On This Day in History December 12

December 12 – Events:

 

  • 627 – Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II’s Persian forces, commanded by General Rhahzadh.
  • 1098 – First Crusade: Massacre of Ma’arrat al-Numan – Crusaders breach the town’s walls and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resort to cannibalism.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: Second Battle of Ushant – A Royal Navy squadron, commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt in HMS Victory, defeats a French fleet.
  • 1812 – French invasion of Russia comes to an end.
  • 1862 – USS Cairo sinks on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by an electrically detonated mine.
  • 1870 – Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the first black U.S. congressman.
  • 1897 – Belo Horizonte, the first planned city of Brazil, is founded.
  • 1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland.
  • 1911 – Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.
  • 1914 – The largest one-day percentage drop in the history of Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 24.39%.
  • 1915 – President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai announces his intention to reinstate the monarchy and proclaim himself Emperor of China.
  • 1917 – In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founds Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.
  • 1925 – The Majlis of Iran votes to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia.
  • 1936 – Xi’an Incident: The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek is kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.
  • 1937 – Panay incident: Japanese aircraft shell and sink US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze River in China.
  • 1939 – Winter War: Battle of Tolvajärvi – Finnish forces defeat those of the Soviet Union in their first major victory of the conflict.
  • 1940 – World War II: Approximately 70 people are killed in the Marples Hotel, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield as a result of a German air raid.
  • 1941 – World War II: Fifty four Japanese A6M Zero fighters raid Batangas Field, Philippines. Jesus Villamor and four Filipino fighter pilots fend them off; Cesar Basa is killed.
  • 1941 – World War II: USMC F4F “Wildcats” sink the first 4 major Japanese ships off Wake Island.
  • 1941 – World War II: Great Britain declares war on Bulgaria. Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States. India declares war on Japan.
  • 1942 – A fire in a hostel in St. John’s, Newfoundland kills 100 people.
  • 1946 – A fire at a New York City ice plant spreads to a nearby tenement killing 37 people.
  • 1948 – Malayan Emergency: Batang Kali Massacre – 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacre 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.
  • 1950 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leads the congregation in her first services.
  • 1956 – Commencement of the Irish Republican Army’s Border Campaign.
  • 1963 – Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
  • 1969 – Strategia della tensione: Piazza Fontana bombing – The offices of Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana, Milan, are bombed.
  • 1979 – Coup d’état of December Twelfth: South Korean Army Major General Chun  Doohwan orders the arrest of Army Chief of Staff General Jeong Seung-hwa without authorization from President Choi Kyu-ha, alleging involvement in the assassination of ex-President Park Chung Hee.
  • 1979 – President of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq, confers Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam.
  • 1979 – Rhodesia changes its name to Zimbabwe.
  • 1982 – Women’s peace protest at Greenham Common – 30,000 women hold hands and form a human chain around the 14.5 km (9 mi) perimeter fence.
  • 1984 – Maaouiya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya becomes the third president of Mauritania after a coup d’etat against Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla while the latter was attending a summit. Taya was ousted in March 2005 by Ely Ould Mohamed Vall in another coup.
  • 1985 – Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland killing 256, including 248 members of the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
  • 1988 – The Clapham Junction rail crash kills thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains – one of the worst train crashes in Britain.
  • 1991 – Russian Federation gains independence from the USSR.
  • 2000 – The United States Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore
  • 2006 – Peugeot produces its last car at the Ryton Plant signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, formerly a major centre of the British motor industry.

 

 

December 12 – Birthdays:

 

