Today is Wednesday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2020. 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 a log cabin in Hardin (now LaRue) County, Kentucky.
On this date:
In 1795, the University of North Carolina became the first U.S. state university to admit students with the arrival of Hinton James.
In 1914, groundbreaking took place for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (A year later on this date, the cornerstone was laid.)
In 1924, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered in New York.
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 1980, the FBI announced that about $5,800 of the $200,000 ransom paid to hijacker “D.B. Cooper” before he parachuted from a Northwest Orient jetliner in 1971 had been found by an 8-year-old boy on a riverbank of the Columbia River in Washington state.
In 1993, in a crime that shocked and outraged Britons, two 10-year-old boys lured 2-year-old James Bulger from his mother at a shopping mall near Liverpool, England, and beat him to death.
In 1999, the Senate voted to acquit President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice.
In 2000, Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip, died in Santa Rosa, Calif. at age 77.
In 2003, the U.N. nuclear agency declared North Korea in violation of international treaties, sending the dispute to the Security Council.
In 2006, figure skater Michelle Kwan effectively retired from competition as she withdrew from the Turin Olympics due to injury (she was replaced on the U.S. team by Emily Hughes). Snowboarder Shaun White beat American teammate Danny Kass to win the Olympic gold medal.
In 2008, General Motors reported losing $38.7 billion in 2007, a record annual loss in automotive history, and offered buyouts to 74,000 hourly workers. Uno became the first beagle named Westminster’s best in show.
Ten years ago: On the day the Winter Olympics opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nodar Kumaritashvili (noh-DAHR’ KOO’-mah-ree-tahsh-VEE’-lee), a 21-year-old luger from the republic of Georgia, was killed in a high-speed crash during a practice run. Three University of Alabama-Huntsville professors were gunned down during a faculty meeting; police charged neurobiologist Amy Bishop with capital murder. (Bishop later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
Five years ago: European leaders agreed on a truce to halt fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels.
One year ago: Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was convicted in New York of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation; a jury whose members’ identities were kept secret as a security measure had deliberated for six days. (Guzman is serving a life sentence at the federal supermax prison facility in Florence, Colorado.) Lyndon LaRouche Jr., the political extremist who ran for president in every election from 1976 to 2004, including one campaign waged from federal prison, died at the age of 96. Retired astronaut Mark Kelly announced that he would run in 2020 to finish the Senate term of the late John McCain; Kelly had become a prominent gun-control advocate after the shooting that injured his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Hundreds gathered at a church in suburban Detroit for the funeral of former Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Costa-Gavras is 87. Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell is 86. Actor Joe Don Baker is 84. Author Judy Blume is 82. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is 78. Country singer Moe Bandy is 76. Actress Maud Adams is 75. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 74. Actor Michael Ironside is 70. Rock musician Steve Hackett is 70. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 68. Actress Joanna Kerns is 67. Actor Zach Grenier is 66. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 64. Actor John Michael Higgins is 57. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 56. Actress Christine Elise is 55. Actor Josh Brolin is 52. Singer Chynna Phillips is 52. Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) is 50. Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis is 49. Actor Jesse Spencer is 41. Rapper Gucci Mane is 40. Actress Sarah Lancaster is 40. Actress Christina Ricci is 40. NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is 30. Actress Jennifer Stone is 27. Actresses Baylie and Rylie Cregut (TV: “Raising Hope”) are ten.
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).