Born February 12

President Abraham Lincoln led the United States through the Civil War. His leadership during this difficult period in American history preserved the Union, abolished slavery, and modernized the economy. We remember Lincoln's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including cartoonist and "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz.

1968: Christopher McCandless, U.S. adventurer whose ill-fated trip to the Alaskan wilderness inspired the book and movie "Into the Wild," is born in El Segundo, California.

1952: Simon MacCorkindale, English actor known for roles in "Falcon Crest" and "Manimal," is born in Ely, England.

Simon MacCorkindale (AP Photo)MacCorkindale made his London stage debut in 1974 as a sarcastic bystander in George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," according to his obituary by The Associated Press. He tackled the title role in "Macbeth" at the Ludlow Festival in 1980, and played Captain Georg von Trapp in the London revival of "The Sound of Music" in 2008-2009. In the BBC miniseries "I, Claudius" in 1976 he took the role of Lucius. Film roles include the murderer Simon Doyle in "Death on the Nile" in 1977 and as Philip FitzRoyce in "Jaws 3-D" ("Jaws III"). Read more



1941: Naomi Uemura, Japanese adventurer who was the first to reach the North Pole solo, the first to raft the Amazon solo, and the first to climb Denali solo, is born in Hidaka, Japan.

1939: Ray Manzarek, U.S. keyboardist who was a founding member of the Doors, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

Ray Manzarek (Photo by Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)As the rock music scene exploded in popularity in the 1960s, a band had to have something special to really shine – a unique twist on music that set it apart from the rest. Jimi Hendrix had his blistering guitar virtuosity. For Santana, it was a Latin rhythm, while Creedence Clearwater Revival blended country and rock to make their mark. The Doors, though, had a one-two punch that made them one of the most notable bands of their era: the poetry of Jim Morrison and the keyboards of Ray Manzarek. Read more


1930: Arlen Specter, U.S. politician who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate for 30 years, is born in Wichita, Kansas.

Arlen Specter (Associated Press Photo)Specter rose to prominence in the 1960s as an aggressive Philadelphia prosecutor and as an assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, developing the single-bullet theory that posited just one bullet struck both President Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally – an assumption critical to the argument that presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The theory remains controversial and was the focus of Oliver Stone's 1991 movie "JFK." Read more



1926: Joe Garagiola Sr., Major League Baseball catcher who later became a broadcaster and a regular on the "Today" show, is born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Outside of baseball fans, Garagiola is known best for his two stints as a panelist on NBC's "Today" show from 1967 to 1973 and again from 1990 to 1992. His colorful personality served him well during a broadcasting career that spanned seven decades. He had a 30-year association with NBC as a baseball announcer, providing both play-by-play duties as well as color commentary at various points during his career on television and radio. Read more



1921: Kathleen "Kay" McNulty Antonelli, U.S. computer programmer who was one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer, is born in County Donegal, Ireland.

1919: Forrest Tucker, U.S. actor who starred in the sitcom "F Troop," is born in Plainfield, Indiana.

1918: Julian Schwinger, U.S. theoretical physicist awarded the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics (QED), along with Richard Feynman and Shinichiro Tomonaga, is born in New York, New York. 

1917: Dom DiMaggio, U.S. Major League Baseball center fielder with the Boston Red Sox, and the younger brother of Joe DiMaggio, is born in San Francisco, California.

DiMaggio was a seven-time All-Star who still holds the record for the longest consecutive game hitting streak in Boston Red Sox history. Known as the Little Professor because of his eyeglasses and 5-foot-9, 168-pound frame, DiMaggio hit safely in 34 consecutive games in 1949. The streak was broken Aug. 9 when his big brother caught a sinking liner in the eighth inning of a 6-3 Red Sox win over the Yankees. Read more



1915: Lorne Greene, Canadian actor known for starring roles on "Bonanza" and "Battlestar Galactica," is born in Ottawa, Ontario.

1914: Gordon "Tex" Beneke, U.S. jazz saxophonist who performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, is born in Fort Worth, Texas.

1907: Joseph Kearns, U.S. actor who played Mr. Wilson on TV's "Dennis the Menace" from 1959 to 1962, is born in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1904: Ted Mack, U.S. radio and TV host known for "Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour," is born in Greeley, Colorado.

1898: Wallace Ford, English-born U.S. actor known for playing wise-cracking characters, is born in Bolton, Lancashire, England.

1897: Lincoln LaPaz, U.S. astronomer who was a pioneer in the study of meteors, is born in Wichita, Kansas.

1893: Omar Bradley, U.S. Army general who played key roles in World War II and the Korean War, is born in Clark, Missouri.

1884: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, U.S. writer and socialite who was the eldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt, is born in New York, New York.

1881: Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina who was the first ballerina to tour worldwide, is born in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

1880: John L. Lewis, U.S. labor leader who was a driving force behind the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), is born in Cleveland, Iowa.

1877: Louis Renault, French industrialist who was a pioneer of the automobile industry, is born in Paris, France.

1870: Marie Lloyd, English singer and performer known as the "Queen of the Music Hall," is born in Hoxton, London, England.

1809: Abraham Lincoln, U.S. politician who was the 16th president of the United States, serving from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, is born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Lincoln wrote every word of the Gettysburg Address. While subsequent presidents have all enjoyed significant assistance from speechwriters in crafting their messages, Lincoln took a more hands-on approach and is one of the few presidents in U.S. history to have written the entirety of his speeches and remarks. Read more



1809: Charles Darwin, English naturalist known best for the theory of evolution he published in "On the Origin of Species," is born in Shrewsbury, England.

1791: Peter Cooper, U.S. industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist who designed and built the first American steam locomotive and founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, is born in New York, New York.

1788: Carl Reichenbach, German scientist and philosopher best known for his discoveries of waxy paraffin, the antiseptic phenol, and the first synthetic dye, is born in Stuttgart, Germany. 

1775: Louisa Adams, English-American first lady who was the wife of President John Quincy Adams, and the only first lady born outside the United States, is born in London, England.

1663: Cotton Mather, U.S. Puritan minister known for supporting the Salem witch trials, is born in Boston, Massachusetts.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including cartoonist and "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz.