February 25 – Guatemalan Sergeant Major Melchor de Mencos y Varón departs the city of Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala with an infantry battalion to fight British pirates that are reportedly disembarking on the coasts of Petén (modern-day Belize), and sacking the nearby towns.
July 10 – The Albany Plan of Union is given official approval by the delegates from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with Connecticut opposing. The plan approved at the meeting in Albany, New York is based on Benjamin Franklin's suggestions of "a general union of the British colonies on the continent" for a common defense policy. As amended at the assembly, the proposed union calls for the British Parliament to approve the arrangement, which would encompass all of the British North American colonies except for Georgia and Nova Scotia. The plan, to be considered by the individual colonies for ratification, provides for an inter-colonial legislature (the Grand Council) composed of between two and seven representatives for each colony, depending on population. It also provides for a "President General" who can veto Grand Council legislation, a common defense budget with colonies contributing proportionately to their representation, and an inter-colonial army whose officers would be selected by the Grand Council. 
August 19 – Lieutenant Colonel George Washington is forced to confront his first mutiny as 25 members of his Virginia militia refuse to obey orders from their officers. Washington, who is attending church services at the time, quickly suppresses the rebellion and the mutineers are imprisoned before more join. 
August 30 – New Hampshire settlers Susannah Willard Johnson and her family are taken hostage by the Abenaki Indians during an attack near Charlestown. Nine months pregnant at the time of their capture, Johnson gives birth two days later to a child, whom she names Elizabeth Captive Johnson. For the next two years, the family is held for ransom in Canada before she is released. In 1796, she will recount the story in a popular memoir, A Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson.
September 2 – A powerful earthquake strikes Constantinople shortly after 9 o'clock in the evening. A Scottish physician, Dr. Mordach Mackenzie, reports in a letter that the tremor damaged or destroyed numerous buildings and comments, "Some say there were 2000 people destroyed by this calamity, in the town and suburbs; some 900; and others reduce them to 60, who, by what I have seen, are nearer the truth." 
October 24 – China's Qianlong Emperor reverses a longstanding policy that barred Chinese subjects from ever returning to China if they remained out of the country for more than three years. 
October 31 – What will become Columbia University is chartered as "a College in the Province of New York... in the City of New York in America... named King's College", with the charter submitted by New York's colonial governor, James De Lancey.
November 28 – Denmark establishes the Renteskirverkontor, an office within the Chamber of Finance, to oversee the colonial affairs of the Danish West Indies (Dansk Vestindien). Peder Mariager, who had been a minor official of the Danish West Indies Company, becomes the first administrator. The colony, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix later is purchased by the United States from Denmark and is now the U.S. Virgin Islands .
December 26 – Massachusetts becomes the third colony (after Pennsylvania and Connecticut) to reject the Albany Plan for an inter-colonial union, voting 48 to 31 to postpone consideration of the union question indefinitely.