Born on February 12

661 Princess Ōku a Japanese princess during the Asuka period in Japanese history. She was the daughter of Emperor Temmu and sister of Prince Ōtsu. As a young girl, she witnessed the Jinshin War. According to the Man'yōshū , she became the first Saiō to serve at Ise Grand Shrine. After the death of her brother in 686, she returned from Ise to Yamato to enshrine his remains on Futakami, before a quiet end to her life at age 40
1074 Conrad II of Italy the Duke of Lower Lorraine , King of Germany and King of Italy. He was the second son of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Bertha of Savoy, and their eldest son to reach adulthood, his older brother Henry having been born and died in the same month of August 1071. Although Conrad's rule in Lorraine and Germany was nominal, he spent most of his life in Italy and there he was king in fact as well as in name
1128 Toghtekin a Turkic military leader, who was atabeg of Damascus from 1104 to 1128. He was the founder of the Burid dynasty of Damascus
1218 Kujō Yoritsune the fourth shogun of the Kamakura shogunate of Japan. His father was kanpaku Kujō Michiie and his grandmother was a niece of Minamoto no Yoritomo. He was born in the year of the Tiger, in the month, on the day, and so his given name at birth was Mitora
1322 John Henry Margrave of Moravia Count of Tyrol from 1335 to 1341 and Margrave of Moravia from 1349 until his death.
1438 Adolf Duke of Guelders a Duke of Guelders, Count of Zutphen from 1465–1471 and in 1477.
1443 Giovanni II Bentivoglio an Italian nobleman who ruled as tyrant of Bologna from 1463 until 1506. He had no formal position, but held power as the city's "first citizen." The Bentivoglio family ruled over Bologna from 1443, and repeatedly attempted to consolidate their hold of the Signoria of the city
1540 Won Gyun a Korean general and admiral during the Joseon Dynasty. He is best known for his campaigns against Japanese during Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea. Won was a member of Wonju Won family, which was well known for its members' military accomplishments. He was born in 1540 near Pyeongtaek and demonstrated his skill as warrior at a young age. He was qualified as a military officer and was first assigned to the northern border to defend against the Jurchens, who frequently raided Korean villages. Won led many successful campaigns with Yi Il and Yi Sun-sin against the Jurchens. After considerable accomplishments on the northern frontier, he was promoted to admiral in 1592 and sent to the southern coast of Gyeongsang Province to command the province's Western Fleet, along with Yi Sun-sin, who became admiral before Won and took command of Jeolla Province's Eastern Fleet. At the time, Won and Yi were cavalry leaders who had no experience with naval warfare
1567 Thomas Campion an English composer, poet, and physician. He wrote over a hundred lute songs, masques for dancing, and an authoritative technical treatise on music
1584 Caspar Barlaeus a Dutch polymath and Renaissance humanist, a theologian, poet, and historian.
1585 Caspar Bartholin the Elder born at Malmø, Denmark and was a polymath, finally accepting a professorship in medicine at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1613. He later taught theology at the same university
1599 Duke Friedrich of Saxe-Altenburg a member of the Ernestine branche of the House of Wettin and a Duke of Saxe-Altenburg and Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. Friedrich is sometimes called "Friedrich the younger" to distinguish him from Prince Frederick of Saxe-Weimar, as they were both called "Friedrich of Saxe-Weimar"
1603 Friedrich Wilhelm II Duke of Saxe-Altenburg a duke of Saxe-Altenburg.
1606 John Winthrop the Younger governor of Connecticut.
1618 Olaus Verelius held to have been the founder of the Hyperborean School which led to Gothicism.
1636 Hermann Witsius a Dutch theologian.
1637 Jan Swammerdam a Dutch biologist and microscopist. His work on insects demonstrated that the various phases during the life of an insect—egg, larva, pupa, and adult—are different forms of the same animal. As part of his anatomical research, he carried out experiments on muscle contraction. In 1658, he was the first to observe and describe red blood cells. He was one of the first people to use the microscope in dissections, and his techniques remained useful for hundreds of years
1644 Jakob Ammann an Anabaptist leader and namesake of the Amish religious movement.
1663 Cotton Mather a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author and pamphleteer. Noted for fostering the Salem witch trials, Cotton Mather also has a scientific legacy due to his hybridization experiments and his promotion of inoculation for disease prevention
