Historical Events on February 12

  • 1049 Bruno count of Egesheim & Dagsburg crowned Pope Leo IX
  • 1111 King Henry V, King of Germany and Italy, arrives in Rome for his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor, but Pope Paschal II refuses to crown him until April owing to the Investiture Controversy
  • 1130 Pope Innocent II elected
  • 1429 Battle of the Herrings fought during Hundred Years' War when French and Scottish troops unsuccessfully attack English convoy (carrying barrels of herrings) near Rouvray
  • 1502 Muslims in Granada forced to convert to Catholicism

Voyage of Discovery

1502 Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on his second voyage to India

  • 1528 Treaty of Dordrecht between emperor & ecclesiastical power
  • 1541 Santiago, Chile, founded (or Feb 24)


1554 Queen of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is executed for treason

  • 1577 Spanish land guardian Don Juan of Habsburg signs "Eternal Edict"
  • 1700 The Great Northern War begins in Northern Europe between Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia and the Swedish Empire.
  • 1719 The Onderlinge van 1719 u.a., the oldest existing life insurance company in the Netherlands is founded
  • 1733 Georgia founded by James Oglethorpe, at site of Savannah
  • 1762 British fleet occupies Martinique
  • 1763 John Casteret appointed British minister of foreign affairs

Historic Event

1771 Gustav III becomes the King of Sweden after the death of predecessor Adolf Frederick

  • 1772 Yves de Kerguelen of France discovers Kerguelen Archipelago, India

Historic Event

1777 Captain James Cook arrives at Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand, aboard Resolution, on his 3rd trip to Pacific Ocean

  • 1793 1st US fugitive slave law passed; requires return of escaped slaves
  • 1797 Joseph Haydn's song "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" (God Save Emperor Francis) premieres in Vienna
  • 1818 Chile gains independence from Spain
  • 1821 Mercantile Library of City of NY opens
  • 1825 Creek Indian treaty signed. Tribal chiefs agree to turn over all their land in Georgia to the government & migrate west by Sept 1, 1826
  • 1832 Ecuador annexes Galapagos Islands
  • 1839 Aroostoock (or "Pork & Beans) War: Boundary dispute between Maine & New Brunswick
  • 1840 Housatonic Railroad opens, running from Bridgeport, Connecticut, north to the Massachusetts state line
  • 1848 Ballet "Faust" premieres at La Scala in Milan
  • 1850 Original Washington's farewell address manuscript sells for $2,300
  • 1851 Edward Hargraves and three other men discover gold at Ophir, New South Wales, beginning Australia's first gold rush [1]
  • 1855 Michigan State University established
  • 1861 State troops seize US munitions in Napoleon, Arkansas, during the US Civil War
  • 1865 Henry Highland Garnet becomes the 1st African American minister to preach to the US House of Representatives, he talks about the end of slavery
  • 1870 Official proclamation sets April 15 as last day of grace for US silver coins to circulate in Canada
  • 1870 Utah becomes the second territory in the United States to pass a law allowing women the vote, after Wyoming in 1869
  • 1873 US Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1873, abolishing bimetallism and placing the country on the gold standard
  • 1877 1st news dispatch by telephone, between Boston & Salem, Massachusetts
  • 1877 US railroad builders strike against wage reduction
  • 1878 Harvard player Frederick Thayer patents baseball catcher's mask (pat # 200,358)
  • 1879 1st artificial ice rink in North America (Madison Square Garden, NYC)
  • 1879 News about British loss at Battle of Isandlwana to Zulu attack (Anglo-Zulu War) reaches London
  • 1880 US National Croquet League organizes (Philadelphia)
  • 1882 Social-Democratic Union forms in Amsterdam
  • 1885 Carl Peters founds German East-Africa Society
  • 1886 2nd British Conservative government of Marquess of Salisbury forms in alliance with Liberal Unionist Party
  • 1889 Caesar Franck's Symphony in D premieres

Theater Premiere

1889 Henrik Ibsen's play "Fruen fra havet" (The Lady from the Sea) premieres in Oslo

  • 1894 Anarchist Émile Henry hurls a bomb into Paris's Cafe Terminus, killing one and wounding 20
  • 1899 -47°F (-44°C), Camp Clarke, Nebraska (state record)
  • 1899 1st 2-man team 6-day bicycle race in US begins, Madison Square Garden, NYC
  • 1901 Dutch Penitentiary children's law proclaimed

