|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1860s 1870s 1880s – 1890s – 1900s 1910s 1920s|
|Years:||1894 1895 1896 – 1897 – 1898 1899 1900|
|1897 in topic:|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature – Music|
|Australia – Brazil - Canada – Denmark - France – Germany – Mexico – Norway - Philippines - Portugal– Russia - South Africa – Spain - Sweden - United Kingdom – United States|
|Rail Transport – Science – Sports|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial Governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2650|
|British Regnal year||60 Vict. 1 – 61 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar||丙申年 (Fire Monkey)
4593 or 4533
— to —
丁酉年 (Fire Rooster)
4594 or 4534
|- Vikram Samvat||1953–1954|
|- Shaka Samvat||1819–1820|
|- Kali Yuga||4998–4999|
|Japanese calendar||Meiji 30
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||15 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2439–2440|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1897.|
1897 (MDCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Friday (dominical letter C) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Wednesday (dominical letter E) of the Julian calendar, the 1897th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 897th year of the 2nd millennium, the 97th year of the 19th century, and the 8th year of the 1890s decade. Note that the Julian day for 1897 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 2 – The International Alpha Omicron Pi sorority is founded.
- January 4 – A British force is ambushed by Chief Ologbosere, son-in-law of the Oba of Benin. This leads to a punitive expedition against Benin.
- January 22 – In this date's issue of the journal Engineering, the word "computer", is first used to refer to a mechanical calculation device, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. 
- January 23 – Elva Zona Heaster is found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only capital case in United States history where spectral evidence helps secure a conviction.
- January 31 – Czechoslav Trade Union Association is founded in Prague.
- February 10 – Freedom of religion is proclaimed in Madagascar.
- February 16 – The French conquer the island of Raiatea and capture the rebel chief Teraupoo, ending the Leeward Islands War and bringing all of the Society Islands under their control.
- February 18 – Benin is put to the torch by the British Army's Benin Expedition.
- February 24 – Foundation of Čekan Mekenroff 1897 football club in Pozsony in the Kingdom of Hungary.
- February 26 – The Sigma Pi fraternity is founded.
- February 27 – The French military governor of Madagascar, Joseph Gallieni, exiles Queen Ranavalona III to Réunion, abolishing the monarchy the next day.
- March 4 – William McKinley succeeds Grover Cleveland as President of the United States.
- March 13 – San Diego State University is founded.
- March 22 – Emilio Aguinaldo unseats Andrés Bonifacio at the Tejeros Convention, becoming the new head of the Filipino revolutionary group Katipunan (KKK).
- April 15 – Drillers near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, strike oil for the first time in the designated "Indian Territory", on land leased from the Osage Indians. The gusher, at the Nellie Johnstone Number One well, leads to rapid population growth.
- April 19 – The first Boston Marathon is held, with fifteen men competing, and won by John McDermott.
- April 30 – J. J. Thomson of the Cavendish Laboratory announces his discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle, over 1,800 times smaller than a proton (in the atomic nucleus), at a lecture at the Royal Institution in London. 
- May 11 A patent is awarded for the invention of the first automotive muffler, with the granting by the US Patent Office of application number 582,485 to Milton Reeves and his brother Marshall T. Reeves, of the Reeves Pulley Company of Columbus, Indiana. 
- May 14
- "The Stars and Stripes Forever', the American patriotic march by John Philip Sousa, is performed for the first time.
- (or May 15) – The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee, WhK) is founded in Berlin as an LGBT campaigning organization, the first such in history.
- May 19 – Oscar Wilde is released from prison in England and goes into exile on the continent.
- May 26 – Irish-born theatrical manager Bram Stoker's contemporary Gothic horror novel Dracula is first published (in London); it will influence the direction of vampire literature for the following century.
- June 22 – Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria celebrated in the United Kingdom. No other British monarch will celebrate such a jubilee until Elizabeth II in 2012.
- July 11 – S. A. Andrée's Arctic Balloon Expedition of 1897 begins. The ill-fated expedition to fly over the Arctic results in the death of the entire team within months.
- July 17 – The Klondike Gold Rush begins when the first successful prospectors arrive in Seattle.
- July 25 – Writer Jack London sails to join the Klondike Gold Rush where he will write his first successful stories.
