- Beginning of Summer Olympic Games by Pierre Fredi, Baron de Coubertin
- First Summer Olympic Games in Athens,Greece
- February 11 - Oscar Wilde's play "Salomé" premieres in Paris.
- December 7 - Martin Van Buren becomes the eighth president of the United States.
- January 2 - Dziga Vertov, filmmaker
- February 11 - Else Lasker-Schuler, writer
- December 14 - George VI Windsor, father of Elizabeth II
- May 20: Clara Schumann, Austrian composer
- October 11: Anton Bruckner, Austrian composer
- Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and creator of the Nobel Prize