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February 12th - This Day In History

By Edited Feb 26, 2014 0 0

February 12, 1733

James Oglethorpe landed with the first settlers in the state or Georgia.  The spot where they land also became Savannah, the first city and the state capital of Georgia.  Georgia was the thirteenth colony of the thirteen that declared their independence and formed the United States. 

 February 12, 187

Alexander Graham Bell makes the first long distance call phone call in history. He called from the Lyceum in Salam Massachusetts to the Boston Globe in Boston.  The first words spoken were, “Mr. Watson, can you hear me?”

 February 12, 1889

Thomas A. Edison was issued a patent for winding magnets and one for a phonograph.

 February 12, 1895

Thomas A. Edison was issued several U.S. patents for his inventions having to do with incandescent lamps. 

 February 12, 1909

February 12, 1909 is the date often quoted as the founding date of the NAACP, or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  However, the idea started a month earlier when several people got together and brainstormed the idea.  They set the date of February 12 to get together with prospective supporters.  The meeting, however, did not take place until May. 

 Many of the first leaders of the group were drawn from the Niagara Movement, a group also dedicated to helping with the challenges that colored people met with in their everyday lives. 

 February 12, 1912

 Puyi, called the Xuantong Emperor, became emperor of China on December 2, 1908 and was emperor until February 12, 1912.  On that day, his abdication papers were signed by Empress Dowager Longyu, when revolution toppled the emperors.  Puyi was less than three years old when he became emperor.

 February 12, 1914

 The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated and the first stone laid on February 12, 1914. 

 Several times since President Lincoln’s death in 1863 memorials for him had been suggested and bills brought before Congress to get them under way.  Finally in 1910 one passed.  The Lincoln Memorial Commission with President Taft as president of the commission decided on the location and the design.

 The Memorial was finished on schedule and in 1922 was presented to President Harding, accepting on behalf of the American public. 

 February 12, 1935

 The USS Macon crashed on February 12, 1935.  She and her sister ship were the largest helium filled airships built, and were only twenty feet shorter than the hydrogen filled Hindenburg. 

 Temporary repairs were made to the ship following a flight that caused a failure in a girder, and full repairs were scheduled at the next overhaul.  During the wait, she participated in fleet maneuvers, encountered a storm, and was damaged further.  In the end, she lost lift, and settled into the ocean, sinking off of Montery Bay in California.  Only 2 out of her 76 crewmembers were killed in the accident.

 February 12, 1941

 The first human test subject is injected with penicillin by Ernst Chain and Howard Walter Florey.  Although the discovery of penicillin is credited to Alexander Fleming in 1928, and uses of some form of penicillin may have been used for centuries in rough folk medicine applications, it was not until the trials of Chain and Florey that its use a medicine were explored fully.  Florey and Chain, with an English biochemist Norman Heatley are credited exploring the uses of penicillin as a medicine.  Flory and Chain were granted Nobel Prizes for their work, while Heatley’s contribution was not recognized for over 50 years.

February 12, 1947

 An iron meteorite fell in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains in eastern Siberia on this day in 1947.  This is the largest meteorite fall that has been witnessed in recorded history.  Approximately 70 tons of the meteorite have been recovered, and the recovered pieces of a fall are just a percentage of the total size, as much burns up during re-entry.

 The meteorite was seen and heard for almost 200 miles around, and many of the fragments left impact craters, with the largest measuring 26 feet across and 6 feet deep.

 February 12, 1961

 The Soviet Union launched the first interplanetary probe to Venus.  It was lauched into orbit with a launcher, then launched towards Venus on February 12, 1961.  It took several readings while on its way, but broke down while in flight.  It flew by Venus in May and entered an orbit around the sun.

 February 12, 1973

 Four road signs displaying distance in both miles and kilometers were set up on Interstate 71 in Ohio. 

 In 1968 Congress ordered a study about whether to switch to the metric system like a lot of other countries used, or to stay with our present system.  In 1971 a report recommended the switch and gave a ten year target time.  In 1975 the Metric Conversion Act was passed, planning a voluntary conversion, but little results came of it.

 February 12, 1999

 The United States Senate acquits President Bill Clinton in his impeachment trial on the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.  Two other attempts at charges for impeachment on the charges of perjury and abuse of power failed in the House of Represenatives.

 This was only the second time a president had been subjected to impeachment proceedings in the history of the United States.  President Andrew Jackson had been the other, and he was also acquitted of the charges.

 February 12, 2001

 The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lands on the asteroid Eros after an approximately one year long mission to study the asteroid.  The space probe first orbited the asteroid for the bulk of the time, then landed on Eros on February 12, 2001.   On its way to Eros, the probe also did a flyby of another asteroid and took over 500 pictures and measured gravitational data.

 February 12, 2004

 San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued a directive telling the city county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  The state took the city to court and on March 11, 2004, the California Supreme Court put a stop of the issuing of the licenses.  About 4000 marriage licenses had been distributed.  On August 12, 2004, the court also voided all of the licenses.

 Some of the people of the side of same sex marriages thought the event was a stunt that actually detracted from the real struggle for same sex marriage, and took attention from real progress that was being made at other places.

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