July 14 - Jacques de Flesselles, French provost (assassinated) (b. 1721)
July 15 - Jacques Duphly, French composer (b. 1715)
July 22 - Joseph-François Foulon, French administrator (b. 1715)
September 23 - John Rogers, American Continental Congressman (b. 1723)
January 21 - The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston, Massachusetts.
January 23 - Georgetown College, first Roman Catholic college in the United States, was founded in Georgetown, Maryland (now a part of Washington, D.C.)
February 4 - George Washington is unanimously elected to be the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
March 4 - In New York City, the first United States Congress meets, putting the Constitution of the United States into effect.
April 1 - In New York City, the United States House of Representatives holds its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.
April 28 - Mutiny on the Bounty, Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors are set adrift and the rebel crew returns to Tahiti briefly and then sets sail for Pitcairn Island.
April 30 - On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.
May 5 - In France, the Estates-General convenes for the first time in 150 years.
June 8 - James Madison introduces a proposed Bill of Rights in the U.S. House of Representatives.
June 14 - Mutiny on the Bounty: Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.
June 14 - Whisky distilled from maize is first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It is named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
June 17 - In France, the Third Estate declares itself the national assembly.
June 20 - Deputies of the French Third Estate take the Tennis Court Oath.
July 9 - In Versailles, the National Assembly reconstitutes itself as the National Constituent Assembly and begins preparations for a French constitution.
July 10 - Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Mackenzie River delta.
July 11 - Jacques Necker is dismissed as France's Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.
July 14 - French Revolution: Citizens of Paris storm the Bastille and free seven prisoners.
July 15 - Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, is named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.
July 27 - The first U.S. federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, is established (later renamed Department of State).
August 4 - In France members of the National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges.
August 7 - The United States War Department is established.
August 26 - Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen approved by National Assembly at Palace of Versailles.
August 27 - The French National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, proclaiming that "men are born and remain free and equal in rights".
August 28 - William Herschel discovers a new moon of Saturn.
September 2 - The United States Department of the Treasury is founded.
September 11 - Alexander Hamilton is appointed as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.
September 15 - The United States Department of State is established (formerly known as Department of Foreign Affairs).
September 22 - The position of United States Postmaster General is established.
September 24 - The office of the Attorney General of the United States of America, and the United States Post Office Department, are established.
September 25 - The U.S. Congress passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment, the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten that are known as the Bill of Rights. Only the Bill of Rights was ratified at the time, while the other two were proposed by James Madison but not ratified. In 1992, the Congressional Compensation Amendment was ratified as the 27th amendment to the Constitution.
September 26 - Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first United States Secretary of State, John Jay is appointed the first Chief Justice of the United States, Samuel Osgood is appointed the first United States Postmaster General, and Edmund Randolph is appointed the first United States Attorney General.
September 29 - The U.S. War Department first establishes a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.
October 2 - George Washington sends the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification.
October 5 - French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles in the March on Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris.
October 6 - French Revolution: Louis XVI returns to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women on 5 October
October 14 - George Washington proclaims the first Thanksgiving Day.
October 19 - Chief Justice John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.
November 20 - New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
November 21 - North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 12th U.S. state.
November 26 - A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.
December 11 - The University of North Carolina is chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly.