Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century
Decades: 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s - 1900s - 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s
Years: 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 - 1901 - 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906
- January 1 - World celebrates what is regarded as the start of the new century. (Zero-ists' argument that new century should be celebrated in 1900 rejected worldwide.
- January 1 - Australia is federated as an independent nation under an act of the British Parliament.
- January 1 - Nigeria becomes a British protectorate
- January 7 - Alferd Packer[?] is released from prison after serving 18 years for cannibalism
- January 10 - The first great Texas gusher, oil discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas
- January 22 - Edward VII becomes King after his mother, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, dies.
- February 20 - The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.
- February 25 - J.P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation[?].
- March 2 - The United States Congress passes the Platt amendment, limiting the autonomy of Cuba as a condition for the withdrawal of American troops.
- March 6 - In Bremen an assassin attempts to kill Wilhelm II of Germany.
- March 17 - A showing of 71 Vincent van Gogh paintings in Paris, 11 years after his death, creates a sensation.
- April 25 - New York state becomes the first to require automobile license plates.
- May 9 - Australia opens its first parliament[?] in Melbourne.
- May 27 - In New Jersey, the Edison Storage Battery Company[?] is founded.
- June 24 - First exhibition of Pablo Picasso opens.
- July 4 The 1,282 foot (390 meters) covered bridge crossing the St.John River at Hartland[?], New Brunswick, Canada opens. It is the longest covered bridge in the world.
- December 12 - Guglielmo Marconi receives the first trans-Atlantic radio signal in Newfoundland, Canada; it is Morse code for the letter "S."
Art, Culture & Fashion
- January 3 - Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam (+ 1963)
- January 26 - Stuart Symington[?], politician (+ 1988)
- January 27 - Willy Fritsch[?], actor (+ 1973)
- January 29 - Allen Du Mont[?], television pioneer
- January 30 - Rudolf Caracciola[?], driver of racing cars (+ 1959)
- January 31 - Marie Luise Kaschnitz[?], writer (+ 1974)
- February 1 - Clark Gable, American actor
- February 2 - Jascha Heifetz[?], musician (+ 1987)
- February 10 - Stella Adler[?], acting teacher (+ 1992)
- February 16 - Wayne King[?], band leader ("The Waltz King")
- February 25 - Zeppo Marx, comedian, The Marx Brothers (+ 1929)
- February 28 - Linus Pauling, the only winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1954 and Peace 1962 (+ 1994)
- March 4 - Charles Goren[?], bridge expert
- March 11 - Leopold III of Belgium
- March 21 - Karl Arnold[?], politician (+ 1958)
- March 24 - Ub Iwerks, cartoonist (+ 1971)
- March 27 - Carl Barks, Donald Duck illustrator
- March 27 - Erich Ollenhauer[?], politician (+ 1963)
- April 1 - Whittaker Chambers, spy (+ 1961)
- May 5 - Blind Willie McTell, blues singer.
- May 7 - Gary Cooper, actor (+ 1961)
- May 17 - Werner Egk[?], composer (+ 1983)
- May 20 - Max Euwe, Dutch world champion chess 1935-1937
- May 21 - Horace Heidt[?], band leader (+ 1986)
- May 21 - Sam Jaffe[?], actor (+ 2000)
- June 18 - Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia
- June 24 - Harry Partch, microtonal composer
- August 4 - Louis Armstrong Jazz musician
- September 28 - Ed Sullivan, American TV show host
- September 29 - Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist
- October 2 - Kiki, singer
- October 10 - Alberto Giacometti, Italian sculptor
- November 22 - Joaquin Rodrigo, composer (+ 1999)
- December 5 - Walter Elias Disney, later known as Walt Disney, American animator and film producer.
- December 5 - Werner Heisenberg, German physicist
- December 16 - Margaret Mead, cultural antropologist
- December 19 - Rudolf Hell, inventor
- Emperor Hirohito of Japan