This Day in History - October 12

October 12

1492 – Christopher Columbus land in the Bahamas

1537 – The only son of Henry VIII from his third wife Jane Seymour, Edward VI, is born

1576 – The king of Hungary and Bohemia, Rudolf II, succeeds his father, Maximillian II, as Holy Roman Emperor

1609 – The song, “Three Blind Mice,” is published in London and is believed to be the earliest printed secular song

1702 – Admiral Sir George Rooke defeats the French fleet off Vigo

1722 – The Persian capital of Isfahan is surrendered to Afghan rebels by Shah Sultan Husayn after a seven-month siege

1776 – In an effort to surround General George Washington and the Patriot force stationed at Harlem Heights, British Generals Henry Clinton and William Howe lead a force of 4,000 troops aboard some 90 flat-boats up New York’s East River toward Throg’s Neck peninsula during the Revolutionary War

1786 – Thomas Jefferson writes a romantic and introspective letter to a woman named Maria Cosway, a married woman whom Jefferson had fallen deeply for

1798 – Pedro I of Brazil is born

1810 – Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Festivities were held in their honor, including horse races and they were so successful, Bavarians decided to repeat them in the following year, giving rise to the tradition of what is now known as Oktoberfest

1866 – Prime Minister of the UK, Ramsay MacDonald, is born

1868 – Architect, Charles Sumner Greene, is born

1870 – General Robert Edward Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, dies in Virginia

1875 – English author and magician, Aleister Crowley, is born

1899 – The Anglo-Boer War begins officially

1892 – Apache leader Cochise signs a peace treaty with General Howard in Arizona Territory

1912 – Novelist and playwright, Alice Childress, is born

1918 – A massive forest fire, known as the Cloquet-Moose Lake fire, rages through Minnesota, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands homeless, burning more than 1,500 square miles

1929 – Child psychologist and author, Richard Coles, is born

1929 – The Philadelphia Athletics score ten runs in a single inning of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs

1932 – Comedian and social activist, Dick Gregory, is born

1933 – Alcatraz Island is made into a federal maximum security prison

1935 – Italian opera tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, is born

1940 – Famous cowboy actor, Tom Mix, is killed in a freak car accident, where a heavy suitcase that flew off the rear shelf of his car crushed him

1943 – The US Army begins an assault crossing of the Volturno River in Italy

1944 – The first female journalist to present BBC national television news on a permanent basis, Angel Rippon, is born

1945 – Private First Class Desmond T. Doss is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for outstanding bravery as a medical corpsman. Doss was a dedicated pacifist and registered as a conscientious objector, yet he put his life in peril during the bloody battle for Okinawa in World War II, saving dozens of lives and is the first conscientious objector in American history to receive the nation’s highest military award

1946 – General Joseph W. Stilwell, the man who commanded the US and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japan in China and Burma during World War II, dies

1947 – Emmy-winning talk show host, Chris Wallace, is born

1949 – One of the most infamous political terrorists of the 1970’s who is currently serving a life sentence in France, Carlos the Jackal aka Ilich Ramirez Sanches, is born

1949 – Eugenie Anderson becomes the first woman US ambassador

1955 – Croatian lieutenant general, convicted in 2011 of war crimes during the Croatian civil war but whose conviction was overturned in 2012, Ante Gotovina, is born

1960 – Inejiro Asanuma, leader of the Japan Socialist Party, is assassinated during a live television broadcast

1960 – In one of the strangest moments in Cold War history, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev removes his shoe and pounds a table with it to protest against speech critical of Soviet policy in Eastern Europe at the UN

1964 – USSR launches Voskhod I, first spacecraft with multi-person crew; it is also the first mission in which the crew did not wear space suits

1967 – Secretary of State Dean Rusk criticizes Congress concerning the Vietnam War, without the pressure of the bombing, he asked, “Where would be the incentive for peace?” He added that the Vietnam War was a test of Asia’s ability to withstand the threat of “a billion Chinese…armed with nuclear weapons”

1968 – Tony and Golden Globe-winning actor, Hugh Jackman, is born

1970 – President Nixon announces the pullout of 40.000 more American troops in Vietnam by Christmas

1971 – 51st US Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, dies

1971 – The House of Representatives passes the Equal Rights Amendment 354-23

1984 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonates a bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but five others are killed and 31 wounded

1994 – NASA loses contact with the Magellan probe spacecraft in the thick atmosphere of Venus

1997 – Singer and songwriter, John Denver, dies in a plane crash

1998 – University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard dies after being attacked in what was a gay hate crime. Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney lured Shepard into a parking lot, robbed and beat him then drove him to a remote area and tied his naked body to a wooden fence and left him in the freezing cold. They received life sentences for the crime but McKinney was spared death largely in part of Shepard’s parents who told him, “I would like nothing better than to see you die, Mr. McKinney. However, this is the time to begin the healing process. To show mercy to someone who refused to show any mercy”

1999 – Power is seized in Pakistan through a bloodless military coup by Chief of Army Staff Perez Musharraf

1999 – NBA star, Wilt Chamberlain, dies

2000 – Suicide bombers at Aden, Yemen, damage USS Cole, killing 17 crew members and wounding 35

2002 – The Sari Club in Kuta, Bali is attacked by terrorist bombers killing over 200 and wounding more than 300

2007 – Former US Vice President Al Gore receives a Nobel Prize for his effort in increasing public knowledge about global warming by starring in a documentary entitled An Inconvenient Truth


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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