On This Day

Historical Events on May 12

  • 254 Stephan I succeeds Lucius I as Catholic Pope
  • 919 Duke Henry of Saxony becomes King Henry I of Oostfrankischreich
  • 1082 Battle at Mailberg: Vratislav II of Bohemia beats Leopold II of Austr

Magna Carta

1215 English barons serve ultimatum on King John which eventually leads to the creation and signing of the Magna Carta

  • 1328 Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV and assembly of priests select Pietro Rainalducc as anti-Pope Nicolas V; consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice
  • 1459 Jodhpur, Sun City, founded by Rao Jodhpur in India
  • 1525 Battle at Biblingen: Zwabische Union beats rebel Wurttemberg farmers
  • 1534 German Duchy of Wurttemberg becomes Lutheran under Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg
  • 1551 San Marcos University in Lima, Peru, opens (oldest continuously operating university in the Americas)
  • 1588 Catholic League under duke Henri de Guise occupies Paris
  • 1604 Spanish garrison of Aardenburg surrenders to Mauritius
  • 1638 Emperor Shah Jahan commissions construction of the Red Fort at Shahjahanabad, Mughal Empire (now Dehli, India)
  • 1640 Uprising against Spanish king Philip IV
  • 1689 England & Netherlands form League of Augsburg

Historic Event

1695 English King William III departs to Netherlands

  • 1733 Maria Theresa crowned Queen of Bohemia in Prague
  • 1776 Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, the French minister of Finance resigns
  • 1777 1st ice cream advertisement (Philip Lenzi in the NY Gazette)

Victory in Battle

1780 American General Benjamin Lincoln surrenders Charleston to the British (Revolutionary War)

  • 1784 Ratified copies of the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War exchanged between US and Great Britain, in Paris
  • 1789 Society of St Tammany is formed by Revolutionary War soldiers. It later becomes an infamous group of NYC political bosses

Britain Abolishes the Slave Trade

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

Victory in Battle

1797 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice

  • 1797 Nore Mutiny: British Royal Navy sailors mutiny on the Thames, England and blockade London
  • 1821 The first major battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occurs in Valtetsi
  • 1832 Gaetano Donizetti's opera "L'elisir d'amore" premieres in Milan

Historic Event

1835 Charles Darwin visits the Panuncillo Copper Mine in North Chile

  • 1862 Federal troops occupies Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 1863 Battle of Raymond, Mississippi
  • 1864 Battle of Drewry's Bluff, fought in Chesterfield County, Virginia (Peninsula Campaign), Confederate victory (US Civil War)
  • 1864 Battle of Spotsylvania, fought near Courthouse, Virginia (Overland Campaign), inconclusive result (US Civil War)
  • 1864 Battle of Todd's Tavern, cavalry battle fought near Todds Tavern, Virginia (Sheridan's Raid), inconclusive result (US Civil War)
  • 1864 US Union colonel Emory Upton (24) promoted to brigadier general
  • 1865 Last land action of Civil war at Palmito Ranch, Texas
  • 1870 Manitoba becomes a province of Canada
  • 1871 Segregated street cars integrated in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1873 Oscar II of Sweden-Norway is crowned King of Sweden
  • 1874 US Assay Office in Helena, Montana, authorized
  • 1877 Ottawa Rough Riders 1st outside competition vs Britannia
  • 1881 Treaty of Bardo, Tunisia becomes a French protectorate

Victory in Battle

1885 Battle of Batoche: Louis Riel and the Metis defeated by Frederick Middleton, leads to collapse of Provincial Government of Saskatchewan and surrender of Riel

  • 1888 Crouching start 1st used in track and field by Charles Sherrill of Yale
  • 1890 Louisiana legalizes prize fighting
  • 1890 First official County Cricket Championship match begins; Yorkshire beats Gloucestershire by 8 wickets at Bristol; James Cranston scores first century (101) in the competition
  • 1891 Riot against tax increase in Paramaribo, Suriname
  • 1894 Ludwig Englander's musical "Passing Show" premieres in NYC
  • 1897 1800-1900 year old fossil of "girl of Yde" found in Drente, Netherlands
  • 1897 Battle at Thessalie: Turkish army beats Greece
  • 1898 Louisiana adopts new constitution with "grandfather clause" designed to eliminate black voters
  • 1900 Boer attack under Sarel Eloff, about 70 killed
  • 1900 Lord Roberts' British forces occupy Crown city during Boer War
  • 1901 US President McKinley visits San Francisco
  • 1902 140,000 miners of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania go out on a strike called by the United Mine Workers after the owners have refused to recognize the UMW, negotiate or submit to arbitration

