Culture Wikia

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1881 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar1881
Ab urbe condita2634
Armenian calendar1330
Assyrian calendar6631
Bahá'í calendar37–38
Balinese saka calendar1802–1803
Bengali calendar1288
Berber calendar2831
British Regnal year44 Vict. 1 – 45 Vict. 1
Buddhist calendar2425
Burmese calendar1243
Byzantine calendar7389–7390
Chinese calendar庚辰(Metal Dragon)
4577 or 4517
    — to —
辛巳年 (Metal Snake)
4578 or 4518
Coptic calendar1597–1598
Discordian calendar3047
Ethiopian calendar1873–1874
Hebrew calendar5641–5642
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat1937–1938
 - Shaka Samvat1802–1803
 - Kali Yuga4981–4982
Holocene calendar11881
Igbo calendar881–882
Iranian calendar1259–1260
Islamic calendar1298–1299
Japanese calendarMeiji 14
Javanese calendar1809–1811
Julian calendarGregorian minus 12 days
Korean calendar4214
Minguo calendar31 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar413
Thai solar calendar2423–2424
Tibetan calendar阳金龙年
(male Iron-Dragon)
2007 or 1626 or 854
    — to —
(female Iron-Snake)
2008 or 1627 or 855

1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 1881st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 881st year of the , the 81st year of the , and the 2nd year of the decade. As of the start of 1881, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

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  • January 1January 24Siege of Geok Tepe: Russian troops under General Mikhail Skobelev defeat the Turkomans.
  • January 13 War of the Pacific:The Chilean army defeat Peru in the Battle of San Juan and Chorrillos
  • January 15 Battle of Miraflores: The Chileans take Lima, capital of Peru, after defeating its second line of defense in Miraflores.
  • January 24William Edward Forster, the chief secretary for Ireland, introduces his Coercion Bill, which temporarily suspended habeas corpus so that those people suspected of committing an offence could be detained without trial; it goes through a long debate before it is accepted February 2.
  • January 25Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company.
  • February 4 The Linngton Manor was burned to the ground. Only William Linnington remained unharmed.
  • February 13 – The first issue of the feminist newspaper La Citoyenne is published by Hubertine Auclert.
  • February 16 – The Canadian Pacific Railway is incorporated.[1]
  • February 19Kansas becomes the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.
  • February 25Phoenix, Arizona is incorporated.
  • March 1 – The Cunard Line's SS Servia, the first steel transatlantic liner, is launched at Clydebank in Scotland.[2]
  • March 4James A. Garfield is sworn in as President of the United States.
  • March 12Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut as the world's first black international football player.
  • March 13Alexander II of Russia is killed near his palace when a bomb is thrown at him, an act falsely blamed upon Russian Jews. He is succeeded by his son, Alexander III.
  • March 23First Boer War comes to an end.


  • April 11Spelman College is established.
  • April 14 – The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight erupts in El Paso, Texas.
  • April 15Temuco, Chile is founded.
  • April 15Anti-Semitic pogroms in Southern Russia start.
  • April 21 – The University of Connecticut is founded as the Storrs Agricultural School.
  • April 25Caulfield Grammar School is founded in Melbourne, Australia.
  • April 28Billy the Kid escapes from his 2 jailers at the Lincoln County Jail in Mesilla, New Mexico, killing James Bell and Robert Ollinger before stealing a horse and riding out of town.
  • May 10Romania is proclaimed a kingdom; Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen is crowned King of Romania.
  • May 12 – In North Africa, Tunisia becomes a French protectorate by the Treaty of Bardo.
  • May 13 – The Pacific island of Rotuma cedes to Great Britain, becoming a dependency of the Colony of Fiji.
File:First electric tram- Siemens 1881 in Lichterfelde.jpg

World's first regular electric tram service started in Berlin

  • May 16 – The world's first regular electric tram service is started in Berlin by Siemens & Halske.
  • May 21
    • The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton.
    • The United States Tennis Association is established by a small group of tennis club members; the first U.S. Tennis Championships are played this year.
  • June 12 – The USS Jeannette is crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.
  • June 18 – The League of the Three Emperors is resurrected.
  • June 20 – The current Cincinnati Reds baseball team plays its first game.
  • June 26 War of the Pacific:Indecisive Battle of Sangrar in central Andes.


