Culture Wikia
Culture Wikia

  • '
  • '

Template:C19 year in topic

1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1885th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 885th year of the , the 85th year of the , and the 6th year of the decade. As of the start of Template:Year article header/Julian day, which remained in localized use until 1923.

<templatestyles src="Template:TOC limit/styles.css" />



File:Washington Monument Dusk Jan 2006.jpg

Feb. 21: Washington Monument dedicated.

  • January 34Sino-French WarBattle of Núi Bop: French troops under General Oscar de Négrier defeat a numerically superior Qing Chinese force in northern Vietnam.
  • January 4 – The first successful appendectomy is performed by Dr. William W. Grant on Mary Gartside.
  • January 17Mahdist War in Sudan: British victory at the Battle of Abu Klea.
  • January 20LaMarcus Adna Thompson patents a roller coaster.
  • January 24 – Irish terrorists damage Westminster Hall and the Tower of London with dynamite.[1]
  • January 26 – Mahdist War in Sudan: Troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad conquer Khartoum. The British commander Charles George Gordon is killed.[2]
  • February 5 – King Léopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo Free State as a personal possession.
  • February 7 – The play La vida alegre y muerte triste by dramatist José Echegaray opens.
  • February 9 – The first Japanese arrive in Hawaii.
  • February 16Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The index stood at a level of 62.76, and represented the dollar average of 14 stocks: 12 railroads and two leading American industries.[3]
  • February 21 – United States President Chester A. Arthur dedicates the Washington Monument.
  • February 23
    • Sino-French War: France gains an important victory over China in the Battle of Đồng Đăng in the Tonkin region of modern-day Vietnam.
    • An English executioner fails after several attempts to hang John Babbacombe Lee, sentenced for the murder of his employer Emma Keyse; Lee's sentence is commuted to life imprisonment.
  • February 26 – The final act of the Berlin Conference regulates European colonization and trade in the "scramble for Africa".[2]
  • February 28 – February concludes without having a full moon.
  • March 3 – A subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone Company, American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), is incorporated in New York.
  • March 4Grover Cleveland is sworn in as President of the United States.
  • March 7 – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid is founded.
  • March 14Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado opens at the Savoy Theatre in London.[4]
  • March 26
    • The Prussian government, motivated by Otto von Bismarck, expels all ethnic Poles and Jews without German citizenship from Prussia in the Prussian deportations.
    • North-West Rebellion in Canada by the Métis people, led by Louis Riel, begins with the Battle of Duck Lake.
    • First legal cremation in England: Mrs Jeannette C. Pickersgill of London, "well known in literary and scientific circles",[5] is cremated by the Cremation Society at Woking, Surrey.
  • March 30 – The Battle for Kushka triggers the Panjdeh Incident, which nearly gives rise to war between the British Empire and Russian Empire.
  • March 31 – The United Kingdom establishes the Bechuanaland Protectorate.Template:Fix


  • April 2Frog Lake Massacre: Cree warriors led by Wandering Spirit kill 9 settlers at Frog Lake in the Northwest Territories.
  • April 3Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for his single-cylinder water-cooled engine design.
  • April 11Luton Town Football Club are created by the merger of (Luton) Wanderers F.C. and Luton Excelsior F.C. in England.
  • April 14 – Final engagement of Sino-French War, with a French victory at Kép. China withdraws its forces from Tonkin.
  • April 30 – A bill is signed in the New York State legislature forming the Niagara Falls State Park.
  • May 2
    • Good Housekeeping magazine goes on sale for the first time in the United States.
    • North-West RebellionBattle of Cut Knife: Cree and Assiniboine warriors win their largest victory over Canadian forces.
    • The Congo Free State is established by King Léopold II of Belgium.
  • May 912Battle of Batoche: Canadian government forces inflict a decisive defeat on Métis rebels, bringing an end to their part in the North-West Rebellion.
  • May 19 – After a three-month legislative battle in the Illinois General Assembly, John A. Logan is re-elected to the United States Senate.
  • May 20 – The first public train departs Swanage railway station on the newly built Swanage Railway in England.
  • June 3Battle of Loon Lake: The Canadian North-West Mounted Police and allies force a party of Plains Cree warriors to surrender in the last skirmish of the North-West Rebellion and the last battle fought on Canadian soil.
  • June 17 – The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.
  • June 23Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • June 24Randolph Churchill becomes Secretary of State for India.


