On This Day

February 1878 in History

Events in History

  • Feb 2 Greece declares war on Turkey
  • Feb 10 Pact of Zanjón signed between Cubans rebels and the Spanish bringing the 10 Years War to an end
  • Feb 11 1st weekly weather report published in UK
  • Feb 17 1st telephone exchange in San Francisco opens with 18 phones
  • Feb 18 John Tunstall is murdered by outlaw Jessie Evans, sparking the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

Historic InventionThomas Edison's Phonograph

Feb 19 Thomas Edison is granted a patent for his gramophone (phonograph)

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Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed in 1878
Thomas Edison with his second phonograph, photographed in 1878
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  • Feb 21 World's 1st telephone directory issued, 50 subscribers (New Harbor, Connecticut)
  • Feb 22 Greenback Labor Party forms (Toledo, Ohio)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 28 Congress overrides US President Rutherford B. Hayes veto of the Bland-Allison Act, requiring the Treasury to buy a certain amount of silver and put it into circulation as silver dollars

19th US President Rutherford B. Hayes
19th US President
Rutherford B. Hayes
  • Feb 28 US congress authorizes large-size silver certificate

Birthdays in History

  • Feb 1 Hattie Wyatt Caraway, politician/teacher/1st woman elected to senate
  • Feb 1 Milan Hodža, Slovak politician (d. 1944)
  • Feb 2 Christian Gauss, educator/writer (Phi Beta Kappa award namesake)
  • Feb 3 Joseph Gordon Coates, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1925-28), born in Ruatuna, New Zealand (d. 1943)
  • Feb 5 André Citroën, French automobile pioneer (d. 1935)
  • Feb 8 Martin Buber, Austrian-Israeli dialogue philosopher and theologist (Ich und Du), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 1965)
  • Feb 14 Julius Nieuwland, Belgian-American chemist (inventor of neoprene), born in Hansbeke, Belgium (d. 1936)
  • Feb 21 Mirra Richard [The Mother], French-born Indian spiritual leader (Sri Aurobindo), born in Paris, France (d. 1973)
  • Feb 22 Walter Ritz, Swiss physicist (d. 1909)
  • Feb 23 Kazimir Malevich, Ukrainian painter and art theorist (d. 1935)
  • Feb 27 Alvan T. Fuller, 50th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1958)
  • Feb 28 Pierre Fatou, French mathematician (d. 1929)

Deaths in History

  • Feb 1 George Cruikshank, English caricaturist & illustrator (Grimm), dies at 85
  • Feb 7 Pius IX, "Pio Nono" [Giovanni Ferretti], Pope (1846-78), dies at 85
  • Feb 8 Elias M. Fries, Swedish botanist (System mycologicum), dies at 83
  • Feb 10 Claude Bernard, French physiologist involved in the founding of modern physiology (blind experiments), dies at 64
  • Feb 11 Gideon Welles, 24th U.S. secretary of the navy under presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, dies at 75
  • Feb 17 José Amador de los Ríos, Spanish historian and poet, dies at 59
  • Feb 18 Peter D Regout, industrialist (Sphinx, Maastricht), dies at 76
  • Feb 19 Charles-François Daubigny, French painter of the Barbizon school, dies at 61
  • Feb 25 Townsend Harris, American diplomat (1st Western consul to reside in Japan), dies at 73