- Great San Francisco Earthquake.
- N. Federov publishes An Evening in the Year 2217.
- Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle.
- Instituto Coloniale Italiano is established in Roma.
- Henri Charriere is born.
- Liberal Party landslide in elections to the British House of Commons: 377 Liberal MPs elected.
- Iran becomes the third country in Asia to adopt a formal constitution.
- May: First modern Russian Duma elections. Conservative elites view the demand that the government be held responsible to an elected legislature as too radical and the Duma is quickly dissolved by order of the Czar.
- Pure Food and Drug Act passed in the United States; required the listing of all ingedients on medicine bottles passing in interstate commerce.
- Texans can vote for U.S. senator in the Democratic Party Primary for the first time. The Texas legislature retains ultimate appointment authority, but party primary voters may express their preferences. Texas voters are unable to directly elect U.S. senators in 1916.
- Tripartite Treaty: Britain, France and Italy recognize Ethiopia's independence.
- U.S. Marines continue to occupy the Isthmus of Panama, which they will do until January 21, 1914.
- The muffuletta is invented in New Orleans.
- Switzerland opens the Simplon railroad line.
- David Graham publishes "The Treason of the Senate" in serial form in The Cosmopolitan, energizing the movement for direct election of the U.S. Senate.
- Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles launches the modern American charismatic or Pentacostal movement.
- January 1: Duel between the East Asian powers: Russia rejects any limits on their activities in Korea and insists on the "territorial integrity of China in Manchuria" in negotiations with Japan.
- January 26: Without a formal declaration of war Japanese torpedo boats launch devastating atack on the Russian naval squadron at Port Arthur. Russo-Japanese War begins.
- February 17: IWW leader Charles Moyer is arrested without warrant in Colorado and illegally transferred to Idado to be tried for the bombing death of Governor Steunenberg.
- February 18: IWW leader Big Bill Haywood is arrested without warrant in Colorado and illegally transferred to Idaho to be tried for the bombing death of Governor Steunenberg.
- June 3: Josephine Baker is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
- June 6: Russia's new settlement law encourages Russians to settle the Russian Far East.
- July 12: Alfred Dreyfus is exonerated.
- July 21: Alfreed Dreyfus is reinstalled in the French Army, thus ending the "Dreyfus Affair."
- September U.S. Marines intervene in Cuba. They are withdrawn on January 23, 1909.
- September 22: Atlanta race riots take the lives of 27; black-owned business district is severely damaged.
- December 10: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating peace in the Russo-Japanese War (1905). Roosevelt gives Korea to the Japanese and prepares path ot future tragedy.
- December 19: Leonid Brezhnev is born.
- December 20: First sakadas, contract sugar plantation workers from the Philippines, arrive in Hawaii.
- December 24: First radio broadcast is made.
- December 26: First feature film, "The Story of the Kelly Gang", is released.
- December 30: All-India Muslim League is organized.