Fun Facts for Today – February 12

February 12

It’s National Plum Pudding Day and Darwin Day and Safety Pup Day and Red Hand Day



0055 Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome; this clears the way for Nero to become Emperor
1541 The Spanish explorer and soldier Pedro de Valdivia founds Santiago de Chile, the capital of modern Chile
1554 A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason at age 16
1733 James Oglethorpe founds the 13th US colony of Georgia, and its first city at Savannah
1831 Rubber galoshes first went on sale in Boston, MA
1870 Women gain the right to vote in Utah Territory
1877 A news dispatch was sent using Alexander Graham Bell’s new invention, the telephone, for the first time in the US
1878 Frederick W. Thayer, the captain of the Harvard University Baseball Club, patented the now-familiar, baseball catcher’s mask
1879 At New York City’s Madison Square Garden the first artificial ice rink in North America opens
1892 Former President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is declared a national holiday in the US
1898 The first car crash resulting in a fatality happened to Henry Lindfield whose electric car’s steering gear failed, and he crashed at the bottom of a hill at Purley Corner, Surrey in England
1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded
1912 The Republic of China adopts the Gregorian calendar
1915 The cornerstone is laid for Lincoln Memorial
1924 George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue” is performed for the first time at the Aeolian Hall in New York City with the composer at the piano
1924 President Calvin Coolidge made the first presidential political speech on radio
1931 Tod Browning’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi premieres in New York City
1934 Walt Disney Productions files an application for a trademark of “Mickey Mouse”
1935 A patent was issued to Robert Jemison Van de Graaff for his Electrostatic Generator design, able to generate direct-current voltages much higher than the 700,000-V which was the state of the art at the time using other methods
1940 Mutual Radio presented the first broadcast of the comic-strip hero “Superman”
1941 the first injection of penicillin into a human test subject was conducted by Ernst Chain and Howard Walter Florey, who developed this antibiotic
1943 Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon starring Basil Rathbone opens in the US
1955 Beanstalk Bunny starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd is released in the US
1964 The Beatles play two 35-minute shows at Carnegie Hall; the best seats in the house sold for $5.50
1973 The first US prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong
1973 four metric distance road signs, the first in the U.S., were erected along Interstate 71 in Ohio; they showed the distance in both miles and kilometers between Columbus and Cincinnati, and Columbus and Cleveland
1975 The Stepford Wives, based on the novel by Ira Levin, opens in the US
1993 Peter Jackson’s Braindead (aka Dead Alive) opens in the US
1993 Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom, the first of his “Red Curtain Trilogy”, opens in the US
1993 Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray opens in the US
1994 Edward Munch’s painting “The Scream” is stolen from the Norwegian National Gallery; it is later returned and promptly stolen again
1999 The US Senate acquits President Clinton of the two articles of impeachment (perjury and obstruction of justice) reported against him by the House of Representatives
2002 The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Miloševi? begins at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague

1637 Jan Swammerdam, naturalist, known for his skilled biological microscopical observations and accurate illustrations, who was the first to describe the red blood cells
1775 Louisa Adams, sixth First Lady of the US (1825-1829)
1809 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the US (1861-1865)
1809 Charles Darwin, naturalist who presented facts to support his theory of the mode of evolution whereby favourable variations would survive which he called “Natural Selection” or “Survival of the Fittest,” and has become known as Darwinism
1850 William Morris Davis, geographer, geologist, and meteorologist who founded the science of geomorphology, the study of landforms
1873 Barnum Brown, paleontologist who discovered the first Tyrannosaurus rex fossil
1893 Omar Bradley, one of the main US Army field commanders in North Africa and Europe during World War II and a General of the Army in the US Army; the last surviving five-star commissioned officer of the US and the first officer assigned to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1893 Marcel Gilles Jozef Minnaert, astronomer and solar physicist who pioneered in solar spectrophotometry
1898 Wallace Ford, actor (A Patch of Blue, Freaks, Blood on the Sun)
1902 William Collier, actor (Little Caesar, Cimarron)
1904 Ted Mack, radio & TV personality (Ted Mack & the Original Amateur Hour)
1912 R.F. Delderfield, author/screenwriter (To Serve Them All My Days, People Like Us, God is an Englishman)
1915 Lorne Greene, actor (Bonanza, Battlestar Galactica, Roots, Earthquake)
1918 Julian Seymour Schwinger, physicist who shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to quantum electrodynamics (with Richard Feynman and Shin-Itiro Tomonaga)
1919 Forrest Tucker, actor (F Troop, The Yearling, Chisum, The Ghost Busters)
1923 Franco Zeffirelli, director (Romeo and Juliet, Endless Love)
1926 Joe Garagiola, baseball catcher, TV personality, author
1936 Joe Don Baker, actor (Walking Tall, Mitchell, The Natural, The Living Daylights)
1938 Judy Blume, author (Blubber, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Deenie)
1939 Ray Manzarek, musician (The Doors)
1945 Maud Adams, model, actress (Octopussy, The Man with the Golden Gun, Rollerball)
1945 Gareth Thomas, actor (Blake’s 7, Distant Shores, Knights of God, The Citadel)
1950 Michael Ironside, actor (E.R., V, Scanners, Total Recall, Free Willy)
1952 Simon MacCorkindale, actor (Manimal, Casualty, Counterstrike, Falcon Crest)
1955 Arsenio Hall, actor (Martial Law, Coming to America, Harlem Nights, The Real Ghost Busters)
1968 Josh Brolin, actor (No Country for Old Men, Grindhouse, Hollow Man, The Young Riders)
1969 Darren Aronofsky, director (Pi, The Fountain)
1970 Judd Winick, comic book writer and artist (Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Pedro and Me)
1979 Jesse Spencer, actor (House, Neighbours, Uptown Girls)

1789 Ethan Allen, an early American revolutionary and guerrilla leader, dies at 51
1841 Sir Astley Paston Cooper, surgeon who was a pioneer in experimental surgery; he was the first to tie the abdominal aorta in treating an aneurysm (1817), among various other operations he performed successfully at a time before antiseptic procedures 1929 Lillie Langtry, actress, dies at 75
1965 John Hays Hammond, Jr., inventor whose development of radio remote control served as the basis for modern missile guidance systems, dies at 76
1976 Sal Mineo, actor (Rebel Without a Cause, The Gene Krupa Story), is murdered at 37
1985 Nicholas Colasanto, actor (Cheers, Raging Bull,Family Plot), dies at 61
2000 Tom Landry, football player and coach, the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and stayed for 29 seasons (1960-88), winning 2 Super Bowl titles (1972, 1978), 5 NFC titles, 13 Divisional titles, and compiled a 270-178-6 record, the third most wins of all time for an NFL coach, dies at 75
2000 Charles M. Shultz, creator of “Peanuts”, dies at 77
2001 Ralph Smart, TV producer, writer and director (Danger Man, The Buccaneers, The Invisible Man), dies at 93

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