Today in History

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Posted: Feb 12, 2012 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2012. There are 323 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, Ky.

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 1795, the University of North Carolina became the first U.S. state university to admit students with the arrival of Hinton James.

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

In 1908, the first round-the-world automobile race began in New York. (It ended in Paris the following July with the drivers of the American car, a Thomas Flyer, declared the winners over teams from Germany and Italy.)

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

In 1912, Pu Yi (poo yee), the last emperor of China, abdicated, marking the end of the Qing Dynasty.

In 1915, the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial was laid in Washington, D.C., a year to the day after groundbreaking.

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

In 1942, painter Grant Wood, creator of "American Gothic," died in Iowa City, Iowa, a day before his 51st birthday.

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

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

Ten years ago: Former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay expressed "profound sadness" about the collapse of the energy giant, but refused to testify at a Senate hearing. Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic (sloh-BOH'-dahn mee-LOH'-shuh-vich) went on trial in The Hague, accused of war crimes (he died in 2006 before the trial could conclude). Pakistan charged three men in connection with the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi (they and a fourth man were later convicted of Pearl's murder). An Iranian passenger jet crashed, killing all 119 on board. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" received 13 Academy Award nominations; tied for second with eight nods were "A Beautiful Mind" and "Moulin Rouge!"

Five years ago: Teen gunman Sulejman Talovic (SOO'-lay-mahn TAHL'-oh-vitch) shot nine people, killing five, at a Salt Lake City mall before he was shot and killed by police. Car bombs shattered Baghdad's oldest and largest market, killing at least 78 people.

One year ago: Thousands of Algerians defied government warnings and dodged barricades in their capital, demanding democratic reforms; demonstrations continued in Yemen as well. Death claimed actress Betty Garrett, 91, and actor Kenneth Mars, 75.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Franco Zeffirelli is 89. Actor Louis Zorich is 88. Baseball Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Joe Garagiola is 86. Former Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., is 82. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell is 78. Actor Joe Don Baker is 76. Author Judy Blume is 74. Rock musician Ray Manzarek (The Doors) is 73. Country singer Moe Bandy is 68. Actress Maud Adams is 67. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 66. Actor Michael Ironside is 62. Rock musician Steve Hackett is 62. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 60. Actress Joanna Kerns is 59. Actor-former talk show host Arsenio Hall is 57. Actor John Michael Higgins is 49. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 48. Actress Christine Elise is 47. Actor Josh Brolin is 44. Singer Chynna Phillips is 44. Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) is 42. Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis is 41. Actor Jesse Spencer is 33. Actress Sarah Lancaster is 32. Actress Christina Ricci is 32. Actress Jennifer Stone is 19.

Thought for Today: "Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still." _ President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Feb. 12)

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