This article is about the year 1872.
Lua error in package.lua at line 75: invalid escape sequence near .
||Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1872.
1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (dominical letter GF) of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Saturday (dominical letter BA) of the Julian calendar, the 1872nd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 872nd year of the 2nd millennium, the 72nd year of the 19th century, and the 3rd year of the 1870s decade. Note that the Julian day for 1872 is 12 calendar days difference, which continued to be used from 1582 until the complete conversion of the Gregorian calendar was entirely done in 1929.
- January 12 – Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first ruler crowned in that city in over 500 years.
- February 2 – The government of the United Kingdom buys a number of forts on the Gold Coast from the Netherlands.
- February 13 – Rex, the most famous parade on Mardi Gras, parades for the first time in New Orleans for Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich of Russia.
- February 17 – Execution of the Filipino priests José Burgos, Mariano Gómez and Jacinto Zamora, collectively known as Gomburza, in Bagumbayan Fields, Manila, Philippines by the authorities of New Spain on charges of subversion arising from the 1872 Cavite mutiny.
- February 20 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York City.
- March 1 – In the United States, Yellowstone National Park (once dubbed "Colter's Hell" after John Colter, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) is established as the world's first national park.
- March 5
- March 11 – Work begins erecting the Seven Sisters Colliery in South Wales, located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.
- March 16 – 1872 FA Cup Final: In the first ever final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football competition, Wanderers F.C. defeat Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1–0 at The Oval in Kennington, London.
- March 26 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.2 strikes Lone Pine, California.
- October 1
- The Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College begins its first academic session (the university is later renamed Virginia Tech).
- First case reports in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, of the Great Epizootic of 1872 (equine influenza, or the "horse flu") which will substantially disrupt life in North America by mid-December.
- November 5
- November 7 – The Mary Celeste sets sail from New York; bound for Genoa, Italy.
- November 9 – Great Boston Fire of 1872: In Boston, Massachusetts, a large fire begins to burn on Lincoln Street (the 2-day disaster destroys about 65 acres (0.26 km2) of the city, 776 buildings, much of the financial district and causes US$60 million in damage).
- November 11 – U.S. government geologist Clarence King reveals the diamond hoax in Wyoming.
- November 13 (07:35) (probable date) – Claude Monet begins painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant, the painting that will give a name to Impressionism) as viewed from his hotel room at Le Havre in France.
- November 16 – The London Metropolitan Police go on strike.
- November 27 – A meteor shower display of Andromedids is seen over France.
- November 29
- November 30 – First international Association football match to be recognised (retrospectively) by FIFA as "official" takes place at Hamilton Crescent, Scotland; the result is Scotland 0-0 England. Earlier international football matches had already taken place in 1870, in 1871 and again in 1872 at the Oval, London.
- December 3 – George Smith presents the first translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh to a meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology in London.
- December 4 – The now-crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found (still seaworthy) by the British brig Dei Gratia in the Atlantic.
- December 6 – Springwell Pit disaster at Dawley in England: eight coal miners fall to their death when a winding chain snaps.
- December 21 – Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger (1858) sails from Portsmouth in England on the 4-year scientific expedition that lays the foundation for the science of oceanography.
- In the aftermath of the Paraguayan War, the new government of Paraguay makes peace with Brazil, grants reparations and territorial concessions.
- The Kolozsvári Egyetem, predecessor of the University of Szeged, is founded.
- A conscription law, modeled on the French version, is issued in Japan.
- Universal public schools are called for in Japan.
- The first Marist Brothers arrive in Australia.
- Alfred B. Miller and Elmer Crockett found the South Bend Tribune in the United States.
- Founding of ST Dupont, a French manufacturer of luxury goods.
- January 6 – Alexander Scriabin, Russian composer (d. 1915)
- January 13 – Vlasios Tsirogiannis, Greek general (d. 1928)
- January 14 – Kerstin Hesselgren, Swedish politician (d. 1962)
- January 20 – Julia Morgan, American architect (d. 1957)
- January 23 – Gotse Delchev, Bulgarian revolutionary (d. 1903)
- January 31 – Zane Grey, American writer (d. 1939)
- February 1 – Jerome F. Donovan, American politician (d. 1949)
- February 11 – Hannah Mitchell, English socialist and suffragette (d. 1956)
- March 3 – Willie Keeler, "hit 'em where they ain't" baseball legend (d. 1923).
