On This Day in History August 12

August 12 – Events:

  • 30 BC – Cleopatra commits suicide after her lover, Mark Antony’s defeat at the battle of Actium.
  • 1099 – First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon – Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeat Fatimid forces under Al-Afdal Shahanshah. Considered the last engagement of the First Crusade.
  • 1121 – Battle of Didgori: The Georgian army under King David the Builder won a decisive victory over the famous Seljuk commander Ilghazi.
  • 1164 – Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din defeats the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.
  • 1281 – The fleet of Qubilai Khan is destroyed by a typhoon while approaching Japan.
  • 1323 – Treaty of Nöteborg – Sweden and Novgorod (Russia) regulates the border for the first time.
  • 1332 – Wars of Scottish Independence: Battle of Dupplin Moor – Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar routed by Edward Balliol.
  • 1480 – Battle of Otranto – Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.
  • 1499 – First act of the Battle of Zonchio between Venetian and Ottoman fleets.
  • 1676 – Praying Indian John Alderman shot and killed Metacomet the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip’s War.
  • 1687 – Charles of Lorraine defeats the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohács.
  • 1793 – The Rhône department was created when the former département of Rhône-et-Loire was split into two  departments: Rhône and Loire (Lêre).
  • 1806 – Santiago de Liniers re-takes the city of Buenos Aires after the first British invasion.
  • 1833 – Chicago was founded.
  • 1851 – Isaac Singer granted a patent for his sewing machine.
  • 1877 – Asaph Hall discovers Deimos.
  • 1883 – The last quagga dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.
  • 1898 – Armistice ends the Spanish-American War.
  • 1898 – The Hawaiian flag is lowered from Iolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the American flag to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawai`i to the United States.
  • 1908 – First Model T Ford built.
  • 1914 – World War I – Britain declares war on Austria-Hungary; British Empire countries automatically included.
  • 1925 – The first cast of Alpha Psi Omega, drawn from The Masquers of Fairmont College, West Virginia, was initiated.
  • 1943 – Alleged date of the first Philadelphia Experiment test on United States Navy ship USS Eldridge.
  • 1944 – Waffen SS troops massacre more than 500 civilians in Sant’Anna di Stazzema.
  • 1944 – Alençon liberated by General Leclerc, the first city in France to be liberated from the Nazis by the Allied forces.
  • 1952 – The Night of the Murdered Poets – Thirteen prominent Jewish intellectuals were murdered in Moscow.
  • 1953 – Nuclear testing: The Soviet atomic bomb project proceeded with the detonation of Joe 4, the first Soviet thermonuclear weapon.
  • 1960 – Echo I, the first communications satellite, launched
  •  1964 – South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games due to its racist policy.
  • 1964 – Charlie Wilson, one of the Great Train Robbers escapes from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, England.
  • 1969 – Battle of the Bogside, Catholic community of Derry engage in two-day battle with the Royal Ulster Constabulary
  • 1972 – The last American combat ground troops leave Vietnam.
  • 1977 – The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
  • 1978 – Japan and the People’s Republic of China sign the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China.
  • 1980 – Signing of the Montevideo Treaty, which established the Latin American Integration Association.
  • 1981 – The IBM Personal Computer is released.
  • 1982 – Mexico announces it is unable to pay its enormous external debt, marking the beginning of a debt crisis that spread to all of Latin America and the Third World.
  • 1985 – Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes into Mount Ogura in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, killing 520. It is the worst single-plane air disaster.
  • 1990 – Sue, the most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex, is discovered near Faith, South Dakota.
  • 1992 – Canada, Mexico, and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • 1994 – Major League Baseball players go on strike. The work stoppage forces the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.
  • 2000 – The Oscar class submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy exploded and sank in the Barents Sea during a military exercise.
  • 2005 – Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is fatally shot by a sniper at his home.
  • 2005 – An F2 tornado strikes the coal mining town of Wright, Wyoming, destroying nearly 100 homes and killing two people.
  • 2005 – Civil unrest provoked in the Maldives
  • 2005 – An F1 tornado strikes Glen Cove, New York, a rare event on Long Island
  • 2007 – Bulk carrier M/V New Flame collides with oil tanker Torm Gertrud at the southernmost tip of Gibraltar, ending up partially submerged.

