Today in History: February 12 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: February 12

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


February 12

1294 Kublai Khan, the conqueror of Asia, dies at the age of 80.
1554 Lady Jane Grey, the Queen of England for thirteen days, is beheaded on Tower Hill. She was barely 17 years old.
1709 Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish seaman whose adventures inspired the creation of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, is taken off Juan Fernandez Island after more than four years of living there alone.
1793 The first fugitive slave law, requiring the return of escaped slaves, is passed.
1818 Chile gains independence from Spain.
1836 Mexican General Santa Anna crosses the Rio Grande en route to the Alamo.
1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is formed.
1912 China becomes a republic following the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty.
1921 Winston Churchill of London is appointed colonial secretary.
1924 George Gershwin’s groundbreaking symphonic jazz composition Rhapsody in Blue premieres with Gershwin himself playing the piano with Paul Whiteman’s orchestra.
1929 Charles Lindbergh announces his engagement to Anne Morrow.
1931 Japan makes its first television broadcast–a baseball game.
1935 The Macon, the last U.S. Navy dirigible, crashes off the coast of California, killing two people.
1938 Japan refuses to reveal naval data requested by the U.S. and Britain.
1940 The Soviet Union signs a trade treaty with Germany to provide aid against the British blockade.
1944 Wendell Willkie enters the American presidential race against Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1949 Muslim Brotherhood chief Hassan el Banna is shot to death in Cairo.
1953 The Soviets break off diplomatic relations with Israel after the bombing of the Soviet legation.
1966 The South Vietnamese win two big battles in the Mekong Delta.
1972 Senator Edward Kennedy advocates amnesty for Vietnam draft resisters.
1974 The Symbionese Liberation Army asks the Hearst family for $230 million in food for the poor.
1980 The Lake Placid Winter Olympics open in New York.
1987 A Court in Texas upholds a $10.53 billion fine imposed on Texaco for the illegal takeover of Getty Oil.
1999 The U.S. Senate fails to pass two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. He had been accused of perjury and obstruction of justice by the House of Representatives.
Born on February 12
1768 Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor
1775 Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams
1809 Charles Darwin, naturalist and influential theorist of evolution (On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection).
1809 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United State (1861-1865).
1828 George Meredith, English poet and novelist.
1857 Eugene Atget, French photographer; he took over 10,000 photographs documenting Paris.
1874 Auguste Perret, French architect; a pioneer in the design of reinforced concrete buildings.
1880 John L. Lewis, American labor leader.
1893 Omar Bradley, U.S. army general during World War II.