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Template:C19 year in topic

1880 (MDCCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1880th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 880th year of the , the 80th year of the , and the 1st year of the decade. As of the start of Template:Year article header/Julian day, which remained in localized use until 1923.

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  • January 22
    • Toowong State School is founded in Queensland, Australia.
  • February – The journal Science is first published in the United States with financial backing from Thomas Edison.
  • February 2
    • The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana.
    • The first successful shipment of frozen mutton from Australia arrives in London aboard the SS Strathleven.
  • February 4
    • The Black Donnelly Massacre took the lives of five members of one family in Biddulph Township, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada
  • February 24
    • The SS Columbia, which will be the first outside usage of Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb, is launched at the Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works of John Roach & Sons in Chester, Pennsylvania.
  • March 31Wabash, Indiana becomes the first electrically lit city in the world.


  • April – The government of Cape Colony sets a deadline for the surrender of weapons by the Basuto people. Non-compliance leads to the Basuto Gun War.
  • April 18William Ewart Gladstone defeats Benjamin Disraeli in the United Kingdom general election to become Prime Minister for the second time.[1]
  • April 19 – The Prime Minister of Sweden, Louis De Geer, resigns over the defeat of a defense reform bill in the country's Riksdag; he is succeeded by Count Arvid Posse (1880–1883).
  • April 27 – Charter founding the Royal University of Ireland, allowing the Catholic University of Ireland to re-form as University College Dublin.
  • May 2 – After having her lights installed by Edison's personnel, the SS Columbia is lit up for the first time at the foot of Wall Street in New York City.
  • May 13 – In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.
  • June – The SS Columbia sets off on her maiden voyage around Cape Horn to Portland, Oregon, carrying 13 locomotives and 200 railcars.
  • June 1Tinius Olsen awarded a United States Patent for the Little Giant Testing Machine.
  • June 28Australian police capture bank robber Ned Kelly after a gun battle at Glenrowan, Victoria.
  • June 29 – France annexes Tahiti.


  • July 14Dorchester Penitentiary opens in Canada.
  • July 22Abdur Rahman Khan becomes Emir of Afghanistan.
  • July 27Battle of Maiwand
  • August 14Cologne Cathedral is completed, after construction began in 1248, 632 years earlier.
  • August 24 – The SS Columbia completes her maiden voyage, arriving without incident in Portland, Oregon after a stopover in San Francisco.
  • August 26 — Competing circus owners P. T. Barnum and James A. Bailey sign a contract in Bridgeport, Connecticut to create the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1907, the circus will merge forces with another competitor, the Ringling Brothers Circus.[2]
  • September 1Second Anglo-Afghan War: General Frederick Roberts, commanding British forces, defeats the Afghan troops of Mohammad Ayub Khan in the Battle of Kandahar, bringing an end to the war.[3]


  • October – The "Blizzard of 1880" begins in North America.
  • October 1German company Munich Re is founded in Munich.
  • October 6 – The University of Southern California opens its doors to 53 students and 10 faculty.
  • October 15 – Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists.
  • October 28 – The first stone is laid for the Clarkson Memorial in Wisbech.
  • November 2U.S. presidential election, 1880: James Garfield defeats Winfield S. Hancock.
  • November 4 – The first cash register is patented by James and John Ritty of Dayton, Ohio.
  • November 9 – A major earthquake strikes Zagreb and destroys many buildings including Zagreb Cathedral.
  • November 11 – Australian bushranger and bank robber Ned Kelly is hanged in Melbourne.
  • November 22Vaudeville actress Lillian Russell makes her debut at Tony Pastor's Theatre in New York City.
  • December 20First Boer War: The Battle of Bronkhorstspruit results in a Boer victory over the British.
  • December 30 – The Transvaal becomes a republic and Paul Kruger becomes its first president.

Date unknown

  • Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza signs a treaty of protection with the chief on the large Teke tribe and begins to establish a French protectorate on the north bank of the Congo River.
  • Piezoelectricity is discovered by Pierre Curie and Jacques Curie.
  • The Capuchin catacombs of Palermo are officially closed (there will be some burials afterwards).
  • The Department of Scientific Temperance Instruction of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union is established in the United States.




