On This Day

2012 in History

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 584

  • Jan 6 A suicide bomber blows himself up at a police station in Damascus, Syria, killing 26 people and wounding 63
  • Jan 7 Hot air balloon crashes in Carterton, New Zealand, killing 11
  • Jan 13 Italian cruiseliner Costa Concordia runs aground at Isola de Giglio, Italy, causing 32 deaths
  • Jan 14 Suicide bomber kills 53 and injures 130 in Basra, Iraq
  • Jan 14 Ma Ying-jeou wins re-election as President of the Republic of China with 51% of the vote
  • Jan 18 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) blackout becomes the largest protest in the history of the internet
  • Jan 19 FBI shuts down Megaupload.com for alleged copyright infringement, hacker group Anonymous responds by attacking government and entertainment industry websites
  • Jan 23 European Union agrees to embargo Iranian oil in protest against Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program
  • Jan 28 Death toll from coordinated bombing attacks in Kano, Nigeria, reaches 185
  • Feb 1 At least 73 people are killed in the Egyptian football riots in Port Said
  • Feb 2 Cold snap across Europe kills more than 100 people (over 400 people by 08-02)
  • Feb 2 MV Rabaul Queen sinks off the coast of Papua New Guinea with 246 people saved and 126 missing (100 of these estimated to be trapped inside)
  • Feb 4 Tens of thousands of people are stranded by floods in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland
  • Feb 6 6.9 magnitude quake hits near the central Philippines with 43 confirmed deaths

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 6 Queen Elizabeth II marks the 60th anniversary of becoming British monarch, becoming only the second to do so

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II
  • Feb 11 Israeli Air Force conducts four air strikes in Gaza Strip

  • Feb 12 Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow is re-elected President of Turkmenistan with 97% of the vote
  • Feb 12 Zambia defeat Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations
  • Feb 15 United Kingdom unemployment rate reaches 17 year high of 8.4%
  • Feb 15 Fire at Comayagua prison, Honduras, kills 358
  • Feb 17 The President of Germany, Christian Wulff, resigns over a corruption scandal
  • Feb 19 44 people killed in prison brawl in Apocada, Mexico, between two rival drug cartels
  • Feb 20 South Korea angers North Korea as it proceeds with live fire drills in disputed Korean sea borders
  • Feb 20 Scientists successfully regenerate the flowering plant, Silene stenophylla from a 31,800 year old piece of fruit, greatly surpassing the previous record of 2,000 years
  • Feb 21 Yemeni voters go to the polls for a presidential election where the only candidate on the ballot paper is vice-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi
  • Feb 22 Train crash in Buenos Aires, Argentina, kills 50 and injures hundreds
  • Feb 23 A series of bomb attacks across 12 Iraqi cities kills 60 and injures 200
  • Feb 25 Syrian Army kills 100 civilians in artillery shelling of Homs and Hama
  • Feb 25 Al Qaeda suicide bombing kills at least 26 people in Mukalla, Yemen

Historic DiscoveryPolio

Feb 25 World Health Organization removes India from the list of polio endemic countries

Learn More
Children 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.
Children 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.
Learn More
  • Feb 26 Bus plunges off a cliff in Shanxi, China causing 15 deaths
  • Feb 26 Train derailment kills 3 and injures 45 in Burlington, Ontario
  • Feb 27 Wikileaks begins disclosing 5 million emails from private intelligence company Stratfor
  • Feb 28 Occupy London protesters evicted from St Paul's Cathedral
  • Feb 28 Discovery of the largest prehistoric penguin, Kairuku grebneffi, at nearly 5ft tall
  • Mar 1 Euro zone unemployment reaches historical high of 10.7%

  • Mar 2 Tornadoes kill at least 27 people in the American states of Indiana and Kentucky
  • Mar 2 The Red Cross is denied access to provide relief to the Baba Amr district in Homs by the Syrian army
  • Mar 2 New fiscal compact to prevent excessive debt is signed by 25 out of 27 European Union members
  • Mar 3 Lorry crash in east Guinea kills 50 and injures 27
  • Mar 3 Two trains crash in Szczekociny, Poland, with 16 people dead and up to 50 injured
  • Mar 4 Munitions dump explosions kill at least 250 people in the Republic of Congo

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Mar 4 Vladimir Putin wins Russian presidential election amid allegations of voter fraud

