1896 was a leap year.
January 4 — Utah is admitted to the Union as the 45th US state.
February 1 — Puccini's opera Bohemia premiered in Turin.
March 1 — King Menelik II's Ethiopian army defeats the Italians at the decisive Battle of Adwa, ending Italian claims in the First Italo-Abyssinian War.
March 1 — French physicist Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity when he exposes photographic plates to uranium.
April 6 — The first modern Olympic Games were opened in Greece.
April 7 — An Arctic expedition led by Norwegian explorer Fritjof Nansen reached 86°13.6' N.
May 18 — The US Supreme Court rules in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson that the doctrine of "separate but equal" is consistent with the US Constitution.
August 27 — The Anglo-Zanzibar War, the shortest war in the history of warfare, begins and ends.
October 26 — An agreement was signed in Addis Ababa establishing peace between Italy and Abyssinia.
November 3 — In the US presidential election, Republican Party candidate William McKinley defeats Democratic Party candidate William Jennings Bryan.
Wikipedia:Unknown date — Belgrade, the first cinema performance was held in the tavern "At the Golden Cross" on June 6
January 1 — Vukić Mićović, Serbian chemist, rector of Belgrade University and academician of SANU.
January 2 — Giuseppe Enrici, Italian cyclist. (†1968)
February 26 — Andrei Zhdanov, Soviet politician. († 1948)
April 3 — Nikolai Seymonov, Russian physicist and chemist. (†1986).
July 14 — Buenaventura Duruti, Spanish revolutionary and anarchist. (†1936)
August 15 — Gertie Corey, American biochemist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology (†1957)
November 20 — Alija Alijagić, communist revolutionary. († 1922)
December 1 - Georgy Zhukov, Marshal of the Soviet Union
December 27 — Maurice de Vallée, Belgian cyclist. (†1952).
February 8 — Georgije Nikolajević, Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church (†1807)
February 20 — Mil