Franz Marc

  • January 2Louis Charles Breguet, French aircraft designer and builder and early aviation pioneer (d. 1955)
  • January 6Tom Mix, American actor (d. 1940)
  • January 11Rudolph Palm, Curaçao born composer (d. 1950)
  • January 17Mack Sennett, Canadian director and producer (d. 1960)
  • January 18Paul Ehrenfest, Austrian-Dutch physicist (d. 1933)
  • January 26
    • Sylvia Ashton, American actress (d. 1940)
    • Douglas MacArthur, American general (d. 1964)
  • January 28
    • Herbert Strudwick, English cricketer (d. 1970)
    • Dorothy Donnelly, American actress, lyricist (d. 1928)
  • January 29W. C. Fields, American actor and comedian (d. 1946)
  • February 5Gabriel Voisin, French aviation pioneer (d. 1973)
  • February 8Franz Marc, German artist (d. 1916)
  • February 12
    • John L. Lewis, American labor union leader (d. 1969)
    • George Preca, Maltese saint (d. 1962)
  • February 14Frederick J. Horne, American four star Admiral (d. 1959)
  • February 16Frank Burke, American baseball player (d. 1946)
  • February 17Reginald Farrer, English botanist (d. 1920)
  • February 21Waldemar Bonsels, German writer (d. 1952)
  • February 22Frigyes Riesz, Hungarian mathematician (d. 1956)
  • February 27Olivia Nordgren, Swedish politician (d. 1969)
  • March 1Lytton Strachey, English writer and biographer (d. 1932)
  • March 4Channing Pollock, American playwright and critic (d. 1946)
  • March 10Broncho Billy Anderson, American actor (d. 1971)
  • March 11Harry H. Laughlin, American eugenicist (d. 1943)
  • March 22Kuniaki Koiso, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1950)
  • March 23Heikki Ritavuori, Finnish Minister of the Interior (d. 1922)
  • March 28Louis Wolheim, American character actor (d. 1931)
  • March 30Seán O'Casey, Irish writer (d. 1964)


File:Kirchner 1919 portrait.jpg

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

  • April 13Charles Christie, Canadian-born film studio owner (d. 1955)
  • April 15Max Wertheimer, father of Gestalt Theory (d. 1943)
  • April 18Sam Crawford, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1968)
  • April 30Charles Exeter Devereux Crombie, Scottish-born cartoonist (d. 1967)
  • May 6
    • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, German painter (d. 1938)
    • William J. Simmons, American founder of the second Ku Klux Klan (d. 1945)
  • May 14B. C. Forbes, Scottish-born financial publisher (d. 1954)
  • May 21Tudor Arghezi, Romanian writer (d. 1967)
  • May 25
    • Jean Alexandre Barré, French neurologist (d. 1967)
    • Alf Common, English footballer (d. 1946)
  • May 29Oswald Spengler, German philosopher (d. 1936)
  • June 4Clara Blandick, American actress (d. 1962)
  • June 6W. T. Cosgrave, Irish politician (d. 1965)
  • June 9William S. Pye, American admiral (d. 1959)
  • June 17Carl Van Vechten, American writer and photographer (d. 1964)
  • June 21Josiah Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp, British civil servant, industrialist and economist (d. 1941)
  • June 27Helen Keller, American spokeswoman for the deaf and blind (d. 1968)
  • June 29Ludwig Beck, German general and Chief of the German General Staff (d. 1944)
  • June 30Elisabeth Tamm, Swedish politician (d. 1958)


File:Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.jpg

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands

  • July 5Jan Kubelík, Czech violinist (d. 1940)
  • July 11Friedrich Lahrs, German architect (d. 1964)
  • July 12Tod Browning, American motion picture director, horror film pioneer (d. 1962)
  • July 15Alessandro Guidoni, Italian air force general (d. 1928)
  • July 21Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Slovak General, politician and astronomer (d. 1919).
  • July 24
    • Ernest Bloch, Swiss-born composer (d. 1959)
    • Kristian Hellström, Swedish athlete (d. 1946)
  • August 4Werner von Fritsch, German general (d. 1939)
  • August 6Hans Moser, Austrian actor (d. 1964)
  • August 8Earle Page, eleventh Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1961)
  • August 10Robert L. Thornton, American businessman, philanthropist and mayor of Dallas, Texas (d. 1964)
  • August 12Christy Mathewson, American baseball player (d.1925)
  • August 15Anna Rüling, German journalist, "the first known lesbian activist" (d. 1953)
  • August 19Jean Patou, French fashion designer (d. 1936)
  • August 22George Herriman, American cartoonist (d. 1944)
  • August 23Wyndham Standing, English stage and film actor (d. 1963)
  • August 26Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet (d. 1918)
  • August 29Marie-Louise Meilleur, verified as the longest-lived Canadian ever (d. 1998)
  • August 30Nikolai Astrup, Norwegian painter (d. 1928)
  • August 31 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (d. 1962)
  • September 12H. L. Mencken, American journalist (d. 1956)
  • September 14
    • Metropolitan Benjamin (Fedchenkov), Eastern Orthodox missionary and writer, Exarch of Russian Church in North America (d. 1961)
    • Archie Hahn, American athlete (d. 1955)
  • September 15Chujiro Hayashi, Japanese Reiki Master (d. 1940)
  • September 16Alfred Noyes, English poet (d. 1958)
  • September 20Ugo Cavallero, Italian field marshal (d. 1943)
  • September 22Christabel Pankhurst, English suffragette (d. 1958)
  • September 23John Boyd Orr, Scottish physician and biologist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1971)
  • September 24Sarah Knauss, verified as longest-lived American ever (d. 1999)
  • September 27Pier Ruggero Piccio, Italian World War I fighter ace and air force general (d. 1965)


File:Alfred Wegener ca.1924-30.jpg

Alfred Wegener

File:Richard Oswald2.jpg

Richard Oswald

Date unknown

  • Hong Yi ,born Li Shutong, Chinese Buddhist artist and art teacher (d. 1942)



  • January 4
    • Anselm Feuerbach, German painter (b. 1829)
    • Marthe Camille Bachasson, Count of Montalivet, French statesman (b. 1801)
  • January 8Joshua A. Norton, self-anointed Emperor Norton I of the United States of America (b. 1811)
  • January 12
    • Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur, wife of Chester A. Arthur (b. 1837)
    • Ida, Countess von Hahn-Hahn, author (b. 1805)
  • January 14Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (b. 1829)
  • January 20Captain Moonlite, Australian bushranger (b. 1842) (hanged)
  • January 31Adolphe Granier de Cassagnac, French politician (b. 1806)
  • February 29 – Sir James Milne Wilson, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1812)
  • April 23Raden Saleh, Indonesian painter (b. 1807)
  • March 14Pagan Min, King of Ava (b. 1811)
  • March 31Henryk Wieniawski, Polish composer (b. 1835)
  • May 2Tom Wills, Australian cricketer and pioneer of Australian rules football (b. 1835)
  • May 4Edward Clark, Confederate Governor of Texas (b. 1815)
  • May 8Gustave Flaubert, French novelist (b. 1821)
  • May 20
    • Károly Alexy, Hungarian sculptor (b. 1816)
    • Ana Néri, Brazilian nurse (b. 1814)
  • June 8Maria Alexandrovna (Marie of Hesse), Empress Consort of Czar Alexander II of Russia (b. 1824)
  • June 28Texas Jack Omohundro, American frontier scout, actor, and cowboy (b. 1846)


File:Jacques Offenbach by Nadar.jpg

Jacques Offenbach

  • July 7Lydia Maria Child, American novelist and abolitionist (b. 1802)
  • July 17Tomasz Chołodecki, Polish political activist (b. 1813)
  • July 21Hiram Walden, American politician (b. 1800)
  • August 15Adelaide Neilson, English actress (b. 1848)
  • August 17Ole Bull, Norwegian violinist (b. 1810)
  • August 24Chief Ouray, Native American leader (b. c. 1833)
  • October – Victorio, Chiricahua Apache chief
  • October 5Jacques Offenbach, German-born composer (b. 1819)
  • October 22Alphonse Pénaud, French aviation pioneer (b. 1850)
  • October 23Bettino Ricasoli, Italian statesman (b. 1809)
  • November 11Ned Kelly, Australian bush ranger (hanged) (b. c. 1855)
  • November 28Aires de Ornelas e Vasconcelos, (Portuguese) Archbishop of Goa (b. 1837)
  • December 20Gaspar Tochman, Polish-American soldier (b. 1797)
  • December 22George Eliot, English writer (b. 1819)


  1. Johnson, Ben. "Prime Ministers of Britain". Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  2. Harris, Neil (1981). Humbug: The Art of P. T. Barnum. University of Chicago Press. p. 250.
  3. Hensman, Howard (2008). The Afghan War Of 1879-80. Lancer Publishers. p. 532.
  • Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia...for 1880 (1881), large compendium of facts, worldwide coverage online