- 1789 William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in UK House of Commons, reasons the slave trade morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice
- 1875 1st recorded shutout in pro baseball, Chicago 1, St Louis 0
- 1940 Nazi blitzkrieg conquest of France began by crossing Muese River
- 1943 Axis forces in North Africa surrender
- 2002 Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.
- 2008 2008 Wenchuan earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people
Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
On May 12, 1941