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1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 1887th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 887th year of the , the 87th year of the , and the 8th 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 11 – Louis Pasteur's anti-rabies treatment is defended in the Académie Nationale de Médecine by Dr. Joseph Grancher.
- January 20 – The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
- January 21
- The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is formed.
- Brisbane receives a one-day rainfall of 465 millimetres – a record for any Australian capital city.
- January 24 – Battle of Dogali: Abyssinian troops defeat the talians.
- January 28
- In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA, the largest snowflakes on record are reported. They are 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.
- Construction of the foundations of the Eiffel Tower starts in Paris, France.
- February 2 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed.
- February 4 – The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, as passed by the 49th United States Congress, is signed into law by President Grover Cleveland.
- February 5 – The Giuseppe Verdi opera Otello premieres at La Scala.
- February 8 – The Dawes Act, or the General Allotment Act, is enacted.
- February 23 – The French Riviera is hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000 along the coast of the Mediterranean.
- February 26 – At the Sydney Cricket Ground, George Lohmann becomes the first bowler to take eight wickets in a Test innings.
- March 3 – Anne Sullivan begins teaching Helen Keller.
- March 4 – Gottlieb Daimler unveils his first automobile.
- March 7 – North Carolina State University is established as North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
- March 13 – Chester Greenwood patents earmuffs.
- April 1 – Mumbai Fire Brigade is established.
- April 4 – Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.
- April 9 – The Charter of Incorporation was approved for The Teutonia Maennerchor Hall in the East Allegheny (Deutschtown) neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- April 10 – The Catholic University of America is founded on Easter Sunday.
- April 21 – Schnaebele incident – French/German border incident nearly leads to war between the two countries.
- April 20 – Occidental College is founded.
- May 3 – An earthquake hits Sonora, Mexico.
- May 9 – Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opens in London.
- May 14 – The cornerstone of the new Stanford University, in northern California, is laid (the college opens in 1891).
- June 8 – Herman Hollerith receives a patent for his punched card calculator.
- June 18 – The Reinsurance Treaty is closed between Germany and Russia.
- June 21
- The British Empire celebrates Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, marking the 50th year of her reign.
- Zululand becomes a British colony.
- June 23 – The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada, creating that nation's first national park, Banff National Park.
- June 28 – Minot, North Dakota is incorporated as a city.
- July – James Blyth operates the first working wind turbine at Marykirk in Scotland.
- July 1 – Construction of the iron structure of the Eiffel Tower starts in Paris, France
- July 6 – King Kalākaua of Hawai'i is forced by anti-monarchists to sign the 'Bayonet Constitution', stripping the Hawaiian monarchy of much of its authority as well as disfranchising most native Hawaiians, all Asians and the poor.
- July 12 – Odense Boldklub, the Danish football team, is founded as the Odense Cricket Club.
- July 19 – Dorr Eugene Felt receives the first U.S. patent for his comptometer.
- July 26 – Blackpool F.C. is created in England, UK.
- August – The earliest constituent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health is established at the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, as the Laboratory of Hygiene.
- August 8 – Antonio Guzmán Blanco ends his term as President of Venezuela.
- August 13 – Hibernian F.C. of Scotland defeats Preston North End F.C. of England to win the "Championship of the World" after the two teams win the Association football Cup competitions in their respective countries.
- September 5 – The Theatre Royal, Exeter, England, burns down, killing 186 people.
- September 28 – Start of the 1887 Yellow River flood in China, killing 900,000 to 2,000,000 people.
- October 1 – The British Empire takes over Balochistan.
- October 3 – Florida A&M University opens its doors in Tallahassee, Florida.
- Results of the Michelson–Morley experiment are published, indicating that the speed of light is independent of motion.
- Arthur Conan Doyle's detective character Sherlock Holmes makes his first appearance, in the novel A Study in Scarlet published in Beeton's Christmas Annual.
- November 3 – The Coimbra Academic Association, the students' union of the University of Coimbra in Portugal, is founded.