August 12 – Birthdays:

  • 1503 – Christian III of Denmark and Norway (d. 1559)
  • 1566 – Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain (d. 1633)
  • 1604 – Tokugawa Iemitsu, Japanese shogun (d. 1651)
  • 1629 – Tsar Alexei I of Russia (d. 1676)
  • 1643 – King Afonso VI of Portugal (d. 1683)
  • 1644 – Heinrich Ignaz Biber, Bohemian composer (d. 1704)
  • 1647 – Johann Heinrich Acker, German writer (d. 1719)
  • 1686 – John Balguy, English philosopher (d. 1748)
  • 1696 – Maurice Greene, English composer (d. 1755)
  • 1720 – Konrad Ekhof, German actor (d. 1778)
  • 1762 – King George IV of the United Kingdom (d. 1830)
  • 1774 – Robert Southey, English poet and biographer (d. 1843)
  • 1856 – “Diamond Jim” Brady, American financier (d. 1917)
  • 1859 – Katharine Lee Bates, American poet (d. 1929)
  • 1866 – Jacinto Benavente, Spanish writer, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1954)
  • 1867 – Edith Hamilton, German classicist (d. 1963)
  • 1872 – Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1956)
  • 1876 – Mary Roberts Rinehart, American author (d. 1958)
  • 1880 – Radclyffe Hall, British author (d. 1943)
  • 1880 – Christy Mathewson, American baseball player (d. 1925)
  • 1881 – Cecil B. DeMille, American director (d. 1959)
  • 1883 – Pauline Frederick, American actress (d. 1938)
  • 1885 – Jean Cabannes, French physicist (d. 1959)
  • 1885 – Marion Lorne, American actress (d. 1968)
  • 1886 – Sir Keith Murdoch, Australian journalist and newspaper owner (d. 1952)
  • 1887 – Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1961)
  • 1889 – Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane) (d. 1981)
  • 1892 – Alfred Lunt, American actor (d. 1977)
  • 1902 – Mohammad Hatta, Vice President of Indonesia 1945-1956 (d. 1980)
  • 1904 – Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia, only son of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia (d. 1918)
  • 1906 – Harry Hopman, Australian-born tennis player and coach (d. 1985)
  • 1906 – Tedd Pierce, American animator (d. 1972)
  • 1907 – Joe Besser, American actor and comedian (d. 1988)
  • 1909 – Richard Bare, American director
  • 1910 – Jane Wyatt, American actress (d. 2006)
  • 1910 – Yusof bin Ishak, first President of Singapore (d. 1970)
  • 1911 – Cantinflas, Mexican actor (d. 1993)
  • 1912 – Samuel Fuller, American film director (d. 1997)
  • 1914 – Gerd Buchdahl, German philosopher (d. 2001)
  • 1914 – Ruth Lowe, Canadian pianist and composer (I’ll Never Smile Again) (d. 1981)
  • 1915 – Michael Kidd, American choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Guy Gibson, British aviator, awarded Victoria Cross (d. 1944)
  • 1919 – Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (d. 1971)
  • 1924 – Derek Shackleton, English cricketer (d. 2007)
  • 1924 – Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, leader of Pakistan (d. 1988)
  • 1925 – Norris McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records (d. 2004)
  • 1925 – Ross McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records (d. 1975)
  • 1925 – George Wetherill, American scientist (d. 2006)
  • 1926 – John Derek, American actor (d. 1998)
  • 1926 – Joe Jones, American R&B singer (d. 2005)
  • 1926 – Wallace Markfield, American writer (d. 2002)
  • 1927 – Porter Wagoner, American singer (d. 2007)
  • 1928 – Charles Blackman, Australian artist
  • 1928 – Bob Buhl, American baseball player (d. 2001)
  • 1928 – Dan Curtis, film and television producer and director
  • 1929 – Buck Owens, American singer (d. 2006)
  • 1930 – George Soros Hungarian-American financier and political activist
  • 1930 – Jacques Tits, Belgian mathematician
  • 1931 – William Goldman, American screenwriter
  • 1932 – Charlie O’Donnell, American game show announcer
  • 1932 – Somdej Phra Nangchao Sirikit Phra Boromarajininat HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand
