Today in History – 12th February

  • Holidays and observances
  • Lincoln’s Birthday (United States)
  • National Freedom to Marry Day, unofficial (United States)
  • Youth Day (Venezuela)


  • 1554 – A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason.
  • 1947 – Christian Dior unveils a “New Look”, helping Paris regain its position as the capital of the fashion world.
  • 1990 – Carmen Lawrence becomes the first female Premier in Australian history when she becomes Premier of Western Australia.
  • 1992 – The current Constitution of Mongolia comes into effect.
  • 1993 – Two-year-old James Bulger is abducted from New Strand Shopping Centre by two ten-year-old boys, who later torture and murder him.
  • 1994 – Four men break into the National Gallery of Norway and steal Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream.
  • 1999 – United States President 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.
  • 2002 – The trial of Slobodan Milošević, the former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, begins at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. He dies four years later before its conclusion.
  • 2004 – The city of San Francisco, California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.
  • 2014 – A massive winter storm across states in the southern United States causes widespread power outages, travel disruptions and dangerous road conditions.


  • 1777 – Bernard Courtois, French chemist and academic (d. 1838)
  • 1791 – Peter Cooper, American businessman and philanthropist who founded Cooper Union (d. 1883)
  • 1806- Abraham Lincoln, American lawyer and politician, 16th President of the United States (d. 1865) He led the country through the horrific American Civil War and helped to abolish slavery.
  • 1809-Charles Darwin. He was Father of evolutionary science whose 1859 book The Origin of Species first introduced the concept of natural selection. His theories, which helped support evolution, made him a controversial figure.
  • 1919 – Forrest Tucker, American actor and singer (d. 1986)
  • 1942 – Ehud Barak, Israeli general and politician, 10th Prime Minister of Israel
  • 1945 – Cliff DeYoung, American actor and singer .
  • 1952 – Michael McDonald, American singer-songwriter and keyboardist
  • 1956 – Arsenio Hall, American actor and talk show host.of his own show for five years.You may best remember him for his role in Coming to America.
  • 1960 – One Man Gang, American wrestler
  • 1970 – Bryan Roy, Dutch footballer and manager
  • 1979 – Jesse Spencer, Australian actor and violinist (Band from TV)
  • 1980 – Sarah Lancaster, American actress
  • 1991 – Patrick Herrmann, German footballer
  • 1993 – Jennifer Stone, American actress
  • 1991 – Roger Patterson, American bass player (Atheist) (b. 1968)
  • 2002 – John Eriksen, Danish footballer (b. 1957)


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