- November 6 – The Association football club Celtic F.C. is formed in Glasgow, Scotland, by Irish Marist Brother Walfrid to help alleviate poverty in the city's East End by raising money for his charity, the Poor Children's Dinner Table.
- November 8 – Emile Berliner is granted a patent for his Gramophone.
- November 10 – Louis Lingg, sentenced to be hanged for his alleged role in the Haymarket affair, a bombing in Chicago on May 4, 1886, kills himself by dynamite.
- November 11 – August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Michael Schwab, and Samuel Fielden are hanged for inciting riot and murder in the Haymarket affair.
- November 13 – Bloody Sunday: Police in London clash with radical and Irish nationalist protesters.
- December 5 – International Bureau of Intellectual Property.
- December 25 – Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky is first produced.
- Franz König publishes "Über freie Körper in den Gelenken" in the medical journal Deutsche Zeitschrift für Chirurgie, describing (and naming) the disease Osteochondritis dissecans for the first time.
- Teachers College, later part of Columbia University, is founded.
- The first All-Ireland Hurling and Football Finals are held.
- Heinrich Hertz discovers the photoelectric effect on the production and reception of electromagnetic (EM) waves (radio). This was an important step towards the understanding of the quantum nature of light.
- A. G. Edwards, Inc., is founded by General Albert Gallatin Edwards.
- Heyl & Patterson Inc., a pioneer in coal unloading equipment, is founded by Edmund W. Heyl and William J. Patterson.
- Laos and Cambodia are added to French Indochina.
- Publication in New York of the first English-language edition of Friedrich Engels' 1844 study of The Condition of the Working Class in England, translated by Florence Kelley.
- Publication in Barcelona of Enrique Gaspar's El anacronópete, the first work of fiction to feature a time machine.
- Publication begins of Futabatei Shimei's Ukigumo, the first modern novel in Japan.
- Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is founded.
- January 1
- January 3 – August Macke, German painter (d. 1914)
- January 10 – Robinson Jeffers, American poet (d. 1962)
- January 13 – Jorge Chávez, pioneer Peruvian aviator (d. 1910)
- January 17 – Ola Raknes, Norwegian psychoanalyst and philologist (d. 1975)
- January 19 – Alexander Woollcott, American intellectual (d. 1943)
- January 21 – Maude Davis, oldest person in the World (d. 2002)
- January 22
- January 23 – Dorothy Payne Whitney, American-born philanthropist and social activist (d. 1968)
- January 28 – Arthur Rubinstein, Polish-born pianist and conductor (d. 1982)
- February 1 – Charles Nordhoff, English-born author (d. 1947)
- February 2 – Pat Sullivan, Australian director and producer of animated films (d. 1933)
- February 3 – Georg Trakl, Austrian poet (d. 1914)
- February 4 – Sheila Kaye-Smith, English writer (d. 1955)
- February 6 – Josef Frings, Archbishop of Cologne (d. 1978)
- February 10 – John Franklin Enders, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1985)
- February 11
- February 17 – Leevi Madetoja, Finnish composer (d. 1947)
- February 20
- February 26
- March 3 – Lincoln Beachey, American stunt pilot (d. 1915)
- March 4 – Violet MacMillan, American Broadway theatre actress (d. 1953)
- March 5 – Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer (d. 1959)
- March 9 – Phil Mead, English cricketer (d. 1958)
- March 13 – Alexander Vandegrift, American general (d. 1973)
- March 14
- March 22 – Chico Marx, American comedian and actor (d. 1961)
- March 23
- March 24 – Fatty Arbuckle, American actor (d. 1933)
- March 25 – Chūichi Nagumo, Japanese admiral (d. 1944)
- April 3 – Nishizō Tsukahara, Japanese admiral (d. 1966)
- April 10 – Bernardo Houssay, Argentine physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
- April 15 – Mike Brady, American golfer (d. 1972)
- April 26 – Kojo Tovalou Houénou, prominent African critic of the French colonial empire in Africa. (d. 1936)
- May 2
- May 5 – Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1972)
- May 10 – Mir Ghotbeddin Mohammad Angha, 40th master of the Oveyssi Sufi Order (d. 1962)
- May 11 – Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born pianist (d. 1951)
- May 15 – John H. Hoover, American admiral (d. 1970)
- May 22 – Jim Thorpe, American athlete (d. 1953).
