Today in History: A penny for your thoughts on Lincoln

Today in History

Today is Monday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2018. 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 a log cabin in Hardin (now LaRue) County, Kentucky.

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On this date:

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, who had 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.

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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 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.

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In 1963, 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 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, then beat him to death.

In 1999, the Senate voted to acquit President Bill Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Ten years ago: Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain won their respective parties’ primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. General Motors reported losing $38.7 billion in 2007, a record annual loss in automotive history, and offered buyouts to 74,000 hourly workers. Character actor David Groh died in Los Angeles at age 68. Uno became the first beagle named Westminster’s best in show.

Five years ago: The manhunt for a rogue ex-Los Angeles cop seeking revenge for his firing came to an end with his apparent suicide in a mountain cabin following a gunbattle with law enforcement; authorities blamed him for killing four people, including two officers. President Barack Obama set up high-stakes clashes over guns, immigration, taxes and climate change in his State of the Union address. The U.N. Security Council strongly condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test. IOC leaders dropped wrestling for the 2020 Games in a surprise decision to scrap one of the oldest sports on the Olympic program.

One year ago: Northern California authorities ordered the evacuation of some 200,000 people from communities near the Oroville Dam, where an emergency spillway was in danger of flooding. (After officials drained water from the lake behind the dam and made emergency repairs, residents were allowed to return.) At the Grammy Awards, Adele took home all five awards she was nominated for, including album (“25”), as well as record and song of the year (“Hello”). Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau, 76, died at a Los Angeles hospital, just days after announcing his retirement from touring because of exhaustion.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Franco Zeffirelli is 95. Movie director Costa-Gavras is 85. Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell is 84. Actor Joe Don Baker is 82. Author Judy Blume is 80. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is 76. Country singer Moe Bandy is 74. Actress Maud Adams is 73. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 72. Actor Michael Ironside is 68. Rock musician Steve Hackett is 68. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 66. Actress Joanna Kerns is 65. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 62. Actor John Michael Higgins is 55. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 54. Actress Christine Elise is 53. Actor Josh Brolin is 50. Singer Chynna Phillips is 50. Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) is 48. Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis is 47. Actor Jesse Spencer is 39. Rapper Gucci Mane is 38. Actress Sarah Lancaster is 38. Actress Christina Ricci is 38. NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is 28. Actress Jennifer Stone is 25. Actresses Baylie and Rylie Cregut (TV: “Raising Hope”) are eight.

Thought for Today: “Human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason.” — Ashley Montagu, English anthropologist (1905-1999).