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12th February

1554 Lady Jane Grey, queen of England for nine days (in 1553), was executed for high treason.

1733 Led by philanthropist James Edward Oglethorpe, the first English colonists arrived in Georgia, at the site of Savannah.

1809 * Charles Darwin, naturalist and author of The Origin of Species (1859).

1809 * Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA.

1818 Chile's independence from Spain was proclaimed in Santiago.

1831 Rubber galoshes were first marketed by J.W. Goodrich, Boston, USA.

1851 Gold was discovered in New South Wales, starting the Australian Gold Rush.

1912 China became a republic under Sun Yat-sen, after the overthrow of the Manchu (Ch'ing) dynasty.

1923 * Franco Zeffirelli, Italian director of films, opera and plays.

1924 Howard Carter lifted the lid of the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen.

1952 * Simon MacCorkindale, English-born television and film actor.

1964 Fighting between ethnic Turks and Greeks in Cyprus has left at least 16 people dead.

1973 The first release of American prisoners of war from the Vietnam war took place.

1994 One of the world's best-known paintings, The Scream by Edvard Munch, was stolen from a museum in Norway.

1999 US President Bill Clinton was acquitted of perjury and obstruction of justice by the US Senate.

2002 Yugoslavian ex-president Slobodan Milosevic was put on trial for war crimes.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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