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|Centuries:||17th century – 18th century – 19th century|
|Decades:||1750s 1760s 1770s – 1780s – 1790s 1800s 1810s|
|Years:||1782 1783 1784 – 1785 – 1786 1787 1788|
|1785 by topic:|
|Arts and Sciences|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature ( Poetry) – Music – Science|
|Canada – Great Britain – United States|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2538|
|British Regnal year||25 Geo. 3 – 26 Geo. 3|
|Chinese calendar|| 甲辰年十一月廿一日
— to —乙巳年十二月初一日
|- Vikram Samvat||1841–1842|
|- Shaka Samvat||1707–1708|
|- Kali Yuga||4886–4887|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||785–786|
|Japanese calendar|| Tenmei 5
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 11 days|
|Minguo calendar||127 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2328|
Year 1785 (MDCCLXXXV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Wednesday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar.
- January 1 – The first issue of the Daily Universal Register, later known as The Times, is published in London.
- January 7 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England to Calais, France in a hydrogen gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air.
- January 20 – Invading Siamese forces, attempting to exploit the political chaos in Vietnam, are ambushed and annihilated at the Mekong River by the Tây Sơn in the Battle of Rạch Gầm-Xoài Mút.
- January 27 – The University of Georgia is founded.
- May 10 – A hot air balloon crashes in Tullamore, Ireland, causing a fire that burns down about 100 houses, making it the world's first aviation disaster (by 36 days).
- June 3 – Continental Navy disbanded.
- June 15 – After several attempts, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and his companion, Pierre Romain, set off in a balloon from Boulogne-sur-Mer, but the balloon suddenly deflates (without the envelope catching fire) and crashes near Wimereux in the Pas-de-Calais, killing both men, making it the first fatal aviation disaster.
- July 6 – The dollar is unanimously chosen as the money unit for the United States (the first time a nation has adopted a decimal coinage system).
- July 16 – The Piper-Heidsieck Champagne house is founded by Florens-Louis Heidsieck in Reims, France.
- August 1 – The fleet of French explorer Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse leaves Paris for the circumnavigation of the globe.
- August 15 – Cardinal de Rohan is arrested in Paris; the Necklace Affair comes into the open.
- November – A drought occurs in Haiti.
- November 28 – The Treaty of Hopewell is signed between the United States of America and the Cherokee Nation.
- The University of New Brunswick is founded in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
- Coal gas is first used for illumination.
- Louis XVI of France signs to a law that a handkerchief must be square.
- The British government establishes a permanent land force in the Eastern Caribbean, based in Barbados.
- The North Carolina General Assembly incorporates Lincolnton, North Carolina (named for American General Benjamin Lincoln) as the new county seat for Lincoln County.
- Belfast Academy (later Belfast Royal Academy) is founded by Rev. Dr James Crombie in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi publishes Letters on the Teachings of Spinoza, and starts the Pantheism controversy.
- Napoleon Bonaparte becomes a lieutenant in the French artillery.
- Music: Mozart's "Haydn" String Quartets are published.
- January 4
- February 8 – Martín Miguel de Güemes Argentine military leader (d. 1821)
- February 10 – Claude-Louis Navier, French engineer and physicist (d. 1836)
- March 27 – Louis XVII of France (d. 1795)
- April 4 – Bettina von Arnim, German poet (d. 1859)
- April 26 – John James Audubon, French-American naturalist and illustrator (d. 1851)
- May 18 – John Wilson, Scottish writer (d. 1854)
- May 20 – Marcellin Champagnat, Saint (d. 1840)
- July 6 – William Jackson Hooker, English botanist (d. 1865)
- August 15 – Thomas de Quincey, English writer (d. 1859)
- August 23 – Oliver Hazard Perry, American naval officer (d. 1819)
- September 27 – David Walker, Abolitionist (d. 1830)
- October 15 – José Miguel Carrera, Chilean general and founding father (d. 1821)
- October 18 – Thomas Love Peacock, English satirist (d. 1866)
- October 20 – George Ormerod, English historian and antiquarian (d. 1873)
- November 18 – David Wilkie, Scottish artist (d. 1841)
- December 23 – Christian Gobrecht, designer of the " Liberty Seated" coins (d. 1844)
- January 3 – Baldassare Galuppi, Italian composer (b. 1706)
- January 19 – Jonathan Toup, English classical scholar and critic (b. 1713)
- January 23 – Matthew Stewart, Scottish mathematician (b. 1717)
- February 26 – Barbara Erni Liechtenstein Confidence trickster (b. 1743)
- April 14 – William Whitehead, English writer (b. 1715)
- May 8
- Etienne Francois, Duke of Choiseul, French statesman (b. 1719)
- Pietro Longhi, Venetian painter (b. 1701)
- June 2 – Jean Paul de Gua de Malves, French mathematician (b. 1713)
- June 30 – James Oglethorpe, English general and founder of the state of Georgia (b. 1696)
- August 17 – Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of the Colony and the state of Connecticut (b. 1710)
- August 26 – George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, British soldier and politician (b. 1716)
- August 28 – Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, French sculptor (b. 1714)
- October 4 – David Brearly, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention (b. 1703)
- November 18 – Louis Philip I, Duke of Orléans, French soldier and writer (b. 1725)
- November 19 – Bernard de Bury, French composer (b. 1720)
- November 25 – Richard Glover, English poet (b. 1712)
- December 6 – Kitty Clive, English actress and playwright (b. 1711)
- December 29 – Johan Herman Wessel, Norwegian author (b. 1742)