1886 is a common year starting on Friday (click on link to calendar)
1883 1884 1885 - 1886 - 1887 1889 1889
1850s 1860s 1870s - 1880s - 1890s 1900s 1910s
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
- January 18 - Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.
- January 29 - Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.
- March 17 - Carrollton Massacre: 20 African Americans are killed in Mississippi.
- March 19 ? Complete darkness for 10 minutes in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- April 25 - Easter occurs on latest possible date (next in 1943)
- May 1 - the start of the general strike in the United States which escalated into Haymarket Riot and eventually won the eight-hour workday in the U.S.
- May 4 - Emil Berliner started working on inventing the gramophone.
- May 8 - Pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton invents a carbonated beverage that would be named "Coca-Cola."
- May 10 - The Football Association approves N. L. Jackson's proposal that each player be awarded a cap for each international match in which he plays.
- May 29 - Chemist John Pemberton begins to advertise Coca-Cola (ad in the Atlanta Journal).
- June 2 - U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the first and only president to wed in the executive mansion.
- June 10 - Eruption of Mount Tarawera volcano in New Zealand, resulting in the deaths of over 150 people and the destruction of the famous Pink and White Terraces.
- July 25 ? Steve Brodie fakes a jump from the Brooklyn Bridge
- June 13 - A fire devastates much of Vancouver, British Columbia.
- August 4 ? William Ewart Gladstone fails to secure enough support for the Irish Home Rule in the British parliament
- August 20 - A massive hurricane demolishes the town of Indianola, Texas
- August 31 - Huge Earthquake hits South Carolina USA. Earthquake rods installed afterwards... Much Damage.
- September 4 - Indian Wars: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo surrenders with his last band of warriors to General Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona.
- October 7 - Spain abolishes slavery in Cuba.
- October 28 - In New York Harbor, US President Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty.
- November 30 - Folies Bergère stages its first revue.
- Britain annexes Burma
- Etna erupts
- Piccadilly Circus
- William Grant & Sons founded
- Wilhelm Steinitz becomes first official World Chess Champion
- January 2 - Florence Lawrence, Canadian-born actress (d. 1938)
- January 14 - Hugh Lofting, English-born author (d. 1947)
- January 25 - Wilhelm Furtwängler, German conductor (d. 1954)
- February 8 - Charles Ruggles, American actor (d. 1970)
- February 27 - Hugo Black, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (d. 1971)
- March 1 - Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian painter, graphic artist, and poet (d. 1980)
- March 3 - Tore Ørjasæter, Norwegian poet (d. 1968)
- March 15 - Sergei Kirov, Soviet revolutionary (d. 1934)
- March 18 - Edward Everett Horton, American actor (d. 1970)
- March 24 - Edward Weston, American photographer (d. 1958)
- March 25 - Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople (d. 1972)
- March 27 - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, German architect (d. 1969)
- April 14 - Ernst Robert Curtius, Alsatian philologist (d. 1950)
- April 26 - Ma Rainey, American blues singer (d. 1939)
- May 2 - Gottfried Benn, German poet (d. 1956)
- May 3 - Marcel Dupré, French composer (d. 1971)
- May 17 - King Alfonso XIII of Spain (d. 1941)
- May 20 - John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever, British businessman (d. 1971)
- May 26 - Al Jolson, American trumpeter (d. 1950)
- June 7 - Henri Coanda, Romanian aerodynamics pioneer (d. 1972)
- June 18 - George Mallory, English climber (d. 1924)
- July 12 - Jean Hersholt, Danish-born actor (d. 1956)
- July 24 - Junichiro Tanizaki, Japanese writer (d. 1965)
- July 25 - Bror von Blixen-Finecke, Danish big-game hunter (d. 1946)
- August 27 - Rebecca Clarke, English composer and violist (d. 1979)
- August 27 - Eric Coates, English composer (d. 1957)
- September 13 - Robert Robinson, British chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975)
- September 16 - Jean Arp, Alsatian sculptor, painter, and poet (d. 1966)
- September 20 - Charles Williams, British author (d. 1945)
- October 6 - Edwin Fischer, Swiss pianist and conductor (d. 1960)
- October 16 - David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1973)
- November 1 - Hermann Broch, Austrian author (d. 1951)
- November 9 - Ed Wynn, American actor (d. 1966)
- November 15 - René Guénon, French-Egyptian author (d. 1951)
- December 3 - Manne Siegbahn, Swedish physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1978)
- December 5 - Rose Wilder Lane, American author and reporter (d. 1968)
- December 8 - Diego Rivera, Mexican painter (d. 1957)
- December 12 - Owen Moore, Irish actor (d. 1939)
- December 18 - Ty Cobb, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1961)
- December 25 - Kid Ory, American jazz musician (d. 1973)
- Jacques Majorelle - French painter (d. 1962)
- January 17 - Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian composer (b. 1834)
- January 26 - David Rice Atchison, American politician (b. 1807)
- May 15 - Emily Dickinson, American poet (b. 1830)
- June 13 - King Ludwig II of Bavaria (b. 1845)
- July 1 - Otto Wilhelm Hermann von Abich, German geologist (b. 1806)
- July 31 - Franz Liszt, Hungarian pianist and composer (b. 1811)
- August 16 - Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Indian spiritual figure (b. 1836)
- September 14 - Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard, American land speculator (b. 1802)
- November 18 - Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States (b. 1829)
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