On This Day

What Happened in February 1898

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 1st auto insurance policy in US issued, by Travelers Insurance Co
  • Feb 8 John Ames Sherman patents 1st envelope folding & gumming machine in Massachusetts
  • Feb 11 Owen Smith of NC, AME Zion minister, named US minister to Liberia
  • Feb 15 USS Maine sinks in Havana harbor, cause unknown, 258 sailors die
  • Feb 22 Black postmaster lynched, his wife & 3 daughters shot in Lake City, South Carolina

Historic Event

Feb 23 In France, Emile Zola is imprisoned for writing his "J'accuse" letter accusing government of anti-Semitism & wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus


Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 2 Josephina Johanna "Fien" de la Mar, Dutch actress (Theatre De la Mar), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1965)
  • Feb 3 Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect (Finlandia House) and designer, born in Kuortane, Finland (d. 1976)
  • Feb 3 Paul Urysohn, Russian mathematician
  • Feb 3 Lillian "Lil" Hardin Armstrong, American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader, born in Memphis, Tennessee (d. 1971)
  • Feb 7 Morgan Lee "Dock" Boggs, American folk and blues singer and banjo player, born in Norton, Virginia (d. 1971)
  • Feb 8 Andrés Soriano, Spanish Filipino industrialist (San Miguel Brewery, Philippine Airlines), born in Manila, Spanish Philippines (d. 1964)

Bertolt Brecht

Feb 10 Bertolt Brecht, German poet and playwright (Mother Courage), born in Augsburg, Bavaria (d. 1956)

  • Feb 10 Joseph Kessel, French journalist/writer (Army of the Shadows)
  • Feb 10 Judith Anderson [Frances Margaret Anderson], Australian actress (Laura, Rebecca, Tycoon), born in Adelaide, South Australia (d. 1992)
  • Feb 10 Robert Keith [Rolland Keith Richey], American actor (Guys and Dolls, The Wild One, Battle Circus, Branded, Wild One), born in Fowler, Indiana (d. 1966)

Leó Szilárd

Feb 11 Leo Szilard, Hungarian-German-American nuclear physicist (Manhattan Project) and peace activist, born in Budapest, Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1964)

  • Feb 12 Wallace Ford [Samuel Jones Grundy], British actor (Freaks, Harvey, Spellbound, Deputy), born in Bolton, Lancashire, England (d. 1966)
  • Feb 12 Roy Harris, American composer (When Johnny Comes Marching Home: An American Overture), born near Chandler, Oklahoma (d. 1979)
  • Feb 13 Neville Pearson, English publisher
  • Feb 14 Fritz Zwicky, Swiss astronomer (supernova, dark matter), born in Varna, Bulgaria (d. 1974)
  • Feb 15 Totò [Antonio Clemente], Italian actor (Motorizzate, Noi Duri) commonly referred to as the most popular Italian comedian of all time, born in Naples, Italy (d. 1967)
  • Feb 15 Allen Woodring, American runner (d. 1982)
  • Feb 16 Katharine Cornell, German actress (Barretts of Wimpole St), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1974)
  • Feb 17 Tom Lowry, New Zealand cricket batsman (7 Tests, 2 x 50s; first NZ Test captain), President NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Association 1951-65, born in Fernhill, New Zealand (d. 1976)
  • Feb 18 Enzo Ferrari, racing car manufacturer, Modena
  • Feb 18 K'Tut Tantri, broadcaster/hotelier
  • Feb 18 Luis Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rican poet (d. 1980)
  • Feb 19 Lauwrens Voorthuyzen [Lou de Palingboer], Dutch sect leader
  • Feb 21 Vassily Vainonen, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer (Gayaneh)
  • Feb 22 Anton de Kom, Surinam/Dutch worker's union leader/resistance fighter
  • Feb 23 Reinhard Herbig, German archaeologist
  • Feb 24 Kurt Tank, German WW II aircraft designer
  • Feb 25 William Thomas Astbury, English physicist/chemist (textiles)
  • Feb 26 Julien de Valckenaere, Flemish writer
  • Feb 27 Allison Danzig, sports writer (Tennis Pictorial History)
  • Feb 27 Bronislaw Rutkowski, Belarusian organist, pedagogue, and composer, born in Komaje, Russian Empire (now Belarus) (d. 1964)
  • Feb 28 Molly Picon, Yiddish actress (Milk & Honey), born in NYC, New York (d. 1992)
  • Feb 28 Zeki Rıza Sporel, Turkish soccer striker (16 caps; Fenerbahçe), born in Istanbul, Turkey (d. 1969)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 16 Thomas Bracken, New Zealand poet (b. 1843)
  • Feb 18 Frances Willard, American educator and founder (Woman's Christian Temperance), dies at 58