) was a common year starting on Tuesday
(link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar
(or a common year starting on Sunday
of the 12-day slower Julian calendar
Events of 1889
January - March
- January 1 - A total eclipse of the sun is seen over parts of California and Nevada.
- January 4 - An Act to Regulate Appointments in the Marine Hospital Service of the United States is signed by President Grover Cleveland. It establishes a Commissioned Corps of officers as a predecessor to the current U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
- January 8 - Herman Hollerith receives a patent for his electric tabulating machine.
- January 15 - The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is originally incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia.
- January 22 - Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, DC.
- January 30 - Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera commit a double suicide (or a murder suicide) in the Mayerling hunting lodge.
- February 5 - The first issue of Glasgow University Magazine is published.
- February 11 - The Meiji Constitution of Japan is adopted; the 1st Diet convenes in 1890.
- February 22 - President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.
- February 25 - The first State of Washington Commemorative Quarter is released.
- March - A German naval force shells a village in Samoa, destroying some American property; 3 American warships enter the Samoan harbor and prepare to fire on the 3 German warships found there. Before guns are fired, a hurricane blows up and sinks all the ships, American and German. A compulsory armistice is called because of the lack of warships.
- March 4 - Grover Cleveland, 22nd President of the United States (1885 - 1889) is succeeded by Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893).
- March 9 - Yohannes IV is killed in the Battle of Metemma; Sudanese forces, who had been almost defeated, rally and destroy the Ethiopian army.
- March 11 - The North Carolina Legislature issues a charter for the creation of Elon College.
- March 23 - Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founds the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
- March 31 - The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated (opens May 6). Contemporary critics regard it as aesthetically displeasing.
April - June
- April 10 - The Hammarby Roddförening is founded, (later the Hammarby IF).
- April 22 - At high noon in Oklahoma Territory, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Run of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed, with populations of at least 10,000.
- May 2 - Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs a treaty of amity with Italy, giving Italy control over what will become Eritrea.
- May 6 - The Eiffel Tower opens in Paris.
- May 15 - In Samoa, 3 U.S. and 3 German ships sink in a typhoon because the captains refuse to leave before the others; almost 200 drown. The British steamer Calliope saves itself by pushing into the wind with full speed.
- May 31 - Johnstown Flood: The South Fork Dam collapses in western Pennsylvania, killing more than 2,200 people in and around Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
- June 3 - The first long distance electric power transmission line in the United States is completed, running 14 miles between a generator at Willamette Falls and downtown Portland, Oregon.
- June 6 - The Great Seattle Fire ravages through the downtown area without any fatalities.
- June 8 - The Wall Street Journal is established.
- June 12 - The Armagh rail disaster near Armagh in Northern Ireland kills 88.
- June - Vincent Van Gogh paints Starry Night.
July - September
October - December
January - June
- January 20 - Leadbelly, American musician (d. 1949)
- January 21 - Edith Bratt, English wife of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (d. 1971)
- January 31 - Frank Foster, English cricketer (d. 1958)
- February 2 - Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, French general, posthumous Marshal of France (d. 1952)
- February 3 - Risto Ryti, Prime Minister and President of Finland (d. 1956)
- February 5 - Ernest Tyldesley, English cricketer (d. 1962)
- February 7 - Harry Nyquist, Swedish-American contributor to information theory (d. 1976)
- February 11 - John H. Mills, Sr., African-American singer, one of the Mills Brothers (d. 1967)
- February 19 - Ernest Marsden, British physicist (d. 1970)
- February 22 - Lady Olave Baden-Powell, English founder of the Girl Guides (d. 1977)
- February 22 - R. G. Collingwood, British philosopher and historian (d. 1943)
- February 24 - Suzanne Bianchetti, French actress (d. 1936)
- March 1
- March 4
- March 6 - William D. Francis, Australian botanist (d. 1959)
- March 16 - Reggie Walker, South African athlete (d. 1951)
- March 21 - Aleksandr Vertinsky, Russian singer and actor (d. 1957)
- March 24 - Albert Hill, British athlete (d. 1969)
- March 29 - Warner Baxter, American actor (d. 1951)
- April 7 - Gabriela Mistral, Chilean writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1957)
- April 8 - Sir Adrian Boult, English conductor (d. 1983)
- April 11 - Nick LaRocca, American musician (d. 1961)
- April 15 - Thomas Hart Benton, American painter (d. 1975)
- April 16 - Charlie Chaplin, English actor and film director (d. 1977)
- April 20 - Adolf Hitler, Austrian dictator of Nazi Germany (d. 1945)
- April 21 - Paul Karrer, Swiss chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
