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1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1883rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 883rd year of the 2nd millennium, the 83rd year of the 19th century, and the 4th year of the 1880s decade. As of the start of 1883, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- January 4 – Life magazine is founded in Los Angeles, United States.
- January 10 – A fire at the Newhall Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, kills 73 people.
- January 16 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States civil service, is passed.
- January 19 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires begins service in Roselle, New Jersey, United States; it was installed by Thomas Edison.
- February – The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi is first published complete in book form, in Italy.
- February 15 – Tokyo Electrical Lightning Grid, as predecessor of Tokyo Electrical Power (TEPCO), one of largest electrical grid in world and Asia, was founded in Japan.
- February 16 – The Ladies' Home Journal is published for the first time, in the United States.
- February 23 – Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law.
- February 28 – The first vaudeville theater is opened, in Boston, Massachusetts.
- March 2 – The Hong Kong Observatory is established.
- March 20 – The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is held.
- March 28 – Battle of Gia Cuc: A French force defeats a Vietnamese in northern Vietnam in the run-up to the Sino-French War.
- April 5 – Oxygen is liquefied for the very first time.
- April 28 – The first sevens tournament is played at Melrose RFC in Scotland.
- May 23 – Robert Louis Stevenson's children's pirate adventure novel Treasure Island is first published in book format, in London.
- May 24 – Brooklyn Bridge is opened to traffic, after 13 years of construction.
- May 30 – In New York City, a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede, which crushes 12 people.
- June 13 – Count Arvid Posse leaves office as Prime Minister of Sweden. He is succeeded by Carl Johan Thyselius, the first non-aristocrat (Swedish ; "ofrälse") to serve as Swedish head of government, and Prime Minister.
- June 16 – Victoria Hall disaster: A rush for treats results in 183 children being asphyxiated, in a concert hall in Sunderland, England.
- June 28 – In Milan, Italy the first central European electricity power station is inaugurated.
- June 30 – Robert Louis Stevenson's novel The Black Arrow first appears as a serial in the British magazine Young Folks; A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature as by Captain George North. Stevenson completes writing it at the end of the summer in France.
- July 3 – The SS Daphne disaster in Glasgow leaves 124 dead.
- July 4 – The world's first rodeo is held in Pecos, Texas.
- July 22 – Zulu King Cetshwayo barely escapes a rebel attack with his life.
- August 12 – The last quagga dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.
- August 21 – An F5 tornado strikes Rochester, Minnesota, leading to the creation of the Mayo Clinic.
- August 26–27 – The volcanic island of Krakatoa erupts at 10:02 AM (local time); 163 villages are destroyed, 36,380 killed by tsunami.
- August 29 – Dunfermline Carnegie Library, the first Carnegie library, is opened in Andrew Carnegie's hometown, Dunfermline, Scotland.
- September 1 – Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical "Supremi Apostolatus Officio: on the Devotion of the Holy Rosary"
- September 11 – Major Evelyn Baring becomes Consul-General of Egypt under British rule.
- September 15
- September 29 – A consortium of flour mill operators in Minneapolis forms the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railway, as a means to get their product to the Great Lakes ports, but avoid the high tariffs of Chicago.
- October 1 – Sydney Boys High School (the first boys' public school) is founded in Sydney, Australia.
- October 4
- The Boys' Brigade (the first uniformed youth organization in existence) is founded in Glasgow, Scotland.
- The Orient Express train begins to run through from Paris Gare de l'Est to Giurgiu in Romania, with onward ferry and train connections to Istanbul (the train has been running since June 5 as far as Vienna).
- October 15 – The Supreme Court of the United States declares part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional, allowing individuals and corporations to discriminate based on race.
- October 20 – Peru and Chile sign the Treaty of Ancón, by which the Tarapacá province is ceded to Chile, ending Peru's involvement in the War of the Pacific.
