1877 1878 1879 - 1880 - 1881 1882 1883
| Decades: |
1850s 1860s 1870s - 1880s - 1890s 1900s 1910s
| Centuries: |
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 1 - Construction of the Panama Canal begins
- February 2 - The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana
- February 13 - Thomas Edison becomes the second person to observe the Edison Effect.
- February 17 - Bomb explodes in Winter Palace dining room but the tzar Alexander II survives because he was late for dinner
- March 10 - Members of the Salvation Army land in the United States and begin operations.
- April 22 ? Benjamin Disraeli resigns
- May 13 - In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.
- June 29 - France annexes Tahiti
- July 1 - First performance of O Canada, the song that would become the national anthem of Canada.
- July 16 - First woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada - Dr. Emily Howard Stowe.
- October - terrible winter storm in North America, the "Blizzard of 1880".
- October 15 - Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists.
- November - James Garfield defeats Winfield S. Hancock in the U.S. presidential election
- November 11 - Australian bushranger and bank robber Ned Kelly is hanged in Melbourne.
- November 22 - Vaudeville actress Lillian Russell makes her debut at Tony Pastor's Theatre in New York City.
- December 30 - The Transvaal becomes a republic and Paul Kruger becomes its first president.
- Discovery of piezoelectricity by Pierre Curie and Jacques Curie.
- Completion of Cologne cathedral.
- Founding of Science by Thomas Edison.
- Cocaine isolated
- January 6 - Tom Mix, actor (d. 1940)
- January 17 - Mack Sennett, director, producer (d. 1960)
- January 26 - Douglas MacArthur, general (d. 1964)
- January 29 - W.C. Fields, actor (d. 1946)
- February 8 - Franz Marc, artist, co-founder: Blauer Reiter (d. 1916)
- February 12 - John L. Lewis, labor union leader (d. 1969)
- February 21 - Waldemar Bonsels, writer (d. 1952)
- February 22 - Frigyes Riesz, mathematician (d. 1956)
- March 1 - Giles Lytton Strachey British writer and biographer (d. 1932)
- March 10 - Broncho Billy Anderson, actor (d. 1971)
- March 13 - Frank Thie�, writer (d. 1977)
- March 30 - Sean O'Casey, dramatist (d. 1964)
- April 13 - Charles Christie, pioneer film studio owner in Hollywood (d. 1955)
- April 18 - Sam Crawford, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1968)
- May 6 - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, painter (d. 1938)
- May 14 - B.C. Forbes, financial publisher (d. 1954)
- May 25 - [[Jean Alexandre Barr�]], neurologist (d. 1967)
- May 29 - Oswald Spengler, philosopher (Decline of the West) (d. 1936)
- June 27 - Helen Keller, spokeswoman for the deaf and blind (d. 1968)
- July 5 - [[Jan Kubel�k]], violinist (d. 1940)
- August 6 - Hans Moser, Austrian actor (d. 1964)
- August 8 - Earle Page, eleventh Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1961)
- August 10 - Robert L. Thornton, Dallas businessman, philanthropist and mayor (d. 1964)
- August 22 - George Herriman, cartoonist (Krazy Kat) (d. 1944)
- August 31 - Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (d. 1962)
- September 14 - Archie Hahn, American athlete (d. 1955)
- November 6 - Robert Musil, Austrian novelist (The Man Without Qualities) (d. 1942)
- June 27 - Helen Keller, socialist, pacifist, spokeswoman for the deaf and blind (d. 1968)
- September 22 - Christabel Pankhurst, suffragette (d. 1958)
- Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, horseman, member of the Vanderbilt family (+ 1925)
- Joseph Trumpeldor, early Zionist activist († 1920)
- January 8 - Joshua A. Norton, self-anointed Emperor Norton I of the United States of America
- March 31 - Henryk Wieniawski, composer
- May 4 - Edward Clark, governor of Texas (b. 1815)
- May 8 - Gustave Flaubert, novelist
- July 7 - Lydia Child, novelist and abolitionist (b. 1802)
- August 17 - Ole Bull, Norwegian Violinist
- November 11 - Bushranger Ned Kelly hanged
- October 4 - Jacques Offenbach, composeraf:1880