February 1911

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February 14, 1911: Rebel Mexican leader Francisco I. Madero avoids arrest, crosses into Mexico to fight President Porfirio Díaz
February 6, 1911: Future U.S. President Ronald Reagan born in Tampico, Illinois

The following events occurred in February 1911:

February 1, 1911 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Thirty people were killed in an explosion at Communipaw, New Jersey. Employees of the Central Railroad of New Jersey had been unloading cases of black powder from the freighter Katherine W, when the accident happened at one minute past noon. The blast was felt 50 miles away, rocking office buildings and breaking windows in Manhattan, on the other side of the Hudson River. Eight officials of the railroad and the Du Pont Powder Company were indicted for the disaster.[1][2]
  • The Governor of the Isfahan province of Persia (now Iran) was shot.[1][1] Mutemidi Khan and his nephew were murdered by a Russian national who had formerly been the chief of police in Isfahan.[3]
  • The British super-dreadnought, HMS Thunderer, was launched.[4]
  • Ziebach County, South Dakota, was established.[5]
  • Died: Admiral Charles Sperry, 62, commander of the Great White Fleet expedition of 1907-09

February 2, 1911 (Thursday)[edit]

  • The crews of the two expeditions to the South Pole confronted each other at the Bay of Whales, as Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova sailed alongside Roald Amundsen's ship Fram.[6] Word of Amundsen's arrival was sent back to Britain and then reported worldwide. When informed that the Norwegian explorer was racing him to the pole, Scott is said to have replied angrily, "By Jove, what a chance we have missed! We might have taken Amundsen and sent him back to his ship!"[7]
  • Captain Bellinger of the French Army set a new record for most persons to fly in an airplane, carrying seven passengers on a short flight at Pau.[1]
  • Revolution broke out on the northern coast of Haiti[1]
  • The Honduras city of Puerto Cortez was turned over to the control of American and British soldiers[1]
  • Born: Richard H. O'Kane, Medal of Honor winner for his heroism on the U.S.S. Tang, in Dover, New Hampshire

February 3, 1911 (Friday)[edit]

  • A group of 253 ice fishermen, who had set up a "fishing village" on an ice floe in the Bjorko Sound in Finland, were killed when a gale swept the settlement out into the Baltic Sea.[8]
  • George Grey, brother of British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, was killed by a lion while hunting in Nairobi,[9]

February 4, 1911 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Persia's Minister of Finance, Sani al-Dowleh, was killed in Tehran by two Armenian assassins who were Russian subjects. The Russian legation provided the men sanctuary, and refused to turn them over for prosecution by Persia.[10]
  • Died:
    • General Piet Cronjé, 74, leader of the Boer resistance against Britain
    • Owen Kildare, 46, crusader against slum poverty in New York.

February 5, 1911 (Sunday)[edit]

  • The revolution in Haiti was suppressed after the leader, General Montreuil Guillaume, was captured by government troops and shot. General Millionard was executed two days later.[1]
  • A bolt of lightning struck the dome of the Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City, setting a fire that destroyed the entire structure.[11]
  • Born: Jussi Björling, Swedish operatic tenor, in Borlänge (d. 1960)

February 6, 1911 (Monday)[edit]

  • The explosion of the Pluto Powder Company in Winthrop, Michigan, killed 10 workers.[12]
  • Born:

February 7, 1911 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 8, 1911 (Wednesday)[edit]

February 9, 1911 (Thursday)[edit]

February 10, 1911 (Friday)[edit]

February 11, 1911 (Saturday)[edit]

  • The Lincoln Memorial Commission was created to find an ideal site for the proposed Lincoln Memorial. On February 3, 1912, the west end of the Washington Mall would be picked, and the building would be dedicated on February 12, 1915.[21]
  • In Grand Rapids, Michigan, former President Theodore Roosevelt came out in favor of direct voting for U.S. Senators and for the Presidency. Though not a declared candidate, members of the crowd reportedly shouted "Teddy for President in 1912".[22]
  • Musselshell County, Montana, was established.[5]

February 12, 1911 (Sunday)[edit]

February 13, 1911 (Monday)[edit]

