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February 12, 2013

Today in History

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2013. There are 322 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 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 1915, the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial was laid in Washington D.C., a year to the day after groundbreaking.

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 John F. 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 American prisoners of war from the Vietnam conflict took place.

In 1993, in a crime that shocked and outraged Britons, two 10-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, lured 2-year-old James Bulger from his mother at a shopping mall near Liverpool, England, then beat him to death. (Thompson and Venables were kept in custody before being paroled in 2001 at age 18; Venables was jailed in 2010 for possessing and distributing child pornography.)

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