Today in History

Today is Thursday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2015. There are 322 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, was born in present-day Larue County, Kentucky.

On this date:

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, who’d claimed the throne of England for nine days, and her husband, Guildford Dudley, were beheaded after being condemned for high treason.

In 1818, Chile officially proclaimed its independence, more than seven years after initially renouncing Spanish rule.

In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded.

In 1914, groundbreaking took place for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In 1915, the cornerstone was laid for the Lincoln Memorial.

In 1924, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in New York.

In 1940, the radio play “The Adventures of Superman” debuted with Bud Collyer as the Man of Steel.

In 1959, the redesigned Lincoln penny – with an image of the Lincoln Memorial replacing two ears of wheat on the reverse side – went into circulation.

In 1963, a Northwest Orient Airlines Boeing 720 broke up during severe turbulence and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 43 people aboard.

In 1973, Operation Homecoming began as the first release of American prisoners of war from the Vietnam conflict took place.

In 1995, Iron Butterfly bass player Philip “Taylor” Kramer disappeared; four years later, his skeletal remains were found inside his wrecked minivan in a ravine near Malibu, California.

In 1999, the Senate voted to acquit President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Ten years ago: Former presidential candidate Howard Dean was elected national Democratic chairman during the party’s winter meeting. “The Gates,” a 16-day art exhibit created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, debuted in New York’s Central Park with the unfurling of saffron-colored fabric banners suspended from 16-foot-high frames.

Five years ago: On the day the Winter Olympics opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nodar Kumaritashvili (noh-DAHR’ KOO’-mah-ree-tahsh-VEE’-lee), a 21-year-old luger from the republic of Georgia, was killed in a high-speed crash during a practice run. Three University of Alabama-Huntsville professors were gunned down during a faculty meeting; police charged neurobiologist Amy Bishop with capital murder. (Bishop later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)

One year ago: Legislation to raise the U.S. federal debt limit and prevent a crippling government default cleared Congress. Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland tied for gold in the Olympic women’s downhill at Sochi; it was the first gold-medal tie in Olympic alpine skiing history. Actor-comedian Sid Caesar, 91, died in Beverly Hills, California.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Franco Zeffirelli is 92. Actor Louis Zorich is 91. Baseball Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Joe Garagiola is 89. Movie director Costa-Gavras is 82. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell is 81. Actor Joe Don Baker is 79. Author Judy Blume is 77. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is 73. Country singer Moe Bandy is 71. Actress Maud Adams is 70. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 69. Actor Michael Ironside is 65. Rock musician Steve Hackett is 65. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 63. Actress Joanna Kerns is 62. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 59. Actor John Michael Higgins is 52. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 51. Actress Christine Elise is 50. Actor Josh Brolin is 47. Singer Chynna Phillips is 47. Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis is 44. Actor Jesse Spencer is 36. Actress Sarah Lancaster is 35. Actress Christina Ricci is 35. NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is 25. Actress Jennifer Stone is 22. Actresses Rylie and Baylie Cregut (TV: “Raising Hope”) are five.

Thought for Today: “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).

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