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|( 1870s: ) 1872|
The New Zealand Wars between the colonists and the Maori end after 17 years
- January 12 – Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first ruler crowned in that city in over 500 years.
- February 2 – The government of the United Kingdom buys a number of forts on the Gold Coast, from the Netherlands.
- February 20 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York City.
- March 1 – In the United States, Yellowstone National Park (once dubbed "Colter's Hell" after John Colter, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) is established as the world's first national park.
- April 21 – The Third Carlist War begins in northern Spain. Don Carlos, Duke of Madrid (the Carlist pretender Carlos VII) appoints General Rada commander-in-chief in Spain, and calls for a general rising.
- May 15 – The New Zealand Wars end after 17 years, with the conclusion of Te Kooti's War; Maori spiritual leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuk crosses the Waikato River, and enters the territory of the Māori King Tāwhiao, where he is granted asylum.
- May 22 - Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law, restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
- June 14 – Trade unions are legalised in Canada.
- July 1 – Thomas François Burgers becomes State President of the South African Republic.
- July 4 - The Society of Jesus is pronounced illegal in the German Empire.
- July 18 – Mexican President Benito Juarez dies of a heart attack, and Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada becomes interim president.
- August 22 – The Australian Overland Telegraph Line is completed, providing a telegraphic link between Australia and the rest of the world for the first time.
- September 17 – Shiseido Pharmacy Shop, as predecessor of Shiseido, a major cosmetics brand in worldwide, founded in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan.Template:Page needed
- September 18 – Upon the death of King Charles XV of Sweden and Norway, he is succeeded as King of both crowns by his brother Oscar II.
- September 26 – The first Shriners Temple (called Mecca) is established in New York City.
- October 1 - The first case is reported in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, of the Great Epizootic of 1872 (equine influenza, or the "horse flu") which will substantially disrupt life in North America by mid-December.
- November 5
- November 16 – The first ever Metropolitan Police strike
- November 29 - Horace Greeley, President Ulysses S. Grant's opponent in this year's U.S. presidential election, dies. His electoral votes are divided among several candidates.
- December 1- Responsible government is granted to Cape Colony (South Africa). Sir John Molteno, first Prime Minister of the Cape of Good Hope, forms the first Cape Cabinet
- December 3 – George Smith presents the first translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, to a meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology in London.
- December 4 – The now-crewless American ship Mary Celeste is found (still seaworthy) by the British brig Dei Gratia in the Atlantic.
- December 14 - President Ulysses S. Grant establishes the San Carlos Apache Reservation, in southeastern Arizona.
- December 21 – Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger sails from Portsmouth, England on the 4-year scientific expedition that lays the foundation for the science of oceanography.
- In the aftermath of the Paraguayan War, the new government of Paraguay makes peace with Brazil, grants reparations and territorial concessions.
- Under Japan's Meiji Restoration:
- A conscription law, modeled on the French version, is issued.
- Universal public schools are called for.
- S. T. Dupont begins manufacture of luxury leather goods in France.
- Kimberly, Clark and Co. is founded in Neenah, Wisconsin by John A. Kimberly, Charles B. Clark, Havilah Babcock and Franklyn C. Shattuck.
- Schenker, as predecessor of DB Schenker, a logistics and freight transport worldwide, founded in Vienna, Austria.
- Versicherung-Verein, as predecessor of Zurich Insurance Group was founded.
|Aberystwyth University||Public||Welsh University|
|Title||Born||Place of birth||Died||Summary||Description|
Deep state operative
|Nicolai Rygg||29 February 1872||27 September 1957||Economist|
|Josiah Wedgwood IV||16 March 1872||26 July 1943||Politician|
|Michael Joseph Savage||23 March 1872||Australia|
|27 March 1940||Politician|
|Bertrand Russell||18 May 1872||Trellech|
|2 February 1970||Philosopher|
|Paul-Emile Janson||30 May 1872||Belgium|
|3 March 1944|
|Calvin Coolidge||4 July 1872||United States|
|5 January 1933||Lawyer|
|Harlan Stone||11 October 1872||22 April 1946||Judge||Sullivan & Cromwell partner, then Supreme Court judge|
|Benjamin Strong||22 December 1872||New York|
|16 October 1928||Banker|
|Member of The Money Trust, Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the first 14 years of the Fed's existence|
- Report for year ending 31 December 1909, Cape Government Railways, Section VIII - Dates of Opening and the Length of the different Sections in the Cape Colony, from the Year 1873 to 31st December, 1909.