1854 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar).
January 13 - The accordion is patented by Anthony Faas .
February 11 - Major streets lit by coal gas for first time.
February 14 - Texas is linked by telegraph with the rest of the United States, when a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas is completed.
February 17 - The British recognize the independence of the Orange Free State.
February 27 – Britain sends Russia an ultimatum to withdraw from two Ottoman provinces it had conquered, Moldavia and Wallachia
February 28 - The United States Republican Party is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.
March 1 - German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears, two years later his remains are found in the canal near Charlottenburg
March 20 - The Boston Public Library opens to the public.
March 27 – United Kingdom declares war on Russia – Crimean War begins
March 28 – France declares war on Russia
March 31 - Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy, signs the Treaty/ Convention of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, to be precise, Tokugawa Shogunate, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade. (See History of Japan)
May 30 - The Kansas-Nebraska Act becomes law establishing the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.
June - The Grand Excursion takes prominent Eastern U.S. inhabitants from Chicago to Rock Island, Illinois by railroad, then up the Mississippi River to St. Paul, Minnesota by steamboat.
June 10 - The first class of the United States Naval Academy graduate at Annapolis, Maryland
June 21 - In the battle at Bomarsund in Åland, Royal Navy mate Charles D. Lucas throws a live Russian artillery shell overboard by hand before it explodes - the incident is the first that will be retroactively awarded the Victoria Cross in 1857
July 6 - In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the U.S. Republican Party is held.
July 13 - In the battle of Guaymas , Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon .
July 13 - Assassination of Khedive Abbas I of Egypt
August 16 - Russian troops in the island of Bomarsund in Åland surrender to French-British troops
September 20 - Crimean War: At the Alma, the Franco-English alliance wins the first battle of the war.
October 1 - The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham, Mass. to become the Waltham Watch Company pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.
October 17 - Newspaper is founded in The Age Melbourne, Australia.
October 21 - Florence Nightingale leaves for Crimea with 38 other nurses
October 25 - Crimean War: The Battle of Balaclava occurs, overall a victory for the allies, but it included the disastrous cavalry Charge of the Light Brigade, from which only 200 of 700 men survive.
November 5 - Crimean War: Russians lose again at the Battle of Inkerman.
November 17 - In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated in an elaborate ceremony.
January 18 - Thomas Watson, telephone pioneer
February 17 - Friedrich Alfred Krupp , German industrialist (d. 1902)
March 14 - Paul Ehrlich, physician, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1908 (d. 1915)
March 14 - Thomas R. Marshall, U.S. vice-president (d. 1925)
March 15 - Emil Adolf von Behring, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1901
May 11 - Albion Woodbury Small, American sociologist
July 3 - Leos Janacek, Czech composer
July 12 - George Eastman, inventor of the Kodak camera
July 27 - Takahashi Korekiyo, Japanese prime minister (d. 1936)
August 2 - Milan I, King of Serbia
October 16 - Oscar Wilde, Irish writer (d. 1900)
October 20 - Arthur Rimbaud, French poet (d. 1891)
November 6 - John Philip Sousa, American march composer and conductor
November 21 - Pope Benedict XV (d. 1922)
December 23 - Victoriano Huerta, Mexican president
December 24 - Thomas Stevens, world-circling bicyclist
Diamond Bessie - prostitute and murder victim (d. 1877)
Edward Harkness - U.S. philanthropist (d. 1940)
C. W. Post - cereal manufacturer (d. 1914)
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