  • July 1 – General Order 70, the culmination of the Cardwell–Childers reforms of the British Army's organization, comes into effect.
  • July 2Assassination of James A. Garfield: United States President James A. Garfield is shot by lawyer Charles J. Guiteau in Washington, D.C. The wound becomes infected; killing Garfield on September 19.
  • July 4 – In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opens.
  • July 7 – First episode of Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio published in Italy.
  • July 14Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.
  • July 20American Indian Wars: Sioux chief Sitting Bull leads the last of his fugitive people in surrender to United States troops at Fort Buford in Montana.
  • July 23 – The Boundary Treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina is signed in Buenos Aires.
  • August 3 – The Pretoria Convention peace treaty is signed, officially ending the war between the Boers and Britain.
  • August 27 – The fifth hurricane of the Atlantic season hits Florida and the Carolinas, killing about 700.
  • September 5 – The Thumb Fire in the U.S. state] of Michigan destroys over a million acres (4,000 km²) and kills 282 people.
  • September 12Francis Howell High School (Howell Institute) in St. Charles, Missouri, and Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas open on the same day, putting them in a tie for the title of the oldest public high school west of the Mississippi River.
  • September 19 – President James A. Garfield dies eleven weeks after being shot. Vice President Chester A. Arthur becomes President of the United States.
  • September 20 – President Chester A. Arthur is sworn in.
  • September 26Godalming in England becomes the first town to have its streets illuminated by electric light (hydroelectrically generated).[3]


  • October 5December 31International Cotton Exposition in Atlanta
  • October 10Richard D'Oyly Carte's Savoy Theatre opens in London, the world's first public building to be fully lit by electricity, using Joseph Swan's incandescent light bulbs.[2][4][5] The stage is first lit electrically on December 28.[6]
  • October 13 – Determined to bring about the revival of the Hebrew language as a way of unifying Jews, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda had what is believed to be the first modern conversation in Hebrew while living in Paris.
  • October 25 – Spanish artist Pablo Picasso is born in Málaga.
  • October 26 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurs in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona, USA.
  • October 29Judge (U.S. magazine) is first published.
  • November – The Newcastle United F.C. is founded as the Stanley F.C., with a further name change to Newcastle East End F.C. the following year.
  • November 3 – The Mapuche uprising of 1881 begins with an attack on Quillem.
  • November 9 – The première of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in Budapest.
  • November 11 – The Clarkson Memorial in Wisbech is completed and unveiled to the public.
  • November 19 – A meteorite strikes earth near the village of Großliebenthal, a few kilometers southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.
  • December 8 – Ringtheaterbrand: At least 380 die in a fire at the Vienna Ringtheater.
  • December 25-December 27Warsaw pogrom, Vistula Land, Russian Empire.[7]
  • December 28Virgil Earp is ambushed in Tombstone and loses the use of his left arm.

Date unknown[]

  • Kinshasa (the capital of the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) is founded by Henry Morton Stanley as a trading outpost called Léopoldville.
  • Edward Rudolf founds the 'Church of England Central Society for Providing Homes for Waifs and Strays' (modern-day The Children's Society).
  • The Pali Text Society is founded by British scholar Thomas William Rhys Davids for the study of Pali (Ceylonese) texts.
  • Some Vatican archives are opened to scholars for the first time.
  • Abilene, Texas, is founded.
  • Minto, North Dakota, is founded.
  • Rafaela, Argentina, is formed.
  • New York City's oldest independent school for girls, the Convent of the Sacred Heart New York (91st Street), is founded.
  • Culford School, a public school in Suffolk, England, is founded as the East Anglian School for Boys.
  • Leyton Orient F.C. is founded in London.



