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|( 1880s: ) 1888|
- January 13 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.
- February 6 – Gillis Bildt becomes Prime Minister of Sweden (1888–1889).
- March 9 – Wilhelm I dies, Frederick III becomes German Emperor and King of Prussia.
- March 13 – De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. is founded in Kimberley.
- April 16 – The German Empire annexes the island of Nauru.
- May 12 – The North Borneo Chartered Company's territories (including Sabah) become the British protectorate of North Borneo.
- June 14 – The White Rajahs territories become the British protectorate of Sarawak.
- June 15 – Wilhelm II becomes German Emperor and King of Prussia; 1888 is the Year of the Three Emperors.
- October 9 – The Washington Monument officially opens to the general public, in Washington, D.C.[
- October 30 – The Rudd Concession, a written concession for exclusive mining rights in Matabeleland, Mashonaland and adjoining territories, is granted by King Lobengula of Matabeleland to Charles Rudd, James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, who are acting on behalf of South African-based politician and businessman Cecil Rhodes, providing a basis for white settlement of Rhodesia.
- November 6 – 1888 United States presidential election: Democratic Party incumbent Grover Cleveland wins the popular vote, but loses the Electoral College vote to Republican challenger Benjamin Harrison, therefore losing the election.
- November 9 – Whitechapel murders: The mutilated body of London prostitute Mary Jane Kelly is found. She is considered to be the fifth, and last, of Jack the Ripper's victims. A number of similar murders in England follow, but the police attribute them to copy-cat killers.
|Searle Pharmaceuticals||Taken over by Monsanto in 1985.|
|Abertay University||Abertay was the first to offer a degree in Ethical Hacking, starting in 2006.|
|New Mexico State University||PublicLand-grantSpace-grant||New Mexico university|
|Utah State University|
|Title||Born||Place of birth||Died||Summary||Description|
|Georgios Papandreou||13 February 1888||Greece|
|1 November 1968||Politician||A critic of NATO|
|John Foster Dulles||25 February 1888||United States|
|24 May 1959||Diplomat|
|US lawyer turned deep politician, brother of Allen Dulles|
|René Massigli||22 March 1888||3 February 1988||Diplomat|
|Julian Grenfell||30 March 1888||London|
|26 May 1915||Poet|
|Józef Retinger||17 April 1888||12 June 1960||Deep politician||The Polish deep politician who set up the Bilderberg group|
|Percy Sillitoe||22 May 1888||London|
|5 April 1962||Spook|
|Bronson Cutting||23 June 1888||New York|
|6 May 1935||Activist|
|A US senator whose efforts to reform the banking system appeared to be gaining traction in 1934. He died in a plane crash in 1935.|
|Axel Georg||12 August 1888||Denmark|
|14 July 1964||Danish Prince who attended the 1956 Bilderberg in Fredensborg, Denmark|
|Paul Rykens||14 September 1888||Netherlands|
|19 April 1964||Businessperson||Dutch businessman and friend of Józef Retinger who was initially consulted on the founding of the Bilderberg Group|
|Eric Jones||24 September 1888||23 April 1956||Spook|
|The first director of GCHQ|
|Harold Thorby||2 October 1888||1 January 1973||Politician|
|Henry Agard Wallace||7 October 1888||Iowa|
|18 November 1965|
|Nestor Makhno||26 October 1888||Ukraine|
|6 July 1934||Revolutionary||Commander of a "third force" in Ukraine 1917–21.|
|Ivar Rooth||2 November 1888||Sweden|
|27 February 1972||Lawyer|
|Swedish Managing Director of the IMF|
|Marshall Diggs||7 November 1888||Dallas|
|Jean Monnet||9 November 1888||Cognac|
|16 March 1979||Deep state operative|
|Clinton Golden||16 November 1888||Pennsylvania|
|12 June 1961||Academic|
|Oswald Rayner||29 November 1888||Staffordshire|
|6 March 1961||Spook|
|M. James W. Coldwell||2 December 1888||Seaton|
|25 August 1974|