On This Day

What Happened in February 1885

Historical Events

  • Feb 5 News of the fall of Khartoum reaches London
  • Feb 5 King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal colonial possession
  • Feb 9 1st Japanese arrive in Hawaii
  • Feb 12 Carl Peters founds German East-Africa Society

Historic Event

Feb 17 Bismarck gives Carl Peters' firm management of East-Africa

Historic Publication

Feb 18 Mark Twain publishes the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in the US

  • Feb 21 Washington Monument dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 25 US Congress condemns barbed wire around government grounds
  • Feb 26 Berlin Conference gives Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to Great Britain

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Camille Chautemps, premier France
  • Feb 2 Aldo Palazzeschi [Giurlani], Italian writer (I cavalli bianchi)
  • Feb 4 Cairine Ray Wilson, 1st female Canadian senator (appointed), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Feb 7 [Harry] Sinclair Lewis, American writer and social critic (Nobel Prize in Literature 1930), born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota (d. 1951)
  • Feb 9 Alban Berg, a Lulu of a composer!, born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1935)
  • Feb 12 Licinio Refice, Italian priest and composer (Cecilia), born in Patrica, Italy (d. 1954)

Bess Truman

Feb 13 Bess Truman, US First Lady (1945-52), born in Independence, Missouri (d. 1982)

  • Feb 14 Syed Zafarul Hasan, Indian-Pakistani Prominent Muslim philosopher (d. 1949)
  • Feb 15 Richard Würz, German composer, and music critic, born in Munich, Germany (d. 1965)
  • Feb 21 Sacha Guitry, French actor and playwright (Deburan, The Story of a Cheat), born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1957)
  • Feb 24 Bert Lytell, American actor (One Man's Family), born in NYC, New York (d. 1954)

Chester Nimitz

Feb 24 Chester Nimitz, American admiral who commanded the US Pacific fleet in World War II, born in Fredericksburg, Texas (d. 1966)

  • Feb 24 Joseph Sprinzak, Speaker of Israeli Knesset (1949-59)
  • Feb 24 Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski, Polish novelist/satirist (Black Wings)
  • Feb 24 Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter (d. 1939)
  • Feb 25 Sylvia Brett, Lady Brooke and Ranee of Sarawak, born in London, England (d. 1971)
  • Feb 26 Lili Green [Alice Sally Mary], Dutch English dancer, born in Bromley, England (d. 1977)
  • Feb 26 Aleksandras Stulginskis, President of Lithuania (d. 1969)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 4 Sarah Miriam Peale, American portrait painter (General Lafayette, 1825), dies at 84
  • Feb 14 Jules Vallès, French writer (b. 1832)
  • Feb 15 Leopold Damrosch, German-American composer, and conductor (New York Oratorio Society; New York Symphony), dies at 52
  • Feb 18 Charlotte Sainton-Dolby, English contralto and composer, dies at 61