1880 1881 1882 - 1883 - 1884 1885 1886
| Decades: |
1850s 1860s 1870s - 1880s - 1890s 1900s 1910s
Events of 1883
- January 10 – A fire at the Newhall Hotel in Milwaukee 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 (it was built by Thomas Edison).
- February 13 – The German composer Richard Wagner dies of a heart attack in Venice, Italy.
- February 16 – The Ladies Home Journal is published for the first time.
- 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 5 – The Gloucester City A.F.C. is formed.
- March 20 – Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
- April 5 – Oxygen is liquefied for the very first time.
- 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 16 – Victoria Hall disaster: A rush for treats results in 183 children being asphyxiated in a concert hall in Sunderland, England.
- June 30 – The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson first appears as a serial in Young Folks; A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature. Stevenson completes the novel at the end of 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 – King William's College is opened on the Isle of Man.
- August 12 – The last quagga dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.
- August 26–28 – Krakatoa or Krakatau volcano erupts at 10:02 AM (local time); 163 villages are destroyed, 36,380 killed.
- August 31 – The Late King Andrew Gannon IV is born.
- September 15
- September 29 – A consortium of flour mill operators in Minneapolis, Minnesota 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
- October 15 – The Supreme Court of the United States declares part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional, since the Court allows private 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 the latter, bringing an end to Peru's involvement in the War of the Pacific.
- 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 1 – Amsterdam: The first international colonial and export exhibition closes, having had over 1 million visitors.
- November 3 – American Old West: Self-described "Black Bart the Po-et" gets away with his last stagecoach robbery, but leaves an incriminating clue 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.