Music Premiere

1906 George M. Cohan's musical "George Washington" premieres in NYC

  • 1908 Anna Jeanes bequeaths $1,000,000 to Swarthmore to become all female
  • 1908 NY to Paris auto race (via Alaska & Siberia) begins in NYC George Schuster wins after 88 days behind the wheel
  • 1909 American James Clark runs world record marathon (2:46:52.6) in NYC

Historic Event

1909 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) forms

  • 1909 Netherlands' SDAP suspends Marxist Tribune group (Gorter & Wijnkoop)

Music Premiere

1909 Symphony in B minor "Polonia", by Polish composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski has its public premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

  • 1912 The last Qing Emperor of China, Puyi (age 6) abdicates after losing the support of the Chinese people and thus the "mandate of heaven"

Film Release

1914 "The Squaw Man", 1st feature-length film shot in Hollywood, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, is released in the US

Historic Event

1914 Dedication ceremony for the about to be constructed Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Historic Event

1915 Adolf Hitler receives the relatively common Iron Cross second class for bravery in World War I

  • 1915 World War I: Kaiser Wilhelm approves the strategic bombing of London's docks
  • 1917 1st edition of Joseph Patterson and Sidney Smith's strip "The Gumps"
  • 1920 -Apr 26] 14,000 Rotterdam/Amsterdam harbor workers strike
  • 1920 NL votes 6-2 for 1 commissioner AL votes 6-2 to keep group commission
  • 1921 Soviet troops invade Georgia

Historic Event

1921 Winston Churchill becomes British Minister of Colonies

Music Premiere

1924 George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" premieres at influential concert "Experiment in Modern Music" held by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra at the Aeolian Hall, NYC

  • 1924 George Kaufman's "Beggar on Horseback" premieres in NYC
  • 1925 1st federal arbitration law approved by Congress
  • 1925 E. Thieffry departs with Handley Page for the Belgian Congo
  • 1925 Estonia passes Law on Cultural Self-Government for National Minorities, allowing a unique degree of autonomy to ethnic and religious groups of 3,000 or more
  • 1926 Barendrecht soccer team forms
  • 1927 British expeditionary army lands in Shanghai
  • 1929 Karst Leemburg wins Dutch 11 cities skate (11:30)
  • 1931 Vatican Radio begins broadcasting with the callsign HVJ
  • 1932 49 year old Australian cricket spin bowler Bert Ironmonger captures 5-6 as South Africa dismissed for 36 in 5th Test in Melbourne; Australia wins by an innings & 72 runs; series 5-0
  • 1932 Communist Party of Holland forms Unemployed Combat Committees
  • 1932 Karl Schäfer of Austria wins the first of 2 consecutive men’s figure skating Olympic gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Games in the United States

Olympic Gold

1932 Sonja Henie of Norway wins her 2nd of 3 consecutive Olympic gold medals in women’s figure skating at the Lake Placid Winter Games; beats Austria’s Fritzi Burger into 2nd place for 2nd straight Games

  • 1932 World champion French husband and wife team Pierrre and Andrée Brunet win their 2nd consecutive Olympic pairs figure skating gold medal at the Lake Placid Games
  • 1933 German vice-chancellor von Papen demands Catholic aid for Nazis
  • 1934 Export-Import Bank incorporates
  • 1934 France hit by a general strike against fascists & royalists
  • 1934 The four-day February Uprising, sometimes called the Austrian Civil War, begins.

Radio Premiere

1935 First secret demonstration of radio signals detecting aircraft by Robert Watson-Watt at Daventry, England

  • 1935 Great airship, USS Macon, crashes into Pacific Ocean
  • 1937 Cleveland (now Los Angeles) Rams granted an NFL franchise
  • 1938 3rd British Empire Games close in Sydney, Australia
  • 1938 Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg visits Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden
  • 1941 First injection of penicillin into a patient by British physician Charles Fletcher at Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England
  • 1941 Jewish Council for Amsterdam forms under Ascher and Cohen
  • 1941 Occupation Police arrest "Jewish Foursome"
  • 1942 German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen escape from Brest to Germany in a dash up the English Channel

Historic Event

1943 General Eisenhower departs Algiers for Tebessa

  • 1944 Wendell Wilkie enters the race to be the Republican nominee for US President
  • 1945 SF selected for site of UN Conference
  • 1947 Daytime fireball & meteorite fall seen in eastern Siberia