File:Anna Pavlova as the Dying Swan.jpg

Anna Pavlova


Fritz Pfleumer

File:Hermann Staudinger.jpg

Hermann Staudinger

File:Bartók Béla 1927.jpg

Béla Bartók

  • January 1Vajiravudh, King of Thailand (d. 1925)
  • January 9
    • Lascelles Abercrombie, English poet and critic (d. 1938)
    • Giovanni Papini, Italian essayist, poet, and novelist (d. 1956)
  • January 13Essington Lewis, Australian industrialist (d. 1961)
  • January 15John Rodgers, American naval officer and naval aviation pioneer (d. 1926)
  • January 17Antoni Łomnicki, Polish mathematician (d. 1941)
  • January 21Arch McCarthy, American baseball player (d. unknown)
  • January 23Luisa Casati, Italian heiress, artistic muse, and patron of the arts (d. 1957)
  • January 31Irving Langmuir, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1957)
  • February 1Dimitrana Ivanova, Bulgarian reform pedagogue, suffragist and women's rights activist (d. 1960)
  • February 11Carlo Carrà, Italian painter (d. 1966)
  • February 12Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (d. 1931)
  • February 13Eleanor Farjeon, English author of children's literature (died 1965)
  • February 17Bess Streeter Aldrich, American writer (d. 1954)
  • February 28Otto Dowling, United States Navy Captain, and the 25th Governor of American Samoa (d. 1946)
  • March 4
    • Maude Fealy, American stage and film actor (d. 1971)
    • Thomas Sigismund Stribling, American writer (d. 1965)
    • Richard C. Tolman, American mathematical physicist (d. 1948)
  • March 9Ernest Bevin, British labour leader, politician, and statesman (d. 1951)
  • March 10Thomas Quinlan (impresario) (d. 1951)
  • March 17Walter Rudolf Hess, Swiss physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)
  • March 20Fritz Pfleumer, German-Austrian engineer and inventor (d. 1945)
  • March 22Hans Wilsdorf, German-Swiss watchmaker and founder of Rolex, (d. 1960)
  • March 23
  • March 25
  • March 26
    • Guccio Gucci founder of Gucci (d. 1953)


  • April 3Alcide De Gasperi, Italian statesman and politician (d. 1954)
  • April 14Husain Salaahuddin, Famous Mahl writer (d. 1948)
  • April 16E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, British politician (d. 1959)
  • May 1Mary MacLane, Canadian writer (d. 1929)
  • May 4 - Alexander Kerensky, Russian politician (d. 1970)
  • May 13Lima Barreto, Brazilian writer (d.1922)
  • May 14G. Murray Hulbert, American politician (d. 1950)
  • May 19 – Official birthday of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first President of Turkey (d. 1938)
  • May 20Władysław Sikorski, Polish general and politician (d. 1943)
  • May 30Georg von Küchler, German field marshal (d. 1968)
  • June 9Marion Leonard, early American film actress (d. 1956)
  • June 17Tommy Burns, Canadian-born boxer (d. 1955)
  • June 26Ya'akov Cohen, Israeli poet (d. 1960)