Theater Premiere

1908 George Bernard Shaw's play "Getting Married" premieres in London

  • 1908 Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B. Stubblefield
  • 1909 34th Preakness: Willie Doyle aboard Effendi wins in 1:39.8

Conference of Interest

1910 Second NAACP conference in NYC

  • 1910 Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Charles "Chief" Bender no-hits Cleveland Naps, 4-0
  • 1911 American economic expert W. Morgan Schuster arrives by invitation to assume almost dictatorial power over Persia's finances; a move resented by Russia
  • 1911 1st Inter-Empire Championships open in London
  • 1913 English runner Harry Green runs world record marathon 2:38:16.2 in the Polytechnic Marathon in London, England
  • 1915 Croatians plunder Armenia, killing 250
  • 1915 Franklin K. Mathiews first presents idea of "Book Week"
  • 1916 James Connolly and Sean McDermott are executed following their involvement in the Easter Rising in Dublin
  • 1917 42nd Preakness: E Haynes aboard Kalitan wins in 1:54.4
  • 1917 43rd Kentucky Derby: Charles Borel on Omar Khayyam wins in 2:04.6
  • 1919 New York Yankees and Washington Senators play second straight extra inning tie, 4-4 in 15 innings at the Polo Grounds; 0-0 in 12 the previous day
  • 1919 The Transvaal British Indian Association calls a mass meeting to organise opposition to the proposed Asiatics (Land and Trading) Amendment Act; in the Act, Transvaal Indians are prohibited from owning shares in limited companies
  • 1921 National Hospital Day 1st observed in the United States
  • 1923 48th Preakness: Benny Marinelli aboard Vigil wins in 1:53.6
  • 1924 49th Preakness: John Merimee aboard Nellie Morse wins in 1:57.2
  • 1925 Uzbekistan & Kirgizistan become autonomous Soviet republics

Historic Event

1926 Airship Norge is the first vessel to fly over North Pole, lead by Roald Amundsen and piloted by Umberto Nobile

Music Premiere

1926 Dmitri Shostakovich's 1st Symphony premieres in Leningrad

Coup d'état

1926 General Józef Piłsudski returns to power in Poland after coup d'état against the Witos regime

  • 1926 Hans Luther resigns for 2nd time as German Chancellor after no-confidence vote against his minority government
  • 1926 British General Strike ends after 9 days, coal mine workers stay on strike

Historic Event

1928 Benito Mussolini announces moves to end women's suffrage in a speech to the Senate in Italy

  • 1928 Second Opium Law introduced - international law to control drugs
  • 1929 Pulitzer prize awarded to Julia Peterkin (Scarlet Sister Mary)

Historic Event

1930 Pulitzer prize awarded to Marc Connelly (Green Pastures)

Historic Event

1932 Body of kidnapped son of Charles Lindbergh is found in Hopewell, New Jersey

  • 1933 Federal Emergency Relief Administration & Agricultural Adjustment Administration form to help the needy & farmers

#1 in the Charts

1934 "Cocktails For Two" by Duke Ellington hits #1

  • 1934 59th Preakness: Robert Jones aboard High Quest wins in 1:58.2
  • 1936 Ralph Vaughan Williams' opera "Poisoned Kiss" premieres in London
  • 1937 St Louis Cards beat Philadelphia Phillies, 15-3

Royal Coronation

1937 Coronation of King George VI of Great Britain (and his other realms and territories beyond the sea) at Westminster Abbey, London

Music History

1938 Arthur Honegger and Paul Claudel's oratorio "Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher" (Joan of Arc at the Stake) premieres in Basel, Switzerland

  • 1938 Sandoz Labs begins manufacturing LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • 1940 French marines occupy St Maarten
  • 1940 German tanks conquer Moerdijk bridges, Netherlands
  • 1940 Nazi blitzkrieg and conquest of France begins with the crossing of the Muese River
  • 1941 British forces march into Alexandria, Egypt
  • 1941 Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin
  • 1942 1,500 Jews gassed in Auschwitz

