On this day in history, February 12

The world is greener than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to the two most populous countries – China and India.

The world is greener than it was 20 years ago, largely thanks to the two most populous countries – China and India.

Published Feb 12, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts.

1502 Isabella I issues an edict outlawing Islam in the Crown of Castile (in Spain), forcing all her Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity.

1554 A year after claiming the throne of England and holding it for just nine days, Lady Jane Gray, 16, is beheaded for ‘treason’ during the reign of ‘Bloody Mary’.

1593 Japanese invasion of Korea: About 3 000 Joseon defenders repel more than 30 000 Japanese soldiers in the Siege of Haengju.

1809 Author and naturalist Charles Darwin is born in Shrewsbury, England. Best known for his work, On the Origin of Species, concerning the theory of evolution.

1924 Howard Carter examines ancient Egyptian boy king Tutankamen when the lid of the sarcophagus is lifted for the first time in 3 300 years.

1942 The German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, plus the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen escape from Brest, France, to Germany in a daring dash up the English Channel.

1946 Operation Deadlight ends in the scuttling of 121 of 154 captured German submarines.

1947 Christian Dior unveils a ‘New Look’, helping Paris regain its position as the capital of the fashion world.

1989 Student activists Porta Shabangu, Thabo Mohale and Derrick Mashobane are ambushed and shot in Swaziland by a Vlakplaas division under command of Eugene de Kock.

1993 Two-year-old James Bulger is abducted in Liverpool by two 10-year-olds, who torture and murder him.

2001 The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft becomes the first to land on an asteroid.

2002 The trial of Slobodan Milošević, the former president of Yugoslavia, begins at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. He dies four years later before its conclusion.

2019 Nasa data shows the world has become greener – 5% leafier since early 2000s, mostly due to tree planting in China and intensive farming in India.

2019 An extremely rare black female leopard is spotted for the first time in nearly 100 years in Kenya.

2023 India opens the first part of what will be its longest freeway (1 400km) linking Mumbai and New Delhi.