1665 Rudolf Jakob Camerarius a German botanist and physician.
1693 Avdotya Chernysheva a Russian noble and lady in waiting. She was the royal mistress of Tsar Peter the Great of Russia. She was the daughter of Prince Ivan Ivanovitj Rzyevskiy and Daria Gavrilovna and in 1710 married to Prince Grigorij Petrovitj Chernyshev
1704 Charles Pinot Duclos a French author and contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.
1715 William Whitehead (poet) an English poet and playwright. He became Poet Laureate in 1757 after Thomas Gray declined the position
1716 Andrzej Zamoyski a Polish noble. Knight of the Order of the White Eagle, awarded on 3 August 1758 in Warsaw
1728 Étienne-Louis Boullée a visionary French neoclassical architect whose work greatly influenced contemporary architects.
1742 Nana Fadnavis an influential minister and statesman of the Maratha Empire during the Peshwa administration in Pune, India. James Grant Duff states that he was called "the Marattha Machiavelli" by the Europeans
1752 Josef Reicha a Czech cellist, composer and conductor. He was the uncle of composer and music theorist Anton Reicha
1752 Dorothea Ackermann a German actress and the oldest daughter of Konrad Ackermann.
1753 François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers the French commander in the Battle of the Nile, in which the French Revolutionary Navy was defeated by Royal Navy forces under Admiral Horatio Nelson. The British victory helped to ensure their naval supremacy throughout the Napoleonic Wars. He was also a Freemason in the La Bonne Foi lodge at Montauban
1760 Jan Ladislav Dussek a Czech composer and pianist. He was an important representative of Czech music abroad in the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Some of his more forward-looking piano works have traits often associated with Romanticism
1766 William Howley a clergyman in the Church of England. He served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1828 to 1848
1768 Francis II Holy Roman Emperor the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire after the disastrous defeat of the Third Coalition by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I , the first Emperor of Austria , ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the one and only Doppelkaiser in history. For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the grace of God elected Roman Emperor, ever Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both Germany and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary and Bohemia as Francis He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815
1773 Jacques Dupré a Louisiana State Representative, State Senator and the eighth Governor.
1775 Louisa Adams First Lady of the United States from 1825 to 1829. She is the only First Lady born outside of the United States
1777 Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué a German writer of the romantic style.
1785 Pierre Louis Dulong a French physicist and chemist, remembered today largely for the law of Dulong and Petit. He worked on the specific heat capacity and the expansion and refractive indices of gases
1787 Norbert Provencher a Canadian clergyman and missionary and one of the founders of the modern province of Manitoba. He was the first Bishop of Saint Boniface and was an important figure in the history of the Franco-Manitoban community
1788 Carl Reichenbach a notable chemist, geologist, metallurgist, naturalist, industrialist and philosopher, and a member of the prestigious Prussian Academy of Sciences. He is best known for his discoveries of several chemical products of economic importance, extracted from tar, such as eupione, waxy paraffin, pittacal and phenol. He also dedicated himself in his last years to research an unproved field of energy combining electricity, magnetism and heat, emanating from all living things, which he called the Odic force
1791 Peter Cooper an American industrialist, inventor, philanthropist, and candidate for President of the United States. He designed and built the first steam locomotive in the U.S., and founded the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in Manhattan, New York City
1792 Ferdinand de Braekeleer the Elder a Flemish painter. He is known for his historical paintings and is called 'the Elder' to distinguish him from his son with the same name , who was also a painter
1793 Richard Cunningham (botanist) an English botanist who became Colonial Botanist of New South Wales and superintendent of the Sydney Botanic Gardens.
1794 Alexander Petrov (chess player) a Russian chess player, chess composer, and chess writer.
1800 John Edward Gray a British zoologist. He was the elder brother of George Robert Gray and son of the pharmacologist and botanist Samuel Frederick Gray
1804 Jan Adam Kruseman a 19th-century portrait painter from the Northern Netherlands.
1804 Heinrich Lenz a Russian physicist of Baltic German ethnicity. He is most noted for formulating Lenz's law in electrodynamics in 1833. The symbol , conventionally representing inductance, is chosen in his honor
1805 Adolphe Delattre a French ornithologist.
1809 Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy
1809 Charles Darwin an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding
1813 James Dwight Dana an American geologist, mineralogist, volcanologist, and zoologist. He made pioneering studies of mountain-building, volcanic activity, and the origin and structure of continents and oceans around the world
1814 Jenny von Westphalen the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. They became engaged in 1836 and married in 1843. They had seven children