Decades: 1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s - 1780s - 1790s 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s
Years: 1776 1777 1778 1779 1780 - 1781 - 1782 1783 1784 1785 1786
January 5 - American Revolutionary War: Richmond, Virginia is burned by British naval forces led by Benedict Arnold.
January 30 - Articles of Confederation ratified by 13th state, Maryland.
January - William Pitt the Younger, later Prime Minister, enters Parliament.
March 1 - Articles of Confederation go into effect, Samuel Huntington becomes first President of the United States in Congress assembled.
March 13 - William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus.
March 15 - American Revolutionary War: American General Nathanael Greene loses Battle of Guilford Court House to British.
August 30 - American Revolutionary War: French fleet under Comte de Grasse enters Chesapeake Bay, cutting British General Charles Cornwallis off from escape by sea.
September 4 - Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula (City of the Queen of the Angeles) by a group of 44 Spanish settlers.
September 5 - British fleet under Thomas Graves arrives and fights de Grasse, but to no effect.
September 10 - Graves gives up trying to break through the now-reinforced French fleet and returns to New York, leaving Cornwallis to his fate.
October 19 - General Charles Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, Virginia, ending the armed struggle of the American Revolutionary War.
November 5 - John Hanson is elected as President of the United States in Congress assembled.
December 12 - French and British fleets fight the Battle of Ushant.
Bank of North America is chartered by the Continental Congress.
Sir William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus, originally calling it Georgium Sidus (George's Star) in honour of King George III of England.
Charles Messier publishes final catalog of Messier objects.
Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovers tungsten.
Immanuel Kant publishes Critique of Pure Reason.
Jeremy Bentham formulates utilitarian ethics.
Reverend Samuel Peters publishes General History of Connecticut, using the term blue law for the first time.
January 26 - Achim von Arnim, poet (+ 1831)
January 30 - Adelbert von Chamisso, poet, botanist (+ 1838)
February 17 - Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec, French physician, inventor of stethoscope (+ 1826)
March 4 - Rebecca Gratz, American educator, philanthropist (+ 1869)
March 13 - Karl Friedrich Schinkel, master builder (+ 1841)
June 21 - Simeon Poisson, French mathematician, physicist (+ 1840)
July 6 - Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore (+ 1826)
July 6 - John D. Sloat, American naval officer (+ 1867)
September 3 - Eugène de Beauharnais, son of Napoleon’s wife, Josephine
September 6 - Anton Diabelli, music publisher, editor, composer
October 1 - James Lawrence, Captain of the United States Navy known for his success fulactivities during the War of 1812.
November 6 - Lucy Aikin, English writer (+ 1864)
November 20 - Karl Friedrich Eichhorn, German jurist (+ 1854)
November 30 - Alexander Berry (d. 1873) Scotish adventurer, founder of Berry Australia
December 11 - Sir David Brewster, Scottish physicist (+ 1868)
William Williams of Wern, minister (+ 1840)
March 18 - Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune, French statesman, economist
Peter Scheemakers, Flemish sculptor
China - Qianlong Emperor of China, Qing Dynasty (reigned from October 18, 1735 to February 9, 1796)
Prussia - Frederick II King of Prussia (reigned from 1740 to 1786)