Historic Event

1942 David Ben-Gurion leaves Jewish state in Palestine

  • 1942 Nazi U-boat sinks American cargo ship at mouth of Mississippi River
  • 1942 Russia occupies Crackow, until Aug 23, 1943
  • 1943 Axis forces in North Africa surrender
  • 1943 German troops in Tunisia, North Africa, surrender
  • 1944 900+ 8th US Air Force bombers attack Zwikau, Bohlen & Brux
  • 1944 Crimea purged of Nazi troops
  • 1944 German police arrest Dutch resistance member Gerrit van der Veen and later execute him

Historic Event

1949 1st foreign woman ambassador received in USA (Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India)

Music Premiere

1950 Darius Milhaud's opera "Bolivar" premieres in Paris

  • 1952 Charlton Playground named in Bronx
  • 1952 Gaj Singh is crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur
  • 1953 KUHT TV channel 8 (PBS) in Houston, TX, begins broadcasting
  • 1955 Chicago Cub Sam "Toothpick" Jones is 1st African-American to pitch a no-hitter, winning 4-0 over Pittsburgh Pirates, at Wrigley Field, Chicago
  • 1956 Brooklyn Dodger Carl Erskine's 2nd no-hitter, beats NY Giants, 3-0
  • 1956 East Pakistan struck by cyclone and tidal waves
  • 1958 "Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu" by Dicky Doo & The Don'ts hits #40
  • 1958 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands
  • 1958 US & Canada form North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)

Music History

1959 "Nervous Set" opens at Henry Miller's Theater NYC for 23 performances

TV Show Appearance

1960 Elvis Presley appears on a Frank Sinatra television special; Elvis sings Sinatra's 1957 Cy Coleman hit "Witchcraft", and Frank performs Presley's 1956 classic "Love Me Tender"

  • 1961 Russian Mikhail Botvinnik wins world chess championship for 3rd time
  • 1962 Grevelingen dam closes in major project to protect the southwest of the Netherlands from flooding
  • 1962 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island

Music History

1963 Bob Dylan walks out of "The Ed Sullivan Show" over a dispute about his song choice

  • 1963 Race riot in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1964 Italian diplomat and politician Manlio Brosio chosen as secretary-general of NATO
  • 1965 Israel & West Germany exchange letters beginning diplomatic relations
  • 1966 St Louis' Busch Memorial Stadium opens, Braves lose to Cards 4-3 in 12 innings
  • 1967 H. Rap Brown replaces Stokely Carmichael as chairman of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
  • 1967 Provo disbands in Neth Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

Music Concert

1967 1st quadraphonic concert by Pink Floyd at the Games for May concert in London

  • 1967 20th Cannes Film Festival: "Blowup" directed by Michelangelo Antonioni wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

Album Release

1967 "Are You Experienced" album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience first released - one of the most influential debut albums ever

  • 1968 "March of Poor" under Rev Abernathy reaches Washington, D.C.
  • 1968 WSKG TV channel 46 (PBS) in Binghamton, NY, begins broadcasting
  • 1969 Pilot Ken Wallis achieves record speed for autogyros - 179 KPH

Baseball Record

1970 Ernie Banks hits his 500th home run

  • 1970 Harry Blackmun is confirmed as a justice on Supreme Court
  • 1970 KTVM TV channel 6 in Butte, MT (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1970 Race riots in Augusta Georgia; 6 blacks killed (5 by cops)
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1972 Milwaukee Brewers beat Minnesota Twins, 4-3, in 22 innings (completed 5/13)

Music History

1972 Paul McCartney & Wings release "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

  • 1973 6th ABA championship: Indiana Pacers beat Ky Colonels, 4 games to 3
  • 1973 Dueling Tubas by Martin Mull hits #92
  • 1974 28th NBA Championship: Boston Celtics beat Milwaukee, 4 games to 3
  • 1975 US merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodian forces
  • 1976 20th European Cup: Bayern Munich beats Saint-Etienne 1-0 at Glasgow
  • 1977 Emmy 4th Daytime Award presentation: "Ryan's Hope" and "Family Feud" win
  • 1978 US Commerce Department says hurricane names will no longer be only female

