1876 1877 1878 - 1879 - 1880 1881 1882
| Decades: |
1840s 1850s 1860s - 1870s - 1880s 1890s 1900s
| Centuries: |
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 11 - Anglo-Zulu War begins
- January 22 - Zulu troops massacre British troops at the Battle of Isandlwana. At Rorke's Drift, outnumbered British soldiers drive the attackers away after hours of fighting.
- February 12 - At New York City's Madison Square Garden the first artificial ice rink in North America opens.
- February 15 - Women's rights: American President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
- February 22 - In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and 10-cent Woolworth stores.
- March 3 - The United States Geological Survey is created
- March 13 - Marriage of The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria, to Princess Louise of Prussia.
- March 14 - Albert Einstein: is born, and he would go on to revolutionise modern Physics.
- March 29 - Anglo-Zulu War: Battle of Kambula: British forces defeat 20,000 Zulus.
- May 26 - Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
- May 30 - New York City's Gilmores Garden is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Vanderbilt and is opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.
- July 4 - Taughannock Giant unearthed on the shore of Lake Cayuga in Ithaca (later proven to be a hoax)
- July 19 - Doc Holliday kills for the first time after a man shoots-up Holliday's New Mexico saloon.
- October 21 - Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric light bulb (it lasted 13 1/2 hours before burning out).
- December 28 - The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses as a train passed over it, killing 75.
- December 30 - The Pirates of Penzance is first performed (Paignton, Devon, England)
- December 31 - Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time (Menlo Park, New Jersey.
- Hall effect discovered by Dr. Edwin Hall
- Somerville College founded
- Stefan-Boltzmann law discovered by Jožef Stefan
- Dual Alliance formed by Germany and Austria-Hungary
- January 3 - Grace Coolidge, First Lady
- January 12 - Ray Harroun, first winner of the Indianapolis 500 (d. 1968)
- January 13 - Melvin Jones, founder of Lions Clubs International
- January 28 - Francis Picabia, painter, poet
- February 22 - J. N. Bronsted, physical chemist.
- March 1 - Joachim Heer, Swiss politician (b. 1825)
- March 8 - Otto Hahn, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1944 (d. 1968)
- March 14 - Albert Einstein, physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics 1921 (d. 1955)
- March 26 - Othmar Ammann, engineer, Verrazano Narrows Bridge (d. 1965)
- March 30 - Coen de Koning, Dutch speed skater
- April 20 - Paul Poiret, French couturier (d. 1944)
- May 6 - Bedřich Hrzony�, Czech orientalist and linguist
- May 17 - Simon Petlyura, Ukrainian independence fighter (d. 1926)
- May 19 - Nancy Astor, British parliamentarian (d. 1964)
- May 19 - Viscount Waldorf Astor, British businessman and politician (d. 1952)
- May 22 - Alla Nazimova, Ukranian born stage and film actress (d. 1945)
- May 23 - Dezső Lauber, Hungarian sportsman
- May 25 - Max Aitken, Statesman, newspaper baron (d. 1964)
- May 27 - [[Karl B�hler]], psychologist (d. 1963)
- September 14 - Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate
- September 15 - Joseph Lyons, tenth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1939)
- September 20 � [[Victor Sj�str�m]], Sweedish film actor and director (d. 1960)
- October 3 - Warner Oland, Swedish-born actor (d. 1938)
- October 21 - Joseph Canteloube French composer and singer
- October 29 - Leon Trotsky - Russian revolutionary
- November 10 - Patrick Pearse Irish patriot and leader of the 1916 Easter Rising
- November 26 - Charles W. Goddard, playwright and screenwriter (d. 1951)
- December 3 - Nagai Kafu, Japanese writer
- December 18 - Paul Klee, Swiss artist
- December 21 - Joseph Stalin - Soviet leader
- December 28 - Billy Mitchell - military aviation pioneer
- February 11 - Honore Daumier, caricaturist/painter.
- February 11 - Willem J van Zeggelen, Dutch author.
- February 25 - Charles Peace, notorious British criminal (executed)
- March 30 - Thomas Couture, French painter and teacher.
- April 30 - Sarah Josepha Hale, United States author.
- June 1 - Napoleon Eugene, Prince Imperial, only son of French Emperor Napoleon III, killed fighting the Zulus
- August 30 - John Bell Hood, Confederate general (b. 1831)af:1879