This day in history

Wednesday, Feb. 12, is the 43d day of 2014. There are 322 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Movie director Franco Zeffirelli is 91. Actor Louis Zorich is 90. Baseball Hall of Fame sportscaster Joe Garagiola is 88. Director Costa-Gavras is 81. Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell is 80. Actor Joe Don Baker is 78. Author Judy Blume is 76. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is 72. Country singer Moe Bandy is 70. Actress Maud Adams is 69. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 68. Actor Michael Ironside is 64. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 62. Actress Joanna Kerns is 61. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 58. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 50. Actor Josh Brolin is 46. Singer Chynna Phillips is 46. Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) is 44. R&B musician Keri Lewis is 43. Actress Christina Ricci is 34. NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is 24.

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


In 1809, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, was born in present-day Larue County, Ky.

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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 1912, Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, abdicated, marking the end of the Qing Dynasty.

In 1914, groundbreaking took place for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (A year later on this date, the Memorial’s cornerstone was laid.)


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, President Kennedy celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a reception at the White House. 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 US prisoners of war from the Vietnam conflict took place.


In 1994, the 17th Winter Olympic Games opened in Lillehammer, Norway. A version of Edvard Munch’s painting ‘‘The Scream’’ was stolen from the National Gallery in Oslo (it was recovered a few months later in a sting operation).

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

In 2004, defying a California law, San Francisco officials began performing weddings for same-sex couples. Four men were charged in a 42-count indictment alleging they’d run a steroid-distribution ring that provided performance-enhancing drugs to dozens of athletes in the NFL, the major leagues, and track and field. (All four later pleaded guilty to drug charges.)

In 2009, saying ‘‘I made a mistake,’’ Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) abruptly withdrew his nomination as President Obama’s commerce secretary. A Colgan Air commuter plane crashed into a suburban Buffalo home, killing all 49 aboard and a person in the house.