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President
Vladimir Putin
  • Mar 4 Over 10,000 illegal Peruvian gold miners clash with police to gain control of Puerto Maldonado
  • Mar 5 27 members of Iraq's security force are killed by gunmen disguised as police in Haditha
  • Mar 5 Tropical Storm Irina kills 65 in Madagascar
  • Mar 6 9,000 residents are evacuated from Wagga Wagga, Australia, as the Murrimbidgee River threatens to overflow
  • Mar 8 Greece secures debt-restructuring deal with private lenders
  • Mar 8 Toyota recalls 700,000 vehicles over safety concerns
  • Mar 9 Senior members of hacking group Lulz Sec are arrested, including one member of the FBI, in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Mar 10 At least 130 rockets are fired into Israel from Gaza
  • Mar 11 US soldier kills 16 civilians in Afghanistan
  • Mar 12 100 people are killed in ethnic clashes and cattle raids in South Sudan
  • Mar 12 45 people, including children, are massacred by the Syrian Army in Homs
  • Mar 12 China records its highest trade deficit in over a decade
  • Mar 13 19 people are shot dead in a bus attack in Ethiopia
  • Mar 13 Encyclopaedia Britannica announces that it will no longer publish printed versions of its encyclopaedia
  • Mar 13 110 people are killed and 63 are missing after a ferry collides with an oil tanker near Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Mar 13 28 people, including 22 children, are killed in a motorway bus crash near Sierre, Switzerland
  • Mar 16 Turkish NATO helicopter crashes into a house killing ten people in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Mar 17 MESSENGER spacecraft begins its extended mission
  • Mar 18 Joachim Gauck elected President of the Federal republic of Germany by the Federal Assembly
  • Mar 19 Wendy's overtakes Burger King to become the second best-selling hamburger chain
  • Mar 20 50 people are killed and 240 injured in a wave of terror attacks across 10 cities in Iraq
  • Mar 21 Five former Guatemalan paramilitaries are sentenced to 7,710 years in jail for their role in the Plan de Sanchez massacre in 1982
  • Mar 21 Greek Parliament votes in favour of an international bailout deal
  • Mar 22 Massive fire devours thousands of hectares of ancient forests and threatens wildlife on Mount Kenya
  • Mar 22 Australia's most wanted man, Malcolm Naden, is captured after seven years on the run in Gloucester, New South Wales
  • Mar 22 Largest protest in Quebec's history occurs in Montreal with over 200,000 people marching against government tuition hikes and for free access to post-secondary education
  • Mar 22 Ireland returns to recession as GDP falls by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011 following a fall of 1.1% in the third quarter
  • Mar 23 African Union suspends Mali's membership following a coup
  • Mar 24 African Union deploys 5,000 strong force with the aim of catching or killing warlord Joseph Kony
  • Mar 26 Macky Sall elected as President of Senegal

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Mar 27 Danielle Steel’s novel “Betrayal” is published

Novelist Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel
  • Mar 27 On This Day launches a sister site in Spanish, Hoy en la Historia
  • Mar 30 Spanish Government cuts 27 billion Euros from its budget in a tough austerity measure
  • Mar 30 Mastercard and Visa announce a massive breach in security with over ten million compromised credit card numbers
  • Mar 30 American Mega Millions lottery hits a world record lottery amount of 640 million dollars
  • Mar 31 Fiji Floods kill 2 people and force thousands to be evacuated
  • Apr 1 Plane crash in Western Siberia kills at least 31 people (UTair Aviation ATR-72)
  • Apr 2 Oikos University, Oakland shooting kills seven people and injures 3
  • Apr 3 Spanish unemployment reaches record high, youth unemployment stands at 50%
  • Apr 3 Moscow fire kills 17 migrant workers

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Apr 3 US President Barack Obama officially secures Democratic presidential nomination

44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Apr 4 German Nobel Laureate, Günter Grass, publishes controversial poem that claims Israel is plotting to wipe out Iran

Writer and playwright Günter Grass
Writer and playwright
Günter Grass
  • Apr 4 Somalia's National Theater is struck by a suicide bomber killing ten people including the presidents of the Somali Olympic Committee and Football Federation
  • Apr 4 Boris Tadić, President of Serbia, resigns
  • Apr 5 Severe storms in Argentina kill 14 people
  • Apr 5 77-year old pensioner's suicide outside Greek parliament prompts further protests in Athens
  • Apr 5 International internet group Anonymous hack several Chinese bureaus in opposition to censorship
  • Apr 6 US F-18 Hornet crashes into side of apartment building in Virginia with no fatalities
  • Apr 7 Joyce Banda becomes President of Malawi
  • Apr 7 130 Pakistani Army soldiers are buried in an avalanche near the Siachen Glacier
  • Apr 8 German writer Günter Grass labelled 'persona non grata' by Israeli internal affairs minister Eli Yishai, due to his poem "What Must Be Said"

