On This Day

February 1931 in History

Events in History

  • Feb 2 1st siyyum of Talmud celebrated by Daf Yomi students
  • Feb 2 1st use of a rocket to deliver mail (Austria)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 3 Arkansas legislature passes motion to pray for soul of journalist H. L. Mencken, after he calls the state the "apex of moronia"

Journalist and Critic H. L. Mencken
Journalist and Critic
H. L. Mencken

New ZealandHawke's Bay Earthquake

Feb 3 New Zealand's worst natural disaster, the Hawke's Bay earthquake, kills 256 and injures thousands, devastating Napier and the Hawke's Bay region

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The Hastings post office damaged after the 1931 earthquake
The Hastings post office damaged after the 1931 earthquake
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  • Feb 5 Maxine Dunlap becomes 1st US women to earn a glider pilot license
  • Feb 5 Malcolm Campbell sets world land speed record speed of 246.08 mph driving his famous Blue Bird car at Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Feb 8 Gas explosion Fire in Fushun-coal mine, Manchuria kills 3,000
  • Feb 10 New Delhi becomes the capital of India
  • Feb 12 Vatican Radio begins broadcasting with the callsign HVJ
  • Feb 14 Spanish government of General Damasco Berenguer falls
  • Feb 16 Extreme right wing Pehr Evind Svinhufvud becomes President of Finland
  • Feb 17 Hockey's Hershey Bears (now with AHL) 1st game
  • Feb 20 Congress allows California to build Oakland-Bay Bridge
  • Feb 21 Alka Seltzer introduced
  • Feb 28 British politician Oswald Mosley founds the New Party

Birthdays in History


Person of interestBoris Yeltsin

Feb 1 Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician and President of Russian Federation (1991-1999), born in Butka, Sverdlovsk, (d. 2007)

Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Russian President
Boris Yeltsin
  • Feb 1 Mark Richmond, CEO (Science & Engineering Research Council)
  • Feb 2 Dries van Agt, Dutch Prime Minister (CDA, 1977-82), born in Geldrop, Netherlands
  • Feb 2 Judith Viorst, American author
  • Feb 4 Isabel Martínez de Perón, [Maria Martinez], wife of Juan Perón and President of Argentina (1974-76), born in La Rioja, Argentina
  • Feb 9 Robert Morris, American sculptor and painter, born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Feb 10 Thomas Bernhard, Austrian novelist, playwright and poet whose work some describe as "the most significant literary achievement since World War II", born in Heerlen, Netherlands (d. 1989)
  • Feb 12 Constance A Morella, (Rep-R-Maryland)
  • Feb 12 Janwillem van de Wetering, Dutch author
  • Feb 15 W K Reid, British ombudsman
  • Feb 16 Alfred Kolleritsch, Austrian writer, born in Eichfeld
  • Feb 16 George E Sangmeister, (Rep-D-Illinois)
  • Feb 18 Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (B.C., Wizard of Id), born in Endicott, New York (d. 2007)
  • Feb 18 Maxwell Thurman, American General
  • Feb 18 Swraj Paul, Indian/British industrial/multi-millionaire (Caparo)

Person of interestToni Morrison

Feb 18 Toni Morrison [Chloe Anthony Wofford], American writer (Tar Baby, Beloved, Song of Solomon), first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize (2010) born in Lorain, Ohio (d. 2019)

  • Feb 23 Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist and sculptor (Great American Nudes) (d. 2004)
  • Feb 24 Inge Bernstein, British judge
  • Feb 24 Lev Vasilyevich Vorobyov, Russian cosmonaut
  • Feb 24 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher Rinzai/Soto lines of Zen Buddhism
  • Feb 24 Marta Marzotto, Italian countess and designer, born in Reggio Emilia (d. 2016)
  • Feb 25 Edward Kellett-Bowman, British MEP
  • Feb 25 J R Stephenson, Lt-col/secretary (MCC)
  • Feb 27 Andrew Sloan, Chief Constable (Strathcourt)
  • Feb 28 Gustav Thoni, Italian skier (World Cup-1971, 72, 73, 75)
  • Feb 28 Jack Thieuloy, French writer, born in Beaucaire (d. 1996)
  • Feb 28 Iajuddin Ahmed, Bikrampur, British Raj, President (Bangladesh, 2002-2009), (d. 2012)

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

Feb 7 Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart (33) weds publisher George Palmer Putnam (43) in Noank, Connecticut


Deaths in History

  • Feb 2 Theodor Batthynyi, Hungarian contra-revolutionary, dies at 71
  • Feb 3 Hans Schardt, Swiss geologist, dies at 72
  • Feb 11 Charles Algernon Parsons, British inventor (steam turbine), dies at 76
  • Feb 12 Samedbey Mehmandarov, Russian general (b. 1855)
  • Feb 18 Milan Šufflay, Croatian historian and politician, dies at 51
  • Feb 26 Otto Wallach, German chemist (Nobel 1910), dies at 83
  • Feb 27 Chandra Sekhar Azad, Indian revolutionary (Hindustan Socialist Republican Army), dies at 24