  • July 6Louis Pasteur and Émile Roux successfully test their rabies vaccine. The patient is Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
  • July 14Sarah E. Goode is the first female African-American to apply for and receive a patent, for the invention of the hideaway bed.
  • July 15 – The Reservation at Niagara Falls opens, enabling access to all for free. Thomas V. Welch is the first Superintendent of the Park.
  • July 20 – Professional football is legalized in Britain.
  • July 23Ulysses S. Grant, American Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States, dies at age 63.
  • July 28Louis Riel's trial for treason begins in Regina.
  • August 19S Andromedae, the only supernova seen in the Andromeda Galaxy so far by astronomers, and the first ever noted outside the Milky Way, is discovered.
File:ZweiRadMuseumNSU Reitwagen.JPG

The Reitwagen (riding car), the first internal combustion motorcycle (1885)

  • August 29Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for the Daimler Reitwagen, regarded as the first motorcycle, which he has produced with Wilhelm Maybach.[6][7][8]
  • September 2 – The Rock Springs massacre occurs in Rock Springs, Wyoming; 150 white miners attack their Chinese coworkers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
  • September 6 – Eastern Rumelia declares its union with Bulgaria, completing the Unification of Bulgaria.
  • September 8Saint Thomas Academy is founded in Minnesota.
  • September 12Arbroath FC defeats Bon Accord FC, 36-0, in the highest score ever in professional football.
  • September 15 – A train wreck of the P. T. Barnum Circus kills giant elephant Jumbo at St. Thomas, Ontario.
  • September 18 – The union of Eastern Rumelia with Bulgaria is proclaimed at Plovdiv.
  • September 30 – A British force abolishes the Boer republic of Stellaland and adds it to British Bechuanaland.


  • October 3Millwall F.C. is founded by workers on the Isle of Dogs in London as Millwall Rovers.
  • October 13 – The Georgia Institute of Technology is established in Atlanta as the Georgia School of Technology.
  • October 25Symphony No. 4 (Brahms) is premiered in Meiningen, Germany; with Johannes Brahms himself conducting it.
  • November – The Third Anglo-Burmese War begins.
  • November 7Canadian Pacific Railway: In Craigellachie, British Columbia, construction ends on a railway extending across Canada. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald considers the project to be vital to Canada due to the exponentially greater potential for military mobility.
  • November 14November 28Serbo-Bulgarian War: Serbia declares war against Bulgaria but is defeated in the Battle of Slivnitsa on November 17November 19.
  • November 16Louis Riel, Canadian rebel leader of the Métis, is executed for high treason.
  • December 1 – The U.S. Patent Office acknowledges this date as the day Dr Pepper is served for the very first time; the exact date of Dr Pepper's invention is unknown.
  • December 28 – 72 Indian lawyers, academics and journalists gather in Bombay to form the Congress Party.

Date unknown


The Benz Patent-Motorwagen, built in 1885

  • Karl Benz produces the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, regarded as the first automobile (patented and publicly launched the following year).[9]
  • John Kemp Starley demonstrates the Rover safety bicycle, regarded as the first practical modern bicycle.[10]
  • Chile's Matrimony and Civil Registry laws come into effect.
  • A cholera outbreak occurs in Spain.
  • The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, designed by William Le Baron Jenney, is completed. With ten floors and a fireproof weight-bearing metal frame, it is regarded as the first skyscraper.[11]
  • Bicycle Playing Cards are first produced.
  • Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association is established in the United Kingdom to provide charitable assistance.
  • Camp Dudley, the oldest continually running boys' camp in the United States, is founded.
  • John Ormsby publishes his new English translation of Don Quixote, acclaimed as the most scholarly made up to that time. It will remain in print through the 20th Century.
  • Michigan Technological University (originally Michigan Mining School) opens its doors for the first time in what in modern times is the Houghton County Fire Hall.



  • January 6Florence Turner, American actress (d. 1946)
  • January 8John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1945)
  • January 11
    • Jack Hoxie, American actor, rodeo performer (d. 1965)
    • Alice Paul, American women's rights activist (d. 1977)
  • January 12Harry Benjamin, American endocrinologist and sexologist (d. 1986)
  • January 16Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer (d. 1967)
  • January 21Umberto Nobile, Italian politician and airship designer (d. 1978)
  • January 25Roy Geiger, American general (d. 1947)
  • January 26
    • Michael Considine, Australian politician (d. 1959)
    • Harry Ricardo, English mechanical engineer; engine pioneer (d. 1974)
  • January 27
    • Jerome Kern, American composer (d. 1945)
    • Eduard Künneke, German composer (d. 1953)
    • Harry Ruby, American musician, composer, and writer (d. 1974)
  • January 28Władysław Raczkiewicz, former President of Poland (d. 1947)
  • February 1Friedrich Kellner, German diarist, (d. 1970)
  • February 7
    • Sinclair Lewis, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1951)
    • Hugo Sperrle, German field marshal (d. 1953)
  • February 9Alban Berg, Austrian composer (d. 1935)
  • February 10Rupert Downes, Australian general (d. 1945)
  • February 13
    • Bess Truman, First Lady of the United States (d. 1982)
    • George Fitzmaurice, French-American Motion Picture director (d. 1940)
  • February 14
    • Syed Zafarul Hasan, Muslim philosopher (d. 1949)
    • Zengo Yoshida, Japanese admiral (d. 1966)
  • February 15Princess Alice of Battenberg (d. 1969)
  • February 18Richard S. Edwards, American admiral (d. 1956)
  • February 21Sacha Guitry, Russian-born dramatist, writer, director, and actor (d. 1957)
  • February 24
    • Chester W. Nimitz, American admiral (d. 1966)
    • Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter (d. 1939)
  • March 6Ring Lardner, American writer (d. 1933)
  • March 7John Tovey, British admiral of the fleet (d. 1971)
  • March 11 – Sir Malcolm Campbell, English land and water racer (d. 1948)
  • March 14Raoul Lufbery, World War I American pilot (d. 1918)
  • March 31Pascin, Bulgarian painter (d. 1930)


  • April 1Wallace Beery, American actor (d. 1949)
  • April 3
    • Allan Dwan, Canadian-born film director (d. 1981)
    • St John Philby, Ceylonese-born British Arabist (d. 1960)
  • April 4Bee Ho Gray, American Wild West star, silent film actor and vaudeville performer (d. 1951)
  • April 12Hermann Hoth, German general (d. 1971)
  • April 13
    • John Cunningham, British admiral (d. 1962)
    • Otto Plath, American father of poet Sylvia Plath and entomologist (d. 1940)
    • Vean Gregg, American baseball player (d. 1964)
  • April 17Karen Blixen, Danish author (d. 1962)
  • April 29Frank Jack Fletcher, American admiral (d. 1973)
  • May 2
    • Hedda Hopper, American columnist (d. 1966)
    • Lee W. Stanley, American cartoonist (d. 1970)
  • May 5Agustín Pío Barrios, Paraguayan guitarist and composer (d. 1944)
  • May 7George "Gabby" Hayes, American actor (d. 1969)
  • May 9Eduard C. Lindeman, American social worker and author (d. 1953)
  • May 12Paltiel Daykan, Russian-born Israeli jurist (d. 1969)
  • May 14Otto Klemperer, German conductor (d. 1973)
  • May 15Robert James Hudson, Governor of Southern Rhodesia (d. 1963)
  • May 20Faisal I of Iraq (d. 1933)
  • May 21
    • Oscar A. C. Lund, Swedish film actor, director, and writer (d. 1963)
    • Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg, consort of William of Wied, Prince of Albania (d. 1936)
  • May 22Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral (d. 1957)
  • May 24Susan Sutherland Isaacs, educational psychologist and psychoanalyst (d.1948)
  • May 27Richmond K. Turner, American admiral (d. 1961)
  • May 30Arthur E. Andersen, American accountant (d. 1947)
  • June 2Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt, German neuropathologist (d. 1964)
  • June 5Georges Mandel, French politician and World War II hero (d. 1944)
  • June 9John Edensor Littlewood, British mathematician (d. 1977)
  • June 14E. L. Grant Watson, writer, anthropologist, and biologist (d. 1970)
  • June 13John Palm, Curaçao born composer (d. 1925)
  • June 21Harry A. Marmer, Ukrainian-born American mathematician and oceanographer (d. 1953)
  • June 22Milan Vidmar, Slovenian electrical engineer and chess player (d. 1962)



File:Niels Bohr.jpg

Niels Bohr

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1989-0630-504, Heinrich Brüning.jpg