  • 1298 – Albert II of Austria (d. 1358)
  • 1418 – Albert VI of Austria (d. 1463)
  • 1574 – Anne of Denmark, queen consort of James I of England (d. 1619)
  • 1610 – Saint Vasilije (d. 1671)
  • 1659 – Francesco Galli-Bibiena, Italian architect/designer (d. 1739)
  • 1712 – Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, Austrian military leader (d. 1780)
  • 1724 – Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, British admiral (d. 1816)
  • 1745 – John Jay, 1st Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1829)
  • 1779 – Madeleine Sophie Barat, French saint (d. 1865)
  • 1783 – Ner Alexander Middleswarth, American politician (d. 1865)
  • 1786 – William L. Marcy, American statesman (d. 1857)
  • 1791 – Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, second wife of Napoleon (d. 1847)
  • 1799 – Karl Briullov, Russian painter (d. 1852)
  • 1805 – William Lloyd Garrison, American abolitionist (d. 1879)
  • 1805 – Henry Wells, Founder of American Express (d. 1878)
  • 1806 – Stand Watie, American Confederate general (d. 1871)
  • 1821 – Gustave Flaubert, French writer (d. 1880)
  • 1845 – Bruce Price, American architect (d. 1903)
  • 1849 – William Kissam Vanderbilt, member of the Vanderbilt family (d. 1920)
  • 1863 – Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter (d. 1944)
  • 1864 – Paul Elmer More, American essayist (d. 1937)
  • 1866 – Alfred Werner, Swiss chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1919)
  • 1870 – Walter Benona Sharp, American oil baron (d. 1912)
  • 1875 – Gerd von Rundstedt, German field marshal (d. 1953)
  • 1876 – Alvin Kraenzlein, Olympic gold medalist (d. 1928)
  • 1887 – Kurt Atterberg, Swedish composer (d. 1974)
  • 1892 – Herman Potocnik aka Hermann Noordung, Slovenian rocket engineer (d. 1929)
  • 1893 – Edward G. Robinson, American actor (d. 1973)
  • 1900 – Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer (d. 1988)
  • 1902 – Koloman Sokol, Slovak painter (d. 2003)
  • 1903 – Dagmar Nordstrom, American composer (d. 1976)
  • 1903 – Yasujiro Ozu, Japanese film director (d. 1963)
  • 1904 – Nicolas de Gunzburg, magazine editor and socialite (d. 1981)
  • 1905 – Manès Sperber, Austrian-born writer (d. 1984)
  • 1907 – Roy Douglas, English composer and orchestrator
  • 1909 – Karen Morley, American actress (d. 2003)
  • 1914 – Patrick O’Brian, English author (d. 2000)
  • 1915 – Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor (d. 1998)
  • 1918 – Joe Williams, American singer (d. 1999)
  • 1919 – Olivia Barclay, English astrologer (d. 2001)
  • 1919 – Dan DeCarlo, American cartoonist (d. 2001)
  • 1920 – Fred Kida, American comics artist
  • 1923 – Bob Barker, American television game show host
  • 1923 – Ken Kavanagh, Australian racing driver
  • 1924 – Ed Koch, Mayor of New York City
  • 1925 – Vladimir Shainsky, Soviet and Russian composer
  • 1925 – Ahmad Shamlou, Iranian poet (d. 2000)
  • 1927 – Honor Blackman, English actress
  • 1927 – Robert Noyce, American inventor (d. 1990)
  • 1928 – Chinghiz Aitmatov, Soviet-born Kyrgyz writer
  • 1929 – Toshiko Akiyoshi, Japanese musician
  • 1929 – John Osborne, English dramatist (d. 1994)
  • 1930 – Bill Beutel, American journalist (d. 2006)
  • 1931 – Lionel Blair, English actor and choreographer
  • 1932 – Bob Pettit, American basketball player
  • 1934 – Miguel de la Madrid, President of Mexico
  • 1937 – Buford Pusser, American sheriff (d. 1974)
  • 1938 – Connie Francis, American singer
  • 1940 – Sharad Pawar, Indian politician
  • 1940 – Dionne Warwick, American singer
  • 1943 – Dickey Betts, American musician (The Allman Brothers Band)
