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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1850s 1860s 1870s – 1880s – 1890s 1900s 1910s|
|Years:||1885 1886 1887 – 1888 – 1889 1890 1891|
Year 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
In Germany, 1888 is known as the Year of Three Emperors. Currently, it is the year that, when written in Roman numerals, has the most digits (13). This record will not be equalled until 2388 (MMCCCLXXXVIII), or surpassed until 2888 (MMDCCCLXXXVIII).
Events of 1888
January - March
- January 3 - The 91-centimeter telescope is first used at Lick Observatory.
- January 12 - Blizzards (see: Schoolhouse Blizzard) hit Dakota Territory, the states of Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas, with 235 dead, many of whom were children on their way home from school.
- January 27 - In Washington, DC, the National Geographic Society is founded.
- February 27 - In West Orange, New Jersey, Thomas Edison meets with Eadweard Muybridge who proposes a scheme for sound film.
- March 8 -The Agriculture College of Utah, which would become Utah State University is founded in Logan, Utah.
- March 11 - The " Great Blizzard of '88" begins along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.
- March 22 - The Football League is formed
- March 27 - Dorus Rijkers saves the 30-man crew of the Renown, risking his own life.
April - June
- April 11 - The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is inaugurated.
- May 1 - The United States Congress establishes the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
- May 13 - Brazil abolishes the last remnants of slavery.
- May 28 - In Scotland, Celtic F.C. played its first official match against Rangers F.C. and won 5-2
- June 3
- " Kingdom of Sedang" formed in modern-day Vietnam
- Casey at the Bat published
- June 15 - Wilhelm II is crowned Emperor of the German Empire
- June 19 - In Chicago, Republican Convention opens at Auditorium Building. Benjamin Harrison & Levi Morton will win the nominations for President and VicePresident, respectively.
- June 29 - Handel's Israel in Egypt is recorded onto wax cylinder at The Crystal Palace, it being the earliest known recording of classical music.
July - September
- July 25 - Frank Edward McGurrin, a court stenographer from Salt Lake City, Utah, who was purportedly the only person using touch typing at the time, won a decisive victory over Louis Traub in a typing contest held in Cincinnati, Ohio. This date can be called the birthday of the touch typing method that is widely used now.
- July 27 - British parliament passes an act that permits bicycles on road on condition that they are equipped with a bell that should be rung while on the carriageway. The law was abolished in 1930.
- August 5 - Berta Benz arrived in Pforzheim in a car, which was manufactured by her husband Karl Benz, in order to complete the first "long-distance" drive in the history of the automobile, which was started in Mannheim (40 miles away from Pforzheim).
- August 7 - The body of Martha Tabram was found, a possible murder victim of Jack the Ripper.
- August 20 - There is a mutiny at Dufile, India, and the Emin Pasha is imprisoned.
- August 31 - Mary Ann Nichols is murdered. She was perhaps the first of Jack the Ripper's victims.
- September 4 - George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak, and receives a patent for his camera which uses roll film.
- September 6 - Charles Turner becomes the first cricket bowler (a sport) to take 250 wickets in an English season - a feat since accomplished only by Tom Richardson (twice), J.T. Hearne, Wilfred Rhodes (twice) and Tich Freeman (six times).
- September 8
- September 30 - In London, the bodies of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes are found. They are generally considered Jack the Ripper's third and fourth victim respectively.
October - December
- October 1 - Sofia University is officially opened becoming the first university in liberated Bulgaria.
- October 9 - The Washington Monument officially opens to the general public.
- October 14 - Louis Le Prince films the first motion picture: Roundhay Garden Scene in Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Followed by his movie Leeds Bridge.
- October 25 - St. Cuthbert's Society, university of Durham is founded after general meeting chaired by Rev Hastings Rashdall
- November 6 - The U.S. presidential election, 1888. United States Democratic Party incumbent Grover Cleveland wins the popular vote, but loses the Electoral College vote to Republican challenger Benjamin Harrison, therefore losing the election.