BeatificationEaster Message

Apr 8 Pope Benedict XVI calls for an end to Syrian blood shed in papal Easter message

265th Pope Benedict XVI
265th Pope
Benedict XVI
  • Apr 10 United Nations deadline for Syrian troop withdrawal passes as violence continues
  • Apr 10 Apple Inc claims a value of $600 billion making it the largest company by market capitalization in the world

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Apr 10 Rick Santorum suspends his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination making Mitt Romney the overwhelming favourite

Governor of Massachusetts and US Senator Mitt Romney
Governor of Massachusetts and US Senator
Mitt Romney
  • Apr 11 8.6 magnitude earthquake and 8.2 aftershock occurs off the coast of Indonesia
  • Apr 11 2011 London riot looter is jailed for 11 years after starting a fire at a furniture retailer

Birthdays in History

  • Apr 4 Grumpy Cat [Tardar Sauce], American cat internet celebrity, born in Morristown, Arizona (d. 2019)

Weddings in History

  • Mar 8 Former "Raising Sextuplets" star Jenny Masche weds longtime beau Levi McClendon in San Diego

LoveWedding of Interest

May 19 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (28) weds his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan at a small ceremony in Palo Alto, California

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder
Mark Zuckerberg
  • Jun 2 Vice President Joe Biden's daughter Ashley Biden (30) weds Dr. Howard David Krein at St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware
  • Jun 30 Mick Jagger's daughter Jade Jagger (41) weds longtime boyfriend Adrian Fillary at the Aynhoe Park Hotel in Oxfordshire, England
  • Jun 30 "The Doctors" co-host Travis Stork (40) weds pediatrician Dr. Charlotte Brown in Colorado
  • Jul 7 "The Office" Ellie Kemper (32) weds former "Conan O'Brien" writer Michael Koman at the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in New York City
  • Sep 20 Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's daughter Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah (32) weds Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini (29) at the Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman palace in Brunei
  • Oct 7 Media personality Jack Osbourne (26) weds Lisa Stelly on the Big Island of Hawaii
  • Oct 19 Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg Prince Guillaume (30) weds Countess of Belgium Stephanie de Lannoy (28) in a civil ceremony at the Hotel De Ville in Luxembourg
  • Oct 28 Bristol Palin's former fiance Levi Johnston (21) weds Sunny Oglesby (20) at Settlers Bay Lodge in Wasilla, Alaska
  • Nov 3 Professional bull rider Luke Snyder (30) weds Jennifer Manna (34) at Big Cedar Lodge outside of Branson, Missouri
  • Dec 1 Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (32) weds Lauren Anne Birchfield (28) at the Community Church in Corona del Mar, California
  • Dec 1 "The Bachelorette" reality star Ashley Hebert weds J.P. Rosenbaum at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California
  • Dec 4 "Teen Mom 2" star Jenelle Evans (21) weds Courtland Rogers (26) at a courthouse in Brunswick County, North Carolina
  • Dec 21 "Good Morning America" weather anchor Sam Champion (51) weds fine-arts photographer Rubem Robierb (35) at the couple's apartment in Manhattan
  • Dec 25 Marie Osmond's daughter Rachael Osmond (23) weds Gabriel Krueger (22) in Park City, Utah

Divorces in History

  • Aug 20 The man known primarily for gatecrashing the White House, Tareq Salahi (42) divorces socialite Michaele Salahi (46) due to adultery, desertion and construction desertion

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 28 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (82) divorces Lois Driggs Cannon due to irreconcilable differences after 23 years of marriage