- May 25 – Pio of Pietrelcina, Italian saint (d. 1968)
- May 26 – Paul Lukas, Hungarian-born actor (d. 1971)
- May 31 – Saint-John Perse, French diplomat and writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975)
- June 2 – Orrick Johns, American poet and playwright (d. 1946)
- June 3 – Carlo Michelstaedter, Italian philosopher (d. 1910)
- June 9 – Emilio Mola, Spanish Nationalist commander (d. 1937)
- June 13 – André François-Poncet, French politician and diplomat (d. 1978)
- June 22 – Julian Huxley, British biologist (d. 1975)
- June 25 – George Abbott, American playwright (d. 1995)
- July 1 – Morton Deyo, American admiral (d. 1973)
- July 7 – Marc Chagall, Russian-born painter (d. 1985)
- July 16 – Shoeless Joe Jackson, baseball player (d. 1951)
- July 18 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian politician and traitor (d. 1945)
- July 22 – Gustav Hertz, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975)
- July 28 – Marcel Duchamp, French-born artist (d. 1968)
- July 29 – Sigmund Romberg, Hungarian-born composer (d. 1951)
- July 31 – Mitsuru Ushijima, Japanese general (d. 1945)
- August 3 – Rupert Brooke, British war poet (d. 1915)
- August 6 – Oliver Wallace, English-born film composer (d. 1963)
- August 12 – Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1961)
- August 13 – Julius Freed, American inventor and banker (d. 1952)
- August 15 – Edna Ferber, American novelist (d. 1968); other sources give her year of birth as 1885
- August 17
- August 24 – Harry Hooper, baseball player (d. 1974)
- August 27 – Julia Sanderson, American actress (d. 1975)
- August 28 – István Kühár, Prekmurje Slovene writer and politician (d. 1922)
- September 1 – Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (d. 1961)
- September 3 – Frank Christian, American jazz musician (d. 1973)
- September 5 – Irene Fenwick, American actress (d. 1936)
- September 8 – Jacob L. Devers, American general (d. 1979)
- September 12 – Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli, Azerbaijani statesman and writer, claimed "core author" of novel Ali and Nino (d. in Gulag 1943)
- September 13
- September 16
- September 26
- September 28 – Avery Brundage, American sports official (d. 1975)
- October 2 – Violet Jessop, RMS Titanic survivor (d. 1971)
- October 4 – Charles Alan Pownall, American admiral and third Military Governor of Guam (d. 1975)
- October 5 – René Cassin, French judge, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1976)
- October 6 – Le Corbusier, Swiss architect (d. 1965)
- October 8 – Huntley Gordon, Canadian-born actor (d. 1956)
- October 14 – Ernest Pingoud, Finnish composer (d. 1942)
- October 20 – Prince Yasuhiko Asaka, Japanese prince (d. 1981)
- October 22 – John Reed, American journalist (d. 1920)
- October 24 – Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen Consort of Spain (d. 1969)
- October 28 – Herb Byrne, Australian Australian rules footballer (d. 1959)
- October 31 – Chiang Kai-shek, 1st–5th President of the Republic of China (d. 1975)
- November 1 – L. S. Lowry, English painter (d. 1976)
- November 6 – Walter Johnson, baseball player (d. 1946)
- November 10 – Arnold Zweig, German writer (d. 1968)
- November 11 – Walther Wever, German general and pre-World War II Luftwaffe commander (d. 1936)
- December 14 – Xul Solar, Argentine painter, sculptor, writer (d. 1963)
- November 15 – Georgia O'Keeffe, American painter (d.1986)
- November 17 – Bernard Montgomery, World War II British commander (d. 1976)
- November 19 – James B. Sumner, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)