  • 1943 – Grover Washington, Jr., American saxophonist (d. 1999)
  • 1944 – Kenneth Cranham, Scottish actor
  • 1944 – Jean Doré, Canadian politician, mayor of Montreal
  • 1945 – Tony Williams, American jazz drummer (d. 1997)
  • 1946 – Emerson Fittipaldi, Brazilian race car driver and two-time F1 world champion
  • 1946 – Paula Wagner, American film executive
  • 1948 – Tom Wilkinson, English actor
  • 1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor
  • 1950 – Rajnikanth, Indian actor
  • 1950 – Billy Smith, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1952 – Herb Dhaliwal, Canadian politician
  • 1952 – Cathy Rigby, American gymnast and actress
  • 1953 – Bruce Kulick, American guitarist (Kiss)
  • 1954 – Liz Claman, American television anchor
  • 1955 – Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Greek businesswoman
  • 1956 – Johan van der Velde, Dutch cyclist
  • 1957 – Sheila E., American musician
  • 1957 – Robert Lepage, French Canadian playwright
  • 1958 – Sheree J. Wilson, American actress
  • 1962 – Tracy Austin, American tennis player
  • 1962 – Mike Golic, American football player
  • 1964 – Sabu, American professional wrestler
  • 1965 – Will Carling, English rugby union footballer
  • 1966 – Royce Gracie, Brazilian martial artist
  • 1967 – Yuzo Koshiro, Japanese composer
  • 1967 – Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Japanese composer
  • 1967 – John Randle, American football player
  • 1968 – Kate Humble, English television presenter
  • 1968 – Rory Kennedy, American documentarian
  • 1968 – Laurie Williams, Jamaican West Indies cricketer (d. 2002)
  • 1969 – Carrie Westcott, American model and actress
  • 1970 – Mädchen Amick, American actress
  • 1970 – Jennifer Connelly, American actress
  • 1970 – Regina Hall, American actress
  • 1972 – Nicky Eaden, English footballer
  • 1972 – Wilson Kipketer, Danish middle-distance runner
  • 1972 – Kevin Parent, French Canadian singer and songwriter
  • 1972 – Brandon Teena, American hate crime victim (d. 1993)
  • 1972 – Yeoryios Theodoridis, Greek sprinter
  • 1972 – Hank Williams III, American musician, grandson of Hank Williams
  • 1973 – William Hutton, American engineer
  • 1973 – Walter Otta, Argentine footballer
  • 1974 – Nolberto Solano, Peruvian footballer
  • 1975 – Mayim Bialik, American actress
  • 1975 – Craig Moore, Australian footballer
  • 1976 – Dan Hawkins, English guitarist (The Darkness)
  • 1977 – Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn Dahm, American triplet Playboy models
  • 1977 – Bridget Hall, American supermodel
  • 1977 – Orlando Hudson, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Colin White, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1978 – Monica Barladeanu, Romanian actress
  • 1978 – Jennifer Rovero Playboy Playmate
  • 1978 – Evren Genis, Turkish composer
  • 1979 – Garrett Atkins, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Nate Clements, American football player
  • 1979 – Sharin Foo, Danish singer and bassist
  • 1981 – Ronnie Brown, American football player
  • 1981 – Shane Costa, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Pedro Ríos, Spanish footballer
  • 1981 – Jeret Peterson, American aerial skier
  • 1981 – Yuvraj Singh, Indian cricketer
  • 1981 – Stephen Warnock, English footballer
  • 1982 – Dmitry Tursunov, Russian tennis player
  • 1983 – Katrina Elam, American singer
  • 1984 – Daniel Agger, Danish footballer
  • 1986 – Perparim Hetemaj, Finnish footballer
  • 1986 – Thomas Wansey, English actor
  • 1991 – Daniel Magder, Canadian actor