  • 1933 – Parnelli Jones, American race car driver and team owner
  • 1935 – John Cazale, Italian-American actor (d. 1978)
  • 1937 – Walter Dean Myers, African-American author
  • 1938 – Jean-Paul L’Allier, Canadian Mayor of Quebec
  • 1939 – George Hamilton, American actor
  • 1939 – Roy Romanow, Canadian politician
  • 1939 – Michael D. Antonovich, American politician
  • 1941 – Réjean Ducharme, Quebec novelist and playwright
  • 1943 – Deborah Walley, American actress (d. 2001)
  • 1944 – Peter Hofmann, German tenor
  • 1947 – Ron Mael, American musician (Sparks)
  • 1947 – Sam Rosen, American sportscaster
  • 1949 – Panagiotis Chinofotis, Greek politician
  • 1949 – Mark Knopfler OBE, Scottish guitarist (Dire Straits)
  • 1950 – Jim Beaver, American actor and writer
  • 1951 – Willie Horton, American murderer and rapist
  • 1952 – Chen Kaige, Chinese film director
  • 1954 – Sam J. Jones, American actor
  • 1954 – Pat Metheny, American guitarist
  • 1955 – Ann M. Martin, American author
  • 1955 – Terry Taylor, American retired professional wrestler
  • 1956 – Bruce Greenwood, Canadian actor
  • 1960 – Laurent Fignon, French cyclist
  • 1961 – Roy Hay, British guitarist and keyboardist (Culture Club)
  • 1961 – Lawrence Hayward, English musician (Felt, Denim, Go Kart Mozart)
  • 1962 – Miss Cleo, American psychic
  • 1963 – Sir Mix A Lot, American rapper
  • 1965 – Peter Krause, American actor
  • 1966 – Les Ferdinand, English footballer
  • 1967 – Regilio Tuur, Dutch boxer
  • 1967 – Andrey Plotnikov, Russian race walker
  • 1967 – Andy Hui, Hong Kong actor and singer
  • 1968 – Andras Jones, American actor
  • 1969 – Aga Muhlach, Filipino actor
  • 1970 – Anthony Swofford, American novelist
  • 1970 – Jim Schlossnagle, baseball coach
  • 1970 – Charles Mesure, British actor
  • 1971 – Michael Ian Black, American comedian
  • 1971 – Rebecca Gayheart, American actress
  • 1971 – Pete Sampras, American tennis player
  • 1972 – Mark Kinsella, Irish footballer
  • 1972 – Takanohana, Sumo yokozuna
  • 1973 – Joseba Beloki, Spanish cyclist
  • 1973 – Jonathan Coachman, American professional wrestler and executive
  • 1973 – Todd Marchant, American ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Richard Reid (shoe bomber)
  • 1973 – Yvette Nicole Brown, American actress
  • 1973 – Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr – son of Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr
  • 1973 – Grey DeLisle, American voice actress
  • 1974 – Matt Clement, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Casey Affleck, American actor
  • 1975 – David Filmore, American actor
  • 1976 – Mikko Viljami “Linde” Lindström, Finnish guitarist
  • 1976 – Antoine Walker, American basketball player
  • 1976 – Wednesday 13, American musician (Wednesday 13, Murderdolls)
  • 1976 – Brad Lukowich, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1976 – Richard McCourt, English children’s television presenter
  • 1976 – Henry Tuilagi, Samoan rugby player
  • 1977 – Plaxico Burress, American football player
  • 1977 – Jesper Grønkjær, Danish footballer
  • 1977 – Park Yong-ha, South Korean actor and singer
  • 1978 – Hayley Wickenheiser, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1978 – Chris Chambers, American football player
  • 1979 – D.J. Houlton, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Cindy Klassen, Canadian speed skater
  • 1980 – Maggie Lawson, American actress
  • 1980 – Dominique Swain, American actress
  • 1980 – Matt Thiessen, Canadian-born musician (Relient K)
  • 1980 – Jade Villalon, American singer/songwriter
  • 1981 – Tony Capaldi, Northern Ireland footballer
  • 1981 – Djibril Cissé, French footballer
  • 1982 – Alexandros Tzorvas, Greek footballer
  • 1984 – Marian Rivera, Filipino actress
  • 1988 – Leah Pipes, American actress

