1898 1899 1900 - 1901(MCMI) - 1902 1903 1904
1870s 1880s 1890s - 1900s - 1910s 1920s 1930s
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1901 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar).
- January 1 - World celebrates what is regarded as the start of the new century. (Zero-ists' argument that new century should be celebrated in 1900 rejected worldwide).
- January 1 - The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia. Edmund Barton becomes first Prime Minister.
- January 1 - Nigeria becomes a British protectorate
- January 7 - Alferd Packer is released from prison after serving 18 years for cannibalism
- January 10 - The first great Texas gusher, oil discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas
- January 22 - Death of Queen Victoria. Her eldest son, Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales becomes King, reigning as King Edward VII. His son, Prince George, Duke of York becomes Duke of Cornwall.
- February 20 - The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.
- February 25 - J.P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.
- March 2 - The U.S. Congress passes the Platt amendment, limiting the autonomy of Cuba as a condition for the withdrawal of American troops.
- March 6 - In Bremen an assassin attempts to kill Wilhelm II of Germany.
- March 17 - A showing of 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris, 11 years after his death, creates a sensation.
- April 25 - New York State becomes the first to require automobile license plates.
- May 5 - Official end of the Caste War of Yucatàn, although mayan skirmishers will continue sporadic fighting for the next decade.
- May 9 - Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne.
- May 27 - In New Jersey, the Edison Storage Battery Company is founded.
- June 2 - Katsura Taro becomes Prime Minister of Japan
- June 12 - Cuba becomes US protectorate
- June 24 - First exhibition of Pablo Picasso opens. It receives favorable reviews.
- July 4 - The 1,282 foot (390 meters) covered bridge crossing the St.John River at Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada opens. It is the longest covered bridge in the world.
- July 24 - O. Henry is released from prison in Columbus, Ohio after serving three years for embezzlement from the First National Bank in Austin, Texas.
- August 21 - The Cadillac Motor Company formed in Detroit, Michigan, USA
- September 2 - Vice President Theodore Roosevelt utters the famous phrase, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" at the Minnesota State Fair.
- September 5 - The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (later renamed Minor League Baseball), is formed in Chicago, Illinois.
- September 6 - American anarchist Leon Czolgosz shoots and fatally wounds US President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley dies there eight days later.
- September 7 - The Boxer Rebellion in China officially ends with the signing of the Peking Protocol.
- September 9 - Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, was prime minister of South Africa from 1958 - 1966 (d. September 6 1966)
- September 14 - With the death of William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt succeeds him as President of the United States.
- October 2 - Royal Navy's first submarine launched at Barrow
- October 24 – Michigan schoolteacher Annie Taylor goes down Niagara Falls in a barrel and survives
- October 29 - In Amherst, Massachusetts nurse Jane Toppan is arrested for murdering the Davis family of Boston with an overdose of morphine.
- October 29 - Capital punishment: Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of US President William McKinley, is executed by electrocution.
- November 9 - Prince George, Duke of Cornwall becomes Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
- December 3 - US President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a 20,000-word speech to the House of Representatives asking Congress curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits".
- December 10 – Marie Curie receives doctorate. The first Nobel Prize ceremony is held in Stockholm.
- December 12 - Guglielmo Marconi receives the first trans-Atlantic radio signal in Newfoundland, Canada; it is Morse code for the letter "S."
- In the United Kingdom, Factory Act forbids child labor under 12
- Two typhoid outbreaks in USA
- Winston Churchill enters the House of Commons
- In Germany, Eugen Hollander makes the first known facelift to a Polish noblewoman
- Miller Reese Hutchinson patents Acousticon, a heavy hearing-aid prototype
- Scotland Yard creates a fingerprint archive
- Cleveland Indians founded
- Europium discovered by Eugène-Antole Demarçay
- First prototype Harley-Davidson created
- Okapi discovered (previously known only to local natives)
- Independent Maya of Eastern Yucatán surrender to Mexico
- American Standard Version Bible first published.
- Intercollegiate Prohibition Association established in Chicago, Illinois.
