On This Day

What Happened in February 1880

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 The first edition of theatrical newspaper The Stage is published.
  • Feb 2 SS Strathleven arrives in London with first shipment of frozen Australian mutton
  • Feb 4 Steele MacKay's play "Hazel Kirke" premieres in New York City

Murder of Interest

Feb 4 "Black Donnelly" massacre in Biddulph, Ontario, Canada: Irish immigrants James (63), Johannah (56), John (32), Thomas (25) and Bridget (21) Donnelly murdered at home by members of the Vigilance Committee

Catholic Encyclical

Feb 10 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Arcanum about Christian marriage

  • Feb 12 US National Croquet League organizes (Philadelphia)
  • Feb 16 American Society of Mechanical Engineers forms (NYC)

Assassination Attempt

Feb 17 Alexander II of Russia survives an assassination attempt

  • Feb 29 Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland & Italy completed

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Antonio Guarnieri, Italian cellist and opera conductor (La Scala, 1929-50), born in Venice, Italy (d. 1952)
  • Feb 1 Francesco Balilla Pratella, Italian composer, born in Lugo, Italy (d. 1955)
  • Feb 3 Arnoldus JH Aerts, bishop of Neth-Guinea (1920-42)
  • Feb 8 Franz Marc, German painter (Blaue Reiter)
  • Feb 9 Lipót Fejér, Hungarian mathematician (d. 1959)
  • Feb 10 Jesse G Vincent, Arkansas, engineer designed 1st V-12 engine
  • Feb 12 John Llewellyn Lewis, American union leader (United Mine Workers, 1920-60), born near Lewis, Iowa (d. 1969)
  • Feb 14 Aida Overton Walker, African-American dancer & singer (In Dahomey, Salome), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1914)
  • Feb 14 Edgar Bainton, British-Australian composer, born in Hackney, London (d. 1956)
  • Feb 18 Eric De Lamarter, American organist, composer and conductor (Chicago Symphony), born in Lansing, Michigan (d. 1953)
  • Feb 19 Álvaro Obregón, Mexican general and President of Mexico (1920-24), born in Alamos, Mexico (d. 1928)
  • Feb 19 Arthur Shepherd, American composer, born in Paris, Indiana (d. 1958)
  • Feb 20 Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, French aristocrat and novelist (d. 1923)
  • Feb 21 Frank Orth, American actor (Boston Blackie, Brothers), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1962)
  • Feb 21 Waldemar Bonsels, German writer (d. 1952)
  • Feb 22 Frigyes Riesz, Hungarian mathematician (d. 1956)
  • Feb 23 Edgar Istel, German composer, born in Mainz (d. 1948)
  • Feb 26 Lionel Logue, Australian speech therapist who treated King George VI (The Kings Speech), born in Adelaide (d. 1953)
  • Feb 27 Angelina Weld Grimke, American journalist, teacher and playwright (Harlem Renaissance), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1958)

Famous Deaths

Murder of InterestJames Donnelly

Feb 4 James Donnelly, Irish-Canadian patriarch, murdered along with his family in the "Black Donnelly" massacre at 63

  • Feb 12 Karl von Holtei, Silesian actor, playwright and author (Die Vagabunden), dies at 82
  • Feb 19 Constantino Brumidi, Greek-Italian-American historical artist (Myrtle Murdock), dies at 74
  • Feb 29 Sir James Wilson, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1812, also on 29 February)