Historic Event

1947 French fashion designer Christian Dior presents his first influential collection, named the "New Look"

  • 1947 Record 100.5-kg sailfish caught by C. W. Stewart, near the Galapagos Islands
  • 1948 1st Lt Nancy Leftenant becomes 1st African American in army nursing corps
  • 1949 "Annie Get Your Gun" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 1147 performances

Radio History

1949 Panic in Quito, Ecuador, after "War of the Worlds" played on radio

  • 1949 Team Canada beats Denmark 47-0 in hockey
  • 1949 Unidentified aircraft bomb Jerusalem

Historic Event

1950 Albert Einstein warns against hydrogen bomb

  • 1950 Senator Joe McCarthy claims to have list of 205 communist government employees
  • 1953 USSR breaks relations with Israel
  • 1954 The UK government establishes an organisation to control atomic energy in the country under The Atomic Energy Authority Bill
  • 1955 McGuire Sisters' "Sincerely" single goes to No. 1 and stays No. 1 for 10 weeks
  • 1955 President Eisenhower sends 1st US advisors to South Vietnam
  • 1955 Soviets decides space center built in Baikonur, Kazakhstan
  • 1955 WTVY TV channel 4 in Dothan, AL (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1957 Researchers announce Borazan (harder than diamonds) been developed

Sports History

1958 Boston Celtic Bill Russell grabs 41 rebounds to beat Syracuse Nationals, 119-101

  • 1958 Gen Miguel Ydegoras Fuentes elected President of Guatemala
  • 1959 The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the "sheaves of wheat" design
  • 1960 Chinese army kills 12 Indian soldiers
  • 1961 Boston Celtic Bill Russell grabs 40 rebounds to beat Philadelphia Warriors, 136-125
  • 1961 Pakistani cricketer Mushtaq Mohammad scores his 1st test cricket century for Pakistan at 17 years of age
  • 1961 USSR launches Venera 1 toward Venus
  • 1962 Bus boycott starts in Macon, Georgia

Historic Event

1963 Argentina requests the extradition of ex-president Juan Perón

  • 1964 Beatles 1st NYC concerts, two shows at Carnegie Hall

Cricket History

1964 End of Richie Benaud's 63-Test cricket career in drawn 5th Test v South Africa in Sydney

  • 1964 Fighting breaks out between Turks and Greeks over dispute islands in Cyprus and 16 are killed; the UN responds the following month by sending a peacekeeping force

Sports History

1964 US female Figure Skating championship won by Peggy Fleming

  • 1964 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Allen
  • 1965 KHFI (now KBVO) TV channel 42 in Austin, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1965 Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean
  • 1967 Kees Verkerk becomes world champ all round skater
  • 1967 Pirate Radio Free Harlem (NYC) begins transmitting

Golden Globes

1968 25th Golden Globes: "In the Heat of the Night", Rod Steiger, & Edith Evans win

  • 1968 Dutch speed skater Ans Schut wins women's 3,000m event at Grenoble Winter Olympics; first 10 finishers beat previous Olympic record set in Squaw Valley (1960)
  • 1968 Frenchman Jean Claude-Killy follows his win in the downhill with victory in giant slalom at Grenoble Winter Olympics; clean sweeps 3 alpine skiing events with success in the slalom
  • 1970 Anthony Shaffer's "Sleuth" premieres in NYC
  • 1971 Only Test Cricket for Ken Eastwood, who scored 5 & 0 Aust v England
  • 1973 1st US POWs in North Vietnam released; 116 of 456 flown to Philippines
  • 1974 Heads of state of Algeria, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia discuss oil strategy in view of the progress in Arab-Israeli disengagement
  • 1976 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1977 Festac '77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, finishes in Lagos, Nigeria
  • 1977 Toronto Maple Leafs shutout Washington Capitals 10-0
  • 1978 "Jesus Christ Superstar" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 96 performances
  • 1978 US female Figure Skating championship won by Linda Fratianne
  • 1978 US male Figure Skating championship won by Charles Tickner
  • 1979 Bakhtiar resigns as prime minister of Iran after losing support of the military
  • 1979 Kosmos 1076, 1st Soviet oceanographic satellite, launched
  • 1980 "Canterbury Tales" opens at Rialto Theater NYC for 16 performances
  • 1980 NY Islanders 2nd scoreless tie, vs Winnipeg Jets

Sports History

1980 Richard Hadlee becomes NZ's top wicket-taker with 117

  • 1981 Admiral Bobby R Inman, USN, becomes deputy director of CIA
  • 1981 Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent
  • 1981 Cape Verde amends its constitution
  • 1981 Pete Squires sets record for 1575 steps of Empire State Building, 10m
  • 1982 32nd Berlin International Film Festival: "Veronika Voss" wins the Golden Bear
  • 1982 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