- January 3 - Ngo Dinh Diem, 1st President of South Vietnam (d. 1963)
- January 4 - CLR James, Trinidad-born writer and journalist (d. 1989)
- January 14 - Bebe Daniels, American actress (d. 1971)
- January 16 - Frank Zamboni, American inventor (d. 1988)
- January 26 - Stuart Symington, American politician (d. 1988)
- January 29 - E. P. Taylor, Canadian business tycoon (d. 1989)
- January 30 - Rudolf Caracciola, German race car driver (d. 1959)
- February 1 - Clark Gable, American actor (d. 1960)
- February 2 - Jascha Heifetz, Lithuanian violinist (d. 1987)
- February 10 - Stella Adler, American actress (d. 1992)
- February 25 - Zeppo Marx, American comedian (d. 1979)
- February 27 - Horatio Luro, Argentine horse trainer (d. 1991)
- February 28 - Linus Pauling, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Peace (d. 1994)
- March 4 - Charles Goren, American bridge player (d. 1991)
- March 17 - Alfred Newman, American film composer (d. 1970)
- March 21 - Karl Arnold, German politician (d. 1958)
- March 22 - Greta Kempton, American artist (d. 1991)
- March 24 - Ub Iwerks, American cartoonist (d. 1971)
- March 27 - Carl Barks, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
- March 27 - Erich Ollenhauer, German politician (d. 1963)
- March 27 - Eisaku Sato, Prime Minister of Japan, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1975)
- March 27 - Kenneth Slessor, Australian poet (d. 1971)
- April 1 - Whittaker Chambers, American spy (d. 1961)
- April 29 - Emperor Hirohito of Japan (d. 1989)
- April 30 - Simon Kuznets, Ukrainian-born economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1985)
- May 5 - Blind Willie McTell, American singer (d. 1959)
- May 7 - Gary Cooper, American actor (d. 1961)
- May 17 - Werner Egk, German composer (d. 1983)
- May 18 - Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1978)
- May 20 - Max Euwe, Dutch chess player (d. 1981)
- May 21 - Horace Heidt, American bandleader (d. 1986)
- May 21 - Sam Jaffe, American film producer (d. 2000)
- June 3 - Chang Hsüeh-liang, Chinese military leader (d. 2001)
- June 17 - F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas, English World War II hero (d. 1964)
- June 18 - Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia (d. 1918)
- June 24 - Harry Partch, American composer (d. 1974)
- June 29 - Nelson Eddy, American singer and actor (d. 1967)
- July 9 - Dame Barbara Cartland English novelist (d. 2000)
- July 17 - Bruno Jasieński, Polish poet (d. 1938)
- July 20 - Heinie Manush, baseball player (d. 1971)
- July 31 - Jean Dubuffet, French painter (d. 1985)
- August 4 - Louis Armstrong, American jazz musician (d. 1971)
- August 8 - Ernest Lawrence, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
- August 10 - Franco Dino Rasetti Italian scientist (d.2001)
- August 18 - Jean Guitton, French writer and philosopher (d. 1999)
- August 20 - Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)
- September 9 - James Blades, English percussionist (d. 1999)
- September 12 - Ben Blue, Canadian comedian and actor (d. 1975)
- September 15 - Sir Donald Bailey, British civil engineer (d. 1985)
- September 23 - Jaroslav Seifert, Czech writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1986)
- September 29 - Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1954)
- September 29 - Lanza del Vasto, Italian philosopher, poet, and activist (d. 1981)
- October 2 - Kiki, French singer (d. 1953)
- October 10 - Alberto Giacometti, Swiss sculptor (d. 1966)
- November 3 - Léopold III of Belgium (d. 1983)
- November 4 - Yi, Bang-ja, Crown Princess of Korea (d. 1989)
- November 22 - Joaquin Rodrigo, Spanish composer (d. 1999)
- December 5 - Walt Disney, American animator and film producer (d. 1966)
- December 5 - Werner Heisenberg, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1976)
- December 16 - Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist (d. 1978)
- December 19 - Rudolf Hell, German inventor (d. 2002)
- December 25- Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (d. 2004)
- December 31 - Karl-August Fagerholm, Prime Minister of Finland (d. 1984)
- Nadezhda Alliluyeva-Stalin, second wife of Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin (d. 1932)
- January 11 - Vasily Kalinnikov, Russian composer (b. 1866)
- January 21 - Elisha Gray, American inventor and appliance manufacturer (b. 1835)
- January 22 - Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India (b. 1819)
- January 27 - Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer (b. 1813)
- February 11 - King Milan I of Serbia (b. 1854)
- February 22 - George Francis FitzGerald, Irish mathematician (b. 1851)
- March 13 - Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (b. 1833)
- April 3 - Richard D'Oyly Carte, English impresario (b. 1844)
- June 2 - George Leslie Mackay, Canadian missionary (b. 1844)
- July 4 - Johannes Schmidt, German linguist (b. 1843)
- August 5 - Victoria, Empress of Germany (b. 1840)
- September 5 - Ignacij Klemenčič, Slovenian physicist (b. 1853)
- September 9 - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French painter (b. 1864)
- September 14 - William McKinley, 25th President of the United States (assassinated) (b. 1843)
- October 1 - Abdur Rahman Khan, Amir of Afghanistan
- October 10 - Lorenzo Snow, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1814)
- October 29 - Leon Czolgosz assassin of U.S. President William McKinley (b. 1873)
- November 30 - Edward John Eyre, English explorer (b. 1815)
- December 1 - George Lohmann, English cricketer (tuberculosis) (b. 1865)
- Physics - Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
- Chemistry - Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff
- Medicine - Emil Adolf von Behring
- Literature - Sully Prudhomme
- Peace - Jean Henri Dunant, Frédéric Passy
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