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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1860s 1870s 1880s – 1890s – 1900s 1910s 1920s|
|Years:||1888 1889 1890 – 1891 – 1892 1893 1894|
Year 1891 (MDCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1891
January - March
- January 1 - Paying of old age pensions begins in Germany.
- January 20 - Jim Hogg becomes the first native Texan to be governor of that state.
- January 29 - Liliuokalani proclaimed Queen of Hawaii.
- January 31 - The Portuguese republican revolution broke out in the northern city of Porto.
- February 14 - In the FA Cup Quarter Final, a goal is deliberately stopped by handball on the goal line. An Indirect free kick is awarded, since the Penalty kick was proposed that year but not implemented. This event probably changed public opinion on the penalty kick, which was seen as 'an Irishman's motion' before. (See William McCrum.)
- February 15 - AIK was founded at Biblioteksgatan 8 in Stockholm by Isidor Behrens.
- February 21 - Springhill, Nova Scotia mining disaster.
- March 3 - The International Copyright Act of 1891 was passed by the 51st Congress of the U.S.
- March 9- 12 - Powerful storm off England's south coast; 14 ships sink.
- March 14 - In New Orleans, lynch mob storms the Old Parish Prison and lynches eleven Italians arrested but found innocent for the murder of Police Chief David Hennessey.
- March 17 - The British steamship SS Utopia sinks off the coast of Gibraltar, killing 574.
- March 29 - Georges-Pierre Seurat died.
April - June
- April 1 - The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago.
- May - Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claims to be the Promised Messiah (The second coming of Jesus and the Mahdi awaited in Islam.
- May 1 - Nine killed and thirty wounded when troops fire on workers' May Day demonstration in support of eight-hour workday in Fourmies, France.
- May 5 - The Music Hall in New York (now known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with maestro Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.
- May 11 - Otsu Scandal.
- May 15 - Roman Catholic Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical "Rerum Novarum" resulting in the creation of many Christian Democrat Parties throughout Europe.
- May 20 - First public display of Thomas Alva Edison's prototype kinetoscope (shown at Edison's Laboratory for a convention of the National Federation of Women's Clubs).
- June 16 - John Abbott becomes Canada's third prime minister.
- June 21 - First long-distance transmission of Alternating current by the Ames power plant near Telluride, Colorado by Lucien and Paul Nunn.
July - September
- August 27 - France and Russia conclude defensive alliance.
- September 14 - The first penalty kick is awarded in a football (soccer) match: John Heath scores it for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
- September 28 - The C.A. Peñarol is founded in Montevideo under the name of CURCC (Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club)
October - December
- October 1 - In California, Stanford University opens its doors
- October 27 - An 8.0 earthquake strikes the village of Utsuzumi in rural Gifu, Japan, killing over 7,000 across the region and creating a 3-meter-tall surface fault that is still visible today
- December 29 - Thomas Edison patents the radio
- Building of The Trans-Siberian Railroad begins (ends 1917).
- The Brahmin teacher and nationalist, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, begins agitation for Indian home Rule.
- Civil War occurs in Chile.
- Maria Skłodowska (later Marie Curie) enters Sorbonne University.
- New Scotland Yard becomes the HQ of London Metropolitan Police.
- Swiss Army Knife is developed.
- Eugène Dubois makes the first discovery of Homo erectus fossils in Dutch colony of Java.
- Winter - James Naismith invents basketball.
- The Tobacco Protest occurs in Iran.
- Oba Ovonramwen seizes the throne of Benin.
- Auckland University Students' Association is founded.
- Seattle University is established.
- Australian Labor Party is founded.
- Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla coil.
|Ab urbe condita||2644|
|British Regnal year||54 Vict. 1 – 55 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 庚寅年十一月廿一日
— to —辛卯年十二月初一日
|- Vikram Samvat||1947–1948|
|- Shaka Samvat||1813–1814|
|- Kali Yuga||4992–4993|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||891–892|
|Japanese calendar|| Meiji 24
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||21 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2434|
- The last documented living person born in 1891 was Emiliano Mercado del Toro, who died on January 24, 2007 at the age of 115.