- July 26–August 2 – Siege of Malakand: British troops are besieged by Pashtun tribesmen in Malakand on the North-West frontier of the British Raj (modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan).
- July 31 – Mount Saint Elias, the second highest peak in the United States and Canada, is first ascended.
- August 10 – At the Bayer pharmaceutical company, pharmacist Felix Hoffmann successfully synthesizes actylsalicylic acid after isolating a compound from a plant of the Spiraea family; the company markets it under the brand name "Aspirin". 
- August 21 – The Olds Motor Vehicle Co. is founded in Lansing, Michigan by Ransom E. Olds.
- August 29 – The First Zionist Congress convenes in Basel, Switzerland.
- September 1 – The Tremont Street Subway in Boston opens, becoming the first underground metro in North America.
- September 10 – Lattimer massacre: A sheriff's posse kills 19 unarmed immigrant miners in Pennsylvania.
- September 11 – After months of searching, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia capture Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom.
- September 12 – Battle of Saragarhi: Twenty-one Sikhs of the 36th Sikhs regiment of the British Indian Army defend an army post to the death against 10,000 Afghan and Orakzai tribesmen in the Tirah Campaign on the North-West frontier of the British Raj (modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan).
- September 20 – Greece and Turkey sign a peace treaty to end the Greco-Turkish War.
- September 21 – Francis P. Church responds to a letter to the editor that is known as the famous "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter.
- October 2 – The first issue of the radical paper Tocsin is published.
- October 5 – After a long siege, Brazilian government troops take Canudos in north Brazil, crushing Antônio Conselheiro and his followers.
- October 6 – Ethiopia uses the tricolor flag: green is for the land, yellow for gold, and red is symbolic of strength and the blood shed.
- October 12
- The Joseon kingdom becomes the Korean Empire, ending the Joseon era which has existed since 1392.
- The City of Belo Horizonte, Brazil is created. The construction of the second Brazilian planned city is completed successfully, an immigration of 1,000,000 people is estimated.
- The USS Baltimore (Cruiser # 3, later CM-1) is recommissioned, since 1890, for several months of duty in the Hawaiian Islands.
- October 13 – The HMS Canopus, a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy, is launched at Portsmouth, England; she will be deployed widely in World War I.
- October 23 – The Kappa Delta sorority is founded in the United States.
- November 1 – Juventus F.C. is founded as an association football club in Turin.
- November 25 – Spain grants Puerto Rico autonomy.
- December 9 – The first issue of the feminist newspaper La Fronde is published by Marguerite Durand.
- December 12 – The comic strip The Katzenjammer Kids debuts in the New York Journal.
- December 14 – Pact of Biak-na-Bato: The Philippine Revolution is settled with Spanish promises to reform.
- December 28 – The play Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, premieres in Paris.
- December 30 – Natal annexes Zululand.
- France allows women to study at the École des Beaux-Arts.
- Karl Lueger becomes mayor of Vienna.
- Zhejiang University is founded in China.
- The Duke University Debating Society is founded in the United States.
- Émile Durkheim publishes his classic study Suicide.
- The pan-African anthem "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" ("God Bless Africa") is composed as a Xhosa hymn by South African teacher Enoch Sontonga.
- The British Ayrshire Yeomanry Cavalry adopts the sub-title Earl of Carrick's Own in honour of the future King Edward VII.
- Dos Equis beer is first brewed in Mexico in anticipation of the new century.
