On This Day

What Happened in February 1859

Historical Events

  • Feb 5 Wallachia and Moldavia are united under Alexander John Cuza as the United Principalities

The Indian Mutiny

Feb 10 General Horsford defeats Begum of Oude and Nana Sahib in Indian Mutiny

  • Feb 14 Oregon admitted as 33rd state of the Union
  • Feb 16 The French Government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch

Music Premiere

Feb 17 Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Un Ballo in maschera" premieres in Naples

Sports History

Feb 26 Paul Morphy's chess match vs Augustus Mongredien begins; Morphy wins

  • Feb 28 Arkansas legislature requires free blacks to choose exile or slavery

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Victor Herbert, American cellist, composer, and conductor (Babes in Toyland; Eileen), born in Guernsey, Bailiwick of Guernsey (d. 1924) [he believed he was born in Dublin, Ireland] [1]
  • Feb 2 Havelock Ellis, American physician/sexologist (Psychology of Sex)
  • Feb 3 Hugo Junkers, German aircraft designer (d. 1935)
  • Feb 4 Timofei Mikhailov, Russian revolutionary, member of Narodnaya Volya (d. 1881)
  • Feb 10 Alexandre Millerand, French President (d. 1943)
  • Feb 13 Frank van de Goes, Dutch writer/marxist theorist
  • Feb 13 William Strang, Scottish painter/engraver
  • Feb 14 George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., American engineer and inventor (Ferris Wheel), born in Galesburg, Illinois (d. 1896)
  • Feb 19 Svante August Arrhenius, Swedish physicist and chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1903), born in Wik Castle, Sweden (d. 1927)
  • Feb 22 Joey Palmer, Australian cricket medium pace/spin bowler (17 Tests, 78 wickets, BB 7/65; Victoria CA), born in Corowa, Australia (d. 1910)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 6 Johannes Josephus Viotta, composer, dies at 45
  • Feb 23 Zygmunt KrasiƄski, Polish Romantic poet (b. 1812)
  • Feb 26 Ferdinand Schubert, Austrian composer, brother of Franz Schubert, dies at 64