It happened today – on this day in history – February 12

Mick Ferris

1130: Pope Innocent II elected.

1502: Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon on his second voyage to India.

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

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

1804: Death of philosopher Immanuel Kant aged 79.

1809: Birth of Abraham Lincoln in Kentucky. On the same day, Charles Darwin is born in Shrewsbury.

1818: Chile gains independence from Spain.

1912: The last Qing Emperor of China, Puyi, abdicates after losing the support of the Chinese people.

1915: Kaiser Wilhelm approves the strategic bombing of London’s docks.

1921: Winston Churchill becomes British Minister of Colonies.

1924: George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” premieres at a concert called Experiment in Modern Music in New York.

1927: British expeditionary army lands in Shanghai.

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.

1935: The airship USS Macon crashes into the Pacific Ocean. On the same day, the first secret demonstration of radio signals detecting aircraft is carried out by Robert Watson-Watt.

1938: German troops enter Austria. On the same day, the first ‘Kindertransport’ carrying Jewish refugee children from Nazi Germany arrives in Britain.

1947: Fashion designer Christian Dior presents his first influential collection, named the “New Look”.

1953: The USSR breaks relations with Israel.

1967: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithful are busted for drugs at Keith’s home Redlads in West Sussex.

1989: A loyalist paramilitary group kills Pat Finucane, a Belfast lawyer who represented republican hunger striker Bobby Sands, while he is having dinner with family.

1993: Two year-old James Bulger is abducted, tortured and beaten to death by two 10 year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

1994: The 17th Winter Olympic Games opens in Lillehammer, Norway. On the same day, The Scream by Edvard Munch is stolen in Oslo.

1999: President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial.

2000: Death of Peanuts cartoonist Charles M Schulz aged 77. On the same day, singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins dies aged 70 after emergency surgery for an aneurysm.

2002: The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic begins at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

2010: The 21st Winter Olympic Games open in Vancouver, Canada.

2012: Zambia defeat Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations.

2014: Former New Orleans mayor, Ray Nagin is found guilty on corruption charges and sentenced to ten years in prison.

2015: Singer Steve Strange (Visage) dies of a heart attack aged 55.

2017: Singer Al Jarreau dies aged 76, just days after announcing his retirement.

2018: Oxfam’s deputy director resigns over the charity’s failure to deal with sexual misconduct allegations in Haiti and Chad.

2019: The trial of 12 Catalonia independence leaders begins in Madrid. On the same day, England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies aged 81.

BIRTHDAYS: Maude Adams, actress, 75; Steve Hackett, guitarist (Genesis), 70; Michael McDonald, singer/musician/songwriter (The Doobie Brothers) 68; Arsenio Hall, comedian, 65; Brian Robertson, guitarist (Thin Lizzy) 64; Omar Hakim, drummer (Weather Report/Kate Bush) 61; Jgary Whelan, drummer (Happy Mondays) 54; osh Brolin, actor, 52; Darren Aronofsky, director, 51; Gethin Jones, TV presenter, 42; Christina Ricci, actress, 40; Lisa Hannigan, singer/songwriter, 39.


Mick Ferris

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