|Covid-19|President: Ulysses S. Grant (R-Ohio)
Vice President: Schuyler Colfax (R-Indiana)
Chief Justice: Salmon P. Chase (Ohio)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: James G. Blaine (R-Maine)
Congress: 41st (until March 4), 42nd (starting March 4)
In North Carolina, William Holden becomes the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.
The U.S. Army issues an order for the abandonment of Fort Kearny, Nebraska.
April 20 – The U.S President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Ku Klux Klan Act.
May 4 – The first supposedly Major League Baseball game is played.
May 8 – The first Major League Baseball home run is hit by Ezra Sutton of the Cleveland Forest Citys.
June 10 – Captain McLane Tilton leads 109 U.S. Marines in a naval attack on the Han River forts in Korea.
July 21–August 26 – First ever photographs of Yellowstone National Park region taken by the photographer William Henry Jackson during Hayden Geological Survey of 1871.
July 28 – The Annie, the first boat ever launched on Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park region.
July 30 - An explosion on the Staten Island Ferry kills 72 and injures 135
Whaling Disaster of 1871: 1,219 people abandon 33 whaling ships caught in the ice pack off the northern coast of Alaska.
Seawanhaka Yacht Club founded at Centre Island, New York, one of the earliest surviving yacht clubs in the Western Hemisphere.
September 2 – The disastrous Polaris expedition reaches 82°45′N, the northernmost latitude of any ship to this time.
October 8 – Four major fires break out on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Holland, Michigan, and Manistee, Michigan. The Great Chicago Fire is the most famous of these, leaving nearly 100,000 people homeless, although the Peshtigo Fire kills as many as 2,500 people, making it the deadliest fire in United States history.
November 5 – Wickenburg massacre: Six men travelling by stagecoach are reportedly murdered by the Yavapai Indians in Arizona Territory.
November 17 – The National Rifle Association is granted a charter by the state of New York.
December 19 – The city of Birmingham, Alabama, is incorporated with the merger of three pre-existing towns.
William M. Tweed serves his last year as the "Boss" of the Tammany Hall political machine in New York.
The South Improvement Company is formed by John D. Rockefeller and a group of major railroad interests in an early effort to organize and control the petroleum industry in the U.S.A.
The Harvard Summer School is founded.
Reconstruction era (1865–1877)
Gilded Age (1869–c. 1896)
March 1 – Ben Harney, composer and ragtime pianist (died 1938)
May 19 – Walter Russell, polymath (died 1963)
May 31 – John G. Townsend, Jr., U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1929 to 1941 (died 1964)
June 17 – James Weldon Johnson, African American songwriter, author, diplomat and educator (died 1938)
July 27 – Ollie Murray James, U.S. Senator from Kentucky from 1913 to 1918 (died 1918)
Joseph E. Widener, art collector (died 1943)
Orville Wright, pioneer aviator (died 1948)
August 27 – Theodore Dreiser, novelist (died 1945)
September 9 – Magnus Johnson, U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1923 to 1925 (died 1936)
October 14 – William Howard Thompson, U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1913 to 1919 (died 1928)
October 11 – Harriet Boyd Hawes, archaeologist (died 1945)
October 17 – Thaddeus H. Caraway, U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1921 to 1931 (died 1931)
Walter Bradford Cannon, physiologist (died 1945)
Clyde M. Reed, U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1939 to 1949 (died 1949)
November 1 – Stephen Crane, novelist (died 1900)
November 10 – Winston Churchill, novelist (died 1947)
December 9 – Joe Kelley, baseball player (died 1943)
December 20 – Henry Kimball Hadley, composer (died 1937)
January 15 – Edward C. Delavan, temperance movement leader (born 1793)
February 12 – Alice Cary, poet, sister to Phoebe Cary (born 1820)
April 2 – Jacob M. Howard, U.S. Senator from Michigan from 1862 to 1871 (born 1805)
April 23 – James Monroe Whitfield, African American barber, poet and abolitionist (born 1822)
May 11 – Thomas Buchanan Read, poet and portrait painter (born 1822)
July 9 – John Slidell, U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1853 to 1861 (born 1793)
July 15 – Tad Lincoln, youngest son of President Lincoln (born 1853)
July 31 – Phoebe Cary, poet, sister to Alice Cary (born 1824)
September 21 – Bird Beers Chapman
September 22 – Lewis Golding Arnold, U.S. Army officer and a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (born 1871)
October 26 – Robert Anderson, United States Army officer during the American Civil War, died in Nice, France (born 1805)
1871 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1871 in the United States.