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Buzz Aldrin

Deaths in History

Deaths 1 - 100 of 243

  • Jan 1 Elizabeth Brumfiel, American feminist archaeologist, dies of cancer at 66
  • Jan 1 Kiro Gligorov, 1st President of the Republic of Macedonia (1991-99), dies at 94
  • Jan 1 Hermann Guggiari, Paraguayan engineer & sculptor, dies at 88
  • Jan 1 Ed Jenkins, American Congressman (Democratic-Georgia), dies at 78
  • Jan 1 Carlos Soria, Argentine lawyer & politician, dies from gunshot to the head at 62
  • Jan 1 Marcelle Narbonne, French super-centenarian & oldest person in Europe, dies at 113
  • Jan 1 Nay Win Maung, Burmese physician & pro-democracy activist, dies from a heart attack at 50
  • Jan 2 David Barron, British physicist & computer scientist, at 76 (b.1935)
  • Jan 2 Ivan Calin, Moldavian President & Prime Minister 1980-1990, dies at 76
  • Jan 2 William Carey, American businessman & philanthropist (W. P. Carey & Co.), died from complications after a heart attack at 81
  • Jan 2 Gordon Hirabayashi, American sociologist & opponent to Japanese-American internment, dies after Alzheimer's disease at 93
  • Jan 3 Wylie Walker Vale, American endocrinologist who discovered the stress hormone, dies at 70
  • Jan 3 Robert L Carter, American civil rights activist & judge, dies after complications from a stroke at 94
  • Jan 3 Winifred Milius Lubell, American illustrator & writer (The Outer Lands), dies of congestive heart failure at 97
  • Jan 3 Josef Skvorecky, Czech writer & publisher, dies at 87
  • Jan 3 Harold Zirin, American astronomer, dies at 82
  • Jan 4 Eve Arnold, American photojournalist, dies at 99
  • Jan 4 Ruben Ayala, American politician (California State Senator 1974-1998), dies of natural cause at 89
  • Jan 4 James Crow, American geneticist, dies at 95
  • Jan 4 Gatewood Galbraith [Louis], lawyer, American political activist, iconic Kentucky political figure, dies from pneumonia at 64
  • Jan 4 Rod Robbie, Canadian architect and planner (Roger's Centre/Sky Dome, Toronto), dies at 83
  • Jan 6 Ellen Pence, social activist, dies from cancer at 63
  • Jan 6 Roger Boisjoly, American aerodynamicist (anticipated challenger disaster), dies at 73
  • Jan 7 Ibrahim Aslan, Egyptian author, dies from heart failure at 77
  • Jan 9 Malam Bacai Sanhá, President of Guinea-Bissau, dies of diabetes at 64
  • Jan 9 William Roll, German poltergeist researcher and parapsychologist (The Poltergeist, Unsolved Mysteries), dies at 85
  • Jan 10 Gevork Vartanian, Soviet intelligence agent, dies at 87
  • Jan 12 Bill Janklow, American politician and four-term Governor of South Dakota (Republican: 1979-87, 1995-2003), dies of brain cancer at 72
  • Jan 12 Reginald Hill, British crime author (Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe novels), dies of brain cancer at 75
  • Jan 12 Charles Price, American businessman and diplomat, dies at 80
  • Jan 13 Rauf Denktash, leader of Turkish Cypriots, dies of multiple organ failure at 87
  • Jan 13 Gianpiero Moretti, steering wheel designer, dies from cancer at 71
  • Jan 15 Edward Derwinski, Chicago congressman 1959-83 and first Secretary of Veteran Affairs, dies of cancer at 85
  • Jan 20 John F Baker Jnr, United States Army Master Sergeant and Medal of Honour recipient dies at 66
  • Jan 21 Jonathan Idema, American torturer, kidnapper and con-artist, dies from Aids complications at 55
  • Jan 21 Roy John Britten, American molecular biologist, dies at 92
  • Jan 23 Anthony Capo, DeCavalcante crime family hitman and informant, dies from heart attack at 52/53
  • Jan 27 Kevin White, American politician, dies at 82
  • Jan 29 Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Italian President (1992-99), dies at 93
  • Jan 29 Goody Petronelli, American boxing trainer and manager, dies at 88
  • Jan 30 Mary Grierson, Welsh botanical artist, dies at 99
  • Jan 31 Anthony Bevilacqua, American cardinal, dies at 88
  • Jan 31 Dorothea Tanning, American artist (Nachtmusik, 1943, Night Shadow, 1945), dies at 101
  • Jan 31 Tristram Coffin, American folklorist, dies from pneumonia at 89
  • Jan 31 Mike Kelley, American artist, commits suicide at 57
  • Feb 1 Gerlando Alberti, Sicilian Mafioso, dies from cancer at 88
  • Feb 1 Wislawa Szymborska, Polish poet & Nobel Laureate, dies at 88
  • Feb 2 Dorothy Gilman, American mystery writer, dies from Alzheimer's disease at 88