- March 7 – Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter (d. 1944)
- March 11 – Kathleen Clarice Groom, British writer (d. 1954)
- March 15 – Harry Holman, American character actor (d. 1947)
- March 24 – J. C. Wienecke, Dutch medallist (d. 1945)
- April 9 – Léon Blum, French politician, Prime Minister of France 1936-1937, 1938, and 1946-1947 (d. 1950)
- April 14 – Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Indian-born Islamic scholar and translator (d. 1953)
- April 29 – Harry Payne Whitney, businessman, horse breeder (d. 1930)
- May 12 – Anton Korošec, Slovenian political leader (d. 1940)
- May 16 – John O'Connell, American baseball player (d. 1908)
- May 18 – Bertrand Russell, English philosopher and mathematician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (d. 1970)
- May 21 – Henry E. Warren, inventor of the first commercially viable electric clock, the Telechron (d. 1957)
- May 31
- June 6 – Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse) (d. 1918)
- June 8 – Jan Frans De Boever, Belgian painter (d. 1949)
- June 13 – Thomas N. Heffron, American film director (d. 1951)
- June 14 – János Szlepecz, Slovene writer and priest (d. 1936)
- June 20 – George Carpenter, 5th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1948)
- June 27 – Paul Laurence Dunbar, American poet and publisher (d. 1906)
- July 1 – Louis Blériot, French aviation pioneer (d. 1936)
- July 2 – Horace Short, British aircraft designer (d. 1917)
- July 4 – Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States (d. 1933)
- July 16 – Roald Amundsen, Norwegian polar explorer (d. 1928)
- July 25 – Herbert Stanley, Governor of Northern Rhodesia, Ceylon and Southern Rhodesia (d. 1955)
- August 2 – George E. Stewart, American Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1946)
- August 3 – King Haakon VII of Norway (d. 1957)
- August 9 – Archduke Joseph August of Austria, Austrian field marshal (d. 1962)
- August 10 – Bill Johnson, American jazz musician (d. 1972)
- August 13 – Richard Willstätter, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1942)
- August 15 – Sri Aurobindo, Indian nationalist, writer and mystic (d. 1950)
- August 21 – Aubrey Beardsley, British artist (d. 1898)
- September 20 – Maurice Gamelin, French general (d. 1958)
- September 28
- October 4 – Roger Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes, British admiral (d. 1945)
- October 11 – Harlan F. Stone, Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1946)
- October 12 – Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer (d. 1958)
- November 1 – Louis Dewis, Belgian Post-Impressionist painter (d. 1946)
- November 11 – Maude Adams, American stage actress (d. 1953)
- November 30 – John McCrae, Canadian soldier, surgeon and poet (d. 1918)
- December 3 – William Haselden, Spanish cartoonist (d. 1953)
- December 11 – René Bull, British illustrator and photographer (d. 1942)
- December 12 – Henry Jones, Sr., fictional character in Indiana Jones franchise (d.1951)
- December 16 – Anton Ivanovich Denikin, Imperial Russian Lieutenant General (d. 1947)
- December 21 – Don Lorenzo Perosi, Italian composer (d. 1956)
- December 26 – Norman Angell, English politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1967)
- July 18 – Benito Juárez, President of Mexico (b. 1806)
- September 10 – Avram Iancu, Romanian Transylvanian insurgent (b. 1824)
- September 13 – Ludwig Feuerbach, German philosopher (b. 1804)
- September 18 – Charles XV, King of Sweden and Norway (b. 1826)
- October 4 – Vladimir Dal, Russian lexicographer (b. 1801)
- October 23 – Théophile Gautier, French writer (b. 1811)
- November 6 – George Meade, American Civil War general (b. 1815)
- November 28 – Mary Somerville, British mathematician (b. 1780)
- November 29 – Horace Greeley, American newspaper editor and presidential candidate (b. 1811)
- December 15 – Lady Beaconsfield, wife of Benjamin Disraeli (b. 1792)
- December 31 – Aleksis Kivi, Finnish novelist (b. 1834)