- January 3
- January 14 – Hasso von Manteuffel, German general and politician (d. 1978)
- January 21 – René Iché, French sculptor (d. 1954)
- January 23
- January 26 – Yakov Alksnis, Soviet aviator and commander of Red Army Air Forces (d. 1938)
- January 28 – Ivan Stedeford, British Industrialist (d. 1975)
- February 1 – Denise Robins (aka Francesca Wright, Ashley French, Harriet Gray, Julia Kane) British romance novelist (d. 1985)
- February 4 – Ludwig Erhard, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1977)
- February 7 – Quincy Porter, American composer (d. 1966)
- February 8 – Zakir Hussain, Indian politician and 3rd President of India (d. 1969)
- February 9 – Charles Kingsford Smith, Australian aviator famous for his trans-pacific flight (d. 1935)
- February 10
- February 21 – Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of President Benjamin Harrison (d. 1955)
- February 25 – possibly Mikhail Krichevsky, Ukrainian unverified supercentenarian and last Imperial Russian Army veteran of WWI (d. 2008)
- February 27
- March 1 – Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith (d. 1957)
- March 2 – Minor Hall, American jazz musician (d. 1959)
- March 4 – Lefty O'Doul, American baseball player and restaurateur (d. 1969)
- March 5 – Set Persson, Swedish communist politician (d. 1960)
- March 11 – Henry Cowell, American avant-garde composer (d. 1965)
- March 15 – Jackson Scholz, American sprinter (d. 1986)
- March 16 – Flora Eldershaw, Australian novelist, critic, and historian (d. 1956)
- March 21 – Sim Gokkes, Dutch-Jewish composer (d. 1943)
- March 24 – Wilhelm Reich, Austrian psychotherapist (d. 1957)
- March 28 – Sepp Herberger, German football coach (d. 1977)
- March 31
- April 4 – Dina Manfredini, Italian-American supercentenarian (d. 2012)
- April 7
- April 8 – Herbert Lumsden, British general (d. 1945)
- April 9 – John B. Gambling, American radio talk-show host (d. 1974)
- April 10 – Prafulla Chandra Sen, Indian politician and Chief Minister of West Bengal (d. 1990)
- April 13 – Werner Voss, German World War I fighter ace (d. 1917)
- April 17 – Thornton Wilder, American dramatist (d. 1975)
- April 19
- April 21 – Aiden Wilson Tozer, American Protestant pastor (d. 1963)
- April 23 – Lester B. Pearson, 14th Prime Minister of Canada, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1972)
- April 25 – Mary, Princess Royal of England (d. 1965)
- April 26
- May 2 – J. Fred Coots, American songwriter (d. 1985)
- May 4 – Phelps Phelps, 38th Governor of American Samoa and United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic (d. 1981)
- May 14 – Sidney Bechet, American musician (d. 1959)
- May 16 – Zvi Sliternik, Israeli entomologist (d. 1994)
- May 17 – Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
- May 18 – Frank Capra, American producer, director, and writer (d. 1991)
- May 19 – Frank Luke, American World War I pilot (d. 1918)
- May 21 – Nikola Avramov, Bulgarian painter (d. 1945)
- May 27 – John Cockcroft, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1967)
- May 29
- June 7 – George Szell, Hungarian conductor (d. 1970)
- June 8 – John G. Bennett, British mathematician (d. 1974)
- June 11 – Ram Prasad Bismil, Indian Revolutionary, Founded H.R.A. in 1924. (d. 1927)
- June 12 – Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1977)
- June 13 – Paavo Nurmi, Finnish runner (d. 1973)
- June 16 – Georg Wittig, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1987)
- June 19
- June 22 – Edmund A. Chester, American broadcaster and journalist (d. 1973)
- July 7 – Mikhail Kovalyov, Soviet Army colonel-general (d. 1967)
- July 9 – Albert C. Wedemeyer, American general (d. 1989)
- July 10 – John Gilbert, American actor (d. 1936)
- July 20 – Tadeusz Reichstein, Polish-born chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1996)
- July 24 – Amelia Earhart, American aviator (year of death uncertain)
- July 26 – Harold D. Cooley, American politician (d. 1974)
- July 28 – James Fairbairn, Australian pastoralist, aviator, and politician (d. 1940)
- July 29 – Sir Neil Ritchie, British WWII general (d. 1983)
- August 2 – Max Weber, Swiss Federal Councilor (d. 1974)
- August 5 – Aksel Larsen, Danish politician (d. 1972)
- August 10 – John W. Galbreath, American businessman (d. 1988)
- August 11 – Enid Blyton, British children's writer (d. 1968)
- August 15 – Ludovic Arrachart, French aviator (d. 1933)
- August 27 – Carlo del Prete, Italian aviator (d. 1928)
- August 28 – Charles Boyer, French actor (d. 1978)
