On This Day

Birthdays in History on April 12

  • 599 BC Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism (d. 527 BC)
  • 812 Muhammad at-Taqi, Muslim Shia Imam, born in Medina, Abbasid Empire (d. 835)
  • 1484 Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, Italian architect, born in Florence (d. 1546)
  • 1500 Joachim Camerarius [Liebhard Kammerer], German classical scholar, born in Bamberg, Germany (d. 1574)
  • 1526 Marc-Antoine de Muret, French humanist, born in Muret, France (d. 1585)
  • 1550 Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, born in Hedingham Castle, Essex, England (d. 1604)
  • 1577 Christian IV of Denmark, King of Denmark and Norway (1588-1648), born in Frederiksborg Palace, Denmark (d. 1648)
  • 1579 François de Bassompierre, marshal of France, born in Haroué, France (d. 1646)
  • 1695 Caspar Burman, Dutch historian and Mayor of Utrecht, born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1755)
  • 1705 William Cookworthy, English chemist, born in Kingsbridge, Devon (d. 1780)
  • 1713 Guillaume Thomas François Raynal, French writer, born in Lapanouse, France (d. 1796)
  • 1724 Lyman Hall, American physician and signer (Declaration of Independence), born in Wallingford, Connecticut (d. 1790)
  • 1748 Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, French botanist (Classification of flowering plants), born in Lyon, France (d. 1836)
  • 1764 Dirk van den Boetzelaer, Regent of Holland, born in Leiden, Netherlands (d. 1819)

Person of interestHenry Clay

1777 Henry Clay, American politician known as "the Great Compromiser", born in Hanover County, Virginia (d. 1852)

Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay
  • 1791 Francis Preston Blair, American journalist and newspaper editor (Washington Globe), born in Abingdon, Virginia (d. 1876)

  • 1792 John George Lambton, British statesman (1st Earl of Durham), born in London, England (d. 1840)
  • 1794 Germinal Pierre Dandelin, Belgian mathematician (geometry), born in Paris (d. 1847)
  • 1796 George N. Briggs, American lawyer and politician, 19th Governor of Massachusetts, born in Adams, Massachusetts (d. 1861)
  • 1799 Henri Druey, Swiss politician and a founding father of constitutional democracy in Switzerland, born in Faoug, Switzerland (d. 1855)
  • 1801 Henry de Cock, Dutch reformed vicar and secession leader, born in Veendam, Groningen, the Netherlands (d. 1842)
  • 1802 Francis Libermann, French religious leader (Congregation of Heart), born in Saverne, France (d. 1852)
  • 1823 Aleksandr Ostrovsky [Alexander Ostrovsky], Russian playwright (Artists & Admirers), born in Moscow, Russian Empire (d. 1886)
  • 1831 Constantin Meunier, Belgian painter and sculptor, born in Etterbeek, Belgium (d. 1905)
  • 1831 George B. Anderson, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Hillsborough, North Carolina (d. 1862)

Person of interestGrenville M. Dodge

1831 Grenville M. Dodge, American railroad engineer (Transcontinental Railroad-Union Pacific) and Major General (Union Army), born in Danvers, Massachusetts (d. 1916)

Railroad Engineer and Union General Grenville M. Dodge
Railroad Engineer and Union General
Grenville M. Dodge
  • 1838 John Shaw Billings, American librarian and surgeon, born in Allensville, Switzerland County, Indiana (d. 1913)
  • 1848 José Gautier Benítez, Puerto Rican poet, born in Caguas, Puerto Rico (d. 1880)
  • 1852 Ferdinand von Lindemann, German mathematician (Proving π is a transcendental number), born in Hannover, German Confederation (d. 1939)
  • 1856 William Conway, 1st Baron Conway of Allington, English historian and explorer (Spitzbergen), born in Rochester, Kent (d. 1937)
  • 1863 Raul Pompeia, Brazilian writer (O Ateneu), born in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (d. 1895)
  • 1868 Akiyama Saneyuki, Japanese officer in the Imperial Japanese Navy, born in Matsuyama, Iyo Province, Japan (d. 1918)
  • 1869 Henri Désiré Landru, French sex murderer, born in Paris (d. 1922)
  • 1871 Ioannis Metaxas, Greek general and dictator (1936-41), born in Ithaca, Greece (d. 1941)
  • 1878 Richard B Goldschmidt, German-American zoologist (butterflies), born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (d. 1958)
  • 1879 Frederic G. Melcher, American publisher and editor who founded children's book week, born in Malden, Massachusetts (d. 1963)