February 14, 1911 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • In a major turning point in the Mexican Revolution, Francisco I. Madero crossed the Rio Grande from Texas and into Mexico's Chihuahua State to take command of rebel forces. Madero had departed the United States after a warrant was issued for his arrest for violating U.S. neutrality laws.[28]
  • The House of Representatives approved the controversial reciprocal trade agreement between the United States and Canada, by a 221-92 margin.[29]
  • Niobrara County, Wyoming was established.[5]
  • Born: Willem J. Kolff, Dutch biophysicist who, in 1943, created the first machinery for kidney dialysis, and later patented the first artificial heart; at Leiden (d. 2009)

February 15, 1911 (Wednesday)[edit]

February 16, 1911 (Thursday)[edit]

  • U.S. Representative William Stiles Bennet (R-New York), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a resolution proposing that the United States annex Canada, after unsuccessfully opposing the reciprocal trade agreement.[32] Although the proposal had no chance of passage, it had the intended effect of upsetting people in Canada and the United Kingdom, and President Taft asked the Committee to put it to a quick vote. The measure failed in committee, 9-1, with Bennet being the lone supporter.[33]

February 17, 1911 (Friday)[edit]

  • The basketball team of St. John's College beat the University of Rochester at home in New York City, 32-27, to finish the season unbeaten, at 14-0. The team, now St. John's University, won its games by an average of 20 points, with the exception of the Rochester win and a 25-23 squeaker over the powerful University of Pennsylvania on December 10. Although there was no national tournament at the time, the Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively named St. John's as the national college basketball champion.[34]
  • The city of Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, was incorporated.

February 18, 1911 (Saturday)[edit]

  • A magnitude 7.4 earthquake created the highest dam in the world, the 567 meters (1,860 ft) Usoi Dam, across the Murghab River in what is now Tajikistan. The tremor and the subsequent damming of the river killed 90 people.[35]
  • The first air mail flight in history took place in India, when French pilot Henri Pequot carried 6,500 letters from Allahabad a distance of 8 miles, to the Naini junction. The mail was then loaded on a train and taken to Calcutta.[36]
  • Bill Miner, who had attained fame in the 19th Century as a stagecoach robber, and then started a new career as a train robber upon his release from prison in 1901, committed his final holdup, taking $3,500 from a Southern Railroad Express train in Georgia. By then, Miner was 64 years old and "was barely able to hold his six-gun straight";.[37] On February 23, Pinkerton detectives would track him down to Lumpkin County, where he was arrested by the county sheriff.[38] Miner would die in prison two years later.
  • The Mark Twain Library, housing most of the works of Samuel Clemens, was opened in Redding, Connecticut. However, most of the collection would disappear over the years.[39]
  • Born: Merle Oberon, British actress, as Estelle Merle Thompson in Mumbai, British India (d. 1979)

February 19, 1911 (Sunday)[edit]

February 20, 1911 (Monday)[edit]

February 21, 1911 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 22, 1911 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • The Buffalo Germans, a barnstorming professional team billed as "world's champions at basketball", lost their first game in three years, after winning 111 consecutive games against various opponents. The streak was snapped by the 31st National Guard team of Herkimer, New York, in a 19-14 win at Utica.[44]
  • The vote on the first reading of the "Parliament Bill", which would give the House of Commons veto power over the House of Lords, passed 351 to 227.[45] The third reading of the modified bill would later pass 362 to 241.[46]
  • Died: Frances Harper, 85, African-American author

February 23, 1911 (Thursday)[edit]

February 24, 1911 (Friday)[edit]

  • The U.S. Senate ratified the commercial treaty that had been signed earlier in the week with Japan.[41][47]
  • Pope Pius X declared that the harem skirt, a new fashion out of Paris, received his strong disapproval. The statement, published in the Osservatore Romano, also said that wearers of the skirt would be excluded from Catholic churches.[48]

February 25, 1911 (Saturday)[edit]

February 26, 1911 (Sunday)[edit]

