On This Day

What Happened in February 1881

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 US Assay Office in St Louis, Missouri authorized
  • Feb 5 Phoenix, Arizona incorporates
  • Feb 7 Battle at Ingogo, Transvaal: Boers beat superior British forces
  • Feb 10 Jacques Offenbach's opera "Les Contes d'Hoffman" premieres in Paris
  • Feb 13 The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne is first published in Paris by activist Hubertine Auclert
  • Feb 19 Kansas becomes 1st state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages
  • Feb 24 De Lesseps' Company begins work on Panama Canal
  • Feb 24 China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty.
  • Feb 26 -27] Natal: British troops under Major General Colley occupy Majuba Hill
  • Feb 26 P&O's SS Ceylon begins world's 1st round-the-world pleasure cruise from Liverpool
  • Feb 27 Battle at Amajuba: South African Boers vs British army under General Colley

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 José Ignacio Quintón, Puerto-Rican composer (El coquí; Requiem por Angel Mislán), born in Caguas , Puerto Rico (d. 1925)
  • Feb 1 Tip Snooke, South African cricket all-rounder and captain (26 Tests, 35 wickets), born in St Mark's, Eastern Cape, South Africa (d. 1966)
  • Feb 2 Karl Frederick, pistol champ (Olympic gold 1920)
  • Feb 4 Kliment J Woroshilov, marshal/president USSR (1953-60)
  • Feb 4 Fernand Léger, French painter (d. 1955)
  • Feb 5 Frederick Leonard Lonsdale, British playwright (Balkan Princess)
  • Feb 6 Karl Weigl, Austrian-American composer, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1949)
  • Feb 12 Anna Pavlova, Russian prima ballerina and choreographer (Diaghilew, Dying Swan), born in St Petersburg, Russia (d. 1931)
  • Feb 13 Eleanor Farjeon, English writer (Martin Pippin)
  • Feb 14 Otto Selz, German psychologist, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1943)
  • Feb 14 William John Gruffydd, Welsh poet & scholar, born in Gorffwysfa, Bethel, Wales (d. 1954)
  • Feb 16 Maurits H E Uyldert, Dutch poet/writer (Youth of a Poet)
  • Feb 19 Armin Knab, German composer (Eichendorff-cycle)
  • Feb 19 Evert Gorter, founder of Dutch medical child care
  • Feb 19 Paul Zech, German writer, born in Briesen, Western Prussia (d. 1946)
  • Feb 20 Pedro Munoz Seca, Spanish playwright (Vengeanza de Don Mendo)
  • Feb 22 Joseph B. Ely, American politician (d. 1956)
  • Feb 22 James Reese Europe, American ragtime and early jazz arranger, composer, and bandleader in New York, and with the military in France during WWI, born in Mobile, Alabama (d. 1919) [1]
  • Feb 23 Titus [Anno S] Brandsma, Dutch philosopher
  • Feb 25 William Foster, Mass, Communist Presidential candidate (1924,28,32)
  • Feb 27 Luitzen [Bertus] Brouwers, Dutch mathematician
  • Feb 27 Sveinn Bjornsson, 1st president of Iceland (1944-52)/poet (Figur ild)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 2 Aleksej F Pisemski, Russian writer (Clodhopper), dies at 59
  • Feb 3 John Gould, British ornithologist and bird artist, dies at 76

Person of interestThomas Carlyle

Feb 5 Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist (The French Revolution), dies in London at 85

Historian and Essayist Thomas Carlyle
Historian and Essayist
Thomas Carlyle
  • Feb 6 Pieter Mijer, Gov-Gen of Neth Indies (1866-72), dies at 68
  • Feb 7 Fredrik Cygnaeus, Finnish poet/literature critic, dies at 73

Person of interestFyodor Dostoyevsky

Feb 9 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist (Crime and Punishment, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man) who helped shape literary modernism and existentialism, dies from a pulmonary haemorrhage at 59

  • Feb 14 Fernando Wood, New York City mayor (b. 1812)
  • Feb 27 George Colley, British governor of Natal/general, dies in battle at 46