Today in History: February 12

Today in History: February 12

Pick a day:

February 11 February 13

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 Dafoe'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.

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 aid against the British blockade.

1944

Wendell Wilkie 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 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 $8.5 billion of a 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.