- November 9 - In London, England, the dead body of Mary Jane Kelly is found. She is considered to be the fifth, and last, of Jack the Ripper's victims. A number of similar murders in England follow, but the police attribute them to copy-cat killers.
- December 23 - During a bout of mental illness, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh infamously cuts off the lower part of his own left ear.
- Annie Besant organizes the London matchgirls strike of 1888 in June
- John Robert Gregg first publishes Gregg Shorthand.
- Prosecution of Edward King, Anglican bishop of Lincoln for using ritualistic practices begins.
- Sarawak and Borneo become British protectorates.
- Susan B. Anthony organizes a "congress for women's" rights in Washington, DC.
- National library in Athens, Greece, (established?)
- The first railway in China goes into operation.
- The Kodak camera increases the popularity of photography as a hobby.
- The first recorded film, Roundhay Garden Scene, is made in Roundhay in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The film is two seconds and 20 frames in length.
- First sightings of the dolphin Pelorus Jack in Cook Strait, New Zealand.
- Camborne School of Mines founded in Cornwall, United Kingdom.
- The Finnish epic, Kalevala published for the first time in the English Language by John Martin Crawford.
- An unknown inventor develops Mum (deodorant), widely recognized as the first personal product developed to prevent body odour.
|Ab urbe condita||2641|
|British Regnal year||51 Vict. 1 – 52 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 丁亥年十一月十八日
— to —戊子年十一月廿九日
|- Vikram Samvat||1944–1945|
|- Shaka Samvat||1810–1811|
|- Kali Yuga||4989–4990|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||888–889|
|Japanese calendar|| Meiji 21
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||24 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2431|
The last surviving person born in 1888 is Mariam Amash who currently resides in Jisr a-Zarka, Israel.
January - June
- January 1 - Victor Goldschmidt, Swiss geochemist (d. 1947)
- January 8 - Matt Moore, Irish-born actor (d. 1960)
- January 18 - Thomas Sopwith, British aviation pioneer and yachtsman (d. 1989)
- January 24 - Vicki Baum, Austrian writer (d. 1960)
- Ernst Heinkel, German aircraft designer (d. 1958)
- February 2 - Frederick Lane, Australian swimmer (d. 1969)
- February 8 - Edith Evans, British actress (d. 1976)
- February 17 - Otto Stern, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1969)
- February 19
- February 20 - Georges Bernanos, French writer (d. 1948)
- February 23 - Huddie William Ledbetter (Lead Belly), American folk and blues musician (d. 1949)
- February 25 - John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State (d. 1959)
- February 27 - Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. was an American historian (d.1965)
- February 27 - Lotte Lehmann, German singer (d. 1976)
- March 1 - Ewart Astill, English cricketer (Leicestershire) (d. 1948)
- March 4 - Knute Rockne, American football player and coach (d. 1931)
- March 10 - Barry Fitzgerald, Irish actor (d. 1966)
- March 26 - Elsa Brändström, Russian nurse (d. 1948)
- March 29 - James E. Casey, Founder of the United Parcel Service (d. 1983)
- April 4
- April 6 - Hans Richter, German filmmaker (d. 1976)
- April 18 - Duffy Lewis, Major League Baseball player (d. 1979)
- April 26 - Anita Loos, American writer (d. 1981)
- April 27 - Florence La Badie, Canadian actress (d. 1917)
- May 10 - Karl Barth, Protestant theologian (d. 1968)
- Max Steiner, Austrian-American composer (d. 1971)
- May 11 - Irving Berlin, American composer (d. 1989)
- May 17 - Tich Freeman, English cricketer (d. 1965)
- May 23 - Zack Wheat, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1972)
- May 25 - Miles Malleson, English actor (d. 1969)
- May 27 - Louis Durey, French composer (d. 1979)
- May 28 - Jim Thorpe, American athlete (d. 1953)
- June 3 - Tom Brown, American jazz musician (d. 1958)
- June 6 - Pete Wendling, American composer, pianist, and piano roll recording artist (d. 1974)
- June 9 - Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Australian illustrator (d. 1960)
- June 13 - Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese writer (d. 1935)
