Charles Fort: A Fortean Chronology, 1894.

Year 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar.


  • January 7: William Kennedy Dickson receives a patent for motion picture film.
  • January 9: New England Telephone and Telegraph installs the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.
  • January 25: At Llanthomas and Clifford, towns near Hereford, England, a brilliant light was seen in the sky, an explosion was heard and a quake felt. (Books476) 



  • February 12: French anarchist Émile Henry set off a bomb in a Parisian cafe, killing one person and wounding twenty.
  • February 13: The Het Gezelschap "Practische Studie", a study association of civil engineering, is founded at the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands.
  • February 15: At 04:51 GMT, French anarchist Martial Bourdin attempts to destroy the Royal Greenwich Observatory, London, England with a bomb.



  • March 1: Thomas McGreevy, Canadian politician and contractor, is released from prison after serving time for defrauding the government.
  • March 4: First Sino-Japanese War: A great fire in Shanghai destroys over 1,000 buildings.
  • March 12: For the first time, Coca-Cola is sold in bottles.
  • March 21: A syzygy of planets occurs as Mercury transits the Sun as seen from Venus, and Mercury and Venus both transit the Sun as seen from Saturn. But no two of the transits are simultaneous.
  • March 25: Coxey's Army, the first significant American protest march, departs from Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C.



  • April 7: A fall of leaves at Clairvaux and Outre-Aube, France. The fall was described as prodigious. (Books255)



  • The bubonic plague breaks out in the Tai Ping Shan area of Hong Kong (by the end of the year, the death toll is 2,552 people).
  • May 1: Coxey's Army arrives in Washington, D.C.
  • May 1: The May Day Riots of 1894 break out in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • May 11: Pullman Strike: Three thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers go on a "wildcat" (without union approval) strike in Illinois.
  • May 11: That at Vicksburg, Miss., fell a small piece of alabaster; that at Bovina, eight miles from Vucksburg, fell an gopher turtle. (Books89) 
  • May 14: A meteor shower is seen in Southern France.
  • May 14: Blackpool Tower is opened in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
  • May 21: The Manchester Ship Canal and Docks are opened by Queen Victoria.



  • June 3: At Portland, Oregon, a tornado from which fragments of ice fell. (Books189)
  • June 22: Dahomey becomes a French colony.
  • June 23: The International Olympic Committee is founded at the Sorbonne, Paris, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
  • June 24: Sadi Carnot, president of France, is assassinated.
  • June 25: At Louvain, are heard detonations like discharges of artillery. (Books472)
  • June 30: The Tower Bridge in London opens for traffic.



  • A fire at the site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago destroys most of the remaining buildings.
  • July 4: The short-lived Republic of Hawaii is proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.



  • August 1: War is declared between the Qing Empire of China and the Empire of Japan, over their rival claims of influence on their common ally, the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. The event marks the start of the first Sino-Japanese War.
  • August 15: Sante Geronimo Caserio is executed for the assassination of Marie François Sadi Carnot.
  • August 26: Over North Wales is seen, a disk from which projected an orange-coloured body that looked like "an elongated flatfish", reported by Admiral Ommanny. (Books287) 



  • September 1: Great Hinckley Fire: A forest fire in Hinckley, Minnesota kills more than 450 people.
  • September 4: In New York City, 12,000 tailors strike against sweatshop working conditions.



  • October 1: The Owl Club of Cape Town, South Africa has its first formal meeting.
  • October 15: Dreyfus affair: French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying.
  • October 30: Domenico Menegatti obtains a patent for a procedure to be applied in producing pandoro industrially.



  • November 1: Russian Tsar Alexander III is succeeded by his son Nicholas II.
  • November 7: The Masonic Grand Lodge de France is founded, splitting from the larger and older Grand Orient de France.
  • November 5: West Palm Beach, Florida is incorporated as a city.
  • November 25: A light reflecting body seen near Mars by Prof. Pickering and others at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. (Books195) 



  • December 18:  Women in South Australia become the first in Australia to gain the right to vote and to be elected to Parliament.
  • December 22: Dreyfus Affair: French Army officer Alfred Dreyfus is convicted of treason.