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This Day in History: February 12


1541 – Santiago, Chile is founded by Pedro de Valdivia.

1825 – The Creek cede the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government by the Treaty of Indian Springs, and migrate west.

1855 – Michigan State University is established.

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded.

1914 – In Washington, D.C., the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is put into place.

1924 – George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue received its premiere in a concert titled "An Experiment in Modern Music," in Aeolian Hall, New York, by Paul Whiteman and his band, with Gershwin playing the piano.

1935 – USS Macon, one of the two largest helium-filled airships ever created, crashes into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California and sinks.

1946 – African American United States Army veteran Isaac Woodard is severely beaten by a South Carolina police officer to the point where he loses his vision in both eyes. The incident later galvanizes the Civil Rights Movement and partially inspires Orson Welles' film Touch of Evil.

1963 – Construction begins on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

1999 – United States President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.

2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

2004 – The city of San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

2014 – A massive winter storm across states in the southern United States causes widespread power outages, travel disruptions and dangerous road conditions.


1663 – Cotton Mather, English-American minister and author (d. 1728)

1775 – Louisa Adams, English-American wife of John Quincy Adams, 6th First Lady of the United States (d. 1852)

1809 – Abraham Lincoln, American lawyer and politician, 16th President of the United States (d. 1865)

1880 – John L. Lewis, American miner and union leader (d. 1969)

1884 – Alice Roosevelt Longworth, American author (d. 1980)

1893 – Omar Bradley, American general (d. 1981)

1897 – Lincoln LaPaz, American astronomer and academic (d. 1985)

1915 – Lorne Greene, Canadian-American actor and singer (d. 1987)

1926 – Charles Van Doren, American academic


1789 – Ethan Allen, American farmer, general, and politician (b. 1738)

1942 – Grant Wood, American painter and academic (b. 1891)

1970 – Clare Turlay Newberry, American author and illustrator (b. 1903)

1971 – James Cash Penney, American businessman and philanthropist, founded J. C. Penney (b. 1875)

2000 – Tom Landry, American football player and coach (b. 1924)

2000 – Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, created Peanuts (b. 1922)

2014 – Sid Caesar, American actor and comedian (b. 1922)

2017 - Al Jarreau, American Singer (b. 1940)

2017 - Anna Marguerite McCann, first female American underwater archaeologist (b. 1933)