On This Day

What Happened in February 1916

Historical Events

  • Feb 3 Canada's original Parliament buildings in Ottawa burn down
  • Feb 3 Tristan Tzara publishes the Dada manifesto in Zurich, Switzerland

Music releaseMusic Recording

Feb 5 Enrico Caruso records "O Solo Mio" for the Victor Talking Machine Co

Operatic Tenor Enrico Caruso
Operatic Tenor
Enrico Caruso
  • Feb 8 French cruiser "Admiral Charner" torpedoed off Syrian coast, kills 374
  • Feb 8 NL votes down Charlie Ebbets proposal to limit 25 cent seats
  • Feb 9 Britain's military service act enforced (conscription)
  • Feb 9 NL votes down a proposal by Giants, Braves, & Cubs to increase club player limit from 21 to 22 (The Reds want to decrease to 20)
  • Feb 10 Military conscription begins in Britain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 10 Biggest oil well gusher ever - Edward L. Doheny's Cerro Azul No. 4 first gushes 600 feet in the air near Tampico, Mexico

Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny
Oil Tycoon
Edward L. Doheny
  • Feb 11 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents its 1st concert
  • Feb 11 Emma Goldman arrested for lecturing on birth control
  • Feb 11 Germany and Austria-Hungary notify the US that they will sink any armed merchant ships starting on 1 March
  • Feb 15 NY Yankees buy Frank "Home Run" Baker from the Athletics for $37,500
  • Feb 16 Russian troops conquer the Ottoman Empire city of Erzurum during WWI
  • Feb 16 The US rejects the right of Germany and Austria-Hungary to sink armed merchant ships
  • Feb 16 The German ambassador in Washington announces that Germany will pay an indemnity for American lives lost on the Lusitania
  • Feb 17 Sigmund Romberg, James Hanley, Harold R. Atteridge and Edgar Smith's musical Robinson Crusoe Jr. premieres in NYC
  • Feb 18 The last German garrison in the German colony of Cameroons surrenders
  • Feb 21 World War I: Battle of Verdun begins with a German offensive, leads to an estimated 1 million casualties and becomes the longest battle of the entire war (9 months)
  • Feb 22 The House-Grey Memorandum, drafted by US and Britain, states: 'Should the Allies accept [the American idea of a conference to end the war] and should Germany refuse it, the United States would "probably" enter the war against Germany'
  • Feb 23 US Congress authorizes McKinley Memorial $1 gold coin
  • Feb 25 Battle of Verdun: German troops conquer Fort Douaumont without firing a shot, the largest and highest fort defending the city of Verdun during World War I
  • Feb 26 Germans sink French transport ship Provence II, killing 930

AgreementContract of Interest

Feb 26 Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract

Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker Charlie Chaplin
Comedian, Actor and Filmmaker
Charlie Chaplin
  • Feb 26 Russian troops conquer Kermansjah, Persia

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 Gordon Hobday, Lord Lieutenant (Nottinghamshire)
  • Feb 1 Bruce Gordon, American actor (The Untouchables), born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts (d. 2011)
  • Feb 2 Xuân Diệu, Vietnamese poet (d. 1985)
  • Feb 3 Vivien Signy, nurse (d. 1997)
  • Feb 4 Basil Hembry, farmer/campaigner
  • Feb 4 Colin Morris, playwright/documentary filmmaker
  • Feb 4 David Vassall Cox, British composer ("Lillibullero"), born in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, England in (d.1997)
  • Feb 4 Gavin Buchanan Ewart, English poet (Pleasures of the Flesh)
  • Feb 4 Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha, 41st master of the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi Sufi Order (d. 1980)
  • Feb 6 John Crank, British mathematician, born in Hindley, United Kingdom (d. 2006)
  • Feb 8 Betty Field, American actress (Of Mice and Men, Kings Row, Bus Stop), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1973)
  • Feb 9 Tex Hughson, American baseball player (d. 1993)
  • Feb 10 Edward R. Roybal, American politician (Rep-D-CA, 1963-93), born in Pecos, New Mexico (d. 2005)
  • Feb 10 Oscar "TV Slim" Wills, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist ("Flatfoot Sam"), born in Houston, Texas (d. 1969)
  • Feb 11 Bernice Levin Neugarten, social scientist/gerontologist
  • Feb 12 Joseph L Alioto, American politician (Mayor-San Francisco), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1998)
  • Feb 12 Karl Hubert Rudolf Schiske, Austrian composer (Vom Tode), born in Győr, Danube Monarchy (now Hungary) (d. 1969)
  • Feb 13 James Griffith, actor (Sheriff of Cochise), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Feb 14 Edward Platt, American actor (Chief-Get Smart), born in Staten Island, New York (d. 1974)
  • Feb 14 Masaki Kobayashi, Japanese director (Joi-uchi)
  • Feb 14 Wawrzyniec Żuławski, Polish composer, born in Zakopane, Poland, Russian Empire (d. 1957)
  • Feb 14 Marcel Bigeard, French general
  • Feb 15 Ian Ballantine, publisher (Ballantine Books)
  • Feb 15 Mary Jane Croft, American actress (The Lucy Show, Our Miss Brooks), born in Muncie, Indiana (d. 1999)
  • Feb 15 Ronnie Aldrich, British easy listening and jazz pianist, arranger, and composer, born in Erith, Kent, England (d. 1993)
  • Feb 16 Bill Doggett, American jazz and blues Hammond B-3 organist (Honky Tonk), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1996)
  • Feb 16 Charlie Fowlkes, American baritone saxophonist (Count Basie Orchestra, 1953-80), born in New York City (d. 1980)
  • Feb 17 Don Tallon, Australian cricketer (perhaps Australia's greatest wicket-keeper), born in Bundaberg, Australia (d. 1984)
  • Feb 17 Raf Vallone, Italian actor (El Cid, 2 Women, Greek Tycoon), born in Tropea, Italy (d. 2002)
  • Feb 17 Alexander Obolensky, Russian prince and famed Rugby Union footballer who played for England.(d. 1940)
  • Feb 17 Vivian McGrath, Australian tennis player (Australian C'ship 1937), born in Merrendee, NSW (d. 1978)
  • Feb 18 Betty Phyllis Gathergood, curator
  • Feb 18 Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montreal (1954- )

