Robert Koch publishes a paper on his work with anthrax, pointing explicitly to a bacterium as the cause of this disease. This validates the germ theory of disease. His work on anthrax was presented and his papers on the subject were published under the auspices of Ferdinand Cohn.
Koch, R. 1876. Untersuchungen ueber Bakterien V. Die Aetiologie der Milzbrand-Krankheit, begruendent auf die Entwicklungsgeschichte des Bacillus Anthracis. Beitr. z. Biol. D. Pflanzen 2: 277-310. In Milestones in Microbiology: 1556 to 1940, translated and edited by Thomas D. Brock, ASM Press. 1998, p89 [pdf].