Culture Wikia

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1884 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar1884
Ab urbe condita2637
Armenian calendar1333
Assyrian calendar6634
Bahá'í calendar40–41
Balinese saka calendar1805–1806
Bengali calendar1291
Berber calendar2834
British Regnal year47 Vict. 1 – 48 Vict. 1
Buddhist calendar2428
Burmese calendar1246
Byzantine calendar7392–7393
Chinese calendar癸未(Water Goat)
4580 or 4520
    — to —
甲申年 (Wood Monkey)
4581 or 4521
Coptic calendar1600–1601
Discordian calendar3050
Ethiopian calendar1876–1877
Hebrew calendar5644–5645
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat1940–1941
 - Shaka Samvat1805–1806
 - Kali Yuga4984–4985
Holocene calendar11884
Igbo calendar884–885
Iranian calendar1262–1263
Islamic calendar1301–1302
Japanese calendarMeiji 17
Javanese calendar1813–1814
Julian calendarGregorian minus 12 days
Korean calendar4217
Minguo calendar28 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar416
Thai solar calendar2426–2427
Tibetan calendar阴水羊年
(female Water-Goat)
2010 or 1629 or 857
    — to —
(male Wood-Monkey)
2011 or 1630 or 858

1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1884th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 884th year of the , the 84th year of the , and the 5th year of the decade. As of the start of 1884, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

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March 13: Battle of Khartoum.


  • January 4 – The Fabian Society is founded in London.
  • January 5Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida has its première at the Savoy Theatre, London.
  • January 18 – Dr. William Price attempts to cremate his dead baby son, Iesu Grist, in Wales. Later tried and acquitted on the grounds that cremation is not contrary to English law, he is thus able to carry out the ceremony (the first in the United Kingdom in modern times) on March 14, setting a legal precedent.[1]
  • February 1A New English Dictionary on historical principles, part 1, edited by James A. H. Murray, the first fascicle of what will become The Oxford English Dictionary, is published in England.[2]
  • February 5Derby County Football Club is founded in England.
  • March 13 – The siege of Khartoum, Sudan begins (ends on January 26, 1885).


  • April 20Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical Humanum genus, denouncing Freemasonry and certain liberal beliefs which he considers to be associated with it.
  • April 22
    • German protectorate in South-West Africa.
    • The Colchester earthquake, England, the UK's most destructive, occurs.
  • May 1 – The eight-hour workday is first proclaimed by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in the United States. This date, called May Day or Labour Day, becomes a holiday recognized in almost every industrialized country.
  • May 16Angelo Moriondo of Turin is granted a patent for an espresso machine.[3]
  • May 16 : Sweden's Finance Minister Robert Themptander becomes his country's Prime Minister (1884–88)
  • June 4 – (May 23 O.S.) The future flag of Estonia is consecrated as the flag of the Estonian Students' Society.
  • June 13LaMarcus Adna Thompson opens the "Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway" at Coney Island, New York City.


File:HARPER'S WEEKLY-NewYork 6 June 1885.jpg

August 5: Statue of Liberty begun

  • July 3 – The Dow Jones Transportation Average, consisting of eleven transportation-related companies: nine railroads and two non-rail companies (Western Union and Pacific Mail), was created. The index is the oldest stock index still in use.
  • July 5Germany takes possession of Togoland.
  • July 14 – German administration in Cameroon.
  • July 23 – Today's Courier records the first tennis tournaments held on the grounds of Shrubland Hall, Leamington Spa, England.
  • August 5 – The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor.
  • August 10 – An earthquake measuring 5.5 Mfa (based on the felt area) affected a very large portion of the eastern United States. The shock had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong). Chimneys were toppled in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Property damage was severe in Jamaica and Amityville in New York.[4]
  • August 22Sino-French War (for control of Tonkin) breaks out (continues to April 1885).
  • August 23 – Sino-French War: Battle of Fuzhou: French Admiral Amédée Courbet's Far East Squadron virtually destroys China's Fujian Fleet.
  • September 5Staten Island Academy is founded.
  • September 15 –Medicine: The invention of local anesthesia by Karl Koller is made public at a medical congress in Heidelberg, Germany.


File:United States Naval War College museum.jpg

October 6: US Naval War College founded.

