Most of the headlines for this month relate to the First World War, and increasing international tensions that will bring the US into the war soon are becoming visible. At the end of the month, we see the first hints of what will be known as the “February Revolution” in Russia (because they were on a different calendar, most of this revolution occurs in March for our purposes).
World War One
Germany announces its U-boats will resume unrestricted submarine warfare, rescinding the ‘Sussex pledge‘ on February 1.
The United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany on February 3.
Beginning of the Raid on Nekhl on February 13 by units of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, to complete reoccupation of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.
Mata Hari is arrested in Paris on February 13 for spying.
The new constitution of Mexico is adopted on February 5.
British troopship SS Mendi is accidentally rammed and sunk off the Isle of Wight on February 21, killing 646, mainly members of the South African Native Labour Corps.
United States ambassador to the United Kingdom, Walter Hines Page, is shown the intercepted Zimmermann Telegram on February 24, in which Germany offers to give the American Southwest back to Mexico if Mexico declares war on the United States.
On February 26, Mikhail Rodzianko sends Tsar Nicholas II a telegram with the following warning: “Serious situation in the capital, where anarchy reigns. General discontent increasing. In the streets, uninterrupted firing, and one part of the troops is firing on the other. It is necessary to nominate without delay a person possessing the confidence of the people and who would form a new Government. To wait is impossible.” The Tsar never replies.
Buster Keaton first meets Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle in New York and is hired as a co-star and gag man.
February 2: The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach, directed by Rudolf Biebrach, starring Henny Porten, Emil Jannings – (Germany).
February 18: Release of “The Bad Boy” starring Robert Harron, Mildred Harris, and Colleen Moore.
Births: Zsa Zsa Gabor, actress (in “Queen of Outer Space” and “Moulin Rouge”), February 6; Lucille Bremer, actress (from “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Behind Locked Doors”), February 21.
Deaths: Fred Mace, actor (in “The Water Nymph” and “Bangville Police”), February 21, found dead in his hotel room, reportedly of a stroke at age 38.