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1901 (MCMI)was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1901st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 901st year of the 2nd millennium, the 1st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1900s decade. As of the start of 1901, the Gregorian calendar was 13 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- January 1
- January 5 – Typhoid fever breaks out in a Seattle jail, the first of two typhoid outbreaks in the United States during the year.
- January 7 – Alferd Packer is released from prison, after serving 18 years for cannibalism.
- January 9 – Lord Kitchener reports that Christiaan de Wet has shot one of the "peace" envoys, and flogged two more, who had gone to his commando to ask the Burgher citizens of South Africa to halt fighting.
- January 10 – In the first great Texas gusher, oil is discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.
- January 22
- Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom dies at age 81, after more than 63 years on the throne, and her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, formally succeeds her as King Edward VII.
- The Grand Opera House in Cincinnati, Ohio, is destroyed in a fire.
- January 28 – Baseball's American League declares itself a Major League.
- February 2 – The funeral of Queen Victoria is held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
- February 5
- The Hay–Pauncefote Treaty is signed by the United Kingdom and United States, ceding control of the Panama Canal to the United States.
- J. P. Morgan buys mines and steel mills in the United States, marking the first billion-dollar business deal.
- In Evansville, Indiana, a fire burns through the business district, causing $175,000 of damage.
- February 11 – Anti-Jesuit riots sweep across Spain.
- February 12 – Viceroy of India Lord Curzon creates the new North-West Frontier Province in the north of the Punjab region, bordering Afghanistan.
- February 14 – Edward VII opens his first parliament of the United Kingdom.
- February 20 – The Hawaii Territory Legislature convenes for the first time.
- February 22 – The Pacific Mail Steamship Company's SS City of Rio de Janeiro sinks entering San Francisco Bay, killing 128.
- February 23 – The United Kingdom and Germany agree on the frontier between German East Africa, and the British colony of Nyasaland.
- February 25 – U.S. Steel is incorporated by industrialist J. P. Morgan, as the first billion-dollar corporation.
- February 26
- February 27 – The Sultan of Turkey orders 50,000 troops to the Bulgarian frontier, because of unrest in Macedonia.
Silliman University is the first American private school in the Philippines.
- December 3 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a 20,000-word speech to the House of Representatives, asking Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits".
- December 10 – The first Nobel Prize ceremony is held in Stockholm, on the fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.
- December 12 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first trans-Atlantic radio signal, sent from Poldhu, England, to Newfoundland; it is the letter "S" in Morse code.
- December 20 – The final spike is driven into the Mombasa–Victoria–Uganda Railway, in what is now Kisumu, Kenya.
- December 22 – Charles Aked, a Baptist minister in Liverpool, says about the war in South Africa: "Great Britain cannot win the battles without resorting to the last despicable cowardice of the most loathsome cur on earth — the act of striking a brave man's heart through his wife's honour and his child's life. The cowardly war has been conducted by methods of barbarism... the concentration camps have been Murder Camps." A crowd follows him home and breaks the windows of his house.
- December 31 – The Roman Catholic Platform (now known as Cemetery Station No. 2) opens in Sydney, Australia's Rookwood Cemetery.