1872 1873 1874 - 1875 - 1876 1877 1878
| Decades: |
1840s 1850s 1860s - 1870s - 1880s 1890s 1900s
| Centuries: |
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 12 - Kwang-su becomes emperor of China.
- February 27 - Newton Booth, 11th Governor of California resigns, having been elected Senator. Lieutenant Governor of California Romualdo Pacheco becomes acting Governor. He is later replaced by elected governor William Irwin.
- March 3 - The first performance of Bizet’s Carmen at the [[Op�ra Comique]], Paris
- May 17 - Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby
- September 1 - A murder conviction effectively forces the violent Irish anti-owner coal miners, the "Molly Maguires", to disband.
- November 9 - Indian Wars: In Washington, D.C., Indian Inspector E.C. Watkins issues a report stating that hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne associated with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are hostile to the United States (the Battle of the Little Bighorn was fought in Montana the next year).
- December 4 - Notorious New York City politician Boss Tweed escapes from prison and flees to Cuba, then Spain.
- Wimbledon: Henry Cavendish Jones convinced the "All England Croquet Club" to replace a croquet court with a lawn tennis court.
- Treaty of Saint Petersburg is signed between Japan and Russia.
- Tong wars begin in San Francisco
- The Theosophical Society was founded in New York by Helena Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, W. Q. Judge, and others.
- The Arya Samaj was founded in Mumbai by Swami Dayananda.
- January 5 - James Stuart Blackton, American film producer of the Silent Era
- January 7 - Thomas Hicks, American marathon runner
- January 9 – Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sculptor, socialite (d. 1942)
- January 14 - Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian physician, philosopher, and musician, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 1952 (d. 1965)
- January 15 - Tom Burke, American runner
- January 22 - D. W. Griffith, director
- February 11 - Sara Wennerberg-Reuter, composer
- February 26 - Hans B�ckler, unionist and politician (d. 1951)
- March 1- Although later deemed Unconstitutional, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 allows blacks equal rights on jury duty and at public events
- March 7 - Maurice Ravel, composer (d. 1937)
- March 26 - Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea (d. 1965)
- April 1 - Edgar Wallace, writer (d. 1932)
- April 2 - Walter Chrysler, automobile pioneer (d. 1940)
- April 4 - Pierre Monteux, conductor
- April 5 - Mistinguett, French cabaret singer
- April 8 - Albert I of Belgium
- April 15 - James J. Jeffries, world heavyweight boxing champion (d. 1953)
- May 11 - Harriet Quimby, first licensed female pilot in the United States (d. 1912)
- June 12 - Sam De Grasse, pioneer Hollywood actor (d. 1953)
- June 24 - Diedrich Westermann, German linguist (d. 1956)
- June 28 - Henri Lebesgue, mathematician (d. 1941)
- August 21 - Winnifred Eaton, author (d. 1954)
- August 27 - Katharine McCormick, U.S. women's rights activist
- September 1 - Edgar Rice Burroughs, author
- October 1 - Eugeen Van Mieghem, painter
- October 12 - Aleister Crowley, British occultist (d. 1947)
- October 23 - Gilbert N. Lewis, physical chemist
- December 4 - Rainer Maria Rilke, poet (d. 1926)
- December 5 - Arthur Currie, Canadian military leader (d. 1933)
- Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya
- January 23 - Charles Kingsley, English writer
- February 22 - Sir Charles Lyell, British geologist.
- May 17 - John C. Breckinridge, Vice President of the United States
- June 3 - Georges Bizet, French composer
- July 31 - Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (b. 1808)
- August 4 - Hans Christian Andersen, writer.
- August 10 - Karl Andree, German geographer (b. 1808)
- August 17 - Wilhelm Bleek, linguist
- September 22 - Charles Bianconi, Italian-Irish entrepreneur.
- October 10 - Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, novelist, poet and dramatist
- November 22 - Henry Wilson, United States Vice President
- November 24 - William Backhouse Astor, Sr., American business tycoonaf:1875