NHL Record

1982 Wayne Gretzky scores 153rd point of season, breaking NHL record

  • 1984 12 years after winning the doubles in Sapporo (1972), Italian Paul Hildgarten wins the men's luge singles at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics

Daytona 500

1984 Cale Yarborough, becomes 1st Daytona 500 qualifier, above 200 MPH

  • 1984 East German luger Steffi Martin wins the first of 2 consecutive women's singles gold medals at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics; also wins in Calgary (1988)
  • 1984 Finnish cross-country skier Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen wins the 5k gold medal at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics; 2nd of 3 individual medal sweep, also winning 10k and 20k events
  • 1984 West Indies beat Australia 2-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup after going undefeated in the qualifying rounds

NHL All-Star Game

1985 37th NHL All-Star Game, Olympic Saddledome, Calgary: Wales Conference beats Campbell Conference, 6-4; MVP: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins, C

  • 1985 West Indies beat Australia 2-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup (Australian Tri-Series)
  • 1986 1st-class cricket debut of Curtly Ambrose, Leeward Is v Guyana
  • 1987 Survivors of a black man murdered by KKK members awarded $7 M damages
  • 1988 38th Berlin International Film Festival: "Red Sorgum" wins the Golden Bear

Cold War Bumping Incident

1988 US Navy frigate USS Yorktown bumped by Russian frigate Bezzavetny in the Black Sea in dispute over right of innocent passage

NBA All-Star Game

1989 39th NBA All-Star Game, Astrodome, Houston, Texas West beats East, 143-134; MVP: Karl Malone, Utah Jazz, forward

  • 1989 5 Pakistani Muslim rioters killed protesting "Satanic Verses" novel
  • 1989 50th PGA Seniors' Championship Men's Golf, PGA National GC: Larry Mowry wins only career major title; beats Miller Barber & Al Geiberger by 1 stroke
  • 1989 Loyalist paramilitary group kill Pat Finucane, a Belfast lawyer who represented republican hunger striker Bobby Sands, while he is having dinner with family
  • 1989 Thursday's Child sets sailing record, NY-Cape Horn-SF, 80 d 20 h
  • 1989 US male Figure Skating championship won by Christopher Bowman
  • 1989 Wayne Gretzky sets 2 records, his 45th hat trick & 10th 40+ goal season

Music Concert

1990 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held in Beverly Hills, California; performers include: Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Don Henley, and Bruce Hornsby

  • 1991 Iceland recognizes Lithuania's independence
  • 1991 North & South Korea form a joint team for table tennis competition

The Scream

1994 "The Scream" by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1893 pastel version) is stolen in Oslo

  • 1994 20th century premiere of 6 restored Haydn-sonatas in Boston
  • 1994 Inna Lassovskaya jumps world record 14.90m

Film & TV History

1994 Model Anna Nicole Smith hospitalized for drug overdose

  • 1994 XVII Winter Olympic Games opens in Lillehammer, Norway
  • 1995 45th NBA All-Star Game, America West Arena, Phoenix, AZ: West beats East, 139-112; MVP: Mitch Richmond, Sacramento Kings, SG
  • 1995 Angela Kennedy swims woman's world record 50m butterfly

World Record

1995 Bonnie Blair skates female world record 500m (38.69 sec)

  • 1995 Dieter Baumann runs European record 3k indoor (7:37.51)
  • 1995 Jeff Rouse swims world record 50m backstroke (24.37 sec)
  • 1995 PRI loses and PAN wins Mexican regional elections
  • 1995 Sun Cayun pole vaults indoor female world record (4.13m)
  • 1995 Susan Auch skates female world record 500m (38.94 sec)

ESPY Awards

1996 4th ESPY Awards: Cal Ripken, Rebecca Lobo win

Murder of Interest

1997 Fred Goldman says he will settle for a signed murder confession from O.J. Simpson in lieu of his $20.5 million judgement

  • 1998 "Freak" opens at Cort Theater NYC
  • 1998 250-car Italy pile-up due to fog, 4 die & 50 hurt
  • 1998 Dallas Cowboys sign Chan Gailey as their 4th head coach

Historic Event

1998 Intel unveils its 1st graphics chip i740

  • 1998 US district judge T Hogan declares line-item veto law unconstitutional