  • In what has been described as "the last massacre of Indians in the United States",[52] a group of Nevada state police fought with "Shoshone Mike", who had killed four ranchers in Washoe County. "It was probably the first time in many years that bows and arrows have figured in any Indian fight", the New York Times noted.[53] One of the white men died, while eight of twelve Shoshones, some of whom were children, were killed in the fight at Rabbit Creek, near Winnemucca.[54] Remains believed to be those of the group were kept in a museum for years, then returned to the Shoshone tribe for burial in 1992.[55]

February 27, 1911 (Monday)[edit]

  • The first electric starter for an automobile was unveiled, as inventor Charles F. Kettering, started the engine of a Cadillac in a few seconds, an alternative to the crank that had been used to start engines. The innovation, which depended on a 65-pound battery, was installed on 12,000 Cadillac automobiles in its first year, and Kettering would receive U.S. Patent #1,150,523 on August 17, 1915. "A few hours later, elated Cadillac engineers decided that since their cars were going to have a storgage battery and a generator, why not operate the ignition and headlights electrically also?"[56][57]
  • France's Prime Minister Aristide Briand resigned. He was replaced the next day by Ernest Monis.[41][58]
  • Clearwater County, Idaho, and Moffat County, Colorado, were established on the same day.[5]

February 28, 1911 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • In a surprise action, President Taft nominated William H. Lewis, an African-American from Massachusetts, to be United States Assistant Attorney General. The U.S. Senate was near the end of its term, and did not take up the matter, and Lewis was sworn in while Congress was out of session.[59]
  • A proposed Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, providing for U.S. Senators to be elected by popular vote rather than by the state legislatures, received 54-33 favor in the U.S. Senate, but failed, by 5 votes, to get a 2/3 vote, as required by Article V of the United States Constitution. The amendment was eventually sent to the states in 1912 and ratified the following year.[60]
  • Seventeen men were killed in a mine fire near Tonopah, Nevada, including rescuer "Big Bill" Murphy.[61]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Record of Current Events", The American Monthly Review of Reviews (March 1911), pp287–290
  3. ^ "Governor of Ispahan Shot", New York Times, February 2, 1911, p1
  4. ^ "New Super-Dreadnought", New York Times, February 2, 1911
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Joseph Nathan Kane, The American Counties (4th Ed.), (The Scarecrow Press, 1983), p480
  6. ^ Beau Riffenburgh, Encyclopedia of the Antarctic (Volume 1) (CRC Press, 2007), p676
  7. ^ Colin Evans, Great Feuds in History: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever (John Wiley and Sons, 2001) p118
  8. ^ "Village Swept to Sea", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 6, 1911, p1
  9. ^ "Grey Killed by Lion", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 5, 1911, p1
  10. ^ "Persian Minister Slain in TeheranNew York Times, February 5, 1911, p1
  11. ^ "Missouri Capitol Burned by Lightning", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 6, 1911, p1
  12. ^ "Ten Men Perish as Nitro Lets Go", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 7, 1911, p1
  13. ^ Bob Colacello, Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911 to 1980 (Hachette Digital, 2004)
  14. ^ "Women's Votes Oust Mayor of Seattle", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 8, 1911, p1
  15. ^ "Honduran Civil War of 1909-11", in Dictionary of Wars by George C. Kohn (Infobase Publishing, 2006) p253; "Honduran Factions Agree to Armistice" New York Times, February 9, 1911, p1
  16. ^ Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911 (Columbia University Press, 1996) p310
  17. ^ "House Votes to Have Membership of 435", New York Times, February 10, 1911
  18. ^ Persia Crawford Campbell, Chinese Coolie Emigration to Countries Within the British Empire (P.S. King and Son, 1923, reprinted BiblioBazaar, 2009) p25
  19. ^ Kolleen M. Guy, "When Champagne Became French: Wine and the Making of a National Identity" (JHU Press, 2003) p166