File:Hans Fischer (Nobel).jpg

Hans Fischer

File:Demille - c1920.JPG

Cecil B. DeMille

  • July 2Royal H. Weller, American politician (d. 1929)
  • July 4Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier and planner (d. 1968)
  • July 22Kenneth Whiting, United States Navy officer and submarine and naval aviation pioneer (d. 1943)
  • July 27Hans Fischer, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1945)
  • July 28Günther Quandt, German industrialist who founded an industrial empire that today includes BMW and Altana (d. 1954)
  • July 30Smedley Butler, United States Marine Corps general (d. 1940)
  • August 3Nathan Post, 7th and 10th Governor of American Samoa (d. 1938)
  • August 6 – Sir Alexander Fleming, Scottish researcher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1955)
  • August 7François Darlan, French admiral (d. 1942)
  • August 8Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist, German field marshal (b. 1954)
  • August 12Cecil B. DeMille, American film director and producer (d. 1959)
  • August 19George Enescu, Romanian composer (d. 1955)
  • August 20Edgar Guest, English poet (d. 1959)
  • September 5
    • Otto Bauer, Austrian Social Democratic politician (d. 1938)
    • Henry Maitland Wilson, British field marshal (d. 1964)
  • September 8Harry Hillman, American athlete (d. 1945)
  • September 11Asta Nielsen, Danish silent film star (d. 1972)
  • September 12Daniel Jones, British phonetician (d. 1967)
  • September 15Ettore Bugatti, Italian Car Designer, Founder of Bugatti Automobiles (d. 1947)
  • September 16Clive Bell, English art critic (d. 1964)
  • September 17
    • Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter, British admiral (d. 1955)
    • Aubrey Faulkner, South African cricketer (d. 1930)
  • September 26Hiram Wesley Evans, Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard (d. 1966)
  • September 29Ludwig von Mises, Austrian economist (d. 1973)


File:Stamps of Germany (DDR) 1981, MiNr 2603.jpg

Heinrich Barkhausen

File:Pope John XXIII - 1959.jpg

Pope John XXIII


File:Vasily Perov - Портрет Ф.М.Достоевского - Google Art Project.jpg

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

File:Alexander II of Russia by Monogrammist V.G. (1888, Hermitage) detail.jpg

Alexander II of Russia

File:Ilya Repin - Портрет композитора М.П.Мусоргского - Google Art Project.jpg

Modest Mussorgsky, painted 2–5 March 1881, only a few days before the composer's death


  • January 3Anna McNeill Whistler, James Whistler's mother and subject of his painting (b. 1804)
  • January 21Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, member of the Swiss Federal Council (b. 1802)
  • January 24Frances Stackhouse Acton, British botanist, archaeologist, writer and artist (b. 1794)
  • February 5Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer and historian (b. 1795)
  • February 9Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist (b. 1821)
  • February 14Fernando Wood, New York City mayor (b. 1812)
  • February 23Robert F. R. Lewis, American naval officer (b. 1826)
  • March 13 – Emperor Alexander II of Russia (assassinated) (b. 1818)
  • March 28Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer (b. 1839)
  • April 19Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1804)
  • April 26Ludwig Freiherr von und zu der Tann-Rathsamhausen, Bavarian general (b. 1815)
  • April 27Ludwig von Benedek, Austrian general (b. 1804)
  • May 24Samuel Palmer, English artist (b. 1805)
  • May 25Giuseppe Maria Giulietti, Italian explorer (b. 1847)
  • June 6Henri Vieuxtemps, Belgian composer (b. 1820)


  • July 14Billy the Kid, American gunslinger (b. 1859)
  • July 17Jim Bridger, American explorer and trapper (b. 1804)
  • September 7Sidney Lanier, American writer (b. 1842)
  • September 8Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, Dutch noble and general (b. 1797)
  • September 13Ambrose Burnside, American Civil War general, inventor, politician from Rhode Island (b. 1824)
  • September 19James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States (assassinated) (b. 1831)
  • September 22Solomon L. Spink, U.S. Congressman from Illinois (b. 1831)
  • October 3Orson Pratt, American religious leader (b. 1811)
  • October 31George DeLong, American naval officer and explorer (starvation) (b. 1844)
  • December 18George Edmund Street, British architect (b. 1824)

date unknown

  • Baron Jules Dupotet de Sennevoy, French writer (b. 1798)


  1. "An Act Respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 434–435. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
  3. "Godalming Power Station". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  4. "The Savoy Theatre". The Times. London. October 3, 1881. p. 7.
  5. Burgess, Michael (January 1975). "Richard D'Oyly Carte". The Savoyard: 7–11.
  6. "Savoy Theatre". The Times. December 29, 1881. p. 4. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  7. Kelemen, Lawrence. "The History of Christmas". - Judaism Online. Retrieved February 8, 2016.



  1. Disc 1 – 312119 Charles Sumner Tainter