February, 1915

by popegrutch

The Panama Pacific Exposition at night.

The Panama Pacific Exposition at night.

Surprisingly little war news as the Winter settles in over Europe, but some big news on this side of the Atlantic keeps things interesting for us. As of this month, I’ve been doing the “news roundups” of Century News for one full year. It doesn’t seem to be terribly popular, judging by the hit counts, but it continues to amuse me at least, so I’ll stick with it for now.

Medicine: Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary” infects 25 people with Typhoid Fever while working under a false name at a hospital. She is an uneducated cook who happens to be a carrier, unbeknownst to her, and does not wash her hands after using the bathroom, which she regards as unnecessary superstition. Ultimately, health officials in New York place her in permanent quarantine for public safety.

World War I: German and Turkish forces reach Suez Canal, February 4. Germany expands U-Boat campaign to British waters as of February 18, and declares “unrestricted” submarine warfare beginning February 22.

Uprisings: The last remaining Boers fighting in the Maritz Rebellion (See September, 1914) surrender to government forces on February 4.

Monuments: The foundation stone for the Lincoln Memorial is laid February 12.

Expositions: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition opens in San Francisco on February 20, celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal and also San Francisco’s recovery from the Earthquake of 1906. The famous Palace of Fine Arts is one of the buildings constructed for this event.

Releases: “Birth of a Nation” premieres in Los Angeles on February 8 (a test screening took place as early as January 2). Patrons pay $2.00 to see it, the same as the price of a ticket to see live theater at the time.

Born: Eddie Bracken (who would star in “Miracle of Morgan Creek” and “Hail the Conquering Hero” during World War II) on February 7, Lorne Green (star of the TV shows “Bonanza” and the original “Battlestar Galactica” as well as numerous dog food commercials) on February 12, Ann Sheridan (from “Angels with Dirty Faces” and “I Was a Male War Bride”) February 21, Jon Hall (memorable in “Hurricane” and “Cobra Woman”) February 23, Zero Mostel (who would be blacklisted during the 1950s and was in “The Producers” and stage productions of “Fiddler on the Roof”) February 28.