1883 1884 1885 - 1886 - 1887 1888 1889
1850s 1860s 1870s - 1880s - 1890s 1900s 1910s
Events of 1886
- January 1 – Burma is presented to Queen Victoria as a birthday gift, after the country is annexed into British India in November 1885.
- January 16 – A resolution is passed in the German Parliament, to condemn the Prussian deportations, the politically motivated mass expulsion of ethnic Poles and Jews from Prussia, initiated by Otto von Bismarck.
- January 18 – Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.
- January 29 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile, the Benz Patent Motorwagen (built in 1885).
- February 14 – The first train load of oranges leaves Los Angeles via the transcontinental railroad.
- March 3 – The Treaty of Bucharest ends the Serbo-Bulgarian War in the Balkans.
- March 16 – A law establishing the Kiel Canal is adopted.
- March 17 – Carrollton Massacre: 20 African Americans are killed in Mississippi.
- March 29 – Wilhelm Steinitz becomes first recognized World Chess Champion.
- April 4 – William Ewart Gladstone introduces the First Irish Home Rule Bill in the British Parliament; it is defeated on June 8.
- April 25 – Easter occurs on the latest possible date (the next time in 1943).
- May 1 – A general strike begins in the United States, which escalates into the Haymarket Riot and eventually wins the eight-hour workday in the U.S.
- May 4 – Emil Berliner starts work that leads to the invention of the gramophone.
- May 8 – Pharmacist Dr. John Stith Pemberton invents a carbonated beverage that would be named Coca-Cola.
- May 15 – Portugal and France agree to regulate the borders of their colonies in Guinea.
- May 17 – The Motherwell Football Club is formed.
- May 29 – Pharmacist John Pemberton begins to advertise Coca-Cola (ad in the Atlanta Journal).
- June 2 – U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion. She is 27 years his junior.
- June 9 – The centennial of the Stoughton Musical Society is celebrated.
- June 10 – The Mount Tarawera volcano erupts in New Zealand, resulting in the deaths of over 150 people and the destruction of the famous Pink and White Terraces.
- June 12 – King Ludwig II of Bavaria is captured.
- June 13 – A fire devastates much of Vancouver, British Columbia.
- June 30 – The Royal Holloway, University of London is opened by Queen Victoria in Surrey, United Kingdom.
- July 3 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent Motorwagen .
- July 9 – Charles Hall files a patent for his process of turning aluminium oxide into molten aluminium.
- July 23 – Steve Brodie fakes a jump from the Brooklyn Bridge.
- July 25 – Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative Party (UK)) becomes Great Britain's 30th Prime Minister.
- August 20 – A massive hurricane demolishes the town of Indianola, Texas.
- August 31 – An earthquake of between 7.3 and 7.6 on the Richter Scale hits Charlestown, South Carolina, leaving 40,000 homeless.
- September 4 – Indian Wars: After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo surrenders with his last band of warriors to General Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona.
- September 9 – Bern Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
- September 15 – The first day of school begins in the newly founded Alhambra School District.
- September 21 – William Stanley, Jr. patents the first practical alternating current transformer device, the induction coil.
- October 7 – Spain abolishes slavery in Cuba.
- October 28 – In New York Harbor, U.S. President Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty.
- November – extremely harsh Winter of 1886-1887 begins, killing tens of thousands of cattle on the Great Plains
- November 3 – In Pakistan one of the biggest schools in the country, Aitchison College, Lahore, was founded by Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison
- November 30 – The Folies Bergère stages its first revue.
- November 11 – Heinrich Hertz verifies at the University of Karlsruhe the existence of the electromagnetic waves.
- December 11 – Dial Square F.C., a football club from Woolwich, London that will eventually become known as Arsenal FC, play their first match, a 6–0 win over the Eastern Wanderers.
- February 3 - Howard Victor Broenstrupp, defendant in the Great Sedition Trial (d. 1963)
- October 16 - David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1973)
- November 15 - René Guénon, French author and intellectual (d. 1951)