1857 1858 1859 - 1860 - 1861 1862 1863
1830s 1840s 1850s - 1860s - 1870s 1880s 1890s
Events of 1860
- January 10 – The Pemberton Mill collapses in Lawrence, Massachusetts, killing 145 workers.
- March 22 – The Grand Duchy of Tuscany is annexed to the newly formed Kingdom of Italy.
- March–August – The second rout of the Jiangnan DaYing (Army Group Jiangnan) destroys the Qing's army of 180,000.
- April 3 – The Pony Express begins its first run from Saint Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.
- April 4 – A new uprising erupts in Palermo.
- April 9 – French typesetter Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville sings the French folk song "Au Clair de la Lune" to his phonautograph; producing the world's earliest known sound recording (however, it is not rediscovered until 2008).
- May 1 – A Chondrite type meteorite falls to earth in Muskingum County, Ohio near the town of New Concord.
- May 6 – Giuseppe Garibaldi and his troops depart from Quarto on the Expedition of the Thousand.
- May 8 – In New Granada (modern-day Colombia) the southern state of Cauca secedes from the central government in protest of the suggestion of increase of presidential powers; Magdalena and Bolivar join it.
- May 9 – The U.S. Constitutional Union Party holds its convention and nominates John Bell for President of the United States.
- May 15 – Battle of Calatafimi: Troops under Giuseppe Garibaldi defeat the army of Naples in Sicily, during the Second Italian independence war.
- May 17 – The German soccer club TSV 1860 München is founded.
- May 18 – Abraham Lincoln is selected as the U.S. presidential candidate for the Republican Party.
- May 27 – Garibaldi's forces take Palermo, the capital of Sicily.
- May 28 – One of the worst storms ever experienced in the region hits the east coast of England, sinking more than 100 ships and killing at least 40 people.
- June 24 – St. Thomas Infirmary, the first nursing school based on the ideas of Florence Nightingale, is opened in England.
- June 30 – The historic debate about evolution is held at the Oxford University Museum.
- July 2 – Vladivostok, Russia is founded.
- July 11 – Mutsuhito (the future Emperor Meiji) becomes Crown Prince of Japan.
- July 20 – Battle of Milazzo: The forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi defeat royal Neapolitan forces near Messina; nearly all of Sicily is now under Garibaldi's control.
- August 22 – Assisted by the British navy, the troops of Giuseppe Garibaldi cross from Sicily to the Italian mainland.
- September 3–September 5 – The First International Chemistry Congress is held in Karlsruhe, Germany.
- September 7
- September 10 – Piedmontese forces invade the Papal States, hoping to link up with Garibaldi in Naples.
- September 18 – Battle of Castelfidardo: The Piedmontese decisively defeat the Papal forces, allowing them to continue their march into Neapolitan territory.
- September 24 – Battle of Guayaquil: Ecuadorian Generals Juan José Flores and Gabriel García Moreno take the port of Guayaquil from occupying Peruvian forces.
- October – John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant leave Zanzibar to search for the source of the Nile River.
- October 1 – Battle of the Volturno: Garibaldi defeats the last organized army of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
- October 5 – Austria, Britain, France, Prussia and the Ottoman Empire form a commission to investigate the causes of the massacres of Maronite Christians, committed by Druzes in Lebanon earlier in the year.
- October 17 – The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, is played for the first time at Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland. The event was won by Willie Park Snr.
- October 18 – The first Convention of Peking formally ends the Second Opium War.
- October 18–21 – Beijing's Old Summer Palace is burned to the ground by orders of British general Lord Elgin in retaliation for mistreatment of several prisoners of war during the Second Opium War.
- October 19 – A new Māori revolt begins in New Zealand.
- October 26
- November 3 – The combined forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi and King Victor Emmanuel II besiege King Francis II of the Two Sicilies in Gaeta, his last remaining stronghold.
- November 6 – U.S. presidential election: Abraham Lincoln beats John C. Breckinridge, Stephen A. Douglas, and John Bell and is elected as the 16th President of the United States, the first Republican to hold that office.
- December 1 – Charles Dickens publishes the first installment of Great Expectations in his magazine All the Year Round.
- December 20 – South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States Union.
- December 29 – The world's first ocean-going (all) iron-hulled and armoured battleship, the (British) HMS Warrior, is launched.
- March 19 - William Jennings Bryan, 41st United States Secretary of State (d. 1925)
- May 2 - Theodor Herzl, Austrian Zionist (d. 1904)