- September 1 – Andy Kennedy, Northern Irish footballer (d. 1963)
- September 8 – Jimmie Rodgers, American singer (d. 1933)
- September 10 – Otto Strasser, German Nazi politician (d. 1974)
- September 12 – Irène Joliot-Curie, French physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 1956)
- September 16 – Milt Franklyn, American musician (d. 1962)
- September 17 – Earl Webb, American baseball player (d. 1965)
- September 23 – Walter Pidgeon, Canadian actor (d. 1984)
- September 25 – William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962)
- September 26
- September 30 – Alfred Wintle, British army officer and eccentric. (d. 1966)
- October 3 – Louis Aragon, French author (d. 1982)
- October 7 – Elijah Muhammad, co-founder of the Nation of Islam (d. 1975)
- October 8 – Rouben Mamoulian, Armenian-American film and theatre director (d. 1987)
- October 15 – Johannes Sikkar, Estonian statesman (d. 1960)
- October 15 – Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer South Indian Musician (d. 1975)
- October 20 – Yi Un, Korean Crown Prince (d. 1970)
- October 28 – Edith Head, American costume designer (d. 1981)
- October 29 – Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi propagandist (d. 1945)
- October 31 – Delma Kollar, American supercentenarian (d. 2012)
- November 9
- November 15 – Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, Bt, English author (d. 1988)
- November 17 – Frank Fay, American actor (d. 1961)
- November 18 – Patrick Blackett, Baron Blackett, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1974)
- November 23 – Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Bengali author (d. 1999)
- November 24 – Lucky Luciano, Sicilian-American Mafia boss (d. 1962)
- November 30 – Virginia Henderson, American nurse theorist (d. 1996)
- December 2 – Dean Alfange, American politician (d. 1989)
- December 5
- December 14 – Kurt Schuschnigg, Chancellor of Austria (d. 1977)
- December 18 – Fletcher Henderson, American musician (d. 1952)
- December 24
- December 25 – Dorothy Peterson, American film and television actress (d. 1979)
- December 30 – Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author (d. 1976)
- December 31 – Rhys Williams, Welsh actor (d. 1969)
- January 1 – Joseph S. Skerrett, American admiral (b. 1833)
- February 4 – Major Charles Bendire, U.S. Army captain and ornithologist (b. 1836)
- February 17 – Edmund Colhoun, American admiral (b. 1821)
- February 19 – Karl Weierstrass, German mathematician (b. 1815)
- March 9 – Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, Iranian teacher and writer (b. 1838)
- March 11 – Henry Drummond, Scottish evangelical writer and lecturer (b. 1851)
- March 19 – Antoine Thomson d'Abbadie, Irish-born traveler (b. 1810)
- April 1 – Jandamarra, Aboriginal insurrectionist in Australia
- April 3 – Johannes Brahms, German composer (b. 1833)
- April 10 – Friedrich Franz III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (b. 1851)
- May 4 – Duchess Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria (b. 1847)
- May 7 – Henri d'Orléans, Duke of Aumale (b. 1822)
- May 10 – Andrés Bonifacio, Filipino revolutionary (b. 1863)
- May 23 – Pusapati Ananda Gajapati Raju, Indian rajah (b. 1850)
- August 8 – Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, Spanish politician and historian (b. 1828)
- August 31 – Louisa Lane Drew, actress & theater manager (b. 1820)
- September 9
- September 21 – Wilhelm Wattenbach, German historian (b. 1819)
- September 27 – Charles-Denis Bourbaki, French military leader (b. 1816)
- September 30 – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, French Catholic saint (b. 1873)
- October 9
- October 2 – Edward Maitland, British writer (b. 1824)
- October 27 – Alexander Milton Ross, Canadian abolitionist (b. 1832)
- October 29 – Henry George, American economist (b. 1839)
- November – Francisco Gonzalo Marín, Cuban poet and freedom fighter (b. 1863)
- November 3 – Thomas Lanier Clingman, American "Prince of Politicians" (b. 1812)
- November 17 – George Hendric Houghton, American Protestant Episcopal clergyman (b. 1820)
- November 18 – Henry Doulton, English pottery manufacturer (b. 1820)
- November 19 – William Seymour Tyler, American educator and historian (b. 1810)
- November 20 – Ernest Giles, Australian explorer (b. 1835)
- December 17 – Alphonse Daudet, French writer (b. 1840)
- December 19 – Stanislas de Guaita, French poet (b. 1861)
- December 28 – William Corby, American Catholic priest (b. 1833)
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