On This Day

Historical Events in February 1849

  • Feb 4 University of Wisconsin begins in 1 room with 20 students
  • Feb 8 New Roman Republic established in Italy
  • Feb 9 Roman Republic declared in Rome replacing following flight of Pope Pius IX

Famous PhotoOldest Photo of a Serving US President

Feb 14 In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes first serving US President to have his photograph taken (by Matthew Brady).
Learn More >>

James K. Polk, in a restored 1849 daguerrotype that is the oldest image of a serving American president
James K. Polk, in a restored 1849 daguerrotype that is the oldest image of a serving American president
  • Feb 18 1st regular steamboat service to California starts (or 02/28)
  • Feb 28 1st boat load of gold rush prospectors arrives in San Francisco from the east coast
  • Feb 28 11th Grand National: Tom Cunningham wins aboard 20/1 Peter Simple; 2nd consecutive year there are 3 equine fatalities during the race