Heinrich Brüning



File:Victor Hugo by Étienne Carjat 1876 - full.jpg

Victor Hugo

  • January 11Mariano Ospina Rodríguez, President of Colombia (b. 1805)
  • January 13Schuyler Colfax, 17th Vice President of the United States (b. 1823)
  • January 26Charles "Chinese" Gordon, British general (killed in battle) (b. 1833)
  • February 1Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, British inventor (b. 1850)
  • February 8Nikolai Severtzov, Russian explorer and naturalist (b.1827)
  • February 19José María Pinedo, Argentinian naval commander (b. 1795)
  • March 12Próspero Fernández Oreamuno, President of Costa Rica (b. 1834)
  • April 2Justo Rufino Barrios, Central American leader (b. 1835)
  • April 25Queen Emma of Hawaii (b. 1836)
  • May 2Terézia Zakoucs, Hungarian Slovene author (b. 1817)
  • May 4Irvin McDowell, American general (b. 1818)
  • May 17Jonathan Young, United States Navy commodore (b. 1826)
  • May 19Robert Emmet Odlum, American swimming instructor, dies as result of becoming the first person to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge (b. 1851)
  • May 22Victor Hugo, French author (b. 1802)
  • June 11Amédée Courbet, French admiral (b. 1827)
  • June 17Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, German field marshal (b. 1809)
  • June 22Muhammad Ahmad, Sudanese Mahdi (b. 1844)


File:Carl Spitzweg.jpg

Carl Spitzweg

  • July 23Ulysses S. Grant, American Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States (b. 1822)
  • August – Aga Khan II, Iranian religious leader (b. 1830)
  • August 10James W. Marshall, American contractor and builder of Sutter's Mill (b. 1810)
  • August 29Moriz Ludassy, Hungarian journalist (b. 1825)
  • September 2Giuseppe Bonavia, Maltese architect (b. 1821)
  • September 6Narcís Monturiol, Catalan intellectual, artist and engineer, inventor of the first combustion engine-driven submarine, which was propelled by an early form of air-independent propulsion (b. 1819).
  • September 15
    • Jumbo, African elephant, star attraction in P. T. Barnum's circus (train accident) (b. 1861)
    • Carl Spitzweg, German romanticist painter (b. 1808)
  • October 29George B. McClellan, American Civil War general (b. 1826)
  • November 16Louis Riel, Canadian-American leader (executed) (b. 1844)
  • November 24Nicolás Avellaneda, Argentine president (b. 1837)
  • November 25
    • King Alfonso XII of Spain (b. 1857)
    • Thomas Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States (b. 1819)
  • November 26Thomas Andrews, Irish chemist (b. 1813)
  • December 8William Henry Vanderbilt, American entrepreneur (b. 1821)
  • December 15Ferdinand II of Portugal, consort of Queen Maria II (b. 1816)
  • date unknown - Eugenia Kisimova, Bulgarian feminist, philanthropist and women's rights activist (b. 1831)
    • Karolina Sobańska, Polish noble and agent (b. circa 1794)

In fiction

  • September 2September 7 – The film Back to the Future Part III takes place during this time.
  • The stage "Bury My Shell at Wounded Knee" in the 1992 video game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time is set in this year.
  • The Nickelodeon TV movie, Lost in the West takes place in this year.


  1. Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 310–311. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 438–440. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
  3. Dow Record Book Adds Another First. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  4. The Hutchinson Factfinder. Helicon. 1999. ISBN 1-85986-000-1.
  5. "Cremation". The Times (31405). London. March 27, 1885. p. 10.
  6. Gardiner, Mark (1997). Classic motorcycles. MetroBooks. p. 16. ISBN 1-56799-460-1.
  7. Brown, Roland (2005). The Ultimate History of Fast Motorcycles. Bath: Parragon. p. 6. ISBN 1-4054-5466-0.
  8. Wilson, Hugo (1993). The Ultimate Motorcycle Book. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 8–9. ISBN 1-56458-303-1.
  9. Benz, Carl Friedrich (1925). Lebensfahrt eines deutschen erfinders; erinnerungen eines achtzigjahrigen. Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang.
  10. "Icons of Invention: Rover safety bicycle, 1885". Making the Modern World. Science Museum (London). Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2011. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  11. "Home Insurance Building". SkyscraperPage. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2011. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)

Further reading



  1. Disc 6 –287701 Chichester Bell
  2. Disc 5 – 287700 Chichester Bell