Today In History, 12 February: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (12 February): Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Dayanand Saraswati and Christina Ricci were born, Ivan Reitman and Immanuel Kant died, Chile declared independence, monarchy ended in China, Mahatma Gandhi withdrew non-cooperation movement in India, Dior’s New Look collection debuted, and more.
This day in history (12 Feb): The Birth of Abraham Lincoln and Dayanand Saraswati 
This day in history (12 Feb): The Birth of Abraham Lincoln and Dayanand Saraswati 

Today in History, 12 February: Winter is on the decline and the weather has turned pleasant, all in time for the week of love. Today is 12 February, also known as Hug Day. 

It’s an occasion marked by a display of affection between lovers. However, don’t get carried away in excitement. 

Exams are also approaching, and there’s no time to dilly-dally. One must keep learning to grow mentally and emotionally. On that note, let’s take a look at the historical significance of 12 February.

Many key events transpired on this day (Feb. 12) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history. Read on to know by 12th February is a day to remember.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1502, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama set sail for his second voyage to India.
  • In 1700, the Great Northern War began in Northern Europe between Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia and the Swedish Empire.
  • In 1818, Chile was proclaimed an independent republic after three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
  • In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, was founded.
  • In 1912, Puyi, the last Emperor of China, was forced to abdicate to pave the way for the Republic of China.
  • In 1922, Indian independence activist Mahatma Gandhi withdrew from the non-cooperation movement against the British over rising violence in the country.
  • In 1941, the first penicillin injection was administered to British policeman Albert Alexander by physician Charles Fletcher.
  • In 1946, African American United States Army veteran Isaac Woodard was severely assaulted by South Carolina police, leaving him permanently blind and inspiring the civil rights movement.
  • In 1993, two-year-old infant James Bulger was abducted, tortured and killed by two ten-year-old boys in one of England’s most shocking crimes ever.
  • In 2001, NEAR Shoemaker became the first spacecraft to orbit and land on an asteroid, doing so in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros.
  • In 2012, JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested by the Delhi Police and charged with sedition for raising anti-national slogans at the university.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1908, the New York to Paris auto race (via Alaska and Siberia) began, with George Schuster winning the race after 88 days of driving.
  • In 1932, Sonja Henie of Norway won her second of three consecutive Olympic gold medals in women’s figure skating.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1914, Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Squaw Man," the first feature-length film shot in Hollywood, was released in the US.
  • In 1947, French fashion designer Christian Dior presented his first influential collection, called the "New Look."
  • In 2017, British pop singer Adele won the Grammy Award for Best Song ("Hello") and Best Album ("25").

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Jane Grey, Queen of England in 1553 for 9 days who was beheaded for treason at the age of 16



Immanuel Kant, German philosopher who is considered one of the most influential modern philosophers in history



James Cash Penney Jr., American businessman and entrepreneur who founded the popular department store chain JCPenney



Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist best known for creating the comic strip Peanuts and the characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown



Ivan Reitman, veteran Hollywood filmmaker best known for directing the classic comedies Ghostbusters and Twins

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor who ruled from 1792 to 1806 and became Francis I, Emperor of Austria, and King of Hungary and Bohemia



Abraham Lincoln, American lawyer and politician who overcame poverty to become the 16th president of the United States and sealed his name in history for abolishing slavery



Charles Darwin, English naturalist, geologist and biologist who revolutionized the world and science with his theory of evolution



Dayanand Saraswati, Indian philosopher and religious leader who founded the Vedic reform movement, the Arya Samaj



Pran Krishna Sikand, Indian actor known for playing villain in films like Zanjeer, Don and Bobby



Bill Russell, American professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1956 to 1969



Josh Brolin, American actor known for his commanding voice and versatile performances in films like Avengers: Endgame, No Country for Old Men and The Goonies



Naseem Hamed, British boxer known for his showboating and knockout power and is considered one of the greatest boxers ever



Christina Ricci, American actress who rose to fame as a child with her scene-stealing performances in The Addams Family and Casper



Gucci Mane, American rapper known for songs “Lemonade”, “Beat it Up” and “Wasted”

Related | Today in History (11 February)

Related | Today in History (10 February)


What happened today in history (12 February)?

Chile declared independence from Spain and Mahatma Gandhi withdrew the non-cooperation movement in India on this day in history.

Which famous personality was born on this day, 12 February?

US President Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery and Indian philosopher Dayanand Saraswati, known for founding the Arya Samaj movement were born today (12 Feb).
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