Wednesday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2020. There are 323 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.

On this date:

In 1795, the University of North Carolina became the first U.S. state university to admit students with the arrival of Hinton James.

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 1959, the redesigned Lincoln penny — with an image of the Lincoln Memorial replacing two ears of wheat on the reverse side — went into circulation.

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, and beat him to death.

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

In 2000, Charles M. Schulz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip, died in Santa Rosa, Calif. at age 77.

In 2003, the U.N. nuclear agency declared North Korea in violation of international treaties, sending the dispute to the Security Council.

In 2006, figure skater Michelle Kwan effectively retired from competition as she withdrew from the Turin Olympics due to injury (she was replaced on the U.S. team by Emily Hughes). Snowboarder Shaun White beat American teammate Danny Kass to win the Olympic gold medal.

In 2008, General Motors reported losing $38.7 billion in 2007, a record annual loss in automotive history, and offered buyouts to 74,000 hourly workers. Uno became the first beagle named Westminster's best in show.

Ten years ago: On the day the Winter Olympics opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, Nodar Kumaritashvili (noh-DAHR' KOO'-mah-ree-tahsh-VEE'-lee), a 21-year-old luger from the republic of Georgia, was killed in a high-speed crash during a practice run. Three University of Alabama-Huntsville professors were gunned down during a faculty meeting; police charged neurobiologist Amy Bishop with capital murder. (Bishop later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)

Five years ago: European leaders agreed on a truce to halt fighting in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatist rebels.

One year ago: Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was convicted in New York of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation; a jury whose members’ identities were kept secret as a security measure had deliberated for six days. (Guzman is serving a life sentence at the federal supermax prison facility in Florence, Colorado.) Lyndon LaRouche Jr., the political extremist who ran for president in every election from 1976 to 2004, including one campaign waged from federal prison, died at the age of 96. Retired astronaut Mark Kelly announced that he would run in 2020 to finish the Senate term of the late John McCain; Kelly had become a prominent gun-control advocate after the shooting that injured his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Hundreds gathered at a church in suburban Detroit for the funeral of former Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Costa-Gavras is 87. Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell is 86. Actor Joe Don Baker is 84. Author Judy Blume is 82. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is 78. Country singer Moe Bandy is 76. Actress Maud Adams is 75. Actor Cliff DeYoung is 74. Actor Michael Ironside is 70. Rock musician Steve Hackett is 70. Rock singer Michael McDonald is 68. Actress Joanna Kerns is 67. Actor Zach Grenier is 66. Actor-talk show host Arsenio Hall is 64. Actor John Michael Higgins is 57. Actor Raphael Sbarge is 56. Actress Christine Elise is 55. Actor Josh Brolin is 52. Singer Chynna Phillips is 52. Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) is 50. Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis is 49. Actor Jesse Spencer is 41. Rapper Gucci Mane is 40. Actress Sarah Lancaster is 40. Actress Christina Ricci is 40. NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is 30. Actress Jennifer Stone is 27. Actresses Baylie and Rylie Cregut (TV: "Raising Hope") are ten.

Thought for Today: "Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still." — President Harry S. Truman (1884-1972).

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Today is Thursday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2020. There are 322 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 13, 1945, during World War II, Allied planes began bombing the German city of Dresden. The Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the Germans.

On this date:

In 1633, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition, accused of defending Copernican theory that the Earth revolved around the sun instead of the other way around. (Galileo was found vehemently suspect of heresy and ended up being sentenced to a form of house arrest.)

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was officially declared winner of the 1860 presidential election as electors cast their ballots.

In 1935, a jury in Flemington, New Jersey, found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-slaying of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was later executed.)

In 1965, during the Vietnam War, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized Operation Rolling Thunder, an extended bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese.

In 1974, Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union.

In 1984, Konstantin Chernenko (chehr-NYEN'-koh) was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.

In 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, allied warplanes destroyed an underground shelter in Baghdad that had been identified as a military command center; Iraqi officials said 500 civilians were killed.

In 1998, Dr. David Satcher was sworn in as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States during an Oval Office ceremony.

In 2000, Tiger Woods saw his streak of six consecutive victories come to an end as he fell short to Phil Mickelson in the Buick Invitational.

In 2002, John Walker Lindh pleaded not guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Va., to conspiring to kill Americans and supporting the Taliban and terrorist organizations. (Lindh later pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released in September 2019 after serving 17 years of that sentence.)

In 2013, beginning a long farewell to his flock, a weary Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final public Mass as pontiff, presiding over Ash Wednesday services inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

In 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court, was found dead at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas; he was 79.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama delivered a video address to the 7th U.S.-Islamic World Forum meeting in Doha, Qatar, as part of his continuing effort to repair strained U.S. relations with the world's Muslims. Hannah Kearney won the women's moguls for first U.S. gold medal at the Olympic Games in Vancouver; Apolo Anton Ohno won the silver medal in the short-track 1,500-meter speedskating final, to tie Bonnie Blair as the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian.

Five years ago: Calling cyberspace the new "Wild West," President Barack Obama told the private sector during a White House cybersecurity summit at Stanford University that it needed to do more to stop cyber attacks aimed at the U.S. every day. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, resigned amid suspicions his fiancee had used her relationship with him to land contracts for her green-energy consulting business.

One year ago: NASA’s Mars rover “Opportunity,” which had been built to operate for just three months on the planet’s surface but kept rolling for years longer, was finally declared to be no longer operational, 15 years after it landed on Mars. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, resigned after a two-year tenure during which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes but was dogged by questions about his use of government vehicles.

Today's Birthdays: U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager (ret.) is 97. Actress Kim Novak is 87. Actor George Segal is 86. Actor Bo Svenson is 79. Actress Stockard Channing is 76. Talk show host Jerry Springer is 76. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is 74. Singer Peter Gabriel is 70. Actor David Naughton is 69. Rock musician Peter Hook is 64. Actor Matt Salinger is 60. Singer Henry Rollins is 59. Actor Neal McDonough is 54. Singer Freedom Williams is 54. Actress Kelly Hu is 52. Rock singer Matt Berninger (The National) is 49. Rock musician Todd Harrell (formerly with 3 Doors Down) is 48. Country musician Scott Thomas (Parmalee) is 47. Singer Robbie Williams is 46. Singer-songwriter Feist is 44. Rhythm-and-blues performer Natalie Stewart is 41. Actress Mena Suvari (MEE'-nuh soo-VAHR'-ee) is 41. Rock musician Dash Hutton (Haim (HY'-ehm)) is 35. Actress Katie Volding is 31. Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. (also known as Prince Michael Jackson I) is 23.

Thought for Today: "An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason." — C.S. Lewis, English author (1898-1963).

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