- April 23 - Karel Doorman, Dutch admiral (d. 1942)
- April 26 - Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher (d. 1951)
- April 28 - António de Oliveira Salazar, Portuguese dictator (d. 1970)
- April 30 - Fritz Pfeffer, German-Dutch housemate of Anne Frank (d. 1944)
- May 12 - Otto Frank, German publisher, businessman, father of Anne Frank (d. 1980)
- May 18 - Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (d. 1944)
- May 25 - Igor Sikorsky, Russian developer of the helicopter (d. 1972)
- June 21 - Ralph Craig, American athlete (d. 1972)
- June 23 - Anna Akhmatova, Russian poet (d. 1966)
July - December
- July 5 - Jean Cocteau, French writer (d. 1963)
- July 17 - Erle Stanley Gardner, American author (d. 1970)
- August 5 - Conrad Aiken, American writer (d. 1973)
- August 12 - Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane) (d. 1981)
- August 21 - Sir Richard O'Connor, English General in WWII (d. 1981)
- September 2 - George H. Plympton, American screenwriter (d. 1972)
- September 7 - Albert Plesman, Dutch aviation pioneer (d. 1953)
- September 8 - Robert Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio (d. 1953)
- September 11 - Suzanne Duchamp, French painter (d. 1963)
- September 14 - María Capovilla, Ecuadorian supercentenarian, the last surviving person verified as born in 1889 (d. 2006)
- September 18 - Doris Blackburn, Australian politician (d. 1970)
- September 20 - Charles Reidpath, American athlete (d. 1975)
- September 25 - C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator (d. 1930)
- September 26 - Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (d. 1976)
- October 3 - Carl von Ossietzky, German pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1938)
- October 8 - C. E. Woolman, American airline executive (d. 1966)
- October 13 - Douglass Dumbrille, Canadian-born actor (d. 1974)
- November 1 - Philip Noel-Baker, Baron Noel-Baker, Canadian-born peace activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1982)
- November 12 - DeWitt Wallace, American magazine publisher (Reader's Digest) (d. 1981)
- November 14 - Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India (d. 1964)
- November 16 - George S. Kaufman, American playwright (d. 1961)
- November 19 - Vasily Blyukher, Soviet military commander (d. 1938)
- November 20 - Edwin Hubble, American astronomer (d. 1953)
- November 23 - Harry Sunderland, Australian rugby league administrator (d. 1964)
- November 30 - Edgar Douglas Adrian, 1st Baron Adrian, English physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1977)
- December 9 - Hannes Kolehmainen, Finnish runner (d. 1966)
- December 11 - Walter Knott, American farmer and creator of Knott's Berry Farm (d. 1981)
- date unknown
- January 13 - Solomon Bundy, American politician (b. 1823)
- January 30 - Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (suicide) (b. 1858)
- January 30 - Baroness Mary Vetsera (suicide) (b. 1871)
- February 3 - Belle Starr, American outlaw (b. 1848)
- February 13 - João Maurício Wanderley, Brazilian magistrate and politician (b. 1885)
- March 8 - John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer (b. 1803)
- March 9 - Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia
- March 24 - The Leatherman (b. 1833)
- April 23 - Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, French writer (b. 1808)
- May 9 - William S. Harney, U.S. Army general (b. 1800)
- May 14 - Volney E. Howard, American politician (b. 1809)
- May 12 - Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Russian satirist (b. 1826)
- June 8 - Gerard Manley Hopkins, English poet (b. 1844)
- June 15 - Mihai Eminescu, Romanian poet (b. 1850)
- July 10 - Julia Gardiner Tyler, First Lady of the United States (b. 1820)
- August 2 - Eduardo Gutiérrez, Argentinian author (b. 1851)
- August 19 - Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, French writer (b. 1838)
- September 16 - Bob Younger, American outlaw and youngest of the Younger outlaws
- September 23 - Wilkie Collins, British novelist (b. 1824)
- October 10 - Adolf von Henselt, German composer
- October 11 - James Prescott Joule, English physicist (b. 1818)
- October 19 - King Luis I of Portugal (b. 1838)
- October 25 - Émile Augier, French dramatist (b. 1820)
- November 18 - William Allingham, Irish author (b. 1824 or 1828)
- December 6 - Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (b. 1808)
- December 12 - Robert Browning, English poet (b. 1812)
- December 29 - Glele, King of Dahomey (suicide)
- December 31 - Ion Creangă, Romanian writer (b. 1837 or 1839)
Heads of State
- Argentina - Miguel Juarez Celman (1886-1890)
- China - Guāngxù Emperor of China, Qing Dynasty (1875-1908)
- Denmark - Christian IX, King of Denmark (1863-1906)
- France - Marie François Sadi Carnot, President of France (1887-1894)
- Germany - Wilhelm II, German Kaiser (1888-1918)
- Holy See - Pope Leo XIII, Bishop of Rome (1878-1903)
- Japan - Mutsuhito, Meiji emperor (1867-1912)
- Norway - Oscar II, King of Sweden and Norway (1872-1905)
- Ottoman Empire - Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1876-1909)
- Russia - Alexander III, Tsar of Russia (1881-1894)
- Spain - Alfonso XIII of Spain, King of Spain (1886-1931)
- United Kingdom - Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, (1886-1892)
- United States -
- Grover Cleveland, President of the United States (1885-1889)
- Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States (1889-1893)