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President Garfield with James G. Blaine.
The US President James A. Garfield dies as a result of an attack by Charles J. Guiteau .
Illustration of the "Battle of Majuba Hill" in the Illustrated London News
The battle of Majuba Hill decides the First Boer War in favor of the Boers .
The fire ruins of the Ringtheater at Schottenring 7 in Vienna on December 8, 1881
The ring theater fire in Vienna cost at least 384 lives.
The assassination attempt on Emperor Alexander II (gouache, Russia, 19th century)
Alexander II of Russia is murdered in an assassination attempt.
Carol's coronation as King of Romania on May 10th in Bucharest
Prince Carol I proclaims the Kingdom of Romania .
1881 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1329/30 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1873/74 (September 10-11)
Baha'i calendar 37/38 (March 20/21)
Bengali solar calendar 1286/87 (beginning of April 14th or 15th)
Buddhist calendar 2424/25 (southern Buddhism); 2423/24 (alternative calculation according to Buddhas Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 76th (77th) cycle

Year of the Metal Snake辛巳 ( at the beginning of the year Metal Dragon 庚辰)

Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1243/44 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4214/15 (2-3 October)
Iranian calendar 1259/60 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1298/99 (November 23/24)
Japanese calendar Meiji 14 ( 明治 14 年);
Koki 2541
Jewish calendar 5641/42 (23/24 September)
Coptic Calendar 1597/98 (September 10-11)
Malayalam calendar 1056/57
Rumi Calendar (Ottoman Empire) 1296/97 (March 1)
Seleucid era Babylon: 2191/92 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 2192/93 (turn of the year October)

Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1937/38 (April)


Politics and world events

Boer War

Other events in Africa

Bardo contract, beginning of the contract text

United States of America

James A. Garfield
Sitting Bull

Latin America


Charter of the Kingdom of Romania


La Citoyenne, March 1881 edition

science and technology



Title page of the first edition



Technical achievements

  • April 1: The first telephone network is opened in Berlin with 48 subscribers. There is much greater demand in Hamburg , whose first telephone network will open on April 16 with 206 subscribers.
First electric tram from Siemens & Halske, 1881

Other scientific events


Visual arts

Three women in the church


Giornale per i bambini 7 luglio 1881
  • July 7th: In Rome, the weekly newspaper Giornale per i bambini published the first story about The Adventures of Pinocchio , written by Carlo Collodi, under the title Le Avventure Di Pinocchio: Storia Di Un Burattino .

Music and theater

Simon Boccanegra , libretto of the revised version
The Prague National Theater 1881 ( woodcut )


Newspaper report about the shooting at OK Corral


Chios earthquake

Illustration of earthquake damage by Charles Barbant
  • April 3: A severe earthquake devastates the island of Chios , which belongs to the Ottoman Empire, and the Çeşme peninsula. The epicenter of the quake is probably southeast of the island. The death toll is given as 5058 to 7866, and thousands are injured. Three quarters of all buildings on the island are destroyed or damaged, and the city ​​of Chios is devastated. A minor tsunami may occur as a result of the earthquake events. Sand found away from the coast, which is interpreted as an indication of this, could also come from soil liquefaction. Several strong aftershocks occur in the following weeks.

Fire disasters

  • March 23: A fire from the limelight destroys the Nice Opera, killing over 200. - This catastrophe and the theater fires of August 12th in Prague and December 8th in Vienna mean the end of gas lighting in the theater and the beginning of its electrification .
  • August 12: In a fire in the Prague National Theater , which only opened on June 11, the brass roof, the stage and the auditorium burn down completely.
Depiction of the Vienna Ringtheater fire by Karl Pippich

Other disasters

  • August 30: The British passenger steamer RMS Teuton rams a reef at Danger Point on the coast of the South African Cape Colony and sinks while attempting to reach the port city of Simon's Town . Of the 272 passengers and crew, only 36 survive.
  • September 11th: In the Elm am Tschingelberg landslide in the Swiss canton of Glarus , around 10 million m³ of rock break off as a result of improper slate mining and spill part of the village of Elm ; 114 people die and 83 buildings are destroyed.
  • October 14: 189 Scottish fishermen lose their lives in a hurricane on the east coast of Scotland in the Eyemouth disaster .
  • December 15: The El Habra dam in Algeria breaks; around 250 people are killed.

nature and environment






Helene Weber, 1919
Hermann Staudinger
Béla Bartók, 1927





Hans Fischer, 1930


  • 0August 1: Kornel Abel , Austrian officer († unknown)
  • 0August 1: Aizu Yaichi , Japanese literary scholar and poet († 1956)
  • 0August 1: Stanisław Kazuro , Polish composer († 1961)
  • 0August 1: Otto Toeplitz , German professor of mathematics († 1940)
  • 0August 4: Wenzel Hablik , German painter, graphic artist and artisan († 1934)
Alexander Fleming


Ettore Bugatti, around 1900


Pablo Picasso, 1962
  • October 25: Pablo Picasso , Spanish painter († 1973)
  • October 26: Carl Stegmann , German businessman and shipowner († 1967)
  • October 26: Paul Röntgen , German university professor and rector of RWTH Aachen University († 1965)
  • October 28: Friedrich Hopfner , German geodesist, geophysicist and planetary researcher († 1949)
  • October 28: Fritz Spieß , German naval officer († 1959)
  • October 30: Lena Christ , German (Bavarian) native writer († 1920)
  • October 30: Lukas Christ , Swiss Protestant clergyman († 1958)



Antonio Granjo
Max Pechstein, 1920

Exact date of birth unknown


First quarter

Fyodor Michailowitsch Dostoevsky, 1872
Emperor Alexander II of Russia

Second quarter

Benjamin Disraeli
Mary Seacole, 1869
Franz von Dingelstedt

Third quarter

Billy the Kid

Fourth Quarter

Exact date of death unknown

Web links

Commons : 1881  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files