February 12, 2014 / 12 Adar I 5774
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- 1322 – The central tower of Ely Cathedral falls on the night of 12th-13th.
- 1542 – Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, is executed for adultery.
- 1572 – Elizabeth I of England issues a proclamation which revokes all commissions on account of the frauds which they had fostered.
- 1633 – Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.
- 1689 – William and Mary are proclaimed co-rulers of England.
- 1692 – Massacre of Glencoe: About 78 Macdonalds at Glen Coe, Scotland are killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.
- 1880 – Thomas Edison observes the Edison effect.
- 1881 – The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne is first published in Paris by the activist Hubertine Auclert.
- 1914 – Copyright: In New York City the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.
- 1935 – A jury in Flemington, New Jersey finds Bruno Hauptmann guilty of the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, the son of Charles Lindbergh.
- 1945 – World War II: Royal Air Force bombers are dispatched to Dresden, Germany to attack the city with a massive aerial bombardment.
- 1955 – Israel obtains 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls.
- 1961 – A 500,000-year-old rock is discovered near Olancha, California, US, that appears to anachronistically encase a spark plug.
- 1967 – American researchers discover the Madrid Codices by Leonardo da Vinci in the National Library of Spain.
- 1978 – Hilton bombing: a bomb explodes in a refuse truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing two refuse collectors and a policeman.
- 1982 – The Río Negro massacre takes place in Guatemala.
- 2000 – The last original "Peanuts" comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies.
- 2004 – The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announces the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star "Lucy" after The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
- 711 BC – Emperor Jimmu of Japan (d. 585 BC)
- 1728 – John Hunter, Scottish surgeon (d. 1793)
- 1849 – Lord Randolph Churchill, English politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer (d. 1895)
- 1903 – Georgy Beriev, Georgian-Russian aircraft designer, founded the Beriev Aircraft Company (d. 1979)
- 1915 – Aung San, Burmese general and politician (d. 1947)
- 1923 – Chuck Yeager, American pilot and general
- 1938 – Oliver Reed, English actor (d. 1999)
- 1939 – R. C. Sproul, American pastor, theologian, and author
- 1945 – Simon Schama, English historian
- 1950 – Peter Gabriel, English singer-songwriter and producer (Genesis)
- 1968 – Kelly Hu, American model and actress
- 1974 – Robbie Williams, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (Take That)
- 1995 – Ayame Koike, Japanese actress
- 721 – Chilperic II
- 858 – Kenneth MacAlpin, Scottish king (b. 810)
- 1542 – Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford, English assistant to Catherine Howard (b. 1505)
- 1542 – Catherine Howard, English wife of Henry VIII of England (b. 1521)
- 1883 – Richard Wagner, German director and composer (b. 1813)
- 1958 – Christabel Pankhurst, English activist, co-founded the Women's Social and Political Union (b. 1880)
- 2006 – Andreas Katsulas, Greek-American actor (b. 1946)