1888 1889 1890 - 1891 - 1892 1893 1894
| Decades: |
1860s 1870s 1880s - 1890s - 1900s 1910s 1920s
Events of 1891
- January 1 – Paying of old age pensions begins in Germany.
- January 16 The Chilean Civil War breakes out.
- January 20 – Jim Hogg becomes the first native Texan to be governor of that state.
- January 29 – Liliuokalani is proclaimed Queen of Hawaii.
- January 31 – The Portuguese republican revolution breaks 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 changes public opinion on the penalty kick, which was seen as 'an Irishman's motion' before (see William McCrum).
- February 15 – AIK is founded.
- February 21 – Springhill, Nova Scotia suffers a serious mining disaster.
- March 3 – The International Copyright Act of 1891 is passed by the Fifty-first United States Congress.
- March 9–12 – A powerful storm off England's south coast sinks 14 ships.
- March 14 – In New Orleans, a lynch mob storms the Old Parish Prison and lynches 11 Italians arrested but found innocent of the murder of Police Chief David Hennessy.
- March 15 – Jesse W. Reno patents the first escalator at Coney Beach.
- March 17 – The British steamship SS Utopia sinks off the coast of Gibraltar, killing 574.
- 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 – Troops fire on a workers' May Day demonstration in support of the 8-hour workday in Fourmies, France, killing 9 and wounding 30.
- 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 Incident: Czarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich of Russia survives an assassination attempt while visiting Japan.
- May 15 – Pope Leo XIII issues the encyclical Rerum Novarum, resulting in the creation of many Christian Democrat Parties throughout Europe.
- May 20 – Thomas Alva Edison's prototype kinetoscope is first displayed at Edison's Laboratory, for a convention of the National Federation of Women's Clubs.
- May 31 N.S. (May 19 O.S.) – In the area of Kuperovskaya fold in Vladivostok, a ceremony marking the grand laying of the Trans-Siberian Railroad is carried out and a service on this occasion is held. Czarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich (future emperor Nikolai II) takes part in this ceremony.
- 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.
- August 27 – France and Russia conclude a defensive alliance.
- September 14 – The first penalty kick is awarded in a football (soccer) match; John Heath scores it for the Wolverhampton Wanderers.
- September 28 – The C.A. Peñarol is founded in Montevideo under the name of the CURCC (Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club).
- 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.
- February 16 - Hans F.K. Günther, German race theorist (d. 1968)
- March 10 - Robert Forgan, British fascist (d. 1976)
- May 11 - Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury and advocate for the Morgenthau Plan (d. 1967)
- July 27 - Ernest Elmhurst, author of The World Hoax and defendant in the Great Sedition Trial of 1944 (d. 1967)
- September 16 - Karl Dönitz, German naval leader and Hitler’s official successor (d. 1980)
- October 25 - Father Coughlin, Roman Catholic priest and nationalist radio broadcaster (d. 1979)
- November 15 - Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (d. 1944)