On This Day

February 1940 in History

Events in History

  • Feb 1 Soviet Union begins new offensive against Finland
  • Feb 5 General Winckelman replaces Gen Reijnders as Dutch supreme commander
  • Feb 8 Lodtz, 1st large ghetto established by Nazis in Poland
  • Feb 10 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • Feb 10 US male Figure Skating championship won by Eugene Turner
  • Feb 14 British merchant vessel fleet is armed
  • Feb 16 British search plane finds German supply ship Altmark, used to accommodate allied sailors from vessels sunk by the Graf Spee off Norway
  • Feb 17 Altmark Incident: Crew of the British destroyer "Cossack" board German "Altmark" in Jøssingfjord, Norway, releasing 299 British prisoners after hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass
  • Feb 22 Finnish troops vacate Koivisto island
  • Feb 22 German air force sinks 2 German destroyers, killing 578
  • Feb 23 Russian troops conquer Lasi Island
  • Feb 24 Frances Langford records "When You Wish Upon a Star"
  • Feb 26 US Air Defense Command forms at Mitchel Field, LI, NY
  • Feb 27 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14 (radiocarbon dating) at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California
  • Feb 28 Richard Wright's "Native Son" published
  • Feb 28 US population at 131,669,275 (12,865,518 African American (9.8%))
  • Feb 29 Frederic from G & S "Pirates of Penzance" finally released by pirate
  • Feb 29 Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations

Birthdays in History

  • Feb 2 Thomas M[ichael] Disch, American sci-fi author (Genocides, 102 H-Bombs)
  • Feb 4 Theodore "Ted" Stanley, American anesthesiologist and medical entrepreneur (created the fentanyl lollipop), born in Manhattan, New York (d. 2017)
  • Feb 5 H. R. Giger, Swiss artist and special effects designer (Alien), born in Zürich (d. 2014)
  • Feb 8 Averil Cameron, British(?) historian
  • Feb 9 J. M. Coetzee, South African novelist, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Feb 10 Peter Middleton, CEO (Lloyd's)
  • Feb 12 Hank Brown, (Rep-R-CO, 1981-88)
  • Feb 14 Porpoise, 1st born in captivity in US (Marineland, Fla)
  • Feb 15 Hamzah Haz, Indonesian politician
  • Feb 16 Karoli Ruth Needles, painter
  • Feb 19 Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan (d. 2006)
  • Feb 20 RA Weiss, director (Institute of Cancer Research)
  • Feb 20 V Payne, British headmistress (Malvern Girls' College)

Person of interestJohn Lewis

Feb 21 John Lewis, American politician (Rep-D-Georgia) and prominent civil rights leader (Big Six), born in Troy, Alabama (d. 2020)

Civil Rights Leader and Congressman John Lewis
Civil Rights Leader and Congressman
John Lewis
  • Feb 22 Johnson Mlambo, South African leader (Pan-African Congress), born in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Feb 22 Billy Name [William Linich Jr.], American photographer (Andy Warhol's factory), born in Poughkeepsie, New York (d. 2016)
  • Feb 23 Jermyn P Brooks, CEO (Price Waterhouse Europe)
  • Feb 24 Theo Bosch, Dutch humanist/architect (Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam)
  • Feb 25 George Paul, CEO (Norwich Union Insurance Group)
  • Feb 25 Hector MacKenzie, trade unionist
  • Feb 27 Dame Barbara Kelly, Scottish civic activist & former CEO (Crichton Foundation, Scottish Consumer Council), born in Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom
  • Feb 29 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (1991- ), born in Zeytinliköy, Imbros, Turkey

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

Feb 18 Molecular biologist Francis Crick (23) weds Ruth Doreen Dodd

Molecular biologist Francis Crick
Molecular biologist
Francis Crick

Deaths in History

  • Feb 1 Philip Francis Nowlan, American sci-fi writer, creator of Buck Rogers character (b. 1888)
  • Feb 4 Nikolai Yezhov, Head of Soviet NKVD (b. 1895)
  • Feb 11 John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, Gov-Gen of Canada (1935-40), dies
  • Feb 25 Mary Mills Patrick, American author and 1st President of Istanbul Woman's College, dies at 89
  • Feb 27 Peter Behrens, German architect, dies at 71
  • Feb 28 Johan Braakensiek, Dutch political cartoonist (Green Amsterdammer), dies at 81
  • Feb 29 Edward Frederic Benson, English novelist, dies at 72