Culture Wikia

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1891 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar1891
Ab urbe condita2644
Armenian calendar1340
Assyrian calendar6641
Bahá'í calendar47–48
Balinese saka calendar1812–1813
Bengali calendar1298
Berber calendar2841
British Regnal year54 Vict. 1 – 55 Vict. 1
Buddhist calendar2435
Burmese calendar1253
Byzantine calendar7399–7400
Chinese calendar庚寅(Metal Tiger)
4587 or 4527
    — to —
辛卯年 (Metal Rabbit)
4588 or 4528
Coptic calendar1607–1608
Discordian calendar3057
Ethiopian calendar1883–1884
Hebrew calendar5651–5652
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat1947–1948
 - Shaka Samvat1812–1813
 - Kali Yuga4991–4992
Holocene calendar11891
Igbo calendar891–892
Iranian calendar1269–1270
Islamic calendar1308–1309
Japanese calendarMeiji 24
Javanese calendar1820–1821
Julian calendarGregorian minus 12 days
Korean calendar4224
Minguo calendar21 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar423
Thai solar calendar2433–2434
Tibetan calendar阳金虎年
(male Iron-Tiger)
2017 or 1636 or 864
    — to —
(female Iron-Rabbit)
2018 or 1637 or 865

1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 1891st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 891st year of the , the 91st year of the , and the 2nd year of the decade. As of the start of 1891, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

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January 21: Hawaii, Queen Lili'Uokalani.

  • January 1 – Paying of old age pensions begins in Germany.
  • January 5 – Beginning of the Australian shearers' strike that leads indirectly to the foundation of the Australian Labor Party.
  • January 16 – The Chilean Civil War of 1891 breaks out.
  • January 20Jim Hogg becomes the first native Texan to be governor of that state.
  • January 29Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii.
  • January 31 – The Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto.
  • February – Beginning of the Tobacco Protest in Iran.
  • February 14 – In the FA Cup quarter final in English Association football, a goal is deliberately stopped by handball on the goal line. An indirect free kick is awarded, since the penalty kick, proposed the previous year by William McCrum, has not yet been implemented. This event probably changes public opinion on the penalty kick, seen previously as 'an Irishman's motion'.
  • February 15Allmänna Idrottsklubben (AIK) sports club is founded in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • February 21Springhill, Nova Scotia, suffers a serious mining disaster.
  • March 3 – The International Copyright Act of 1891 is passed by the 51st United States Congress.
  • March 912 – The Great Blizzard of 1891 in the south and west of England leads to extensive snow drifts and powerful storms off the south coast, with 14 ships sunk and approximately 220 deaths attributed to the weather conditions.[1][2]
  • March 12Djurgårdens IF (DIF) sports club is founded in Stockholm.
  • March 14 – In New Orleans, a lynch mob storms the Old Parish Prison and lynches 11 Italians arrested but found innocent of the murder of Police Chief David Hennessy.
  • March 15Jesse W. Reno patents the first escalator at Coney Beach.
  • March 17 – The British steamship SS Utopia, carrying Italian migrants to New York, sinks in the inner harbor of Gibraltar after collision with the battleship HMS Anson, killing 564.[3]
  • March 18 – Official opening of the London–Paris telephone system.[4]



May 5: Tchaikovsky opens Carnegie Hall

  • April 1
    • The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago.
    • The London–Paris telephone system is opened to the general public.[4]
  • April 5Census in the United Kingdom: 15.6 million people live in cities of 20,000 or more in England and Wales and cities of 20,000 or more account for 54% of the total English population.
  • May – Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claims to be the Promised Messiah (the second coming of Jesus) and the Mahdi awaited in Islam.
  • May 1
    • Troops fire on a workers' May Day demonstration in support of the 8-hour workday in Fourmies, France, killing 9 and wounding 30.
    • The first Fascio dei lavoratori (Workers League) is founded by Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida in Catania, Sicily.
  • May 5 – The Music Hall in New York (later known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor.
  • May 11Ōtsu incident: Tsesarevich Nikolay Alexandrovich (the future Czar Nicholas II) of Russia survives an assassination attempt while visiting Japan.
  • May 15Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Rerum novarum on the rights and duties of capital and labor, resulting in the creation of many Christian Democrat parties throughout Europe.
  • May 20Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope is first displayed at Edison's Laboratory, for a convention of the National Federation of Women's Clubs.
  • May 31 N.S. (May 19 O.S.) – In the Kuperovskaya district of Vladivostok, a grand ceremonial inauguration of construction work on the Trans-Siberian Railway is carried out by the Tsesarevich Nikolay Alexandrovich and a religious service held.
  • June 1 – The Johnstown Inclined Plane opens in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
  • June 16John Abbott becomes Canada's third prime minister.
  • June 21 – First long-distance transmission of alternating current by the Ames power plant near Telluride, Colorado, by Lucien and Paul Nunn.
  • June 25Arthur Conan Doyle's detective Sherlock Holmes appears in The Strand Magazine (London) for the first time, in the issue dated July.[4]

May 20: Edison's kinetoscope.


