On This Day

Events in History 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

Historic PublicationMagna Carta

1215 English barons serve ultimatum on King John which eventually leads to the creation and signing of the Magna Carta
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The Magna Carta, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin
The Magna Carta, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin
  • 1328 Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV and assembly of priests select Pietro Rainalducc as anti-Pope Nicolaas V
  • 1328 Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, is 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
  • 1588 Catholic League under duke Henri de Guise occupies Paris
  • 1604 Spanish garrison of Aardenburg surrenders to Mauritius
  • 1640 Uprising against Spanish king Philip IV
  • 1689 England & Netherlands form League of Augsburg
  • 1695 English King William III departs to Netherlands

Gregory Conquers Julius CaesarGregory Conquers Julius Caesar

1701 Drenthe adopts Gregorian calendar (yesterday is 4/29/1701)
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Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name
Pope Gregory XIII with the calendar that was to make his name

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

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

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

Military Leader Benjamin Lincoln
Military Leader
Benjamin Lincoln
  • 1789 Society of St Tammany is formed by Revolutionary War soldiers. It later becomes an infamous group of NYC political bosses

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Abolitionist William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce
  • 1792 Toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals is patented

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1797 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1835 Charles Darwin visits the Panuncillo Copper Mine in North Chile

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • 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 battleVictory in Battle

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

Politician Louis Riel
Louis Riel
  • 1888 Crouching start 1st used in track and field by Charles Sherrill of Yale
  • 1890 Louisiana legalized prize fighting
  • 1891 Riot against tax increase in Paramaribo, Suriname
  • 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' troops occupy Crown city
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

  • 1908 Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B Stubblefield

Conference meetingConference of Interest

1910 Second NAACP conference (NYC)

Nurse and Social Activist Lillian Wald
Nurse and Social Activist
Lillian Wald
  • 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
  • 1915 Croatians plunder Armenia, killing 250
  • 1915 Franklin K Mathiews presents idea of "Book Week"
  • 1916 James Connolly and Sean McDermott are executed following their involvement in the Easter Rising in Dublin
  • 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
  • 1925 Uzbekistan & Kirgizistan become autonomous Soviet republics

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen
Polar Explorer
Roald Amundsen

BattleCoup d'état

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

Statesman and First Marshall Józef Piłsudski
Statesman and First Marshall
Józef Piłsudski
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1928 Benito Mussolini ends women's rights in Italy

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 1928 Second Opium Law introduced - international law to control drugs
  • 1929 Pulitzer prize awarded to Julia Peterkin (Scarlet Sister Mary)
  • 1930 Pulitzer prize awarded to Marc Connelly (Green Pastures)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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
  • 1936 Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Poisoned Kiss" premieres in London

CrownRoyal Coronation

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

King of the United Kingdom George VI
King of the United Kingdom
George VI
  • 1938 Sandoz Labs manufactures LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • 1940 French marines occupy St Maarten
  • 1940 German tanks conquer Moerdijkbrug
  • 1940 Nazi blitzkrieg and conquest of France begins with the crossing of the Muese River

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941 Martin Bormann succeeds Rudolf Hess as Adolf Hitler's deputy

Nazi leader Martin Bormann
Nazi leader
Martin Bormann
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
Nazi leader Rudolf Hess
Nazi leader
Rudolf Hess
  • 1941 British forces march into Alexandria
  • 1941 Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin
  • 1942 1,500 Jews gassed in Auschwitz

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 David Ben-Gurion leaves Jewish state in Palestine

1st Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion
1st Prime Minister of Israel
David Ben-Gurion
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 British premier Winston Churchill arrives in USA

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • 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

