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This Day in History - July 12

July 12

100 BC – Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman general and statesman, is born

1096 – Crusaders under Peter the Hermit reach Sofia in Hungary

1389 – King Richard II appoints Geoffrey Chaucer to the position of chief clerk of the king’s works in Westminster

1536 – Dutch theologian and priest, Desiderius Erasmus, dies

1691 – William III defeats the allied Irish and French armies at the Battle of Aughrim, Ireland

1780 – Philadelphia lawyer Captain Christian Huck and 130 Loyalist cavalry are defeated by 500 Patriot militiamen at Williamson’s Plantation in South Carolina

1794 – British Admiral, Lord Nelson, loses his right eye at the siege of Calvi, in Corsica

1804 – First US Secretary of the Treasury, economist, Alexander Hamilton, dies

1806 – The Confederation of the Rhine is established in Germany

1817 – Essayist, naturalist, and poet, Henry David Thoreau, is born

1854 – Photography pioneer, George Eastman, is born

1861 – Special Commissioner, Albert Pike, signs treaties with members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory

1861 – Wild Bill Hickok’s gunfighter reputation begins today after coolly shooting three men during a shootout in Nebraska

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs into law a measure calling for the awarding of a US Army Medal of Honor

1884 – Italian painter and sculptor, Amedeo Modigliani, is born

1895 – Norwegian opera singer, Kirsten Flagstad, is born

1895 – Architect and engineer, R. Buckminster Fuller, is born

1904 – Chilean poet and political activist, Pablo Neruda, is born

1908 – Comedian and actor, Milton Berle, is born

1915 – Allied forces make a sixth and final attempt to capture Achi Baba on the Gallipoli Peninsula from its Turkish defenders during WWI

1917 – Painter, Andrew Wyeth, is born

1926 – British government administrator, spy, writer, and archaeologist, Gertrude Bell, dies

1933 – The first three-wheeled, multi-directional Dymaxion car is produced in Connecticut

1934 – Concert pianist, Van Cliburn, is born

1937 – Actor and comedian, Bill Cosby, is born

1941 – Moscow is bombed by the German Luftwaffe for the first time

1943 – One of the greatest clashes of armor in military history takes place as the German offensive against the Russian fortification at Kursk, a Russian railway, and industrial center, is stopped in a decisive battle and is considered the turning point in the Eastern front tipping in Russia’s favor

1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower proposes a highway modernization program, with costs to be shared by federal and state governments

1957 – The US surgeon general, Leroy Burney, reports that there is a direct link between smoking and lung cancer

1957 – Dwight Eisenhower becomes the first president to ride in a helicopter- the newest advance in aviation technology

1957 – The Nizari Ismaili sect of the Shiite Muslims welcome a new spiritual leader when Prince Karim Al-Hussain of Pakistan is proclaimed Aga Khan IV

1963 – Sixteen-year-old Pauline Reade is abducted on her way to a dance in Gorton, England, by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, the so-called “Moors Murderers.”  Reade’s body will not be discovered until 1987 after Brady confessed to the murders during an interview with reporters while in a mental hospital.  Reade had been sexually assaulted and her throat cut but was only one of many young men and women abducted, raped, tortured and murdered by the Moors Murderers-police uncovering photos and audiotapes of the torture and a victim pleading for her life.  The duo was eventually turned in by David Smith, Hindley’s brother-in-law, after killing a 17-year-old boy with a hatchet in front of him.  They were convicted of life in prison

1965 – Heroic action in Vietnam today by U.S.M.C. Lt. Frank Reasoner of Kellogg, Idaho, will lead to his being the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam post-mortem

1966 – The National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy and American socialist Norman Thomas appeals to North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh on behalf of captured American pilots, pleading for them to be treated better

1974 – G. Gordon Liddy, John Ehrlichman, and two others are convicted of conspiracy and perjury in connection with the Watergate scandal

1979 – Popular disc jockeys Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, upset over the common reformatting trend in American radio switching from rock to disco themes, approach the Chicago White Sox with an idea to boost promotion that will essentially end the disco trend in America.  Dahl suggested July 12 be declared “Disco Demolition” night and allow Dahl to blow up a dumpster full of disco records between games of the scheduled doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers.  Grossly underestimating the appeal of 98-cent tickets to anyone who brought a disco record to be destroyed, the estimated 5,000 or so extra fans added to the average 15,000 draw, turned into a sellout crowd of 40,000 plus another 40,000 outside the park.  The out of control fans began wreaking havoc in the park lighting vinyl bonfires and tearing up the grass; the records turned into projectiles and injured at least nine fans and led to 39 arrests.  In fact, the park was deemed too dangerous for game play to continue, and the Tigers won by forfeit with the shutdown of the park 

1984 – Democratic presidential candidate, Walter Mondale, chooses Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate

1990 – Boris Yeltsin, president of the Republic of Russia, announces his resignation from the Party

1995 – A heat advisory is issued in Chicago, Illinois, warning of record-breaking heat to come.  The heat led to the deaths of nearly 1,000 throughout Illinois and Wisconsin

1997 – Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is born

1998 – France defeats Brazil 3-0 to win the FIFA World Cup at Stade de France in Saint-Denis

2008 – Actress, Angelina Jolie, gives birth to twins, a girl named Vivienne Marcheline and a boy named Knox Leon, in Nice, France

2010 – Author, Harvey Pekar, dies

2013 – American entrepreneur and sound engineer, Amar Bose, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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