Joshua and Matilda Dunbar, Paul's parents, separate and later divorce
Dunbar writes "An Easter Ode," his first poem
Dunbar gives his first known public reading, delivering "An Easter Ode" to the congregation at the Eaker Street A. M. E. Church, Dayton, Ohio
August 16: Joshua Dunbar dies and is later buried at Dayton's National Cemetery
June 8: Dunbar's first published poem, "Our Martyred Soldiers," appeared in the Dayton Herald
Attended Dayton Central High School
While in high school, edited the Dayton Tattler, a short-lived African-American newspaper published by his classmate, Orville Wright. Dunbar also writes for and edits the Central High School High School Times, and serves as the president of the Philomathean Literary Society.
June 16: With classmate Orville Wright, Dunbar graduated from Dayton Central High School and wrote the class song.
Got job as elevator operator in the Callahan Building, which he would hold until 1893.
June 27: Invited to deliver a public reading to the Western Association of Writers, Dayton, OH
Self-published first book of poems, Oak and Ivy, selling them for $1 to people riding in his elevator
Attended World's Fair in Chicago and met Frederick Douglass, who employed Dunbar in the Haitian Pavilion.
Moved to Toledo, Ohio, with help from attorney Charles A. Thatcher and psychiatrist Henry A. Tobey
April: Dunbar captivated by photograph of Alice Moore published in the Boston Monthly Review and began writing to her
Published Majors and Minors
June 27: Review of Majors and Minors written by William Dean Howells was published in Harper's Weekly
Dunbar obtained a literary agent and moved to New York
Published Lyrics of Lowly Life, which contains an introduction written by William Dean Howells, editor of Harper's Weekly
Correspondence between Dunbar and Alice Moore continued throughout the year
Traveled to England for six-month tour of the London literary circuit
Employed at Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Becomes engaged to Alice Ruth Moore
March 6: Married Alice Ruth Moore
Published Folks from Dixie, his first collection of short stories
Published The Uncalled, his first novel
Resigned from position at Library of Congress to write full-time
Published Lyrics of the Hearthside
Published Poems of Cabin and Field
Spring: Suffered from severe bout of pneumonia
Diagnosed with tuberculosis, Dunbar relocates to Colorado for health reasons.
Published The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories
Published The Love of Landry
Published The Fanatics
Published Candle-Lightin' Time
Participated in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade.
Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore Dunbar separate.
Published The Sport of the Gods, his final novel
Suffered another severe bout of pneumonia
Published Lyrics of Love and Laughter
Published In Old Plantation Days, a collection of short stories
Published When Malindy Sings
Returned to Dayton, Ohio to live with his mother
Published The Heart of Happy Hollow, a collection of short stories
Published Li'l Gal
Published Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow
Published Howdy, Honey, Howdy
Participated in President Theodore Roosevelt's second inaugural parade.
February 9: Paul Laurence Dunbar died in Dayton, Ohio, and is bured in Woodland Cemetery.