- June 16 - Peter Stoner, American mathematician, astronomer and Christian apologist (d. 1980)
- June 24 - Gerrit Rietveld, Dutch architect (d. 1964)
- June 27 - Antoinette Perry, New York Stage Director, Tony Award named for her (d. 1946}
July - December
- July 5 - Herbert Spencer Gasser, American physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1963)
- July 10 - Giorgio Chirico, Italian painter (d. 1978)
- July 16
- July 17 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israeli writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
- July 22
- July 23 - Raymond Chandler, American-born novelist (d. 1959)
- August 4 - Syedna Taher Saifuddin, Bohra Spiritual Leader (d. 1965)
- August 6 - Heinrich Schlusnus, German baritone (d. 1952)
- August 13 - Gleb W. Derujinsky, Russian-American sculptor (d. 1975
- August 14 - John Logie Baird, Scottish inventor (d. 1946)
- August 16
- August 25 - Allama Mashriqi, Pakistani scholar and politician (d. 1963)
- September 5 - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, President of India (d. 1975)
- September 6 - Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., American politician (d. 1969)
- September 12 - Maurice Chevalier, French singer and actor (d. 1972)
- September 16 - Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Finnish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1964)
- September 26
- October 6 - Roland Garros, French pilot (d. 1918)
- October 7 - Henry A. Wallace, Vice President of the United States (d. 1965)
- October 8 - Ernst Kretschmer, German psychiatrist (d. 1964)
- October 9 - Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, Russian politician (d. 1938)
- October 16
- October 25 - Lester Cuneo American actor (d. 1925)
- November 7 - Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Indian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1980)
- November 15
- November 23 - Harpo Marx, American comedian (d. 1964)
- November 26 - Francisco Canaro, Uruguayan-born violinist and composer (d. 1964)
- November 28 - Edgar Church, American comic book collector (d. 1978)
- November 30 - Ralph Hartley, American electronics researcher and inventor (d. 1970)
- December 4 - Alexander of Yugoslavia (d. 1934)
- December 6 - Will Hay, British actor and comedian (d. 1949}
- December 7 - Joyce Cary, Northern Irish author (d. 1957)
- December 18 - Robert Moses, American civil engineer, public works director, and highway and bridge builder (d. 1981)
- December 19 - Fritz Reiner, Hungarian conductor (d. 1963)
- December 28 - F.W. Murnau, German film director (d. 1931)
- date unknown - Mariano Andreu, Spanish painter (d. 1976)
January - June
- January 19 - Anton de Bary, German biologist (b. 1831)
- January 20 - William Pitt Ballinger, Texas lawyer, southern statesman (b. 1825)
- January 29 - Edward Lear, British artist and writer (b. 1812)
- January 31 - John Bosco, Italian priest, youth worker, educator and founder of the Salesian Society (b. 1815)
- February 3 - Henry Maine, British jurist (b. 1822)
- February 5 - Anton Mauve, Dutch painter (b. 1838)
- March 6
- March 9 - German Emperor Wilhelm I (b. 1797)
- March 12 - Henry Bergh, founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (b. 1811)
- March 16 - Hippolyte Carnot, French statesman (b. 1801)
- March 23 - Morrison Waite, Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1816)
- March 27 - Francesco Faà di Bruno, mathematician (b. 1825)
- March 29 - Charles-Valentin Alkan, french composer and pianist (b. 1813
- April 15 - Matthew Arnold, English poet (b. 1822)
- May 26 - Ascanio Sobrero, chemist (b. 1812)
- June 15 - German Emperor Friedrich III (b. 1831)
July - December
- July 20 - Paul Langerhans, German pathologist and biologist (b. 1847)
- August 9 - Charles Cros, French poet (b. 1831)
- August 16 - John Stith Pemberton, Founder of Coca-Cola
- August 20 - Henry Richard, Welsh peace campaigner (b. 1812)
- August 23 - Philip Henry Gosse, British scientist (b. 1810)
- August 24 - Rudolf Clausius, German physicist, contributions to thermodynamics (b. 1822)
- September 24 - Karl von Prantl, philosopher (b. 1820)
- October 16
- December 31 - Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (b. 1808)