This Day in History - August 12

August 12

30 BC – The Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, commits suicide

1099 – A thousand Crusaders under the lead of Godfrey of Bouillon, head for Jerusalem as part of an Egyptian relief column at the Battle of Ascalon

1624 – King Louis XIII names Cardinal Richelieu chief minister of France

1676 – Philip, chief of the Wampanoag Indians, is assassinated thus ending King Philip’s War

1687 – The Turks are defeated at the Battle of Mohacs, Hungary by Charles of Lorraine

1762 – The British capture Cuba from Spain at The Battle of Havana in the Seven Years’ War

1762 – George IV, Prince of Wales, is born

1774 – English poet laureate, Robert Southey, is born

1776 – General George Washington orders a retreat to Manhattan by boat as he anticipated, correctly, the British strategy to take New York City and gain control over the Hudson River during the American Revolution

1781 – The designer of the Washington Monument, US Treasury Building, and the National Portrait Gallery, Robert Mills, is born

1791 – Black slaves on the island of Santo Domingo rise up against their white masters

1812 – Joseph Bonaparte is forced out of Madrid, Spain by the British commander, Duke of Wellington

1820 – In the Old West, fur trader, Manuel Lisa, dies

1827 – English poet and painter, William Blake, dies

1851 – The sewing machine is patented by Isaac Singer

1859 – Composer of “America the Beautiful,” Katherine Bates, is born

1863 – In Lawrence, Kansas, Confederate William Quantrill massacres 150 boys and men during Civil War

1864 – Confederate cruiser Tallahassee claims to have captured six Union ships in the Civil War

1865 – British surgeon Joseph Lister becomes the first doctor to use an antiseptic for surgery

1881 – American film director, Cecil B. DeMille, is born

1889 – Creator of the Dick and Jane reading series, Zerna Sharp, is born

1896 – Gold is discovered in Dawson City, Canada (Yukon) that will later influence thousands of Americans to travel to the Klondike to try their luck at digging for gold

1898 – The Spanish American War officially ends

1898 – Hawaii joins the US

1900 – Austrian American chess player, Wilhelm Steinitz, dies

1908 – Henry Ford introduces the world to his Model T

1911 – Mexican circus clown and acrobat, Cantinflas, is born

1924 – 6th President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq is born

1927 – The Waltons actor, Ralph Waite, is born

1927 – Buck Owens, the country singer, is born

1930 – Hungarian American businessman, financier and philanthropist George Soros is born

1935 – President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Bill

1937 – Author of Hoops, The Scorpion, and Killer Angels, Walter Dean Myers, is born

1939 – Golden Globe-winning actor of Crime & Punishment, USA, and producer of Love at First Bite, George Hamilton, is born

1941 – French collaboration with Nazi Germany is announced by French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain during World War II

1949 – English singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and composer, Mark Knopfler, is born

1953 – Soviets test “Layer Cake” bomb in Kazakhstan. The bomb was 30 times more powerful than the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima

1954 – The most Grammy-winning artist (7), Pat Metheny, jazz guitarist, is born

1961 – The erection of the Berlin Wall begins

1964 – Charlie Wilson, part of the robbers from the Great Train Robbery, escapes from prison in Birmingham, England

1964 – The creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, dies

1965 – Henry Cabot Lodge is sworn in as Ambassador to Vietnam

1969 – The Viet Cong attack American troops at Quan-Loi in the Vietnam War

1972 – The largest strike of the Vietnam War takes place by B-52’s as American troops leave

1973 – Jack Nicklaus, the American golfer, wins the Professional Golfer’s Association championship for his 14th major title, setting a record previously held by Bobby Jones

1977 – The leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, Steven Biko, is arrested

1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise makes its first free flight and landing

1978 – The Tel al-Zaatar massacre takes place at a Palestinian refugee camp during the Lebanese Civil War. The Lebanese began a 52-day assault on thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese refugees housed at the refugee camp in Beirut. It is estimated over 1,500 died this day alone

1978 – New England Patriots wide receiver, Darryl Stingley, is hit by Oakland Raiders free safety, Jack Tatum, leaving Stingley paralyzed for life

1979 – Iranian press censors begin staging massive book burns

1981- IBM introduces its first personal computer

1982 – Actor, singer, and producer, Henry Fonda, dies

1983 – Dutch soccer player, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, is born

1985 – Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes into Mount Takamagahara leaving 520 dead and marking the highest in-flight death toll in history

1990 – Fossil hunter, Susan Hendrickson, discovers the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered

1990 – Italian soccer player, Mario Balotelli, is born

1992 – The world’s wealthiest trade bloc is established with the conclusion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

1992 – American composer John Cage dies

1998 – Swiss banks agree to pay Holocaust survivors $1.25 billion to settle lawsuits from keeping money deposited by Holocaust victims during World War II

2000 – A Russian Navy submarine, K-141, explodes and sinks during a training exercise in the Barents Sea, killing 118

2005 – Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is murdered in his home when shot by an LTTE sniper (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)

2012 – London Summer Olympics closes

2013 – Boston gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is found guilty of 31 charges including murder, money laundering, possession of weapons, drug dealing, and extortion

2014 – Actress, Lauren Bacall, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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