  • October 6 – The United States Naval War College is established in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • October 18 – The University of Wales, Bangor (UK) is founded.
  • October 22
    • International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. fixes the Greenwich meridian as the world's prime meridian.
    • Letitia Alice Walkington becomes the first woman to receive a degree from the Royal University of Ireland.
  • November 1 – The Irish Gaelic Athletic Association is founded in Thurles, Ireland.
  • November 2Timișoara is the first town of Europe with streets illuminated by electric light.
  • November 4United States presidential election, 1884: Democratic Governor of New York Grover Cleveland defeats Republican James G. Blaine in a very close contest to win the first of his non-consecutive terms.
  • November 15 – The Berlin Conference which regulates European colonisation and trade in Africa begins (ends February 26, 1885).
  • December 1
    • American Old West: Near Frisco, New Mexico, deputy sheriff Elfego Baca holds off a gang of 80 Texan cowboys who want to kill him for arresting cowboy Charles McCarthy (the cowboys were terrorizing the area's Hispanos and Baca was working against them).
    • Porfirio Díaz returns as President of Mexico, an office he will hold until 1911.
  • December 4 – Reformers in Korea who admire the Meiji Restoration in Japan stage the Gapsin Coup with Japan's help. China intervenes to rescue the king and help suppress the rebels.
  • December 6 – The Washington Monument is completed in Washington, D.C., becoming the tallest structure in the world at this date.
  • December 10
    • The Third Reform Act widens the adult male electorate in the United Kingdom to around 60%.
    • Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is first published, in London.
  • December 16 – The World Cotton Centennial world's fair opens in New Orleans.

Date unknown[]

  • The first Christian missionary arrives in Korea.
  • Police training schools are established in every prefecture in Japan.
  • The Yellow Crane Tower last burns in Wuhan.
  • Parliamentarism is introduced in Norway.
  • Scottish Plymouth Brethren missionary Frederick Stanley Arnot identifies the source of the Zambezi river, near Kalene Hill.
  • The first ascent is made of Castle Mountain in the Canadian Rockies by geologist Arthur Philemon Coleman.
  • The Stefan–Boltzmann law is reformulated by Ludwig Boltzmann.
  • Mexican General Manuel Mondragón creates the Mondragón rifle, the world's first automatic rifle.
  • The water hyacinth is introduced in the United States and quickly becomes an invasive species.
  • Leicester City F.C. is formed as Leicester Fosse Football Club in England.
  • Economic depression in the United States.



File:Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1983-098-20a, Heuss.jpg

Theodor Heuss

  • January 2Ben-Zion Dinur, Russian-born Israeli educator, historian and politician (d. 1973)
  • January 12
    • Texas Guinan, American vaudeville performer (d. 1933)
    • Charles Armijo Woodruff, 11th Governor of American Samoa (d. 1945)
  • January 13Sophie Tucker, Russian-born singer and comedian (d. 1966)
  • January 20Charles Whittlesey, United States Army officer, commander of the "Lost Battalion" in World War I (d. 1921)
  • January 21Roger Nash Baldwin, American social activist (d. 1981)
  • January 23Ralph DePalma, Italian-born race car driver (d. 1956)
  • January 24Thomas Blamey, Australian field marshal (d. 1951)
  • January 26Roy Chapman Andrews, American explorer, adventurer, and naturalist (d. 1960)
  • January 28Auguste Piccard, Swiss physicist, balloonist, and inventor (d. 1962)
  • January 30Sōjin Kamiyama, Japanese actor in American silent films, (d. 1954)
  • January 31Theodor Heuss, German politician and publicist (d. 1963)
  • February 1Bradbury Robinson, who threw the first forward pass in American football history in 1906 (d. 1949)
  • February 8Burt Mustin, American actor (d. 1977)
  • February 10Frederick Hawksworth, GWR chief mechanical engineer (d. 1976)
  • February 12
    • Max Beckmann, German painter and graphic artist (d. 1950)
    • Marie Vassilieff, Russian artist (d. 1957)
    • Johan Laidoner, seminal figure of Estonian history between the World Wars (d.1953)
  • February 13Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American athlete and inventor (d. 1961)
  • February 16Robert J. Flaherty, American filmmaker (d. 1951)
  • February 18Andrew Watson Myles, Canadian politician (d. 1970)
  • February 22Lew Cody, American actor (d. 1934)
  • February 26John Cyril Porte, Irish-born British flying boat pioneer (d. 1919)
  • March 6R. Williams Parry, Welsh poet (d. 1956)
  • March 13 – Sir Hugh Walpole, English novelist (d. 1941)
  • March 17Alcide Nunez, American jazz musician (d. 1934)
  • March 21George David Birkhoff, American mathematician (d. 1944)
  • March 24Peter Debye, Dutch chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1966)
  • March 25Georges Imbert, Alsatian chemist (d. 1950)
  • March 26
    • Wilhelm Backhaus, German pianist (d. 1969)
    • Isaac C. Kidd, American admiral (d. 1941)
    • Paul Legentilhomme, French general (d. 1975)
  • March 27James Cruze, American motion picture director (d. 1942)


