February 12

881 – Pope John VIII crowns Charles the Fat, the King of Italy: Holy Roman Emperor
1502 – Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on his second voyage to India.
1554 – A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason.
1832 – Ecuador annexes the Galбpagos Islands.
1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded.
1912 – The Xuantong Emperor, the last Emperor of China, abdicates.
1924 – George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue received its premiere in a concert titled “An Experiment in Modern Music”, in Aeolian Hall, New York, by Paul Whiteman and his band, with Gershwin playing the piano.
1946 – World War II: Operation Deadlight ends after scuttling 121 of 154 captured U-boats.
1946 – African American United States Army veteran Isaac Woodard is severely beaten by a South Carolina police officer to the point where he loses his vision in both eyes. The incident later galvanizes the Civil Rights Movement and partially inspires Orson Welles’ film Touch of Evil.
1974 – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, is exiled from the Soviet Union.
He was a novelist, historian, and short story writer and outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and communism.
1994 – Four thieves break into the National Gallery of Norway and steal Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream.


1999 –  Bill Clinton is acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.

2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the “saddle” region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
2004 – San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.
2009 – Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashes into a house in Clarence Center, New York while on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, killing all on board and one on the ground.
AD 41 – Britannicus, Roman son of Claudius (d. 55)
1218 – Kujo Yoritsune, Japanese shogun (d. 1256)
Happy Birthday
Mr. Lincoln

1606 – John Winthrop the Younger, Governor of Connecticut (d. 1676)

1791 – Peter Cooper, businessman and philanthropist, founded Cooper Union (d. 1883)
1809 – Charles Darwin, English geologist and theorist (d. 1882)
1809 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (d. 1865)
1857 – Eugene Atget, French photographer (d. 1927)
1877 – Louis Renault, engineer and businessman, co-founded Renault (d. 1944)
1904 – Ted Mack, American radio and television host (d. 1976)
1923 – Franco Zeffirelli, Italian director, producer, and politician
1938 – Judy Blume, Jewish-American author and educator
1554 – Lady Jane Grey, de facto monarch of England and Ireland for nine days (b. 1537)
1804 – Immanuel Kant, German anthropologist, philosopher, and academic (b. 1724)
1942 – Grant Wood, American painter and academic (b. 1891)
1971 – James Cash Penney, American businessman and philanthropist, founded J. C. Penney (b. 1875)
1994 – Donald Judd, American painter and sculptor (b. 1928)
2000 – Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, created Peanuts (b. 1922)
2014 – Sid Caesar, American actor and comedian (b. 1922)

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