January - June
- January 1 - Charles Bickford, American actor (d. 1967)
- January 7 - Zora Neale Hurston, Harlem Renaissance writer (d. 1960)
- January 8 - Walther Bothe, German physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics (d. 1957)
- January 22 - Antonio Gramsci, Italian Communist writer and politician (d. 1937)
- January 27 - Ilya Ehrenburg, Russian writer (d. 1967)
- February 9 - Ronald Colman, English actor (d. 1958)
- February 11 - J.W. Hearne, English cricketer (d. 1965)
- February 21 - Sean Heuston, Irish rebel (d. 1916)
- February 27 - David Sarnoff, Russian-born broadcasting pioneer (d. 1971)
- March 10 - Sam Jaffe, American actor (d. 1984)
- March 19 - Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1974)
- March 29 - Yvan Goll, French lyricist and dramatist (d. 1950)
- April 2 - Max Ernst, German painter (d. 1976)
- April 7 - Ole Kirk Christiansen, Founder of the Lego group (d. 1958)
- April 13 - Nella Larsen, American novelist (d. 1964)
- April 15 - Wallace Reid, American actor (d. 1923)
- April 17 - George Adamski, Polish-born UFO traveler (d. 1965)
- April 23 - Sergei Prokofiev, Soviet composer (d. 1953)
- May 7 - Harry McShane, Scottish socialist (d. 1988)
- May 15
- May 16 - Richard Tauber, Austrian tenor (d. 1948)
- May 18 - Rudolf Carnap, German philosopher (d. 1970)
- May 19 - Oswald Boelcke, German World War I pilot (d. 1916)
- May 22 - Eddie Edwards, American jazz trombonist (d. 1963)
- May 23 - Pär Lagerkvist, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1974)
- May 24 - William F. Albright, American archeologist and Biblical scholar (d. 1971)
- June 9 - Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter (d. 1964)
- June 20 - John A. Costello, second President of Ireland (d. 1976)
- June 21 - Hermann Scherchen, German conductor (d. 1966)
- June 30 - Man Mountain Dean, American professional wrestler (d. 1953)
July - December
- July 5 - John Howard Northrop, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1987)
- August 2 - Viktor Maksimovich Zhirmunsky, Russian literary historian, linguist (d. 1971)
- August 21 - Emiliano Mercado del Toro, Puerto Rican supercentenarian, World War I veteran (d. 2007)
- September 3 - Bessie Delany, African American physician and author (d. 1995)
- September 12 - Pedro Albizu Campos, advocate of Puerto Rican independence (d. 1965)
- September 14 - William F. Friedman, American cryptographer (d. 1969)
- September 16 - Karl Dönitz, President of Germany (d. 1980)
- September 16
- September 26 - Charles Munch, French conductor and violinist (d. 1968)
- September 28 - Myrtle Gonzalez, American film and stage actress (d. 1918)
- October 12 - Fumimaro Konoe, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1945)
- October 20 - James Chadwick, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1974)
- October 24 - Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic (d. 1961)
- November 14 - Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1941)
- November 15
- November 28 - Gregorio Perfecto, Filipino jurist & politician (d. 1949)
- December 9 - Maksim Bahdanovič, Belarusian poet (d. 1917)
- December 10 - Nelly Sachs, German writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1970)
- December 26 - Henry Miller, American writer (d. 1980)
January - June
- January 5 - Emma Abbott, American opera singer (b. 1849)
- January 16 - Léo Delibes, French composer (b. 1836)
- January 21 - Calixa Lavallée, Canadian composer (b. 1842)
- February 14 - William Tecumseh Sherman, American Civil War General (b. 1820)
- March 15 - Théodore de Banville, French writer (b. 1823)
- March 15 - Sir Joseph Bazalgette, English civil engineer (b. 1819)
- March 29 - Georges Seurat, French painter (b. 1859)
- April 2 - Ahmed Vefik Pasha, Turkish statesman (b. 1823)
- April 7 - P. T. Barnum, American showman (b. 1810)
- April 24 - Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Prussian field marshal (b. 1800)
- April 25 - Nathaniel Woodard, educationalist (b. 1811)
- May 8 - Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Russian-born author and theosophist (b. 1831)
July - December
- July 4 - Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President of the United States (b. 1809)
- August 12 - James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist (b. 1819)
- August 14 - Sarah Childress Polk, First Lady of the United States (b. 1803)
- August 29 - Pierre Lallement, French inventor of the bicycle (b. 1843?)
- September 7 - Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California (b. 1820)
- September 11 - Antero de Quental, Portuguese poet (b. 1842)
- September 15 - Ivan Goncharov, Russian author (b. 1812)
- September 28 - Herman Melville, American novelist (b. 1819)
- October 6
- October 15 - Gilbert Arthur a Beckett, English writer (b. 1837)
- October 23 - Ambrosius of Optina, Russian Orthodox saint (b. 1812)
- November 6 - J. Gregory Smith, Vermont governor (b. 1818)
- November 10 - Arthur Rimbaud, French poet (b. 1854)
- December 5 - Pedro II, Brazilian deposed emperor (b. 1826)