- 1789 William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in the UK House of Commons, reasoning the slave trade morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice
- 1940 Nazi blitzkrieg and conquest of France begins with the crossing of the 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 Wenchuan earthquake, measuring 7.8 in magnitude occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 87,000, injuring 374,643 and leaving homeless between 4.8 million and 11 million people
- More Historical Events
May 12 in Film & TV
- 1994 "Pulp Fiction", directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson premieres at the Cannes Film Festival (Palme d'Or 1994)
May 12 in Music
- 1967 Track Records releases "Are You Experienced" album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience - one of the most influential debut albums ever
May 12 in Sport
- 1888 Crouching start 1st used in track and field by Charles Sherrill of Yale
Did You Know?
San Marcos University in Lima, Peru, opens (oldest continuously operating university in the Americas)
On May 12, 1551
Would You Believe?
Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin
On May 12, 1941
- 1191 Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre in Cyprus
- 1641 William II, Prince of Orange (14) marries English princess Mary Henrietta Stuart (9) at Whitehall Palace, London
- 1763 Founding Father of the United States Roger Sherman (42) weds second wife Rebecca Prescott (20)
- 2004 Model-actress Ali Landry (30) files for an annulment to her marriage to "Saved by the Bell" actor Mario Lopez (30) due to infidelity, less than 2 weeks after getting married
- 2016 Actress Billie Piper and fellow actor Laurence Fox divorce after 8 years of marriage
More Weddings & Divorces
Articles, Photos and Quiz
The Queen Who Never Saw Her RealmBorn in Spain, married in Cyprus, died in France, this wife of a warrior king was never to set foot in the land where she was hailed as Queen.
May 12, 1191
PolioChildren with polio in a US hospital, inside an iron lung. In about 0.5% of cases, patients suffered from paralysis, sometimes resulting in the inability to breathe. More often, limbs would be paralyzed.
May 12, 1955
Weekly Quiz for May 6-12Test your knowledge of historical events in our multi-choice weekly history quiz for May 6-12. Number 8 will leave you truly stumped then amazed!