- November 23
- November 24 – Erich von Manstein, German field marshal (d. 1973)
- November 27 – Masaharu Homma, Japanese general (d. 1946)
- November 28
- November 30 – Beatrice Kerr, Australian swimmer, diver, and aquatic performer (d. 1971)
- December 3 – Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni, former Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1990)
- December 12 – Kurt Atterberg, Swedish composer (d. 1974)
- December 13 – Alvin Cullum York, American war hero during World War I (d. 1964)
- December 22 – Srinivasa Aaiyangar Ramanujan, Indian mathematician (d. 1920)
- December 25 – Conrad Hilton, American hotelier (d.1979)
- February 19 – Eduard Douwes Dekker, Dutch writer (b. 1820)
- February 26 – Anandi Gopal Joshi, first Indian woman doctor (b. 1865)
- February 27 – Alexander Borodin, Russian composer (b. 1833)
- March 8 – Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman and reformer (b. 1813)
- March 24 –
- Justin Holland, American musician and civil rights activist (b.1819)
- Ivan Kramskoi, painter (b. 1837)
- March 28 – Ditlev Gothard Monrad, Danish politician (b. 1811)
- April 10 – John T. Raymond, American actor (b. 1836)
- April 23 – John Ceiriog Hughes, Welsh poet (b. 1832)
- May 7 – C. F. W. Walther, German-American theologian (b. 1811)
- May 8 – Aleksandr Ulyanov, Russian revolutionary, brother of V. I. Lenin (b. 1866)
- May 14 – Lysander Spooner, American philosopher and abolitionist (b. 1808)
- June 4 – William A. Wheeler, 19th Vice President of the United States (b. 1819)
- June 10 – Richard Lindon, Inventor of the rugby ball, the India-rubber inflatable bladder and the brass hand pump for the same (b. 1816)
- July 8 – John Wright Oakes, landscape painter (b. 1820)
- July 17 – Dorothea Dix, American social activist (b. 1802)
- July 25 – John Taylor, American religious leader (b. 1808)
- August 8 – Alexander William Doniphan, American lawyer and soldier (b. 1808)
- August 19 – Alvan Clark, telescope manufacturer (b. 1804)
- August 20 – Jules Laforgue, French poet (b. 1860)
- October 17 – Gustav Kirchhoff, German physicist (b. 1824)
- October 21 – Bernard Jauréguiberry, admiral (b. 1815)
- November 2 – Jenny Lind, Swedish soprano (b. 1820)
- November 8 – Doc Holliday, American gambler and gunfighter (b. 1851)
- November 19 – Emma Lazarus, American poet (b. 1859)
- November 28 – Gustav Fechner, experimental psychologist (b. 1801)
- December 23 – Adolphus Frederick Alexander Woodford, British parson (b. 1821)
- undated – Antoinette Nording, Swedish perfume entrepreneur (b. 1814)
- Royal.gov.uk Archived November 1, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
- Price, Trevor J. (2004). "Blyth, James (1839–1906)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 16, 2014. Template:ODNBsub
- Hardy, Chris (July 6, 2010). "Renewable energy and role of Marykirk's James Blyth". The Courier. Dundee: D. C. Thomson & Co.
- U.S. Patent No. 366,945, filed July 6, 1886; second patent granted October 11, 1887: U.S. Patent No. 371,496, filed March 12, 1887.
- Coogan, Tim Pat (2002). Wherever Green Is Worn: The Story of the Irish Diaspora. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 250. ISBN 978-1-4039-6014-6.
- Wagg, Stephen (2002). British Football and Social Exclusion. Routledge. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-7146-5217-7.
- Westcott, Kathryn (April 9, 2011). "HG Wells or Enrique Gaspar: Whose time machine was first?". BBC News. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Thomas Edison