On This Day

What Happened in February 1942

Historical Events

  • Feb 1 2nd Norwegian government of Quisling forms
  • Feb 2 LA Times urges security measures against Japanese-Americans
  • Feb 2 US auto factories switch from commercial to war production
  • Feb 3 1st Japanese air raid on Java
  • Feb 3 Baseball owners agree to permit each club up to 14 night games in 1942
  • Feb 4 Clinton Pierce becomes 1st US general wounded in action in WW II

Film release premierFilm Release

Feb 5 "Woman of the Year" film directed by George Stevens, starring Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy opens at Radio City

  • Feb 5 Braves get Tommy Holmes from Yanks for Buddy Hassett and Gene Moore
  • Feb 7 1st indoor 15' pole vault (Cornelius Warmerdam 15' 3/8")
  • Feb 8 Japanese armored barges cross Strait of Johore to attack Singapore (WWII)
  • Feb 8 Stravinsky's "Danses Concertantes" premieres in Los Angeles

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 8 Congress advises FDR that, Americans of Japanese descent should be locked up en masse so they wouldn't oppose the US war effort

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 8 Nazi architect Albert Speer appointed Minister of Armaments by Adolf Hitler after death of Fritz Todt in a plane crash

Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer
Nazi Minister of Armaments and War Production
Albert Speer
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Feb 9 Daylight Savings War Time goes into effect in US
  • Feb 9 Japanese troops land near Makassar, South Celebes
  • Feb 9 Philadelphia "Phillies" change nickname (temporarily) to "Phils"

Album Release 1st Ever Gold Record

Feb 10 Glenn Miller awarded 1st ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of "Chattanooga Choo Choo"
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The 1st ever gold record was awarded to
The 1st ever gold record was awarded to "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by the Glenn Miller Orchestra - this one was presented to the group's drummer, Tex Beneke

InventionHistoric Invention

Feb 10 American chemist James Franklin Hyde is granted a patent for fused silica

  • Feb 11 "Archie" comic book debuts
  • Feb 12 German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen escape from Brest to Germany in a dash up the English Channel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 13 Hitler's Operation Sealion, the invasion of England, is cancelled

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • Feb 14 Japanese parachutists land near oil center Palembang, Sumatra
  • Feb 14 Rotterdam's Maas tunnel opens
  • Feb 14 The Polish resistance movement, the Home Army, is formed and will eventually become the largest resistance movement in occupied Europe
  • Feb 14 World War II: Battle of Pasir Panjang contributes to the fall of Singapore.
  • Feb 15 German U-boat shells Antillian oil refinery
  • Feb 15 Japanese troops march into Palembang, South Sumatra
  • Feb 15 World War II: British ruled Singapore surrenders to the Japanese
  • Feb 16 German submarines attack Aruba oil refinery
  • Feb 16 Bangka Island massacre: Japanese soldiers machine-gun 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships. Only one nurse and two soldiers survive.
  • Feb 18 Japanese troop land on Bali
  • Feb 19 About 150 Japanese warplanes attack the Australian city of Darwin
  • Feb 19 Bill Longson beats Managoff & Sandor Szabo, to become wrestling champ
  • Feb 19 Dutch actors protest obligatory membership of Culture Chamber
  • Feb 19 FDR orders detention & internment of all west-coast Japanese-Americans
  • Feb 19 Japanese troops land on Timor

  • Feb 19 Tommy Dorsey & his orchestra recorded "I'll Take Tallulah"
  • Feb 19 NY Yankees annouce 5,000 uniformed soldiers admitted free at each of their upcoming home games
  • Feb 20 Lt E H O'Hare single-handedly shoots down 5 Japanese heavy bombers, becomes America's first World War II flying ace
  • Feb 21 US male Figure Skating championship won by Bobby Specht

Philippine Revolution'I Shall Return'

Feb 22 World War II: President Franklin Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defenses collapse
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A statue in the Philippines commemorating the promised return of American commander Douglas MacArthur in World War II
A statue in the Philippines commemorating the promised return of American commander Douglas MacArthur in World War II
  • Feb 23 Japanese submarine fires on oil refinery in Ellwood, California
  • Feb 24 Voice of America begins broadcasting (in German)

