1852 1853 1854 - 1855 - 1856 1857 1858
1820s 1830s 1840s - 1850s - 1860s 1870s 1880s
Events of 1855
- January 1 – Ottawa, Ontario is incorporated as a city.
- January 23
- The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota (a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge).
- The region of Wairarapa, New Zealand is hit by the strongest earthquake ever recorded in New Zealand (Magnitude 8.1 on the Richter Scale); there are 5 deaths.
- January 26 – The Point No Point Treaty is signed in the Washington Territory.
- January 27 – The Panama Railway becomes the first railroad to connect the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
- January 29 – Lord Aberdeen resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom over the management of the Crimean War.
- February 5 – Lord Palmerston becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- February 11 – Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia.
- February 12 – Michigan State University (the "pioneer" land-grant college) is established.
- February 22 – Pennsylvania State University is founded as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania.
- March 3
- March 16 – Bates College is founded by abolitionists in Lewiston, Maine.
- March 17 – Taiping Rebellion: A Taiping army of 350,000 invades Anhui.
- March 30 – Elections are held for the first Kansas Territory legislature. Missourians cross the border in large numbers to elect a pro-slavery body.
- May 15 – The Great Gold Robbery of 1855 occurs in England.
- May 17 – The Mount Sinai Hospital is dedicated (as the Jews' Hospital) in New York City; it opens to patients on June 5.
- June 28 – The Sigma Chi Fraternity is founded at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
- June 29 – The Daily Telegraph begins publication.
- July 1 – Quinault Treaty signed, Quinault and Quileute cede their land to the United States.
- July 2 – The Kansas territorial legislature convenes in Pawnee and begins passing proslavery laws.
- August 1 – First ascent of Dufourspitze (Monte Rosa), the second highest summit in the Alps.
- September 3 – The last Bartholomew Fair is held in London, England.
- September 11 – Sevastopol falls to British troops.
- November 17 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now present-day Zambia–Zimbabwe.
- November 21 – Large-scale Bleeding Kansas violence begins with events leading to the Wakarusa War between antislavery and proslavery forces.
- December 22 – The Metropolitan Board of Works is established.
- September 9 - Houston Stewart Chamberlain, British-born historian and political philosopher (d. 1927)