File:Harry S. Truman.jpg

Harry S. Truman

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 102-03504A, Claudius Dornier.jpg

Claude Dornier

  • April 1Laurette Taylor, American stage actress (d. 1946)
  • April 4Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese naval commander (d. 1943)
  • April 7Bronisław Malinowski, Polish anthropologist (d. 1942)
  • April 12
  • April 22Armas Launis, Finnish composer and ethnomusicologist (d. 1959)
    • Tenby Davies, Welsh half-mile world champion runner (d. 1932)
  • May 1Henry Norwest, Canadian World War I sniper (d. 1918)
  • May 5Jean Decoux, French admiral, Governor-General of French Indochina (1940-1945) (d. 1963)
  • May 8Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States (d. 1972)
  • May 10Olga Petrova, English-born actress (d. 1977)
  • May 14Claude Dornier, German aircraft designer (d. 1969)
  • May 20Leon Schlesinger, American producer and filmmaker (d. 1949)
  • May 21Manuel Pérez y Curis, Uruguayan poet (d. 1920)
  • May 23Corrado Gini, Italian statistician, demographer and sociologist (d. 1965)
  • May 27Max Brod, Austrian author (d. 1968)
  • May 28Edvard Beneš, Czechoslovak politician (d. 1948)
  • May 30
    • Robert "Fuzzy" Theobald, American admiral (d. 1957)
    • Siegmund Glücksmann, German-Jewish politician (d. 1942)
  • June 13
    • Anton Drexler, German far-right politician (d. 1942)
    • Gerald Gardner, Founder of the Wiccan religion (d. 1964)
  • June 18Édouard Daladier, Prime Minister of France (d. 1970)
  • June 21Claude Auchinleck, British field marshal (d. 1981)
  • June 23Cyclone Taylor, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1979)
  • June 30Franz Halder, German general (d. 1972)


File:Amedeo Modigliani Photo.jpg

Amedeo Modigliani

  • July 2Alfons Maria Jakob, German neurologist (d. 1931)
  • July 12Amedeo Modigliani, Italian painter and sculptor (d. 1920)
  • July 15Phraya Manopakorn Nititada, Thailand's first Prime Minister (d. 1948)
  • July 18Alberto di Jorio, former head of the Vatican Bank and secretary of the 1958 conclave (d. 1979)
  • July 19Maurice Nicoll, British psychiatrist (d. 1953)
  • July 23Emil Jannings, Swiss-born German actor (d. 1950)
  • July 27Kathleen Howard, Canadian/American opera singer & character actress (d. 1956)
  • August 8Sara Teasdale, American poet (d. 1933)
  • August 9John S. McCain, Sr., American admiral (d. 1945)
  • August 10Robert G. Fowler, American pioneer aviator (d. 1966)
  • August 10Panait Istrati, Romanian writer (d. 1935)
  • August 15Mary Nash, American actress (d. 1976)
  • August 20Rudolf Bultmann, German Lutheran theologian (d. 1976)
  • August 23Will Cuppy, American humorist (d. 1949)
  • August 27Harry Antrim, American actor (d. 1967)
  • August 30Theodor Svedberg, Swedish chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
  • September 1Richard C. Saufley, American naval aviation pioneer (d. 1916)
  • September 17Charles Tomlinson Griffes, American composer (d. 1920)
  • September 24
    • İsmet İnönü, Turkish soldier, statesman and the second President of Turkey (d. 1973)
    • Hugo Schmeisser, German weapons designer (d. 1953)
  • September 30Bessie Barriscale, American actress (d. 1965)



