1855 1856 1857 - 1858 - 1859 1860 1861
| Decades: |
1820s 1830s 1840s - 1850s - 1860s 1870s 1880s
| Centuries: |
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 14 - Felice Orsini and his accomplices fail to assassinate Napoleon III in Paris but their bombs kill 156 bystanders. Because of the involvement of French �migr�s living in Britain, there is a brief anti-British feeling in France but the emperor refuses to support it
- January 25 - The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn becomes a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter Victoria, "Vicky," the Princess Royal to Prince Friedrich of Prussia in St. James's Palace, London
- February 11 - The Virgin Mary is said appear to St Bernadette of Lourdes
- March 30 - Hyman Lipman patents a pencil with an attached eraser
- March 13 - would-be-assassin Felice Orsini executed by guillotine
- May 11 - Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.
- June 20 - Last rebels of the Indian Mutiny surrender in Gwalior
- June 23 - kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
- July 29 - United States and Japan sign the Harris Treaty.
- August 5 - Cyrus West Field and others complete the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts.
- August 11 - First ascent of the Eiger.
- August 16 - US President James Buchanan inaugurates the new trans-Atlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal will force a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.
- British Empire takes over powers & properties of the British East India Company (see also history of Bangladesh).
- William Marcy Tweed begins his thirteen-year term as "Boss" of Tammany Hall.
- British stop using prison hulks
- January 7 - Eliezer Ben-Yehuda responsible for revival of Hebrew language
- January 10 - Heinrich Zille, illustrator and photographer (d. 1929)
- February 18 - Louise-Marie Am�lie, daughter of Leopold II of Belgium, wife of Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (d. 1924)
- March 10 - Kokichi Mikimoto, pearl farm pioneer (d. 1954)
- March 18 - Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the compression ignition engine (d. 1913)
- March 1 - Georg Simmel, German sociologist and philosopher (d. 1918)
- April 23 - Max Planck, German physicist, inventor of quantum mechanics
- June 16 - King Gustav V of Sweden
- June 16 - William Dickson Boyce founder of the Boy Scouts of America
- July 9 - Franz Boas, German cultural anthropologist (d. 1942)
- August 1 - Hans Rott, composer
- August 27 - Giuseppe Peano, Italian mathematician
- October 27 - Theodore Roosevelt, later President of the United States
- December 22 - Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer
- March 4 - Matthew Calbraith Perry, American Commodore.
- April 7 - Anton Diabelli, music publisher, editor and composer
- June 3 - Julius Reubke, composer
- June 28 - Auguste de Montferrand, French architectaf:1858
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