On this day: Gay marriage | ‘The Scream’ stolen | NAACP

Two men marry in San Francisco, California. Picture: Getty
Two men marry in San Francisco, California. Picture: Getty
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Events, anniversaries and birthdays for 12 February

1689: Declaration of Rights in England, in which William and Mary were proclaimed King and Queen for life.

1797: To mark the Kaiser’s birthday, the first performance of Haydn’s Emperor Hymn took place in Vienna. It was adopted by Germany as its national anthem.

1851: The gold-rush began in Australia after a discovery of gold at Summerhill Creek by Edward Hargraves.

1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People was founded in the US.

1912: The Manchu Dynasty and its boy emperor were overthrown in China and provincial republic was established.

1924: Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin was a smash hit at a concert in New York.

1953: Britain and Egypt reached agreement on Sudan.

1956: Soviet Union gave warning that dispatch of US or British troops to Middle East would violate United Nations charter.

1970: Israeli air raid on scrap metal plant in Egypt killed 70 civilians.

1973: First group of US prisoners was released from North Vietnam.

1986: Andrija Artukovic, 86, was extradited from US to Yugoslavia to stand trial over killing of more than 700,000 during Nazi rule.

1990: Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner and West German Arvel Fuchs became the first men to cross Antarctica without dogs or machinery, covering 1,550 miles in 91 days.

1991: China jailed two alleged masterminds of Tiananmen Square protests, Wang Juntao and Chen Ziming, for 13 years for conspiracy to overthrow the government.

1992: It was announced that mortgage arrears had reached record levels and 75,500 homes had been repossessed.

1994: Norwegian Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream was stolen from a museum in Oslo. It was recovered three months later.

1997: An Iranian foundation increased the 1989 fatwa bounty for the murder of Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, to £1.53 million.

1999: US president Bill Clinton was acquitted by the Senate in an impeachment trial stemming from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

2004: The city of San Francisco, California began issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples after a directive from mayor Gavin Newsom.

2008: Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised on behalf of the government to indigenous people for past injustices.


Births: 1663 Cotton Mather, Puritan writer and theologian; 1809 Charles Darwin, naturalist; 1809 Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president; 1884 Max Beckman, Expressionist artist; 1926 Lord Hamlyn, publisher.

Deaths: 1554: Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for nine days; 1804 Immanuel Kant, philosopher and idealist; 1846 Rev Henry Duncan, founder of Dumfries and Galloway Courier, and of savings banks; 1929 Lillie Langtry, actress and mistress of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII); 2000 Charles Schulz, cartoonist (Peanuts).


Christina Ricci, actress, 33; Maud Adams, actress, 68; Steve Backley OBE, athlete, 44; Judy Blume, novelist, 75; Josh Brolin, actor, 45; Annette Crosbie OBE, Gorebridge-born actress, 79; Steve Hackett, former lead guitarist with Genesis, 63; “Prince” Naseem Hamed, former boxing champion, 39; Gethin Jones, television presenter, 35; Fergus Slattery, Irish rugby player, 64; Franco Zeffirelli KBE, opera, film and theatrical producer and designer, 90.