1865 1866 1867 - 1868 - 1869 1870 1871
1830s 1840s 1850s - 1860s - 1870s 1880s 1890s
Events of 1868
- January 5 – War of the Triple Alliance: Brazilian Army commander Luís Alves de Lima e Silva enters Asunción, Paraguay's capital. Some days later he declares the war is over. Nevertheless, Francisco Solano López, Paraguay's president, prepares guerrillas to fight in the countryside.
- February 13 – The War Office sanctions the formation of what becomes the Army Post Office Corps.
- February 16 – In New York City the Jolly Corks organization is renamed the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).
- February 24 – The first parade to have floats occurs at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- February 24 – After Andrew Johnson tries to dismiss United States Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, he becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. Johnson is later acquitted by the United States Senate.
- March 1 – The Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity is founded at the University of Virginia.
- March 5 – A court of impeachment is organized in the United States Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson.
- March 23 – The University of California is founded in Oakland, California.
- March 24 – The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company is formed.
- March 27 – The Lake Ontario Shore Railroad Company is organized in Oswego, New York.
- April 1 – The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute is established in Hampton, Virginia.
- April 9 – Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia massacres at least 197, perhaps more, of his own people at Magdala. These were prisoners who had been, for the most part, incarcerated for very trivial offenses, and were killed for asking for bread and water.
- April 10 – Battle of Magdala: A British-Indian task force inflicts 700 deaths and a crushing defeat on the army of Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia; the British and Indians suffer 30 wounded, 2 of whom die subsequently.
- April 13 – The Napier Expedition ends with the suicide of Tewodros and the capture of Magdala by the British-Indian task force.
- May 16 – President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during his impeachment trial, by one vote in the United States Senate.
- May 26 – Fenian bomber Michael Barrett becomes the last person publicly hanged in Britain.
- May 30 – Memorial Day is observed in the United States for the first time (it was proclaimed on May 5 by General John A. Logan).
- May 31 – Thomas Spence declares himself president of the Republic of Manitoba; he soon alienates the locals.
- May 31 – The first popular bicycle race is held at Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris.
- June 2 – The first Trades Union Congress is held in Manchester, England.
- July 5 – Preacher William Booth establishes the Christian Mission, predecessor of the Salvation Army, in the East End of London.
- July 18 – The Navajo begin their long march home.
- July 25 – Wyoming becomes a United States territory.
- July 28 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is adopted, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.
- August 18 – Helium is discovered by French astronomer Pierre Janssen (and independently by Joseph Norman Lockyer on August 20).
- August 20 – Abergele Train Disaster in Wales: An Irish Mail passenger train collides with 4 cargo trucks loaded with paraffin: 33 are killed (the first major train disaster in Britain).
- August 22 – The Yangzhou riot in China targets a station of the China Inland Mission, and nearly leads to war between Britain and China.
- September 18 – The University of the South holds its first convocation in Sewanee, Tennessee.
- September 23 – Rebels (some 400–600) in the town of Lares declare Puerto Rico independent; the local militia easily defeats them a week later.
- September – Queen Isabella II of Spain is effectively deposed and sent into exile; she formally abdicates June 25, 1870.
- October 1 – Chulalongkorn starts to rule in Siam.
- October 6 – The City of New York grants Mount Sinai Hospital a 99-year lease for a property on Lexington Avenue and 66th Street, for the sum of $1.00.
- October 10 – Carlos Manuel de Céspedes declares a revolt against Spanish rule in Cuba in an event known as El Grito de Yara, initiating a war that lasts ten years (Cuba ultimately loses the war at a cost of 400,000 lives and widespread destruction).
- October 28 – Thomas Edison applies for his first patent, the electric vote recorder.
- November 3 – U.S. presidential election, 1868: Ulysses S. Grant defeats Horatio Seymour in the election.
- November 2 – New Zealand officially adopts nationally observed standard time, and is perhaps the first country to do so.
- November 27 – Indian Wars – Battle of Washita River: In the early morning, United States Army Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer leads an attack on a band of Cheyenne living on reservation land with Chief Black Kettle, killing 103 Cheyenne.
- December 6 – War of the Triple Alliance – Battle of Itororó or Ytororó: Field-Marshall Luís Alves de Lima e Silva leads 13,000 Brazilian troops against a Paraguayan fortified position of 5,000 troops.
- December 9 - World's first traffic signal lights were installed at the junction of Great George Street and Bridge Street in the London borough of westminster.
- March 23 - Dietrich Eckart, early supporter of NSDAP and member of the Thule Society (d. 1923)
- June 27 - Fyodor Viktorovich Vinberg, Russian nationalist and journalist (d. 1927)