Friedrich Bergius

File:Eleanor Roosevelt cph.3b16000.jpg

Eleanor Roosevelt

  • October 7 – Major Harold Geiger, U.S. Army aviation pioneer (d. 1927)
  • October 9Martin Johnson, American adventurer and documentary filmmaker (d. 1937)
  • October 11
    • Friedrich Bergius, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1949)
    • Eleanor Roosevelt, American politician, diplomat, activist, First Lady of the United States (d. 1962)
  • October 16Rembrandt Bugatti, Italian sculptor (d. 1916)
  • October 24Arthur S. Carpender, American admiral (d. 1960)
  • October 28William Douglas Cook, founder of Eastwoodhill Arboretum and Pukeiti (New Zealand) (d. 1967)
  • October 30Gengan Tonaki, Japan's oldest living man (d. 1997)
  • November 4Harry Ferguson, Irish engineer and inventor (d. 1960)
  • November 20
    • Loyal Blaine Aldrich, American astronomer (d. 1965)
    • Norman Thomas, American social reformer (d. 1968)
  • November 22Syed Sulaiman Nadvi, Indian/Pakistani historian, biographer, littérateur and scholar of Islam (d. 1953)
  • December 3
    • Walther Stampfli, member of the Swiss Federal Council (d. 1965)
    • Rajendra Prasad, Indian politician, 1st President of India (d. 1963)
  • December 25Evelyn Nesbit, American model & actress, (d. 1967)
  • December 30Tojo Hideki, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1948)
  • December 31Stanley Forman Reed, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (d. 1980)

Date unknown[]

  • M. Louise Gross, American politician and lobbyist (d. 1951)
  • Wyncie King, American illustrator (d. 1961)
  • Richard Spikes, African American inventor (d. 1962)
  • Catherine Schleimer-Kill, Luxemburgian women's rights activist (d. 1973)



File:Gregor Mendel oval.jpg

Gregor Mendel

File:Bedrich Smetana.jpg

Bedřich Smetana

  • January 6Gregor Mendel, Czech geneticist (b. 1822)
  • January 25Johann Gottfried Piefke, German conductor and composer (b. 1815)
  • February 8Cetshwayo kaMpande, Zulu king (b. 1826)
  • February 14
    • Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, first wife of Theodore Roosevelt (b. 1861)
    • Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, mother of Theodore Roosevelt (b. 1835)
  • February 26Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen, French general (b. 1811)
  • March 1Isaac Todhunter, English mathematician (b. 1820)
  • March 13Leland Stanford, Jr., in memory of whom Stanford University was founded (b. 1868).
  • March 19Elias Lönnrot, Finnish philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry (b. 1802).
  • March 21Ezra Abbot, American Bible scholar (b. 1819)
  • March 23Henry C. Lord, American railroad executive (b. 1824)
  • March 28Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, youngest son of Queen Victoria (b. 1853)
  • April 4Marie Bashkirtseff, Russian artist (b. 1858)
  • April 6Emanuel Geibel, poet and dramatist (b. 1815)
  • April 24Marie Taglioni, ballerina (b. 1804)
  • May 6Judah P. Benjamin, Cabinet officer of the Confederate States (b. 1811)
  • May 12Bedřich Smetana, Czech composer (b. 1824)
  • May 13Cyrus McCormick, American inventor (b. 1809)
  • June 19Juan Bautista Alberdi, Argentine politician, writer and main Constitution promoter (b. 1810)
  • June 21Alexander, Prince of Orange, Heir apparent to the Dutch throne (b. 1851)
  • June 25Hans Rott, Austrian composer (b. 1858)


File:Hermann Kolbe2.jpg

Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe

  • July 1Allan Pinkerton, American detective (b. 1819)
  • July 10Paul Morphy, American chess player (b. 1837)
  • July 15
    • Henry Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley, diplomat (b. 1804)
    • Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, American educator and author (b. 1793)
  • August 9Annestine Beyer, Danish reform pedagogue (b. 1795)
  • October 4Leona Florentino, Filipina poet (b. 1849)
  • October 16Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Hawaiian ali‘i (b. 1831)
  • October 18William VIII, Duke of Brunswick (b. 1806)
  • November 16František Chvostek, Moravian physician (b. 1835)
  • November 25Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe, German chemist (b. 1818)
  • December 1William Swainson (lawyer), second, and last, Attorney-General of the Crown Colony of New Zealand (b. 1809)
  • December 20Domenico Consolini, Roman Catholic Cardinal (b. 1806)


  1. Hutton, Ronald (2009). Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-14485-7.
  2. Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
  3. #33/256. Bollettino delle privative industriali del Regno d’Italia 2nd Series 15 (1884) pp. 635–655.
  4. Stover, C.W.; Coffman, J.L. (1993), Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, pp. 314–316



  1. Disc 4 – 287920 Chichester Bell