- 1700 The Great Northern War begins in Northern Europe between Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia and the Swedish Empire.
- 1912 Last Ch'ing (Manchu) Emperor of China, Hsuan T'ung, abdicates
- 1947 French fashion designer Christian Dior presents his first influential collection, named the "New Look"
- 1999 US President Bill Clinton acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial
- 2001 NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touchdown in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
- 2013 North Korea confirms it has successfully tested a nuclear device that could be weaponized
Henry Highland Garnet becomes the 1st African American minister to preach to the US House of Representatives, he talks about the end of slavery
On February 12, 1865
"The Squaw Man", 1st feature-length film shot in Hollywood, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, is released in the US
On February 12, 1914