What Happened in February 1856

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 Auburn University is chartered as the East Alabama Male College.
  • Feb 7 The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passes the first piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 18 The American Party (Know-Nothings) convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate its first Presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore.

13th US President Millard Fillmore
13th US President
Millard Fillmore
  • Feb 19 Tin-type camera patented by Hamilton Smith, Gambier, Ohio
  • Feb 20 The steam packet-ship John Rutledge, en route from Liverpool to New York, struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 120 passengers and 19 crew; only one survivor (Thomas Nye of New Bedford)
  • Feb 22 1st national meeting of Republican Party (Pittsburgh)
  • Feb 27 18th Grand National: George Stevens aboard Freetrader wins
  • Feb 29 Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 2 Makar Grigori Ekmalyan, composer
  • Feb 5 Otto Brahm, German critic/founder (Neue Deutsche Rundschau)
  • Feb 14 Frank Harris, England, journalist/writer (My Life & Loves)
  • Feb 15 Frank Harris, Galway England, writer
  • Feb 15 Emil Kraepelin, German psychiatrist (d. 1926)
  • Feb 16 Willem Kes, Dutch violinist/composer/conductor (Parkorkest Amsterdam)
  • Feb 16 Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur (d. 1944)
  • Feb 21 Hendrik P Berlage, architect (Stock exchange Amsterdam)
  • Feb 25 Charles Lang Freer, art collector; endowed Freer Gallery [or 1876]

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 8 Agostino Bassi, Italian entomologist (b. 1773)
  • Feb 17 Heinrich Heine, German poet, dies at 58 in Paris
  • Feb 17 John Braham, English tenor singer and composer, dies at 81