1854 1855 1856 - 1857 - 1858 1859 1860
1820s 1830s 1840s - 1850s - 1860s 1870s 1880s
Events of 1857
- January 1 – The biggest Estonian newspaper Postimees is established by Johann Voldemar Jannsen.
- January 9 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.9 strikes near Parkfield, California (see Fort Tejon earthquake).
- January 24 – The University of Calcutta is established in Kolkata as the first multidisciplinary modern university in South Asia.
- February 3 – The National Deaf Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University) is established in Washington, DC, becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf.
- March 3 – France and the United Kingdom formally declare war on China in the Second Opium War.
- March 4 – James Buchanan succeeds Franklin Pierce as President of the United States.
- March 6 – Dred Scott v. Sanford: The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Blacks are not citizens and slaves can not sue for freedom, driving the country further towards the American Civil War (the ruling is not overturned until the 14th Amendment in 1868).
- March 12 – Elizabeth Blackwell opens a hospital, the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children.
- March 21 – An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan kills over 100,000.
- March 23 – Elisha Otis' first elevator is installed (at 488 Broadway, New York City).
- April 18 – The Spirits' Book (Le Livre des Esprits in original French), one of the Five Fundamental Works of Spiritism, is published by French educator Allan Kardec.
- May 10 – Indian rebellion of 1857: The 3rd Light Cavalry of the British East India Company's army rebels against its British officers, thus beginning the rebellion.
- May 11 – Indian rebellion of 1857: Indian combatants capture Delhi from the East India Company.
- June 6 – Sophia of Nassau marries the future King Oscar II of Sweden-Norway.
- July 15 – Indian rebellion of 1857: The second massacre at Kanpur takes place.
- July 18 – The Utah Expedition leaves Fort Leavenworth, effectively beginning the Utah War.
- September 11 – Mountain Meadows massacre in Utah.
- September 12 – The S.S. Central America sinks off the coast of North Carolina, killing 425 people.
- October 13 – New York banks close following a major financial panic and do not reopen until December 12.
- October 24 – Sheffield F.C., the world's first association football team, is founded in Sheffield, England.
- November 1 – Present-day Pakistan officially becomes part of Indian empire of the British Raj
- November 30 – President of Mexico Ignacio Comonfort is succeeded by Félix María Zuloaga.
- December 16 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 6.9 kills 11,000 people in Naples, Italy.
- December 20 – Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria issues a decree, Es ist Mein Wille, which leads to the demolition of the city walls of Vienna, allowing the construction of the Ringstraße.
- December 31 – Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, Ontario as the capital of Canada.