February 10 - David Thompson, British-Canadian explorer, the first European to explore Columbia River from source to mouth.
- May 11 - [[Eug�ne Fran�ois Vidocq]], French criminal, first director of Surete Nationale and founder of the earliest known private detective agency.
- May 23 - Augustin Louis Cauchy, French mathematician.
- July 19 - Stefano Franscini, member of the Swiss Federal Council (* 1796)
- September 3 - John McLoughlin, Hudson's Bay Company Factor.
- November 26 - Joseph von Eichendorff, lyricist and narrator.
- December 15 - Sir George Cayley, English aviation pioneer.
- Johann Georg Hiedler, step-father of Alois Hitler
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