On this day: the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska

On the 25th of February, 1831, Polish people near Warsaw fought against the Russians in the Battle of Olszynka Grochowska. The result of the battle is listed as inconclusive.

This painting depicting the battle is by Wojciech Kossak.

Kossak_Battle_of_Olszynka_GrochowskaBattle of Olszynka Grochowska 25th February 1831 painted 1931

On this day: the burning of Drury Lane Theatre

The third theatre on London’s Drury Lane burnt to the ground on the 24th of February, 1809, after only standing for fifteen years.

The painting, circa 1809, depicts the sky on fire from Westminster Bridge as the building collapsed.

The Burning of Drury Lane Theatre from Westminster Bridge circa 1809

The theatre’s owner, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was famously seen drinking a glass of wine as the building burnt. He is said to have responded to baffled onlookers: “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.”

401px-Richard_Brinsley_Sheridan_1751_-_1816The Dramatic Works of Richard Brinsley Sheridan

The present day Theatre Royal, Drury Lane opened in 1812 and is today one of London’s most important theatres.

On this day: The beginning of the February Revolution in 1917

Arrest and escorting plainclothes policemen. Petrograd. 1917.

Armed workers and soldiers escorting captured policemen.

Part of the Russian Revolution, the February Revolution began in Petrograd, modern day Saint Petersburg on the 23rd of February, 1917. This was the day the first protests were held, though depending on which calendar you follow, it could be said the revolution began on the 8th of March.

A demonstration of workers from the Putilov plant in Petrograd (modern day St. Peterburg), Russia, during the February Revolution. The left banner reads misspelt Feed plural imperative the children of the defen

A demonstration of workers from the Putilov plant.

The revolution led to the abdication of the Tsar and the end of the Russian Empire.


On this day: The Borovansky Ballet closed its doors in 1961

Jan Melvin and Joan Boler in the Dance of the Hours in Borovansky Ballet’s Coppélia. Though the company may have folded, it gave way to today’s Australian Ballet.

I would love to know what these costumes looked like in colour. I know the dance as the Waltz of the Hours, but no matter what you call it, it’s my favourite part of the entire ballet (which has three acts).

Jan Melvin and Joan Boler in the Dance of the Hours in Borovansky Ballet's Coppélia

On this day: the beginning of the Sook Ching


Following the Fall of Singapore, the Japanese Imperial Army began the Sook Ching, or the “purge through cleansing” of allegedly “hostile” Chinese in Singapore, on the 18th of February 1942.

Later, the Sook Ching would be extended to also include the Chinese in Malaya.

Chinese Singaporean authorities place the death toll of the massacre at around 100 000.

While the Japanese authorities admitted the massacre did take place, their official figures place the death toll at fewer than 5000.

The massacre continued until the 4th of March.