- October 22 – Mödling and Hinterbrühl Tram, Vienna, Austria, first electric tram powered by overhead wire.
- October 24 – Cardiff University, Wales, opens (under the name of University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire).
- October 30 – Two Clan na Gael dynamite bombs explode in the London Underground, injuring several people. The next day, Home Secretary Vernon Harcourt drafts 300 policemen to guard the underground, and introduces the Explosives Bill.
- November 3 – The 14th Century AH begins in the Islamic calendar on the 1st of Muharram, 1201 AH.
- November 3 – American Old West: Self-described Black Bart the Po-8 makes his last stagecoach robbery, but leaves a handkerchief with a laundry mark that eventually leads to his capture.
- November 14 – Chile's National Library of Congress is founded.
- November 18 – U.S. and Canadian railroads institute 5 standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.
- November 28 – Whitman College is chartered as a 4-year college in Walla Walla, Washington.
- December 5 – Bisbee Massacre: Five people are killed in the robbery of a general store by bandits, in Bisbee, Arizona.
- December 16 - Tonkin Campaign: French forces capture the Sơn Tây citadel.
- December 21 - The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment, the first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army, are formed.
- German bacteriologist Robert Koch discovers the cholera bacillus.
- Antoni Gaudí begins to work on the Sagrada Família Cathedral in Barcelona (it will be consecrated in 2010).
- Construction of Speicherstadt as a free zone in the Port of Hamburg begins.
- During construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883, blasting and excavation reveal high concentrations of nickel–copper ore at Murray Mine, on the edge of the Sudbury Basin, located near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
- Otto von Bismarck pushes the first social security law through the Reichstag.
- A depression starts in Seattle, Washington, United States.
- The British Parliament considers a major bill to allow Indian judges to try Europeans in India. The British community rises in protest, and defeats the measure.
- The Mexican government passes a law allowing real estate companies (controlled by General Porfirio Díaz's political associates) to survey public and "vacant" lands, and to retain one third of the land they survey.
- Bernard Kroger establishes the first Kroger grocery store, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- The first purebred Percheron (horse) stud book is created in France.
- Founding of:
- January 1
- January 3 – Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1967)
- January 4 – Johanna Westerdijk, Dutch plant pathologist (d. 1961)
- January 5 – Döme Sztójay, prime minister of Hungary (d. 1946)
- January 6 – Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet, painter and novelist (d. 1931)
- January 10
- January 16 – Hugh Oswald Short, British aviation pioneer and aircraft builder, youngest of the Short Brothers (d. 1969)
- January 19 – Waite Phillips, American businessman, philanthropist (d. 1964)
- January 20
- January 21 – Olav Aukrust, Norwegian poet (d. 1929)
- January 30 – Eddie Collins, American vaudeville-veteran comic (d. 1940)
- February 8 – Joseph Alois Schumpeter, Austrian economist (d. 1950)
- February 9 – Fritz August Breuhaus de Groot, German architect, interior designer and designer (d. 1960)
- February 15 – Sax Rohmer, English author (d. 1959)
- February 16 – Elizabeth Craig, British writer (d. 1980)
- February 18 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer (d. 1957)
- February 22
- February 23 – Karl Jaspers, German philosopher (d. 1969)