Battle of InterestBattle of Los Angeles

Feb 24 The "Battle of Los Angeles" takes place, a series of anti-aircraft engagements over the city in response to a rumored but false Japanese attack. It would last until the morning of the following day.
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Anti-aircraft guns and spotlights comb the sky above Los Angeles during the rumored Japanese attack
Anti-aircraft guns and spotlights comb the sky above Los Angeles during the rumored Japanese attack
  • Feb 26 German battle cruiser Gneisenau deactivated by bomb
  • Feb 26 Radio Orange calls for March 1 day of prayer in Dutch Indies
  • Feb 26 Werner Heisenberg, a principal scientist in the German nuclear weapons program, delivers a lecture to Nazi officials about extracting energy from nuclear fission
  • Feb 27 1st transport of French Jews to nazi-Germany
  • Feb 27 Battle of Java Sea began: 13 US warships sunk and 2 Japanese
  • Feb 27 J S Hey discovers radio emissions from Sun
  • Feb 28 1st weapon drop on Netherlands
  • Feb 28 Japanese land in Java, last Allied bastion in Dutch East Indies
  • Feb 28 Race riot at Sojourner Truth Homes, Detroit

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 David Sincock, Australian cricket spin bowler (3 Tests, 8 wickets), born in Adelaide, South Australia
  • Feb 1 Terry Jones, Welsh comedian (Monty Python), born in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales (d. 2020)
  • Feb 1 Muna Wassef, Syrian actress (The Message) and UN Goodwill ambassador, born in Damascus, Syria
  • Feb 1 Milt Sunde, American NFL guard (Pro Bowl 1966; NFL Champion 1969; Minnesota Vikings), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 2020)
  • Feb 2 Barry Diller, founder (Fox-TV)
  • Feb 2 Graham Nash, British-American musician and singer-songwriter (the Hollies, Crosby, Stills & Nash), born in Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Feb 4 Johnny Gamble, rocker (Classics)
  • Feb 5 Cory Wells [Emil Lewandowski], American rock vocalist (3 Dog Night-Joy to the World), born in Buffalo, New York (d. 2015)
  • Feb 5 Roger Staubach, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Heisman Trophy 1963, Navy; Super Bowl 1971 [MVP], 77; Dallas Cowboys), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Feb 5 Susan Hill, English playwright (Magic Apple Tree)
  • Feb 6 John London, American songwriter & bassist (Michael Nesmith band), born in Brazos County, Texas
  • Feb 6 Sarah Brady, American gun-control activist, born in Kirksville, Missouri
  • Feb 6 James Loewen, American sociologist & historian, born in Decatur, Illinois
  • Feb 7 Ton de Kok, Dutch politician (CDA)
  • Feb 8 Fritz Peterson, baseball pitcher (NY Yankees)
  • Feb 8 Robert Klein, comedian and actor (Hooper, Deadly Rivals), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Feb 8 Terry Melcher [Terrence Jorden], American record producer and musician, Doris Day's son (the Rip Chords, The Byrds), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 9 Carole King, American singer-songwriter (Tapestry), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Feb 9 Charlie Morrow, composer
  • Feb 9 Milos Stedron, composer
  • Feb 9 Peder Lunde Jr, Norwegian yachtsman (Olympic gold 1960), born in Oslo, Norway
  • Feb 10 Michael Bishop, British CEO (British Midland Airways), born in Bowdon, Cheshire
  • Feb 11 Archie Andrews, comic book character (Archie)
  • Feb 11 Leon Haywood, American vocalist/keyboardist (It's Got to be Mellow)
  • Feb 11 Otis Clay, US gospel/R&B-singer (That's how it is)
  • Feb 11 Tony Colton, rock producer (On the Boards)
  • Feb 12 Chananjit Vohra, Kenyan/British hotel magnate/multi-millionaire
  • Feb 12 Lionel Grigson, British jazz musician, born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (d. 1994)
  • Feb 12 Rick Frank, American drummer (Elephant's Memory)
  • Feb 12 Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel
  • Feb 12 Pat Dobson, American baseball player (d. 2006)
  • Feb 13 Carol Lynley, American actress (Night Stalker, Fantasy Island, Immortal), born in NYC, New York
  • Feb 13 Donald E. Williams, US naval officer & NASA astronaut (STS 51D, STS 34), born in Lafayette, Indiana (d. 2016)
  • Feb 13 Peter Tork [Thorkelson], American musician and actor (The Monkees), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2019)
  • Feb 14 Margaret Wright, chief commissioner (Guide Association)
  • Feb 14 Andrew Robinson, American actor
  • Feb 14 Ricardo Rodríguez, Mexican auto racer (youngest F1 driver ever to race for Ferrari), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 1962)
  • Feb 14 Michael Bloomberg, American philanthropist, politician, and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Feb 15 Glyn Johns, English recording engineer and producer, born in Epsom, Surrey
  • Feb 16 Gabriel Brncic, composer

Person of interestKim Jong-il

Feb 16 Kim Jong-il, Supreme Leader of North Korea (1994-2011), born in Vyatskoye, Soviet Union [disputed birth place and birth date, 1941] (d. 2011)

Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-il
Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea
Kim Jong-il
  • Feb 17 Huey P. Newton, African-American activist, revolutionary and co-founder of the Black Panther Party, born in Monroe, Louisiana (d. 1989)
  • Feb 19 Ken Kramer [Kenneth Bentley Kramer], former American Republican member of the House of Representatives, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Feb 20 Charlie Gillett, Lancashire, rock broadcaster (Sound of the City)
  • Feb 20 Claude Miller, director (Garde a Vue, Little Thief, Wild Child), (d. 2012)
  • Feb 20 David O'Dowd, Chief Constable (Northamptonshire)

Person of interestMitch McConnell

Feb 20 Mitch McConnell, American politician, (Senator-R-KY, 1985-, and Senate Majority Leader 2015- ), born in Sheffield, Alabama

US Senator Mitch McConnell
US Senator
Mitch McConnell

Person of interestPhil Esposito

Feb 20 Phil Esposito, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center, coach, GM, broadcaster (Black Hawks, Bruins, Rangers), born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

NHL Star Phil Esposito
NHL Star
Phil Esposito
  • Feb 21 Margarethe Von Trotta, actress/director (Marianne), born in Berlin, Germany
  • Feb 22 Christine Keeler, British model & showgirl (Profumo affair), born in Uxbridge, England (d. 2017)
  • Feb 23 Beau Boulter, (Rep-R-TX, 1985- )
  • Feb 23 Colin Sanders, founder (Solid State Logic)
  • Feb 23 John Lewis, Head Master (Eton College)
  • Feb 23 Joop van den Ende, Dutch theatrical producer, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Feb 24 David K Williamson, Australian screenplay/playwright (Removalists)
  • Feb 24 Joe Lieberman, (Sen-D Connecticut)
  • Feb 24 Paul Jones, English singer (Mighty Quinn-Manfred Mann) and radio presenter (The Blues Show), born in Portsmouth, England
  • Feb 24 Stuart Henry, British disc jockey
  • Feb 24 Colin Bond, Australian racing driver
  • Feb 26 Adriaan van Dis, Dutch author (Nathan Sid, In Africa), born in Bergen aan Zee, Netherlands
  • Feb 27 Charlayne Hunter-Gault, American journalist & foreign correspondent (McNeil-Lehrer), born in Due West, South Carolina
  • Feb 27 Robert H. Grubbs, American chemist & Nobel Prize laureate, born in Marshall County, Kentucky
  • Feb 27 Michel Forget, French Canadian actor, born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Feb 28 Frank Bonner, actor (WKRP, Hoax, You Can't Hurry Love), born in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Feb 28 Brian Jones [Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones], English musician (Rolling Stones), born in Gloucestershire, England (d. 1969)
  • Feb 28 Dino Zoff, Italian footballer

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 2 Daniil Kharms [Yuvatchov], Russian surrealist and absurdist writer, poet, and playwright, dies of starvation during the siege of Leningrad at 36
  • Feb 6 Wobbe de Vries, Dutch linguist, dies at 78
  • Feb 7 Dorando di Desiderio Pietri, marathoner (Olympic gold 1908), dies at 56
  • Feb 7 Ivan Bilibin, Russian illustrator, dies at 65
  • Feb 8 Fritz Todt, German Reichs minister (Organization Todt), dies in a plane crash at 50
  • Feb 9 Lauri Kristian Relander, 2nd President of Finland (1925-31), dies at 58
  • Feb 12 Grant Wood, American painter (American Gothic), dies at 50
  • Feb 13 Epitácio Pessoa, 11th President of Brazil (Minas Gerais Republican: 1919-22), dies at 76
  • Feb 14 Adnan Bin Saidi, Officer of the Malay Regiment killed in the defense of Singapore (b. 1915)
  • Feb 15 Guido Adler, Bohemian-Austrian musicologist (Still in the Music), dies at 91
  • Feb 15 Stanislav Binički, Serbian composer, dies at 69
  • Feb 18 Albert Payson Terhune, American author (b. 1872)
  • Feb 19 Frank Abbandando, American gangster (executed) (b. 1910)
  • Feb 20 Guido Gasperini, Italian composer, dies at 76
  • Feb 23 Stefan Zweig, Austrian poet, essayist and dramatist (Beware of Pity), dies at 60
  • Feb 24 Anton Drexler, German politician and founder of the German Worker's Party, dies at 57
  • Feb 25 Leo Ascher, Austrian-born composer who moved to the US, dies at 61
  • Feb 27 Karel Doorman, Dutch rear-admiral (Java Sea), KIA at 52
  • Feb 27 Martha McChesney Berry, American educator who founded Berry School for Children, dies at 75