  • 1883 Imogen Cunningham, American photographer (1965 ASMP award), born in Portland, Oregon (d. 1976)
  • 1884 Otto Meyerhof, German psychologist and biochemist (Nobel 1922), born in Hannover, Germany (d. 1951)
  • 1894 Francisco Craveiro Lopes, 12th President of Portugal (1951-58), born in Lisbon, Portugal (d. 1964)
  • 1901 Lowell Stockman, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon, born in Helix, Oregon (d. 1962)
  • 1902 Louis J. M. Beel, Prime Minister of Netherlands (1946-48, 58-59), born in Roermond, Netherlands (d. 1977)
  • 1903 Jan Tinbergen, Dutch economist (Plan of Labor, Nobel 1969), born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1994)
  • 1904 Harald Penrose, British test pilot, born in Hereford, England (d. 1996)
  • 1907 Felix de Weldon, Austrian-American sculptor (Marine Corps War Memorial), born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (d. 2003)
  • 1908 Carlos Lleras Restrepo, President of Colombia (1966-70), born in Bogotá, Colombia (d. 1994)
  • 1908 Robert Lee Scott, Jr., American General and Air Force pilot, born in Waynesboro, Georgia (d. 2006)
  • 1910 Jürgen Rausch, German philosopher and author (End of the Playboys), born in Bremen, Germany (d. 1995)
  • 1911 Darrell A. Amyx, American classical archaeologist (Greek Ceramics), born in Exeter, California (d. 1997)
  • 1911 Mahmoud Younis, Suez Canal nationalization engineer, born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1976)
  • 1912 Georges Franju, French director (Judex, L'homme sans visage), born in Fougères, Ille-et-Vilaine, France (d. 1987)
  • 1912 Harold Maguire, British air marshal, born in Kilkishen, Ireland (d. 2001)
  • 1913 Keiko Fukuda, Japanese-born American martial artist, born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2013)
  • 1914 Armen Alchian, American economist and professor (University of California), born in Fresno, California (d. 2013)
  • 1915 Emil Petaja, American sci-fi author (Star Mill, Tramontane), born in Milltown, Missoula County, Montana (d. 2000)
  • 1916 Beverly Cleary, American writer (Ramona and her Mother), born in McMinnville, Oregon
  • 1916 Benjamin Libet, American scientist (human consciousness), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2007)
  • 1919 Lady Ricketts, CEO (National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux)
  • 1919 Maurice Girodias, French publisher and founder (Olympia Press), born in Paris (d. 1990)
  • 1920 H R Hewitt, CEO (Johnson Matthey)
  • 1920 Robert Fizdale, American pianist (Misia), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1995)
  • 1921 Alfred Mabbs, British archivist (Public Records Office), born in London (d. 2009)
  • 1924 Julius Moormann, Dutch student and resistance fighter (WWII), born in Nijmegen, Netherlands (d. 1944)
  • 1924 Peter Safar, Austrian physician (pioneered cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 2003)
  • 1925 Johnny Jordan, English cameraman (You Only Live Twice), born in Oxfordshire, England (d. 1969)
  • 1925 Evelyn Berezin, American computer pioneer, invented first word processor, born in the Bronx, New York (d. 2018)
  • 1927 Patrick Meehan, Scottish petty criminal, wrongly convicted of murder
  • 1928 Brooklyn Supreme, Belgian stallion, heaviest known horse (1450 kg)
  • 1928 Uwe Kitzinger, President (Templeton College, Oxford), born in Nuremberg, Germany
  • 1930 Patrick Edmund Pery, 6th Earl of Limerick, Irish peer and public servant, born in London
  • 1930 Louw de Graaf, Dutch Assistant Secretary of Social Affairs (VDA)
  • 1930 Manuel Neri, American sculptor (life-size figurative sculptures), born in Sanger, California
  • 1932 Jack Gelber, American playwright (The Connection, Apple), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2003)
  • 1932 Dennis Banks, American activist (leader of the American Indian Movement), born in Leech Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota (d. 2017)
  • 1932 Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lankan politician (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka), born in Colombo, British Ceylon (d. 2005)
  • 1934 Charlie Robertson, American politician (mayor of York, Pennsylvania 1994-2002), born in York, Pennsylvania, (d. 2017)
  • 1935 Wendy Savage, British obstetrician and gynaecologist, born in Surrey, England
  • 1936 Kennedy Simmonds, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts & Nevis (1983-95), born in Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • 1937 Igor Volk, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz T-12) and test pilot, born in Zmiiv, Ukraine (d. 2017)
  • 1939 Alan Ayckbourn, English playwright and director, born in London, England
  • 1940 John Hagee, American pastor and televangelist, born in Goose Creek, Texas
  • 1942 Jacob Zuma, South African politician, President of South Africa (2009-), born in Nkandla
  • 1944 Lisa Jardine, British historian and writer, born in Oxford, England (d. 2015)
  • 1945 Lee Jong-wook, Korean Director-General of the World Health Organization, born in Seoul, South Korea (d. 2006)
  • 1947 Tom Clancy, American author (Rainbow Six, The Hunt for Red October), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2013)
  • 1947 Antonin Kratochvil, Czech-American photojournalist (VII Photo Agency), born in Litoměřice, Czechoslovakia
  • 1948 Joschka Fischer, German politician, Foreign Minister of Germany (1998-2005), born in Gerabronn, Germany
  • 1949 Scott Turow, American lawyer and author (Presumed Innocent), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1950 Kari Palaste, Finnish architect, born in Kajaani, Finland
  • 1950 Flavio Briatore, Italian businessman and F1 team principal (Renault F1), born in Verzuolo, Italy
  • 1950 Joyce Banda, President of Malawi (2012-2014), born in Malemia, Nyasaland
  • 1973 J. Scott Campbell, American comic book artist, born in East Tawas, Michigan
  • 1981 Tulsi Gabbard, American politician (Rep (D) Hawaii 2013-) 1st American-Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, born in Leloaloa, American Samoa

Person of interestDavid Hogg

2000 David Hogg, American gun control activist and author (#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line) who as a student survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, born in Parkland, Florida

Author and Gun Control Activist David Hogg
Author and Gun Control Activist
David Hogg