- February 28 – Gheorghe Argeșanu, Romanian general and politician, 40th Prime Minister of Romania (d. 1940)
- March 3 – Cyril Burt, British educational psychologist (d. 1971)
- March 4
- March 7 – Michael Somogyi, Hungarian-American biochemist, professor (d. 1971)
- March 19
- March 22 – Edwin Carewe, Native American director (d. 1940)
- March 24 – Dorothy Campbell, Scottish golfer (d. 1945)
- March 27 – Dimitrios Semsis, Greek violinist (d. 1950)
- April 1
- April 3
- April 5 – Walter Huston, Canadian-born American actor (d. 1950)
- April 11 – Leonard Mudie, English actor (d. 1965)
- April 12 – Dally Messenger, Australian rugby league player (d. 1959)
- April 15 – Stanley Bruce, 8th Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1967)
- April 18 – Aleksanteri Aava, Finnish poet (d. 1956)
- April 25 – Semyon Budyonny, Cossack cavalryman, Marshal of the Soviet Union (d. 1973)
- April 27 – Hubert Harrison, African-American writer, critic, and activist (d. 1927)
- April 30 – Jaroslav Hašek, Czech writer (d. 1923)
- May 1 – Tom Moore, Irish-American actor (d. 1955)
- May 5
- May 9 – José Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher (d. 1955)
- May 10 – Eugen Leviné, Communist leader of the Munich Soviet Republic (d. 1919)
- May 14 – Charlie Seeling, New Zealand-born rugby player (d. 1956)
- May 16
- May 18
- May 19 – George Cholmondeley, 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley, British peer (d. 1968)
- May 22 – Jane Grey, American actress (d. 1944)
- May 23
- May 24 – Elsa Maxwell, American gossip columnist, international party giver (d. 1963)
- May 25 – Lesley J. McNair, American general (d. 1944)
- May 27 – Jessie Arms Botke, American artist (d. 1971)
- May 28 – Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Indian pro-independence activist, Hindu nationalist (d. 1966)
- May 31 – Lauri Kristian Relander, President of Finland (d. 1942)
- June 5 – John Maynard Keynes, English economist (d. 1946)
- June 7 – Sylvanus G. Morley, American scholar, World War I spy (d. 1948)
- June 11 – Aubrey Fitch, American admiral (d. 1978)
- June 18 – Mary Alden, American stage, screen actress (d. 1946)
- June 20 – Royal E. Ingersoll, American admiral (d. 1976)
- June 21
- June 24 – Victor Francis Hess, Austrian-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1964)
- June 28 – Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of France (d. 1945)
- June 29 – Lothrop Stoddard, American eugenicist, radical scientific racist (d. 1950)
- July 1
- July 3 – Franz Kafka, Austrian writer (d. 1924)
- July 4 – Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist (d. 1970)
- July 6 – Godfrey Huggins, Rhodesian politician, physician (d. 1971)
- July 7 – Toivo Kuula, Finnish composer (d. 1918)
- July 10 – Johannes Blaskowitz, German general (d. 1948)
- July 16 – Charles Sheeler, American photographer, artist (d. 1965)
- July 19
- July 20
- July 23
- July 24 – Nelle Wilson Reagan, mother of United States President Ronald Reagan (d. 1962)
- July 25 – Alfredo Casella, Italian composer (d. 1947)
- July 26 – Edwin Balmer, American science fiction, mystery writer (d. 1959)
- July 28 – Angela Hitler, Austrian elder half-sister of Adolf Hitler (d. 1949)
- July 29
- July 31 – Ramón Fonst, Cuban fencer (d. 1959)
- August 2 – Aurelio Mosquera, Ecuadorian politician, 25th President of Ecuador (d. 1939)
- August 6 – Scott Nearing, American political activist, economist, and simple living advocate (d. 1983)
- August 9 – Chester Gillette, American murderer (execution) (d. 1908)
- August 12
- August 15 – Ivan Meštrović, Croatian sculptor and architect, (d. 1962)
- August 19
- Coco Chanel, French stylist (d. 1971)
- Elsie Ferguson, American actress (d. 1961)
- Leonid Kulik, Russian mineralogist (Tunguska event) (d. 1942)