Sports History

1979 Chris Evert's 125-match winning streak on clay comes to an end

  • 1980 1st non-stop trans-North American balloon flight lands at Sainte-Félicité, Quebec. Maxie Anderson and son Kristian piloted the Kitty Hawk for five days.
  • 1980 West Ham United wins the FA Cup, beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley Stadium; midfield playmaker Trevor Brooking scores winner with a rare header
  • 1981 "Lena Horne: Lady, Music" opens at Nederlander, NYC: runs for 333 performances
  • 1981 NY Islanders tie their own record with two shorthanded playoff goals in a period vs Minnesota North Stars
  • 1982 FC Barcelona of Spain win 22nd European Cup Winner's Cup against Standard Liège of Belgium 2-1 in Barcelona
  • 1982 Pulitzer prize awarded to John Updike (Rabbit is Rich)
  • 1982 US Football League forms

Historic Event

1982 In Fatima Portugal, a Spanish Traditionalist priest who opposed Vatican II reforms and saw Pope John Paul II as a perpetrator of them, is stopped prior to his attempt to attack the Pope with a bayonet

  • 1983 Julie Lynne Hayek, (California), crowned 32nd Miss USA
  • 1984 Discovery moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (Florida) for mating of STS 41-D
  • 1984 France performs nuclear test
  • 1984 Joe Lucius scores his 13th hole-in-one on same hole
  • 1984 White Horse by Laid Back hits #26
  • 1984 World of Rivers world exposition opens in New Orleans
  • 1985 Amy Eilberg is ordained in NY as 1st woman Conservative rabbi

Historic Event

1986 President Reagan appoints Dr James C. Fletcher NASA Administrator

  • 1986 Fred Markham (US), unpaced & unaided by wind, is 1st to pedal 65 mph on a level course, Big Sand Flat, California
  • 1988 "Carrie" opens at Virginia Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • 1989 "Entertainment Tonight" makes its 2,000th TV performance
  • 1989 Last graffiti covered NYC subway car retired
  • 1989 Retired British pilot Jack Mann is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists
  • 1990 Comic Relief USA '90 (4th one) raises $4.7 million

Music History

1990 Nora Dunn and Sinead O'Connor boycott "Saturday Night Live" to protest Andrew Dice Clay's hosting which was perceived as sexist; the show uses a time delay for the third time in its history

  • 1990 NHL Clarence Campbell Conference Final: Edmonton Oilers beat Chicago Blackhawks, 4 games to 2
  • 1991 A new cancer drug is announced which can only be found in bark of a rare tree in the Pacific Northwest
  • 1992 1st Belgian woman (Ingrid Baeyens) to ascend Mount Everest
  • 1993 Final episode of 6 year run of ABC's "Wonder Years" in Netherlands
  • 1993 Parma of Italy win 33rd European Cup Winner's Cup against Royal Antwerp of Belgium 3-1 in London
  • 1994 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Anne Marie Duggan

Film Premiere

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)

  • 1995 Dow Jones for 5th straight day of the week sets a new record (4430.59)
  • 1995 Jose Mesa gets 1st of his M.L. record 37 consecutive saves

NHL Record

1995 Martin Brodeur ties NHL record getting his 3rd playoff shutout in 4

  • 1996 "Inherit the Wind" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 45 performances
  • 1996 "Night of the Iguana" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 68 performances

LPGA Championship

1996 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, DuPont CC: England's Laura Davies wins by 1 stroke ahead of runner-up Julie Piers

  • 1996 Yankees losing 8-0 to Chicago White Sox, come back to win 9-8
  • 1997 14 North Koreans defect to South Korea
  • 1997 Angels scores 13 in 7th vs White Sox
  • 1997 Russia & Chechnya sign peace deal after 400 years of conflict
  • 1997 Australian Susie Maroney becomes first to swim from Cuba to Florida
  • 1997 Tornado narrowly misses downtown Miami

Music Single

1997 "It's Your Love" single released by Time McGraw and Faith Hill

  • 1999 Sir David Steel becomes the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.
  • 2001 46th Eurovision Song Contest: Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL for Estonia wins singing "Everybody" in Copenhagen
  • 2001 English FA Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff (72,500): Liverpool beats Arsenal, 2-1 with Michael Owen scoring twice for the Reds

Historic Event

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.