  • July 10Erik Gustaf Boström becomes Prime Minister of Sweden.
  • July 30 – The Springboks rugby union team of South Africa play their first international test match against the Lions team of the British Isles and win by 4-0.
  • August 27 – France and Russia conclude a defensive alliance.
  • September 14 – The first penalty kick is awarded in a football (soccer) match; John Heath scores it for the Wolverhampton Wanderers.
  • September 28 – The C.A. Peñarol is founded in Montevideo under the name of the CURCC (Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club).


  • October – Eugène Dubois finds the first fragmentary bones of Pithecanthropus erectus (later redesignated Homo erectus), or 'Java Man', at Trinil on the Solo River.[5]
  • October 1Stanford University in California opens its doors.
  • October 28 – The 8.0 Ms Mino–Owari earthquake strikes the Gifu region of Japan. This oblique-slip event killed over 7,200, injured more than 17,000, and created fault scarps that still remain visible.
  • November 11Jindandao Incident breaks out: The Chinese Juu Uda League in Inner Mongolia, massacres tens of thousands of Mongols before being suppressed by government troops in late December.
  • November 15 – The constitution of the First Brazilian Republic is promulgated.
  • November 28 – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is organized in St. Louis, Missouri.
File:Stanford University Quad Memorial Church.JPG

October 1 Stanford University opens its doors.

  • December 17Drexel University is inaugurated as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry in Philadelphia.
  • December 22 – Asteroid 323 Brucia becomes the first asteroid discovered using photography.

Date unknown[]

  • Brahmin teacher and nationalist Bal Gangadhar Tilak begins agitation for Indian Home Rule.
  • New Scotland Yard becomes the HQ of the London Metropolitan Police.
  • James Naismith invents basketball.
  • Seattle University is established as the Immaculate Conception school.
  • The Auckland University Students' Association is founded.
  • Maria Skłodowska (later Marie Curie) enters the Sorbonne University.
  • Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla coil.
  • Michelin patent the removable pneumatic bicycle tire.[6]
  • Skansen is established as the world's first open-air museum by Artur Hazelius on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • The 1891 census of India is conducted.
  • First production of the Swiss Army Knife by Victorinox begins.



  • January 1Charles Bickford, American actor (d. 1967)
  • January 2Charles P. Thompson, American actor (d. 1979)
  • File:Wester & Co 2.JPG

    Modell 1890 Swiss Soldier Knife produced by Wester & Co. Solingen and taken over by Karl Elsener, founder of Victorinox, in 1891.

    January 7Zora Neale Hurston, Harlem Renaissance writer (d. 1960)
  • January 8Walther Bothe, German physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics (d. 1957)
  • January 22
    • Antonio Gramsci, Italian Communist writer and politician (d. 1937)
    • Bruno Loerzer, German aviator and air force general (d. 1960)
  • January 24Walter Model, German field marshal (d. 1945)
  • January 27Ilya Ehrenburg, Russian writer (d. 1967)
  • February 2Antonio Segni, Italian politician who was the 34th Prime Minister of Italy (1955–1957, 1959–1960), and the fourth President of the Italian Republic (d. 1972)
  • February 9Ronald Colman, English actor (d. 1958)
  • February 11J. W. Hearne, English cricketer (d. 1965)
  • February 13Grant Wood, American painter (d. 1942)
  • February 15Henry J. Knauf, American politician (d. 1950)
  • February 17Abraham Fraenkel, German-born Israeli mathematician and recipient of the Israel Prize (d. 1965)
  • February 21Seán Heuston, Irish rebel (d. 1916)
  • February 27David Sarnoff, Russian-born American broadcasting pioneer (d. 1971)
  • March 3Fritz Rumey, German World War I fighter ace (d. 1918)
  • March 9José P. Laurel, Philippine President (d. 1959)
  • March 10Sam Jaffe, American actor (d. 1984)
  • March 19Earl Warren, American politician and Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1974)
  • March 24Rudolf Berthold, German fighter pilot (d. 1920)
  • March 26Will Wright, American actor (d. 1962)
  • March 29Yvan Goll, French lyricist and dramatist (d. 1950)