- José Mendes Cabeçadas, 9th President of Portugal and 94th Prime Minister of Portugal (d. 1965)
- Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp, 24th Prime Minister of Sweden (d. 1954)
- August 23
- August 30 – Theo van Doesburg, Dutch artist, painter, architect, and poet (d. 1931)
- September 2 – Rudolf Weigl, Polish biologist (d. 1957)
- September 5 – Mel Sheppard, American Olympic athlete (d. 1942)
- September 13 – August Zaleski, former President of Poland (d. 1972)
- September 14 – Gadicherla Harisarvottama Rao, Indian journalist and independence activist (d. 1960)
- September 15 – Esteban Terradas i Illa, Catalan mathematician, scientist, and engineer (d. 1950)
- September 22 – Ferenc Oslay, Hungarian-Slovene historian, writer and irredenta (d. 1932)
- September 28 – Berta Pīpiņa, Latvian politician (d. 1942)
- October 2 – Karl von Terzaghi, Austrian civil engineer and "father of soil mechanics" (d. 1963)
- October 8 – Otto Heinrich Warburg, German physician and physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
- October 15 – Robert L. Ghormley, American admiral (d. 1958)
- October 21 – D. S. Senanayake, 1st Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (d. 1952)
- October 26 – Paul Pilgrim, American athlete (d. 1958)
- October 30 – Bob Jones, Sr., American evangelist, pioneer religious broadcaster, and founder and first president of Bob Jones University (d. 1968)
- October 31 – Anthony Wilding, New Zealand tennis player (d. 1915)
- November 3 – Chaturbhuj Sahay, Samrth Guru and Spiritual Reformer (d. 1957)
- November 4 – Nikolaos Plastiras, Greek general and politician (d. 1953)
- November 8 – Arnold Bax, English composer (d. 1953)
- November 9 – Edna May Oliver, stage and film character actress (d. 1942)
- November 11 – Ernest Ansermet, Swiss conductor (d. 1969)
- November 14 – Ado Birk, 3rd Prime Minister of Estonia (d. 1942)
- November 18 – Carl Vinson, U.S. Congressman (d. 1981)
- November 25
- November 29
- December 3 – Anton Webern, Austrian composer (d. 1945)
- December 9
- December 10 – Giovanni Messe, Italian field marshal and politician (d. 1968)
- December 12
- December 13 – Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian, bibliographer, and archivist (d. 1950)
- December 14 – Morihei Ueshiba, Japanese martial artist and founder of aikido (d. 1969)
- December 16
- December 17 – Raimu, French actor (d. 1946)
- December 22
- December 25 – Hugo Bergmann, German and Israeli Jewish philosopher (d. 1975)
- December 26 – Maurice Utrillo, French artist and illustrator (d. 1955)
- December 28 – Lloyd Fredendall, American general (d. 1963)
- December 29 – Forrest Taylor, American stage, film and television actor (d. 1965)
- December 31 – Leo Otis Colbert, American admiral and engineer, third Director of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (d. 1968)
- Lotte Herrlich, German photographer (d. 1956)
- Z. D. Mangoaela, South African folklorist and writer (d. 1963)
- Chen Xiefen, Chinese feminist and journalist (d. 1923)
- T. F. O'Rahilly, Irish academic (d. 1953)
- Ali Ahmad Khan, Afghan politician and emir (d. 1929)
- Ernest Spybuck, Native American artist (d. 1949
- Tran Trong Kim, Vietnamese historian and Prime Minister of the Empire of Vietnam (d. 1953)
- January 4 – Antoine Chanzy, French general and colonial governor (b. 1823)
- January 8 – Miska Magyarics, Slovene poet in Hungary (b. 1825)
- January 10
- January 23 – Gustave Doré, French artist (b. 1832)
- January 24 – Friedrich von Flotow, German composer (b. 1812)
- February 13 – Richard Wagner, German composer (b. 1813)
- February 15 – Prince Kachō Hiroatsu of Japan (b. 1875)
- February 17
- February 18 – Francis Abbott, Australian astronomer (b. 1799)
- March 4 – Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America (b. 1812)
