On February 12:
881 Pope John VIII crowned Charles the Fat, the King of Italy.
1429 English forces under Sir John Fastolf defended a supply convoy carrying rations to the army besieging Orleans from attack by the Comte de Clermont and John Stuart in the Battle of Rouvray (also known as the Battle of the Herrings).
1502 Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon on his second voyage to India.
1541 – Santiago, Chile was founded by Pedro de Valdivia.
1554 A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for treason.
1567 Thomas Campion, English composer and poet, was born (d. 1620).
1700 The Great Northern War began in Northern Europe.
1719 The Onderlinge van 1719 u.a., the oldest existing life insurance company in the Netherlands was founded.
1771 Gustav III became the King of Sweden.
1809 Charles Darwin, English naturalist, was born (d. 1882).
1809 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, was born (d. 1865).
1816 The Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, was destroyed by fire.
1817 An Argentine/Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeated Spanish troops on the Battle of Chacabuco.
1818 Bernardo O’Higgins formally approved the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile.
1825 The Muscogee (Creek )ceded the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government, and migrate west.
1828 George Meredith, English writer, was born (d. 1909).
1832 Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands.
1855 Michigan State University was established.
1870 Women gained the right to vote in the Utah Territory.
1879 The first artificial ice rink in North America opened at Gilmore’s Park in New York City.
1881 Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina, was born (d. 1931).
1894 Anarchist Émile Henry hurled a bomb into Paris’s Cafe Terminus, killing one and wounding 20.
1909 SS Penguin was wrecked in Cook Strait.
1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.
1911 Stephen H. Sholes, American recording executive, was born (d. 1968).
1912 Xuantong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, the last Emperor of China, abdicated.
1914 The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was put into place.
1915 Lorne Greene, Canadian actor, was born (d. 1987).
1923 – Franco Zeffirelli, Italian film and opera director and designer, was born.
1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first President of the United States to deliver a political speech on radio.
1934 The Austrian Civil War began.
1934 In Spain the national council of Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista was inaugurated.
1938 Judy Blume, American author, was born.
1945 David Friedman, American economist, was born.
1946 Operation Deadlight ended after scuttling 121 of 154 captured U-boats.
52 surrendered U-boats moored at HMS Ferret,Lisahally, Northern Ireland
1948 Raymond Kurzweil, American inventor and author, was born.
1949 – Joaquín Sabina, Spanish singer and songwriter, was born.
1950 Steve Hackett, English guitarist (Genesis), was born.
1961 U.S.S.R. launched Venera 1 towards Venus.
1966 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced the Six Points in Karachi as the election manifesto of Awami League, that led to formation of Bangladesh.
1973 The first United States prisoners of war were released by the Viet Cong.
1974 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature was exiled from the Soviet Union.
1990 Carmen Lawrence became the first female Premier in Australian History when she became premier of Western Australia.
1997 Hwang Jang-yop, secretary in the Workers’ Party of Korea and a prime architect of North Korea’s Juche doctrine, defects at the South Korean embassy in Beijing along with his aide, Kim Dok-hong.
1999 President Bill Clinton was acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.
2001 NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touchdown in the “saddle” region of 433 Eros becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
2002 The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević began.
2002 – An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashed in the mountains outside Khorramabad, Iran while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport, killing 119.
2004 The city of San Francisco, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.
2006 A powerful winter storm blanketed the Northeastern United States dumping 1 to 2 feet of snow from Washington D.C. to Boston, and a record 26.9 inches of snow in New York City.
2007 A gunman opens fire in a mall in Salt Lake City killing 5 people wounding 4 others in the Trolley Square shooting.
Candlelight vigil for victims of the Trolley Square shooting.
2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed into a house near Buffalo, New York killing 50 people.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.