  • 1948 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicates

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Indian Politician and Diplomat Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Indian Politician and Diplomat
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • 1951 1st H Bomb test, on Enewetak Atoll
  • 1952 Charlton Playground named in Bronx
  • 1952 Gaj Singh is crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur.
  • 1955 Chicago Cub Sam Jones is 1st black to pitch no-hitter (Pirates, 4-0)
  • 1956 East Pakistan struck by cyclone and tidal waves
  • 1958 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • 1958 US & Canada form North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)
  • 1962 Grevelingen dam closes
  • 1962 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island
  • 1963 Race riot in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1964 Manlio Brosio chosen as secretary-general of NATO
  • 1965 Israel & West Germany exchange letters beginning diplomatic relations
  • 1967 H Rap Brown replaces Stokely Carmichael as chairman of Student
  • 1967 Provo disbands in Neth Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
  • 1968 "March of Poor" under Rev Abernathy reach Washington, D.C.
  • 1969 Kenneth H Wallis achieved record speed for an autogiro-179 KPH
  • 1970 Harry A Blackmun is confirmed as a justice on Supreme Court
  • 1970 Race riots in Augusta Georgia; 6 blacks killed (5 by cops)
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1975 US merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodian forces
  • 1978 US Commerce Department says hurricane names will no longer be only female
  • 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.
  • 1982 Pulitzer prize awarded to John Updike (Rabbit is Rich)
  • 1982 US Football League forms

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1984 Discovery moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating of STS 41-D
  • 1984 France performs nuclear test
  • 1984 Joe Lucius scores his 13th hole-in-one on same hole

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 South African prisoner Nelson Mandela sees his wife for 1st time in 22 years

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • 1984 World of Rivers world exposition opens in New Orleans
  • 1985 Amy Eilberg is ordained in NY as 1st woman Conservative rabbi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 President Reagan appoints Dr James C Fletcher NASA Administrator

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1986 Fred Markham (US), unpaced & unaided by wind, is 1st to pedal 65 mph on a level course, Big Sand Flat, California
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1994 WIBC Bowling Queens won by Anne Marie Duggan
  • 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
  • 1997 14 North Koreans defect to South Korea
  • 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
  • 1999 Sir David Steel becomes the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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.

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
39th US President Jimmy Carter
39th US President
Jimmy Carter
  • 2003 The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26
  • 2003 Fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers bring the Texas Legislature to a standstill by going into hiding in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan
  • 2006 A major rebellion occurs in São Paulo as members of criminal organization Primeiro Comando da Capital attack police officers and stations, eventually escalating to several prisons in Brazil leaving around 130 dead
  • 2007 Riots in Karachi, Pakistan are started by the arrival at Karachi's airport of independently minded Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and go on to kill 48 people
  • 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
  • 2010 An Afriqiyah Airways Flight crashes and kills everyone but one person on board
  • 2012 The discovery of a missing Mayan calendar piece disproves 2012 Armageddon


2013 Pope Francis canonizes the 813 martyrs of Otranto as Saints

  • 2013 Paris Saint-Germain win the Ligue 1 French football title
  • 2014 Voters in Eastern Ukraine vote for self-rule in referendum
  • 2016 Michel Temer, former vice-president, becomes Brazilian interim President after a vote to impeach Dilma Rousseff
  • 2017 Brazil declares end to Zika national emergency as cases decrease
  • 2018 Insurgent group attacks the town of Muse, Myanmar, killing at least 19 people, Ta’ang National Liberation Army claim responsibility
  • 2019 Gunman kill five people and a priest in a Catholic church in Dablo, Burkina Faso, before setting fire to and looting nearby buildings
  • 2019 Cuba announced more rationing of products such as rice and beans due to US trade embargo and hoarding

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2020 Russia's confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 reach 232,000, 2nd highest in the world, a day after President Vladimir Putin eased the country's lockdown

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President
Vladimir Putin
  • 2020 Militants storm a hospital and a funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, shooting an estimated 40 people dead including new mothers and their babies
  • 2020 US coronavirus task force testifies to the Senate that the US "is not out of the woods yet" that the pandemic is not under control and risks surge in cases if reopens too soon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2020 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a $260 million economic rescue package, worth 10% of GDP

15th Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
15th Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi
  • 2020 Wuhan, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, draws up plans to test all 11 million residents after it records a new cluster of 6 cases