Centuries: 16th century - 17th century - 18th century
- March 19 - The men under explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle murder him while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River.
- July 5 - Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica is published.
- December 31 - The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.
- King James II of England issues the Declaration of Indulgence, suspending laws against Catholics and non-conformists.
- Change of emperor of the Ottoman Empire from Mehmed IV (1648-1687) to Suleiman II (1687-1691)
- End of the reign of Emperor Reigen of Japan
- Emperor Higashiyama ascends to the throne of Japan
- January 30 - Johann Balthasar Neumann, master builder (+ 1753)
- Antonion Lazzaro Moro - Italian geologist (+ 1752)