Person of interestEddie Arcaro

Feb 19 Eddie Arcaro, American Racing Hall of Fame jockey (Triple Crown 1941 Whirlaway, 1948 Citation), born in Cincinnati, Ohio (d. 1997)

Racing Hall of Fame Jockey Eddie Arcaro
Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
Eddie Arcaro
  • Feb 20 Julius Juzeliūnas, Lithuanian composer and organist (The Game), born in Čepolė, Lithuania (d. 2001)
  • Feb 20 Paul Tripp, American TV host (Mr I Magination), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 23 George Abel, Canadian ice hockey player (Olympic gold 1972)
  • Feb 23 Martindale Sidwell, organist/conductor
  • Feb 23 William Walsh, academic
  • Feb 24 Gene Mitchell, museum director
  • Feb 25 Ian Wallace, British CEO
  • Feb 25 Ralph Baldwin, Canadian harness driver and trainer (11 major world records; Hambletonian Stakes 1963, 73), born in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan (d. 1982)
  • Feb 25 Reinhard Bendix, German sociologist (d. 1991)
  • Feb 26 (John Herbert) "Jackie" Gleason, American comedian, (The Jackie Gleason Show; The Honeymooners), actor (Requiem For A Heavyweight; The Hustler), composer, and conductor (Music for Lovers Only), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1987)
  • Feb 26 Mordecai Seter, Israeli composer, born in Novorossiysk, Russia (d. 1994)
  • Feb 26 Ross Gregory, Australian cricketer (Australian batsman 1936-37, died in WW II)
  • Feb 28 Svend Asmussen, Danish jazz violinist, known as "The Fiddling Viking" (The Swe-Danes), born in Copenhagen, Denmark (d. 2017)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Anton Simon, Russian composer, dies at 65
  • Feb 6 Anne C A I van Diest, Belgian physician/feminist, dies at 73
  • Feb 6 Rubén Darío, Nicaraguan writer (b. 1867)
  • Feb 9 Hynek Vojáček, Czech composer, dies at 90
  • Feb 9 Jack Barrett, cricketer (2 Tests for Australia 1890), dies
  • Feb 12 Richard Dedekind, German mathematician (Nature & Meaning of Numbers), dies at 84
  • Feb 14 Petko Todorov, Bulgarian writer (Zmejova), dies at 36
  • Feb 15 Nikolay Nikolayevich Lodizhensky, composer, dies at 73
  • Feb 16 Jeltje de Bosch Kemper, Dutch feminist, dies at 79
  • Feb 16 [Gerard] Jan Ligthart, Dutch educator (Ot & Sien), dies at 57
  • Feb 19 Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist/philosopher/psychologist, dies at 78
  • Feb 20 Klas Arnoldson, Swedish politician and pacifist (Nobel Peace 1908), dies at 71
  • Feb 23 George Martin, English composer and organist, dies at 71
  • Feb 28 Henry James, American-British writer (Bostonians), dies at 72
  • Feb 29 Edward H J Keurvels, Flemish conductor/composer (Parisina), dies at 62