  20. ^ "To Put up French Clock" New York Times, February 11, 1911, p1
  21. ^ Brent Ashabranner and Jennifer Ashabranner, No Better Hope: What the Lincoln Memorial Means to America (Twenty-First Century Books, 2001) p29
  22. ^ "Roosevelt Favors Direct Vote Change-- Besides Popular Election of Senators He Would Abolish Electoral College", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 12, 1911, p1
  23. ^ NTVMSNBC Website
  24. ^ Hurriyet Newspaper Archive
  25. ^ Zaman Newspaper Archive
  26. ^ Bugün Newspaper Archive
  27. ^ Hajduk.hr website (Croatian); Jonathan Bousfield, The Rough Guide to Croatia (Penguin, 2010) p322
  28. ^ Friedrich Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa (Stanford University Press, 1998) p89
  29. ^ "House Votes 221 to 92 for Reciprocity, Milwaukee Sentinel, February 15, 1911, p1
  30. ^ James B. Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register (McBooks Press, 2006) p244
  31. ^ "Patent Office Magic— Medical", by Arthur J. Cramp, American Mercury Magazine (June 1926) p193
  32. ^ "Offers Resolution to Annex Canada", New York Times, February 17, 1911, p1
  33. ^ "Resolutions for the Annexation of Canada Killed", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 17, 1911, p1
  34. ^ St. John's 2010-11 Men's Basketball Media Guide, p 134, p186
  35. ^ "NOAA Significant Earthquakes"
  36. ^ Christopher Chant, A Century of Triumph: The History of Aviation (Simon and Schuster, 2002) p110
  37. ^ "Miner, Bill", in Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen & Outlaws, by Jay Robert Nash (Rowman & Littlefield, 1989) p235
  38. ^ "Declare Train Robber in Custody is Bill Miner, Most Famous Bandit", Vancouver Daily World, February 27, 1911, p1
  39. ^ "Mark Twain Library", in R. Kent Rasmussen, Critical Companion to Mark Twain: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work (Infobase Publishing, 2007)
  40. ^ Charles Rosen, Arnold Schoenberg (University of Chicago Press, 1996) p52
  41. ^ a b c d e f "Record of Current Events", The American Monthly Review of Reviews (April 1911), pp416–419
  42. ^ Ralph E. Schaffer, Toward Pearl Harbor: The Diplomatic Exchange between Japan and the United States, 1899-1941 (Markus Weiner Publishers, 1991) p79
  43. ^ Mary H. Wagner, Gustav Mahler and the New York Philharmonic Tour America (Scarecrow Press, 2006) p159
  44. ^ "World's Champion Loses",Reno Evening Gazette, February 23, 1911, p3; "Baloe, Fran J.", in Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary, David L. Porter, ed.(Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005) p29
  45. ^ "Veto Bill Is Passed", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 17, 1911, p1
  46. ^ British Social Politics (Ayer Publishing, 1972) p434
  47. ^ "Senators Ratify Treaty", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 25, 1911, p1
  48. ^ "Pope Bars Harem Skirt", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 25, 1911, p1
  49. ^ Douglas Porch, The Conquest of Morocco (Macmillan, 2005) p218
  50. ^ Neil Gould, Victor Herbert: A Theatrical Life (Fordham University Press, 2008) p414
  51. ^ Peter V. N. Henderson, In the Absence of Don Porfirio: Francisco León de la Barra and the Mexican Revolution (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000) p30
  52. ^ Jace Weaver, That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community (Oxford University Press US, 1997) p86l
  53. ^ "Eight Indians Dead in Nevada Battle", New York Times, February 28, 1911
  54. ^ "War Dance Before the Big Battle", New York Times, March 1, 1911
  55. ^ "Repatriation Reports", Smithsonian Institution
  56. ^ Vincent Curcio, Chrysler: The Life and Times of an Automotive Genius (Oxford University Press US, 2001) p226
  57. ^ Richard C. Dorf, The Electrical Engineering Handbook (2d.Ed.) (CRC Press, 1997) p68
  58. ^ "Briand to Quit; 'Tired of It All", Milwaukee Sentinel, February 26, 1911, p1
  59. ^ "Taft Nominates Negro", Milwaukee Sentinel, March 1, 1911, p1
  60. ^ Julian E. Zelizer, The American Congress: The Building of Democracy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004) p360
  61. ^ Shawn Hall, Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Southern Nevada (Arcadia Publishing, 2010) p23