 

 

December 12 – Deaths:

 

  • 884 – Carloman, King of the West Franks
  • 1212 – Geoffrey, Archbishop of York
  • 1569 – Metropolitan Philip of Moscow (b. 1507)
  • 1574 – Selim II, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1524)
  • 1586 – Stefan Batory, King of Poland (b. 1533)
  • 1685 – John Pell, English mathematician (b. 1610)
  • 1751 – Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, English statesman and philosopher (b. 1678)
  • 1754 – Wu Jingzi, Chinese writer (b. 1701)
  • 1766 – Johann Christoph Gottsched, German writer (b. 1700)
  • 1789 – John Ponsonby, Irish politician (b. 1713)
  • 1790 – Mikhail Shcherbatov, Russian philosopher and writer (b. 1733)
  • 1817 – Emperor Tekle Giyorgis I of Ethiopia, (b. about 1751)
  • 1843 – King William I of the Netherlands, (b. 1772)
  • 1858 – Jacques Viger, antiquarian and archeologist, first mayor of Montreal (b. 1787)
  • 1889 – Robert Browning, English poet (b. 1812)
  • 1889 – Viktor Bunyakovsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1804)
  • 1894 – Sir John Thompson, fourth Prime Minister of Canada (b. 1845)
  • 1913 – Emperor Menelek II of Ethiopia (b. 1844)
  • 1923 – Raymond Radiguet, French author (b. 1903)
  • 1926 – Jean Richepin, French poet (b. 1849)
  • 1929 – Charles Goodnight, American cattle baron (b. 1836)
  • 1934 – Thorleif Haug, Norwegian Nordic skier (b. 1894)
  • 1939 – Douglas Fairbanks, American actor (b. 1883)
  • 1941 – Cesar Basa, Philippine Air Force and World War II hero (b. 1915)
  • 1951 – Mildred Bailey, American jazz singer (b. 1907)
  • 1952 – Bedrich Hrozný, Czech orientalist and linguist (b. 1879)
  • 1963 – Yasujiro Ozu, Japanese film director (b. 1903)
  • 1968 – Tallulah Bankhead, American actress (b. 1902)
  • 1970 – Doris Blackburn, Australian politician (b. 1889)
  • 1971 – David Sarnoff, Russian-born American General Manager of RCA (b. 1891)
  • 1976 – Jack Cassidy, American actor (b. 1927)
  • 1976 – Vinko Zganec, Croatian ethnomusicologist (b. 1890)
  • 1977 – Lady Spencer Churchill, wife of Winston Churchill (b. 1885)
  • 1980 – Jean Lesage, politician, premier of Quebec (b. 1912)
  • 1985 – Anne Baxter, American actress (b. 1923)
  • 1985 – Ian Stewart, Scottish musician (b. 1938)
  • 1987 – Enrique Jorrín, Cuban musician and composer (b. 1926)
  • 1988 – Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano, American Mafia figure (b. 1917)
  • 1992 – Suzanne Lilar, Belgian esssayist, novelist and playwright (b. 1901)
  • 1993 – József Antall, Hungarian politician (b. 1932)
  • 1994 – Stuart Roosa, American astronaut (b. 1933)
  • 1996 – Vance Packard, American author (b. 1914)
  • 1997 – Yevgeniy Landis, Russian mathematician (b. 1921)
  • 1998 – Lawton Chiles, U.S. Senator from Florida and Governor of Florida (b. 1930)
  • 1998 – Marco Denevi, Argentine writer (b. 1922)
  • 1998 – Mo Udall, American politician (b. 1922)
  • 1999 – Paul Cadmus, American artist (b. 1904)
  • 1999 – Joseph Heller, American author (b. 1923)
  • 2000 – George Montgomery, American actor (b. 1916)
  • 2001 – Jean Richard, French actor (b. 1921)
  • 2002 – Dee Brown, American author (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – Brad Dexter, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 2002 – Jay Wesley Neill, American convicted murderer (b. 1965)
  • 2003 – Joseph Anthony Ferrario, American Catholic prelate (b. 1926)
  • 2003 – Keiko, orca, star of Free Willy (b. 1976)
  • 2005 – Gebran Tueni, Lebanese politician (b. 1957)
  • 2005 – Annette Vadim, Danish actress (b. 1936)
  • 2005 – Robert F. Newmyer, American film producer (b. 1946)
  • 2006 – Paul Arizin, American basketball player (b. 1928) 
  • 2006 – Peter Boyle, American actor (b. 1935)
  • 2006 – Kenny Davern, American jazz clarinetist (b. 1935)
  • 2006 – Raymond P. Shafer, 38th Governor of Pennsylvania (b. 1917)
  • 2006 – Al Shugart, pioneering American computer engineer and co-founder of Seagate Technology (b. 1930)
  • 2007 – Ike Turner, American singer, former husband of Tina Turner (b. 1931)

 

 

December 12 – Holidays:

 

  • Saints – optional memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  •  Bahá’í Faith – Feast of Masá’il (Questions) – First day of the 15th month of the Bahá’í Calendar
  • Mexico – Our Lady of Guadalupe Day
  • Kenya – Jamhuri Day: Independence Day (from Britain, 1963)

 

 

 

 

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