August 12 – Deaths:

  • 30 BC – Cleopatra (b. 69 BC)
  • 875 – Louis II Holy Roman Emperor (b. 825)
  • 1424 – Yongle, Emperor of China (b. 1460)
  • 1484 – George of Trebizond, Greek philosopher (b. 1395)
  • 1484 – Pope Sixtus IV (b. 1414)
  • 1512 – Alessandro Achillini, Italian philosopher (b. 1463)
  • 1577 – Thomas Smith, English diplomat and scholar (b. 1513)
  • 1588 – Alfonso Ferrabosco (I), Italian composer (b. 1543)
  • 1612 – Giovanni Gabrieli, Italian composer
  • 1633 – Jacopo Peri, Italian composer (b. 1561)
  • 1638 – Johannes Althusius, German writer (b. 1557)
  • 1648 – Ibrahim I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1615)
  • 1674 – Philippe de Champaigne, French painter (b. 1602)
  • 1689 – Pope Innocent XI (b. 1611)
  • 1778 – Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, British general and politician (b.  1714)
  • 1809 – Mikhail Kamensky, Russian field marshal (b. 1738)
  • 1810 – Etienne Louis Geoffroy, French pharmacist and entomologist (b. 1725)
  • 1822 – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, English politician and statesman (b. 1769)
  • 1827 – William Blake, English poet and artist (b. 1757)
  • 1848 – George Stephenson, British locomotive designer (b. 1781)
  • 1861 – Eliphalet Remington, American inventor, designer of the Remington rifle (b. 1793)
  • 1864 – Sakuma Shozan, Japanese reformer (b. 1811)
  • 1865 – William Jackson Hooker, English botanist (b. 1785)
  • 1891 – James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist (b. 1819)
  • 1896 – Thomas Chamberlain, officer of the 20th Maine at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • 1900 – Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian chess player (b. 1836)
  • 1901 – Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, Finnish-Swedish explorer (b. 1832)
  • 1914 – John Philip Holland, Irish submarine designer (b. 1840)
  • 1918 – Anna Held, Polish-born actress and singer (b. 1872)
  • 1922 – Arthur Griffith, President of Ireland (b. 1871)
  • 1928 – Leoš Janácek, Czech composer (b. 1854)
  • 1934 – Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Dutch architect (b. 1856)
  • 1935 – Friedrich Schottky, German mathematician (b. 1851)
  • 1943 – Bobby Peel, English cricketer (b. 1857)
  • 1948 – Harry Brearley, English inventor (b. 1871)
  • 1952 – David Bergelson, Yiddish language writer (b. 1884)
  • 1955 – Thomas Mann, German writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1875)
  • 1955 – James B. Sumner, American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1887)
  • 1959 – Mike O’Neill, Irish-born American baseball player (b. 1877)
  • 1964 – Ian Fleming, English novelist (James Bond) (b. 1908)
  • 1968 – Esther Forbes, Amarican novelist (b. 1891)
  • 1973 – Walter Rudolf Hess, Swiss physiologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1881)
  • 1973 – Karl Ziegler, German chemist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1898)
  • 1979 – Ernst Boris Chain, German-born biochemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
  • 1982 – Henry Fonda, American actor (b. 1905)
  • 1982 – Salvador Sanchez, Mexican boxer (b. 1959)
  • 1982 – Varlam Shalamov, Russian writer (b. 1907)
  • 1985 – Kyu Sakamoto, Japanese singer (plane crash) (b. 1941)
  • 1985 – Manfred Winkelhock, German race car driver (b. 1951)
  • 1988 – Jean-Michel Basquiat, Haitian-American artist (b. 1960)
  • 1988 – Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja, religious Guru from India (b. 1895)
  • 1989 – William Shockley, American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1910)
  • 1989 – Samuel Okwaraji, Nigerian footballer (b. 1964)
  • 1990 – B. Kliban, American cartoonist (b. 1935)
  • 1990 – Dorothy Mackaill, British-born American actress (b. 1903)
  • 1992 – John Cage, American composer (b. 1912)
  • 1996 – Robert Gravel, French Canadian actor and theatrical director (b. 1945)
  • 1996 – Mark Gruenwald, American comic book writer and editor (b. 1953)
  • 1997 – Luther Allison, American musician (b. 1939)
  • 1999 – Jean Drapeau, Quebec politician, mayor of Montreal (b. 1916)
  • 2000 – Loretta Young, American actress (b. 1913)
  • 2002 – Enos Slaughter, American baseball player (b. 1916)
  • 2004 – Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, English electrical engineer and inventor, Nobel laureate (b. 1919)
  • 2004 – Peter Woodthorpe, British actor (b. 1931)
  • 2005 – John Loder, co-founder of the anarcho-punk band CRASS (b. 1946)
  • 2007 – Merv Griffin, American television host and game show creator (b. 1925)
  • 2007 – Mike Wieringo, American comic book artist (b. 1962)

August 12 – Holidays:

  • United Nations – International Youth Day (since 1999)
  • Glorious Twelfth at the Yorkshire Dales
  • Thailand – The Queen’s Birthday, Mother’s Day
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