February 1916

by popegrutch

A relatively short news roundup this month, but with a couple of big events. 1916 was a Leap Year, so there’s an extra day in February. Note that the claim for the founding of Dada is based on the memory of one participant (Hans Arp). The Dada Manifesto is first read aloud in July of this year.

Soldiers in a trench at Verdun

Soldiers in a trench at Verdun

World War One:

The Battle of Verdun is initiated on February 21, beginning as a German offensive along the right bank of the River Meuse, with the intention of inflicting casualties to “bleed the French white.” The battle lasts for 299 days and results in over one hundred thousand deaths on each side, with some territorial gains for Germany that prove temporary.

Politics: On February 11, Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control in New York City. She was charged with violating the Comstock Law, which made public “obscenity” a crime. She spent two weeks in a workhouse rather than pay a $100 fine.

Cover of the 1917 publication "Dada"

Cover of the 1917 publication “Dada”

Art: Formal “founding” of the Dada art movement by Tristan Tzara at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich on February 9. Dadaism can be seen as a protest art movement, inspired at least in part by the insanity of the war and modern European society’s role in perpetuating conflict.

Music: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays its inaugural concert on February 11.

Sports: The Romanian football club Sportul Studnetesc is founded on February 11 in Bucharest.

Births: Sally Gray, actress (“School for Scandal” and “Dangerous Moonlight”) February 14th, Masaki Kobayashi, director (“The Human Condition,” “Kwaidan”) February 14th, Jackie Gleason, actor (“The Honeymooners,” “Gigot”) February 26th, Dinah Shore, singer (star of “The Dinah Shore show“), February 29th.