- March 14 – Karl Marx, German communist philosopher (b. 1818)
- March 20 – Charles Lasègue, French physician (b. 1816)
- March 21 – Grigol Orbeliani, Georgian poet and soldier (b. 1804)
- March 28 – Napoleon Bonaparte Buford, American general and railroad executive (b. 1807)
- April 4 – Peter Cooper, American industrialist, inventor and philanthropist (b. 1791)
- April 15 – Frederick Francis II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (b. 1823)
- April 16 – Charles II, Duke of Parma (b. 1799)
- April 26 – Napoleon Orda, Belarusian composer and artist (b. 1807)
- April 30 – Édouard Manet, French painter (b. 1832)
- May 24 – Keʻelikōlani, princess of Hawaii (b. 1826)
- May 26 – Abdelkader El Djezairi, Algerian leader (b. 1808)
- June 6 – Ciprian Porumbescu, Romanian composer (b. 1853)
- June 11 – Caroline Leigh Gascoigne, English writer (b. 1813)
- June 20 – John Colenso, English-born mathematician and theologian, Bishop of Natal (b. 1814)
- June 26 – Edward Sabine, Irish astronomer (b. 1788)
- July 15 – General Tom Thumb, American circus performer and entertainer (b. 1838)
- July 22 – Edward Ord, U.S. Army officer (b. 1818)
- July 23 – Rose Massey, English actress (b. 1851?)
- July 24 – Matthew Webb, English sailor, first recorded person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids (b. 1848)
- July 27 – Montgomery Blair, American politician (b. 1813)
- July 28 – Carlo Pellion di Persano, Italian admiral and politician (b. 1806)
- August 24 – Henri, Count of Chambord, pretender to the French throne (b. 1820)
- August 25 – Louise Lateau, Belgian mystic and stigmatist (b. 1850)
- September 3 – Ivan Turgenev, Russian writer (b. 1818)
- September 10 – Otto Pius Hippius, Baltic German architect (b. 1826)
- September 17 – Junius Brutus Booth, Jr., American actor and theatre manager (b. 1821)
- October 5 – Joachim Barrande, French palaeontologist (b. 1799)
- October 14 – Sir Arthur Elton, 7th Baronet, English writer and Liberal Party politician (b. 1818)
- October 20 – George Chichester, 3rd Marquess of Donegall, Anglo-Irish landowner, courtier and politician (b. 1797)
- October 22 – Thomas Mayne Reid, Irish-American novelist (b. 1818)
- October 30
- November 19 – Carl Wilhelm Siemens, German engineer (b. 1823)
- November 20 – Tenshoin, wife of 13th Shōgun of Japan, Tokugawa Iesada (b.1836)
- November 29 – Elisabeth Dieudonné Vincent, Haitian-born migrant and free woman of colour (b. 1798)
- December 13 – Victor de Laprade, French poet and critic (b. 1812)
- December 27 – Andrew A. Humphreys, American general and civil engineer (b. 1810)
- ja:東京配電#沿革 (Japanese language edition) Retriveted date on July 12, 2020.
- "Top 100 U.S. Magazines by Circulation" (PDF). PSA Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- "History of the Hong Kong Observatory". Hong Kong Observatory. May 20, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (1983). The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property from 1883 to 1983. WIPO. ISBN 978-92-805-0099-8.
- "History of melrose sevens". Retrieved March 2, 2014.
- "Bisbee Massacre", in The Encyclopedia of Lawmen, Outlaws, and Gunfighters, Leon Claire Metz, ed. (Infobase Publishing, 2002) p25
- "SPYBUCK, ERNEST (1883–1949)". Digital.library.okstate.edu. Oklahoma State University. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
Further reading and year books
- 1883 Annual Cyclopedia (1884) online; highly detailed coverage of "Political, Military, and Ecclesiastical Affairs; Public Documents; Biography, Statistics, Commerce, Finance, Literature, Science, Agriculture, and Mechanical Industry" for 1883; massive compilation of facts and primary documents; worldwide coverage. 897pp
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