- France and Viet Nam sign a second treaty giving France full severity over Viet Nam including the city of Saigon.
- Germans evacuate French land gained in 1871 Franco-Pru
ssian War, however enmity between the two nations persisted.
- Hawaii signs a treaty with the U.S. granting exclusive trading rights.
- Harper's Weekly publishes a cartoon by Thomas Nast in which the elephant is first used for a symbol of the Republican political party.
- Matthew Evans and Henry Woodward patent the first incandescent lamp with an electric bulb
- Patrick Francis Healy, the first black man to receive a PHD becomes the president of Georgetown University.
- Gold is discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota leading to a rush of prospectors, led by George Armstrong Custer, although the land was owned by the Sioux.
- John G. Wright is elected mayor and serves two years. Mr. Wright of Illinois was an 1853 immigrant to Oregon with his wife Caroline. Their two children, Ella and George were born in this state. He was a merchant, part owner of a hotel, school director and member of the City Council before election as mayor. He died in a local hospital in 1923 at the age of 86.
- William Griswold installed a water wheel creating a new water system that served several blocks east of High Street. From "Bits for Breakfast" by R. J. Hendricks, "Griswold also put in a water system for South Salem. He got the water from a well which he dug just south of the millpond. The tower was erected at the west end of the "agricultural works". The water was nothing but seepage from the mill pond. There was some sort of a strainer put in but it was of little value. That was over 50 years ago. Many who drank the water are still alive, so it could not have been very deadly. The system was afterward taken over by the city."
- This was not Mr. Griswold's only downtown enterprise. Salem’s first regular theater was located in the Griswold Block at the southwest corner of State and Commercial Streets. This brick structure (perhaps the first of consequence in Salem) was built by William Griswold in the mid-1850s. Griswold’s Theater was located on the second and third floors. The celebrated Julia Dean Hayes appeared here in Shakespearian roles as early as 1864. On May 20, 1868, the Irwin's presented "Uncle Tom’s Cabin", " The Drunkard," and "Angel at Midnight." In the same year, Salem’s dramatic society offered "Kill or Love" and "The Toodles" at Griswold’s Theater. Admission to the dress circle was four bits (50 cents); six bits (75 cents) reserved a seat, and two bits (25 cents) allowed one to enter the orchestra pit. According to Pioneer Cemetery records, Mr. Griswold "died in the asylum for the insane (present state hospital) here in the early ‘80's,  his mind having become unbalanced on account of the loss of his property."
- To reduce public drunkenness, at least one day week, a previous city ordinance proscribed Sunday opening of any "store, shop, boll alley, billiard room, tippling house, or any place of amusement . . ." An exception to this law were grocery stores. When this was not effective, a voluntary Sunday closing law, enacted this year, gained the support of a goodly proportion of Salem's businessmen, although only a handful of the town's tavern keepers.
- Chloe Clark Willson died this year in Portland. Associated with her husband William in the founding of the city, she was also a gifted teacher in the formative years of Willamette University. Profiles are found on Salemhistory and in Salem Lifelines.