1885 is a common year starting on Thursday (click on link for calendar)
1882 1883 1884 - 1885 - 1886 1887 1888
1850s 1860s 1870s - 1880s - 1890s 1900s 1910s
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- January 4 - The first successful appendectomy is performed (Dr. William Grant; patient was Mary Gartside).
- January 20 - L.A. Thompson patents the roller coaster.
- January 26 - Troops loyal to the Mahdi conquer Khartoum
- February 5 - King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo Free State as a personal possession.
- February 9 - The first Japanese arrive in Hawaii.
- February 18 - Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published for the first time.
- February 21 - The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
- February 26 - Final Act of the Berlin Conference regulates European colonisation and trade in Africa.
- March-May - North-West Rebellion took place and was put down in Canada.
- March 3 - A subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), is incorporated in New York.
- March 4 - Grover Cleveland replaces Chester A. Arthur as President of the United States.
- March 31 - The United Kingdom establishes a protectorate over Bechuanaland.
- May 9-12 - Canadian government forces inflict decisive defeat on [[M�tis (people)|M�tis]] rebels at the Battle of Batoche.
- July 6 - Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies. The patient is Joseph Meister; a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
- July 20 - Professional football legalized in Britain
- September 2 - In Rock Springs, Wyoming, 150 white miners attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
- September 18 - Union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria proclaimed at Plovdiv.
- September 30 - A British force abolishes the Boer republic of Stellaland and adds it to British Bechuanaland.
- November 7 - Canadian Pacific Railway finished: In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on a railway extending across Canada. Prime Minister John A. Macdonald considered the project to be vital to Canada.
- November 14-28 - Serbo-Bulgarian War: Serbia declares war against Bulgaria but is defeated in Battle of Slivnitsa on November 17-19.
- November 16 - Canadian rebel leader of the [[M�tis people|M�tis]], Louis Riel is executed for high treason.
- December 1 - The US Patent Office acknowledges this date as the day Dr Pepper was served for the very first time; the exact date of Dr Pepper's invention is unknown.
- December 28 – 72 Indian lawyers, academicians and journalists gather in Bombay to form the Congress Party
- Creation of the first genuine bicycle, the Rover, by John K Starley.
- John Boyd Dunlop invents the pneumatic tyre.
- W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan's The Mikado
- The Times reports that "A lady well-known in literary and scientific circles" has been cremated by the Cremation Society in Woking, Surrey. She is the first person to be officially cremated in United Kingdom
- Cholera epidemic in Spain – one of the victims is the king Alfonso XII
- Third Burmese War begins
- Sitting Bull joins Buffalo Bill
- Randolph Churchill becomes a viceroy of India
- Nikola Tesla sells a number of his patents to George Westinghouse
- William Stanley, Jr. builds the first practical alternating current transformer device, the induction coil.
- Local anesthetic
- First skyscraper – Home Insurance Building in Chicago, Illinois, USA (10 floors)
- January 6 - Florence Turner, American actress (d. 1946)
- January 8 - John Curtin, Australian Prime Minister, (d. 1945)
- January 11 - Alice Paul, women's rights activist
- January 21 - Umberto Nobile, politician and airship designer (d. 1978)
- January 27
- January 29 - Leadbelly
- February 7 - Sinclair Lewis, US novelist
- February 9
- February 13 - Bess Truman, wife of US President Harry S. Truman
- February 15- Her Serene Highness Princess Alice of Battenberg
- February 21 - Sacha Guitry, dramatist, writer, director, actor (d. 1957)
- February 24
- March 6 - Ring Lardner, writer (d. 1933)
- March 11 - Sir Malcolm Campbell, land and water racer (d. 1948)
- March 31 - Pascin, the "Prince of Montparnasse"
- April 1 - Wallace Beery, actor (d. 1949)
- April 3 - Allan Dwan, film director (d. 1981)
- April 4 - Arthur Murray, dancer
- May 2 - Hedda Hopper, columnist (d. 1966)
- May 7 - George 'Gabby' Hayes, actor (d. 1969)
- May 14 - Otto Klemperer, conductor
- May 21 - Oscar A.C. Lund, Swedish film actor/director/writer (d. 1963)
- May 22 - Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral
- June 14 - E. L. Grant Watson
- June 22 - Milan Vidmar, Slovene electrical engineer and chess player (d. 1962
- November 5 - William James Durant, later known as Will Durant, American philosopher and writer (d. 1981)
- November 11 - George Patton, American general (d. 1945)
- November 16 - Louis Riel, Canadian [[M�tis (people)|M�tis]] leader (hanged for treason)
- November 25 - King Alfonso XII of Spain