Culture Wikia

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1885 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar1885
Ab urbe condita2638
Armenian calendar1334
Assyrian calendar6635
Bahá'í calendar41–42
Balinese saka calendar1806–1807
Bengali calendar1292
Berber calendar2835
British Regnal year48 Vict. 1 – 49 Vict. 1
Buddhist calendar2429
Burmese calendar1247
Byzantine calendar7393–7394
Chinese calendar甲申(Wood Monkey)
4581 or 4521
    — to —
乙酉年 (Wood Rooster)
4582 or 4522
Coptic calendar1601–1602
Discordian calendar3051
Ethiopian calendar1877–1878
Hebrew calendar5645–5646
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat1941–1942
 - Shaka Samvat1806–1807
 - Kali Yuga4985–4986
Holocene calendar11885
Igbo calendar885–886
Iranian calendar1263–1264
Islamic calendar1302–1303
Japanese calendarMeiji 18
Javanese calendar1814–1815
Julian calendarGregorian minus 12 days
Korean calendar4218
Minguo calendar27 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar417
Thai solar calendar2427–2428
Tibetan calendar阳木猴年
(male Wood-Monkey)
2011 or 1630 or 858
    — to —
(female Wood-Rooster)
2012 or 1631 or 859

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 1885, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

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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.[citation needed]


  • 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