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    FEBRUARY 12: THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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    IN THE WORLD:

    * The commemoration of victims of mass disorders in Dushanbe (February 12-14, 1990). A political conflict between the government forces and the united Tajik opposition, which began in February 1990, escalated into the civil war (May-December 1992). The common agreement on peace and accord in Tajikistan was signed on June 27, 1997.

    * German philosopher Immanuel KANT (1724-1804), the founding father of classic German philosophy, died 200 years ago. He was buried in Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad).

    * US 16th President Abraham LINCOLN (1809-1865), a founder of the Republican Party (1854), was born 195 years ago. He came out for the abolition of slavery and was killed by an agent of Southerners.

    * English naturalist Charles Robert DARWIN (1809-1882), the author of the natural selection theory, was born 195 years ago.

    * The first issue of L'Unita newspaper was published 80 years ago, in 1924. It was the daily organ of the Italian communist party till February 1991. Since February 1991 it has been published under a subtitle "The newspaper founded by Antonio Gramsci."

    * French film director Jean RENOIR (1894-1979), the son of the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, died 25 years ago. In 1975 he received an honorary Oscar for his work.

    * Argentine writer Julio CORTAZAR (1914-1984), the author of realistic novels with elements of fiction and philosophic symbols, died 20 years ago.

    * The IranAir Tours Tu-154 aircraft crashed two years ago, in 2002, killed 117 people (105 passengers and 12 crewmen).

    IN RUSSIA:

    * The Russian Imperial Association for the Acclimatization of Animals and Plants opened the Moscow Zoo on the initiative of Moscow University professor Anatoly BOGDANOV in 1864, 140 years ago.

    * The great Russian dancer Anna PAVLOVA (1881-1931) was born 123 years ago.

    * Russian academician Viktor MIKHAILOV was born 70 years ago, in 1934. He is the founder of the scientific school of the physics of explosive nuclear fission and diagnostics of single impulse processes of penetrating radiation.

    * The automatic interplanetary station Venera-1 was launched in the Soviet Union to the Venus planet 43 years ago, in 1961.

    * The preliminary tests of the S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile complex were held at Kapustin Yar testing ground five years ago, in 1999.

    * The Orthodox Church commemorates the gathering of ecumenical teachers and saints St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom. This holiday was established in 1084.

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