  • April 2Max Ernst, German painter (d. 1976)
  • April 7
    • Ole Kirk Christiansen, founder of the Lego group (d. 1958)
    • Minoru Ōta, Japanese admiral (d. 1945)
  • April 13Nella Larsen, American novelist (d. 1964)
  • April 14B. R. Ambedkar, One of the founding fathers of modern India and the architect of its constitution (d. 1956)
  • April 15
    • Väinö Raitio, Finnish composer (d. 1945)
    • Wallace Reid, American actor (d. 1923)
  • April 17George Adamski, Polish-born alleged UFO traveler (d. 1965)
  • April 20Aldo Finzi, Italian politician (d. 1944)
  • April 23Sergei Prokofiev, Soviet composer (d. 1953)
  • April 29Bharathidasan, 20th-century Tamil poet and rationalist (d. 1964)
  • May 7Harry McShane, Scottish socialist (d. 1988)
  • May 10
    • Anton Dostler, German general (d. 1945)
    • Mahmoud Mokhtar, Egyptian sculptor (d. 1934)
  • May 15
    • Mikhail Bulgakov, Russian writer (d. 1940)
    • Fritz Feigl, Austrian-born chemist (d. 1971)
  • May 16
    • Richard Tauber, Austrian tenor (d. 1948)
    • Adolf Ritter von Tutschek, German fighter ace (d. 1918)
  • May 18Rudolf Carnap, German philosopher (d. 1970)
  • May 19Oswald Boelcke, German World War I fighter ace (d. 1916)
  • May 22Eddie Edwards, American jazz trombonist (d. 1963)
  • May 23Pär Lagerkvist, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1974)
  • May 24William F. Albright, American archeologist and Biblical scholar (d. 1971)
  • May 26Paul Lukas, Hungarian-born American actor (d. 1971)
  • June 2Takijirō Ōnishi, Japanese admiral (d. 1945)
  • June 3Jim Tully, vagabond, pugalist, noted American writer (d. 1947 heart disease)
  • June 9Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter (d. 1964)
  • June 20John A. Costello, second President of Ireland (d. 1976)
  • June 21Hermann Scherchen, German conductor (d. 1966)
  • June 28
    • Esther Forbes, American writer (d. 1967)
    • Carl Andrew Spaatz, American general (d. 1974)
  • June 30Man Mountain Dean, American professional wrestler (d. 1953)


  • July 2Karin Kock-Lindberg, Swedish politician (d. 1976)
  • July 5John Howard Northrop, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1987)
  • July 7Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Imperial Japanese Army general (d. 1945)
  • July 11Joseph Sadi-Lecointe, French aviator (d. 1944)
  • July 26William J. Connors, American politician (d. 1961)
  • July 27Jacob van der Hoeden, Dutch-Israeli veterinary scientist (d. 1968)
  • July 29Bernhard Zondek German-born Israeli gynecologist, developer of first reliable pregnancy test (d. 1966)
  • July 30Roderic Dallas, Australian World War I fighter ace (d. 1918)
  • August 2Viktor Maksimovich Zhirmunsky, Russian literary historian, linguist (d. 1971)
  • August 11Stancho Belkovski, Bulgarian architect and lecturer (d. 1962)
  • August 21Emiliano Mercado del Toro, Puerto Rican, longest-lived war veteran ever and last verified person born in 1891 (d. 2007)
  • August 25David Shimoni, Russian-born Israeli poet and writer (d. 1956)
  • September 3Bessie Delany, African American physician and author (d. 1995)
  • September 5Edward Molyneux, English fashion designer (d. 1974)
  • September 12Pedro Albizu Campos, advocate of Puerto Rican independence (d. 1965)
  • September 14William F. Friedman, American cryptographer (d. 1969)
  • September 16
    • Teruo Akiyama, Japanese admiral (d. 1943)
    • Karl Dönitz, German admiral and briefly President of Germany (d. 1980)
    • Stephanie von Hohenlohe, Austrian-born German World War II spy (d. 1972)
    • Julie Winnefred Bertrand, Canadian supercentenarian (d. 2007)
  • September 18Rafael Pérez y Pérez, Spanish writer (d. 1984)
  • September 22Hans Albers, German actor and singer (d. 1960)
  • September 26Charles Munch, French conductor and violinist (d. 1968)
  • September 28Myrtle Gonzalez, American film and stage actress (d. 1918)


File:James Chadwick.jpg

James Chadwick

File:Fredrick banting.jpg

Frederick Banting

File:Nelly Sachs 1966.jpg

Nelly Sachs

Date unknown[]