  • Feb 3 Christopher Samuel Youd, British sci-fi writer (Tripods Trilogy), dies at 89
  • Feb 3 Norton Zinder, American biologist (genetic transduction), dies from pneumonia at 83
  • Feb 4 Florence Green, last surviving veteran of World War One, dies at 110
  • Feb 4 Robert Glaser, American educational psychologist, dies from Alzheimer's disease at 91
  • Feb 4 Istvan Csurka, Hungarian writer and politician, dies at 77
  • Feb 4 Robert Daniel, five term American congressman for Virginia, dies at 75
  • Feb 6 Janice Voss, American astronaut (shuttle radar topography mission), dies from breast cancer at 55
  • Feb 6 Antoni Tapies, Spanish painter, sculptor and theorist (Dau al Set) dies at 88
  • Feb 6 Norma Merrick Sklarek, 1st African-American woman architect in NY & California, dies at 85
  • Feb 7 Patricia Stephens Due, African-American civil rights activist (FAMU jail-in), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 72
  • Feb 7 Florence Holway, American rape victim and activist, dies at 96
  • Feb 8 Gunther Plaut, German-Canadian rabbi, dies at 99
  • Feb 10 Jeffrey Zaslow, American author and columnist, dies in a car accident at 53
  • Feb 12 John Severin, American comic book artist, dies at 90
  • Feb 13 Mohamed Lamari, Chief of Staff of the Algerian Army, dies from a heart attack at 72
  • Feb 13 Lillian Bassman, American photographer and painter (Harper's Bazaar), dies at 94
  • Feb 16 Baddeley Devesi, first Governor-General of the Solomon Islands, dies at 70
  • Feb 16 Anthony Shadid, New York Times foreign correspondent and two time Pulitzer winner, dies from asthma at 43
  • Feb 16 Harry McPherson, presidential counsel (Lyndon Johnson) and lobbyist, dies from cancer at 82
  • Feb 17 Ulric Neisser, American psychologist, dies at 83
  • Feb 19 John Hogan, American research chemist, dies at 92
  • Feb 19 Steve Kordek, American pinball machine designer, dies at 100
  • Feb 20 Renato Dulbecco, Italian-born American virologist and Nobel laureate, dies at 97
  • Feb 21 Baron Hooson [Hugh Emlyn], British politician and peer, dies at 86
  • Feb 21 Colin Ireland, British 'Gay Slayer' serial killer, dies at 57
  • Feb 21 John Michuki, Kenyan politician, dies from heart attack at 79
  • Feb 21 Barney Rosset, American publisher and free speech advocate, dies at 89
  • Feb 21 Eiko Ishioka, Japanese Costume designer, dies from pancreatic cancer at 74
  • Feb 24 Jan Berenstain [Janice Marian Grant], American author (The Berenstain Bears), dies from a stroke at 88
  • Feb 24 Kenneth Price, American ceramic artist and print maker, dies from cancer at 77
  • Feb 24 Benedict Freedman, American novelist and mathematician, dies at 92
  • Feb 25 Lynn Compton, American jurist and commissioned officer, dies from heart attack at 90
  • Feb 27 Tina Strobos, Dutch physician and resistor to Nazi occupation, dies from cancer at 91
  • Mar 1 Andrew Breitbart, American conservative blogger & publisher, dies at 43
  • Mar 2 Van Barfoot, American army colonel and Medal of Honour recipient, dies at 92
  • Mar 2 Lawrence Anthony, South African conservationist and author, dies from heart attack at 61
  • Mar 2 James Wilson, American criminologist, dies at 80
  • Mar 2 Norman St John-Stevas, Baron St John of Fawsley, British MP (1964-1987), dies at 82
  • Mar 5 William Heirens, American serial killer, dies at 83
  • Mar 6 Francisco Xavier do Amaral, East Timorese President, dies at 75
  • Mar 6 Donald Payne, American Congressman, dies from colon cancer at 77
  • Mar 6 Jaap Boersma, Dutch politician (Minister for Social Affairs (ARP)), dies at 82
  • Mar 8 Leslie Cochran, American peace activist and police critic, dies from head trauma at 60
  • Mar 9 Selma Rubin, American environmental activist, dies at 96
  • Mar 9 Lord Wedderton of Charlton, British academic and politician, dies at 84
  • Mar 9 Bill Wedderburn, Baron Wedderburn of Charlton, British politician, dies at 84
  • Mar 10 Jean Giraud, French comic artist (Alien, Tron), dies at 73
  • Mar 10 Mykola Plaviuk, Ukrainian president (1978-81), dies at 86
  • Mar 10 F. Sherwood Rowland, American Nobel laureate in chemistry 1995, dies from Parkinson's disease at 84
  • Mar 11 Sid Couchey, American comic book artist, dies at 92
  • Mar 14 Censu Tabone, President of Malta, dies at 98
  • Mar 17 John Demjanjuk, convicted Nazi war criminal, dies from natural causes at 91