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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1850s 1860s 1870s – 1880s – 1890s 1900s 1910s|
|Years:||1884 1885 1886 – 1887 – 1888 1889 1890|
Year 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1887
January - March
- January 6 - `Abd-allah II of Harar opens the Battle of Chelenqo with an attack on the camp of the Shewan army of Negus Menelik II early in the morning; prepared for the assault, the Negus orders a counter-attack which routs the enemy, resulting in the capture of Harar a few days later.
- January 11 - Louis Pasteur's anti-rabies treatment is defended in the French Academy of Medicine by Dr. Joseph Grancher.
- January 20 - The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbour as a naval base.
- January 21
- January 24 - Battle of Dogali: Abyssinian troops defeat Italians.
- January 28 - In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA, the largest snowflakes on record are reported. They are 15 inches (38cm) wide and 8 inches (20cm) thick.
- February 2 - In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed.
- February 5 - The Giuseppe Verdi opera Otello premieres at La Scala.
- February 8 - Dawes Act or General Allotment Act was made.
- February 23 - The French Riviera is hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000 along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
- February 26 - At the SCG, 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.
- March 19 - Henry Cogswell College established by Henry D. Cogswell.
April - June
- April 4 - Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.
- May 3 - Earthquake in Sonora, Mexico.
- May 9 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opens in London.
- May 14 - The cornerstone was laid for building new Stanford University, in northern California (opened in 1891).
- June 8 - Herman Hollerith receives a patent for his punch card calculator.
- June 18 - The Reinsurance Treaty is closed between Germany and Russia.
- June 21 - Britain celebrates a Golden Jubilee, marking the 50th year of Queen Victoria's reign.
- 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 - September
- July 12 - Odense Boldklub, Danish footballteam was founded as Odense Cricketclub.
- July 26 - L. L. Zamenhof publishes "Dr. Esperanto's International Tongue".
- July 27 - Giuseppe Peano marries Carola Crosio.
- August - U.S. National Institutes of Health is founded at the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, NY, as the Laboratory of Hygiene.
- August 13 - Hibernian FC defeat Preston North End to become undisputed champions of the World through the dominance of these two teams in their respective countries.
- September 5 - Theatre Royal, Exeter, England burns down, 186 people killed.
October - December
- October 1 - British Empire takes over Balochistan.
- November - Results of the Michelson-Morley experiment are published, indicating that the speed of light is independent of motion.
- November 3 - Associação Académica de Coimbra, students' union of the University of Coimbra in Portugal, was founded.
- November 10
- Louis Lingg, sentenced to be hanged for his alleged role in the Haymarket Riot bomb, kills himself by dynamite
- In London, police and left-wing demonstrators clash. One dead. One of the participants is George Bernard Shaw.
- November 11 - August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Michael Schwab, and Samuel Fielden hanged for inciting riot and murder in the Haymarket Riot of May 4, 1886.
- November 13 - Bloody Sunday, Police clash with pro-Irish independence protesters.
- December 25 - Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky first ran from the stills of Glenfiddich Distillery. The whisky is still produced today by William Grant & Sons.
- Teachers College, later part of Columbia University, is founded.
- Thomas Stevens is 1st man to bicycle around the world.
- Gramophone is patented by Emile Berliner.
- The New Gate is built in Jerusalem.
- Comptometer patented by Dorr Eugene Felt.
- The first All-Ireland Hurling and Football Finals are held.
- Japan annexes Iwo Jima.
- Zululand becomes a British colony.
- Yellow river floods in China: 900,000 dead.
- Construction of Spandau Prison in Berlin is completed.
- Heinrich Hertz discovers electromagnetism.
- US congress passes the Interstate Commerce Act.
- Adolf Eugen Fick invents the contact lens, made of a type of brown glass.
- A. G. Edwards founded by General Albert Gallatin Edwards
|Ab urbe condita||2640|
|British Regnal year||50 Vict. 1 – 51 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 丙戌年十二月初八日
— to —丁亥年十一月十七日
|- Vikram Samvat||1943–1944|
|- Shaka Samvat||1809–1810|
|- Kali Yuga||4988–4989|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||887–888|
|Japanese calendar|| Meiji 20
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||25 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2430|
January - June
- January 1 - Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence in World War II (d. 1945)
- January 3 - August Macke, German painter (d. 1914)
- January 10 - Robinson Jeffers, American poet (d. 1962)
- January 19 - Alexander Woollcott, American intellectual (d. 1943)
- January 21 - Maude Davis, Oldest Person in the World (d. 2002)
- January 22 - Helen Hoyt, American poet (d. 1972)
- 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 - Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada (d. 1967)
- February 26
- 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 14 - Sylvia Beach, American publisher in Paris (d. 1952)
- March 14 - Charles Reisner, American silent actor and film director (d. 1962)
- March 22 - Chico Marx, American comedian and actor (d. 1961)
- March 23 - Juan Gris, Spanish-born painter and graphic artist (d. 1927)
- March 23 - Prince Felix Yussupov, Russian assassin of Rasputin (d. 1967)
- March 24 - Fatty Arbuckle, American actor (d. 1933)
- April 10 - Bernardo Houssay, Argentine physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
- April 15 - Mike Brady, American golfer (d. 1972)
- May 2 - Eddie Collins, baseball player (d. 1951)
- May 5 - Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1972)
- May 10 - Mir Ghotbeddin Mohammad Angha, 40th master of Oveyssi Sufi order (d. 1962)
- May 11 - Paul Wittgenstein, Austrian-born pianist (d. 1951)
- 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 22 - Julian Huxley, British biologist (d. 1975)
- June 25 - George Abbott, American playwright (d. 1995)
July - December
- 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)
- August 3 - Rupert Brooke, British war poet (d. 1915)
- 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)
- August 17
- August 24 - Harry Hooper, baseball player (d. 1974)
- September 1 - Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (d. 1961)
- September 3 - Frank Christian, American jazz musician (d. 1973)
- September 13
- September 16 - Nadia Boulanger, French composer and composition teacher (d. 1979)
- September 26 - Edwin Keppel Bennett, British writer (d. 1958)
- September 28 - Avery Brundage, American sports official (d. 1975)
- October 1 - Violet Jessop, RMS Titanic survivor (d. 1971)
- 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 22 - John Reed, American journalist (d. 1920)
- 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 15 - Georgia O'Keeffe, American Woman 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 - Boris Karloff, English actor (d. 1967)
- 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)
- date unknown - Pauline Sabin, American activist for repeal of prohibition in U.S. (d. 1955)
January - June
- 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 - Ivan Kramskoi, painter (b. 1837)
- March 28 - Ditlev Gothard Monrad, Danish politician (b. 1811)
- April 23 - John Ceiriog Hughes, Welsh poet (b. 1832)
- May 8 - Aleksandr Ulyanov, Russian revolutionary, brother of V. I. Lenin (b. 1866)
- May 14 - Lysander Spooner, American philosopher and abolitionist (b. 1808)
- 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 - December
- 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 5 - Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (b. 1804)