  • Godfrey Ince, British civil servant (d. 1960)
  • W. Alton Jones, American industrialist and philanthropist (d. 1962)
  • Anna Sprengel, German Countess (alleged death)




Nikolaus Otto


John A. Macdonald

File:Wilhelm Eduard Weber II.jpg

Wilhelm Eduard Weber

  • January 5Emma Abbott, American opera singer (b. 1849)
  • January 16Léo Delibes, French composer (b. 1836)
  • January 20Kalākaua, last reigning King of Hawaii (b. 1836)
  • January 21
    • Calixa Lavallée, Canadian composer (b. 1842)
    • James Timberlake, American lawman (b. 1846)
  • January 26Nikolaus Otto, German engineer (b. 1832)
  • February 13David Dixon Porter, American admiral (b. 1813)
  • February 14William Tecumseh Sherman, American general (b. 1820)
  • March 15
    • Théodore de Banville, French writer (b. 1823)
    • Sir Joseph Bazalgette, English civil engineer (b. 1819)
  • March 29Georges Seurat, French painter (b. 1859)
  • April 2Ahmed Vefik Pasha, Turkish statesman (b. 1823)
  • April 7P. T. Barnum, American showman (b. 1810)
  • April 9George Cavendish-Bentinck, British Conservative politician (b. 1821)
  • April 24Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Prussian field marshal (b. 1800)
  • April 25Nathaniel Woodard, educationalist (b. 1811)
  • May 4Professor James Moriarty, fictional criminal mastermind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes short story The Final Problem (b. unknown)
  • May 8Helena Blavatsky, Russian-born author and theosophist (b. 1831)
  • June 6John A. Macdonald, 1st Prime Minister of Canada and Father of Confederation (b. 1815)
  • June 19David Settle Reid, American politician (b. 1813)
  • June 23Samuel Newitt Wood, American politician (b. 1825)
  • June 24Wilhelm Eduard Weber, German physicist (b. 1804)


File:Herman Melville.jpg

Herman Melville

File:Prince Kuni Asahiko.jpg

Prince Kuni Asahiko


Arthur Rimbaud

  • July 4Hannibal Hamlin, 15th Vice President of the United States (b. 1809)
  • July 24Hermann Raster, German Forty-Eighter and Editor in Chief of the Illinois Staats-Zeitung (b. 1827)
  • August 12James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist (b. 1819)
  • August 14Sarah Childress Polk, First Lady of the United States (b. 1803)
  • August 27Samuel C. Pomeroy, American politician and railroad executive (b. 1816)
  • August 29Pierre Lallement, French inventor of the bicycle (b. 1843?)
  • September 7Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California (b. 1820)
  • September 11Antero de Quental, Portuguese poet (b. 1842)
  • September 15Ivan Goncharov, Russian author (b. 1812)
  • September 28Herman Melville, American novelist (b. 1819)
  • September 30Georges Ernest Boulanger, French general and politician (b. 1837)
  • October 6
    • Charles I of Württemberg (b. 1823)
    • Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish nationalist leader (b. 1846)
  • October 15Gilbert Arthur à Beckett, English writer (b. 1837)
  • October 23Ambrose of Optina, Russian Orthodox saint (b. 1812)
  • October 25Prince Kuni Asahiko (b. 1824)
  • October 29Prince Yamashina Akira (b. 1816)
  • November 6J. Gregory Smith, Vermont governor (b. 1818)
  • November 10Arthur Rimbaud, French poet (b. 1854)
  • November 17George H. Cooper, United States Navy admiral (b. 1821)
  • December 5Pedro II, Brazilian deposed emperor (b. 1825)
  • December 29Leopold Kronecker, Polish-German mathematician and academic (b. 1823)
  • December 31Samuel Ajayi Crowther, 1st African Anglican bishop; linguist and legendary missionary (b. 1809)

Date unknown[]

  • William Robert Woodman, British co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (b. 1828)


  1. Woodward, Antony; Penn, Robert (2007). The Wrong Kind of Snow. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-93787-7.
  2. Carter, Clive (1971). The Blizzard of '91. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5137-0.
  3. 562 passengers and crew from Utopia and two rescue sailors from HMS Immortalité - "The Dead of the Utopia". The New York Times. March 20, 1891.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
  5. Carroll, Sean B. (2009). Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species. London: Quercus. pp. 90–91. ISBN 978-1-84916-072-8.
  6. Lloyd, John; Mitchinson, John (2010). The Second Book of General Ignorance. London: Faber. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-571-26965-5.