1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday.
1857 1858 1859 – 1860 – 1861 1862 1863
| Decades: |
1830s 1840s 1850s – 1860s – 1870s 1880s 1890s
| Centuries: |
18th century – 19th century – 20th century
Table of contents
- January 2 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan was announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.
- May 1 – A chondrite type meteorite fell to earth in Muskingum County, Ohio near the town of New Concord.
- May 9 – The Constitutional Union Party holds its convention and nominates John Bell for President of the United States.
- May 13 – Battle of Catalafimi; troops under Giuseppe Garibaldi defeat the army of Naples, during the Second Italian independence war.
- May 18 – Abraham Lincoln is selected as the US presidential candidate for the Republican party.
- June 24 – First nursing school, based on the ideas of Florence Nightingale, is opened in St. Thomas Infirmary in England.
- July 2 – Vladivostok, Russia is founded.
- July 11 – Mutsuhito becomes Crown Prince of Japan.
- July 19 – Ioan Dimitrovich Kasatkin becomes an Eastern Orthodox monk under the name Nikolai.
- July 24 – Monk Nikolai Kasatkin appointed as deacon.
- July 25 – Deacon Nikolai Kasatkin appointed as priest.
- September 7 – Lady Elgin is accidentally rammed and sunk in Lake Michigan, hundreds drown.
- September 7 – Troops of Giuseppe Garibaldi reach Naples.
- John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant leave Zanzibar to search for source of the Nile.
- October 5 – Austria, Britain, France, Prussia and the Ottoman Empire form a commission to investigate causes of clashes between Maronites and Druzes in Lebanon earlier in the year
- October 19 – New Maori revolt begins in New Zealand
- October 26 – Giuseppe Garibaldi gives Naples to the king Victor Emmanuel II.
- November 6 – U.S. presidential election, 1860: Abraham Lincoln beats John C. Breckinridge and is elected as the 16th President of the United States, the first Republican to hold that office.
- December 20 – South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the Union.
- December 29 – The first British seagoing ironclad warship, the HMS Warrior is launched.
- Victor Emmanuel, King of Sardinia seizes the whole of the Papal States besides Rome (see Vatican City) and unites Italy.
- Robert Wilhelm Bunsen discovers caesium and rubidium (see Discovery of the chemical elements)
- Buenos Aires leader Bartolomé Mitre subverts Argentine Confederation and begins to establish a new centralist government with the help of Uruguayan Colorado party leader Venancio Flores
- Augustana College is founded in Rock Island, Illinois, United States by Swedish immigrants.
- January 11 – Marie Bashkirtseff, Russian artist (d. 1884)
- January 25 – Charles Curtis, Vice President of the United States (d. 1936)
- January 29 – William Jacob Baer, American painter (d. 1941)
- January 29 – Anton Chekhov, Russian writer (d. 1904)
- February 11 – Rachilde, French author (d. 1953)
- February 29 – Herman Hollerith, American businessman and inventor (d. 1929)
- March 1 – Joe Natus, musician
- March 13 – Hugo Wolf, Austrian composer (d. 1903)
- March 19 – William Jennings Bryan, American politician (d. 1925)
- March 27 – Frank Frost Abbott, American classical scholar (d. 1924)
- May 9 – J. M. Barrie, Scottish author (d. 1937)
- May 20 – Eduard Buchner, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1917)
- May 25 – James McKeen Cattell, American psychologist (d. 1944)
- May 29 – Isaac Albéniz, Spanish composer (d. 1909)
- July 3 – Charlotte Perkins Gilman, American feminist writer (d. 1935)
- July 7 – Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer (d. 1911)
- July 19 – Lizzie Borden, American murder suspect (d. 1927)
- August 3 – W.K. Dickson, Scottish inventor (d. 1935)
- August 7 – Alan Leo, British astrologer (d. 1917)
- August 16 – Jules Laforgue, French poet (d. 1887)
- September 13 – John J. Pershing, American general (d. 1948)
- November 6 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Polish pianist and composer (d. 1941)
- November 23 – Billy the Kid, American gunfighter (d. 1881)
- December 7 – Joseph Cook, sixth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1947)
- John Coughlin, American politician (d. 1938)
- Frederick George Jackson, British Arctic explorer (d. 1938)
- Albert Giraud, Belgian poet (d. 1929)
- Lancelot Speed, British illustrator (d. 1931)
- January 27 – János Bolyai, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1802)
- January 27 – Thomas Brisbane, Scottish astronomer (b. 1883)
- January 29 – Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden (b. 1789)
- February 20 – Henry Drummond, Canadian poet (b. 1851)
- March 17 – Anna Jameson, German author
- May 12 – Sir Charles Barry, English architect (b. 1795)
- May 16 – Anne Isabella Milbanke, wife of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron (b. 1792)
- July 1 – Charles Goodyear, American inventor (b. 1800)
- December 14 – George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th earl of Aberdeen (b. 1794)