On This Day

What Happened in February 1856

Historical Events

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

Historic Event

Feb 18 The American Party (Know-Nothings) convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to nominate its first Presidential candidate, former 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, hits an iceberg and sinks 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 wins aboard 25/1 Freetrader; first of Stevens' record 5 GN victories
  • Feb 29 Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 2 Makar Ekmalyan, Armenian composer (Patarag - Divine Liturgy of Armenia), born in Vagharshapat, Erivan Governorate, Russian Empire (now Armenia) (d. 1905)
  • Feb 5 Otto Brahm, German critic/founder (Neue Deutsche Rundschau)
  • Feb 14 Frank Harris, Irish-American journalist and writer (My Life & Loves), born in Galway, Ireland (d. 1931)
  • Feb 15 Emil Kraepelin, German psychiatrist who developed a classification system for mental illness, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1926)
  • Feb 16 Willem Kes, Dutch violinist, composer and conductor (Parkorkest Amsterdam)
  • Feb 16 Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur and owner of chain of shops (Karstadt Warenhaus AG) (d. 1944)
  • Feb 21 Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Dutch architect (Stock exchange Amsterdam), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1934)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 8 Agostino Bassi, Italian entomologist, dies at 82
  • Feb 17 Heinrich Heine, German poet and lyricist (Schubert, Liszt), dies at 58
  • Feb 17 John Braham, English tenor singer and composer, dies at 81
  • Feb 24 Nikolai Lobachevsky, Russian mathematician (Lobachevskian geometry), dies at 63