On This Day

What Happened in February 1879

Historical Events

  • Feb 5 Joseph Swan demonstrates light bulb using carbon glow
  • Feb 8 Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.
  • Feb 10 1st electric arc light used (California Theater)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 10 Henry Morton Stanley departs for the Congo

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley
  • Feb 12 1st artificial ice rink in North America (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
  • Feb 12 News about British loss at Battle of Isandlwana to Zulu attack (Anglo-Zulu War) reaches London
  • Feb 14 Chilean troops occupy Antofagasta
  • Feb 15 US Congress authorizes women lawyers to practise before Supreme Court
  • Feb 18 Arabs capture Egyptian premier Nabar Pasha

USAStatue of Liberty

Feb 18 Sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi is awarded a patent for his design for the Statue of Liberty

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The Statue of Liberty, New York
The Statue of Liberty, New York
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  • Feb 22 1st 5 cent & 10 cent store opened by Frank W. Woolworth in Utica, New York (failed almost immediately)
  • Feb 25 US Congress passed 1st Timberland Protection Act
  • Feb 27 Russian Chemist Constantin Fahlberg discovers saccharin (artificial sweetener) [1]
  • Feb 28 "Exodus of 1879" southern blacks flee political and economic exploitation

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 3 Charles Follis, 1st African American NFLer (Shelby, Ohio)
  • Feb 5 Edward Rigby, British actor (Star Look Down, Young & Innocent), born in Ashford, Kent, England (d. 1951)
  • Feb 6 Carl Ramsauer, German physicist (Ramsauer-Townsend effect), born in Oldenburg, Germany (d. 1879)
  • Feb 9 [Carl] Natanael Berg, Swedish composer, born in Stockholm (d. 1957)
  • Feb 9 Jacques Bainville, French historian/essayist/journalist
  • Feb 10 Franz Carl Bornschein, American composer, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1948)
  • Feb 11 Jean Gilbert [Max Winterfeld], German composer, born in Hamburg, Germany (d. 1942)
  • Feb 13 Sarojini Naidu, Indian freedom fighter and poet, born in Hyperbad, India (d. 1949)
  • Feb 17 Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American novelist (Book-of-Month-Club)
  • Feb 22 Norman Lindsay, Australian artist and novelist (The Magic Pudding), born in Creswick Victoria (d. 1969) [1]
  • Feb 23 Agnes Arber, English biologist/philosopher (Mind & the Eye)
  • Feb 24 Herman Teirlinck, Belgian writer (Sun)
  • Feb 25 Otakar Ostrcil, composer
  • Feb 26 Frank Bridge, English violinist, composer, conductor and tutor of Benjamin Britten, born in Brighton, England (d. 1941)
  • Feb 27 Jose Sancho Marraco, composer

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 11 Honore Daumier, caricaturist/painter, dies
  • Feb 11 Willem Josephus van Zeggelen, Dutch author, dies at 67
  • Feb 21 Peter P van Bosse, Dutch liberal minister of Finance, dies at 69
  • Feb 23 Albrecht von Roon, Prussian soldier and statesman (Minister of War), dies at 75