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This Day in History - January 12

January 12

1528 – Gustav I of Sweden is crowned King of Sweden

1588 – The first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop is born

1729 – Irish politician and philosopher Edmund Burke is born

1737 – The first signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, is born

1773 – The first public museum in the US is established in Charleston, SC

1777 – American Brigadier General Hugh Mercer dies of seven bayonet wounds that he received during the Battle of Princeton

1838 – Joseph Smith abandons Kirtland, Ohio to avoid arrest after his Mormon Bank fails in the Panic of 1837, and heads to Missouri

1856 – Slovak politician and author Ludovit Stur dies

1865 – General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick is promoted to major general in the Union Army

1872 – Russian Grand Duke Alexis, General Phil Sheridan, and Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer all go on a buffalo hunting expedition together

1872 – Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum

1876 – American writer Jack London is born

1879 – British troops invade Zululand beginning the British-Zulu War

1888 – The “Schoolchildren’s Blizzard” strikes without warning, dropping temps nearly 100 degrees in just 24 hours and kills 235, many of which were children on their way home from school, across the Northwest Plains region of the US

1893 – Nazi leader and commander of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering is born

1896 – HL Smith takes the first X-ray, a hand with a bullet in it

1903 – Russian physicist known as the “father of the Soviet atomic bomb,” Igor Kurchatov is born

1904 – Henry Ford sets a land-speed record of 91.37 mph on the ice of a frozen Lake St. Clair in Michigan

1905 – Singer and actor Tex Ritter is born

1907 – Soviet engineer called the “father of practical astronauts,” Sergi Korolev is born

1908 – A wireless message is sent long-distance for the first time from the Eiffel Tower in Paris

1913 – Wilhelmshaven and Kiel become submarine bases in Germany

1915 – The US Congress establishes Rocky Mountain National Park

1915 – The US House of Representatives rejects a proposal giving women the right to vote

1916 – First State President of South Africa, PW Botha is born

1917 – Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is born

1919 – The Big Four nations, Britain, France, Italy and the US meet in Paris for the first time in what will become more than 100 meetings

1923 – One of the US Marines photographed in the iconic picture of raising a flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Ira Hays is born

1926 – Coal strikes continue as negotiations fall apart

1926 – Singer and leader in the “Nashville sound” movement that ushered in lush musical arrangements in country music, Ray Price, is born

1926 – The comedy series called “Sam ‘n’ Henry” debuts on WGN radio in Chicago.  Two years later, it will change its name to “Amos ‘n’ Andy.”

1927 – US Secretary of State Kellogg claims that Mexican rebel Plutarco Calles is aiding the Communist plot in Nicaragua

1928 – Kiev pianist Vladimir Horowitz makes his American debut at Carnegie Hall

1932 – Oliver Wendell Holmes retires from the Supreme Court

1932 – Democrat Ophelia Wyatt Caraway becomes the first woman to be elected to the US Senate

1938 – Former Emir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmad is born

1938 – Austria recognizes the Franco government in Spain

1940 – Soviet bombers raid cities in Finland

1942 – President Franklin Roosevelt reinstates Woodrow Wilson’s National War Labor Board

1943 – Soviet forces raise the siege of Leningrad

1946 – Musician and vocalist Cynthia Robinson is born

1948 – Mahatma Gandhi begins his final fast

1949 – Radiologist who had an important role in advancing three-dimensional imaging, Michael W. Vannier is born

1951 – Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Kirstie Alley is born

1951 – Conservative radio talk show host and author Rush Limbaugh is born

1952 – The Viet Minh cut off the supply lines to the French in Hoa Binh

1954 – Radio personality, author, TV show host Howard Stern is born

1954 – Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announces that the US will protect its allies through the “deterrent of massive retaliatory power.”

1962 – The US resumes its aid to the Laotian regime

1962 – The US Air Force launches Operation Ranch Hand, to expose roads and trails used by the Viet Cong

1964 – The Zanzibar Nationalist Party is overthrown in a violent coup

1966 – During his State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson announces plans for the US to stay in Vietnam as long as it takes

1967 – James Bedford becomes the first human to be cryonically preserved and awaits resuscitation in Scottsdale, Arizona

1968 – Charity organizer and model who continued modeling with a prosthetic limb after a leg amputation due to a car accident, wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney from 2003-2008, Heather Mills is born

1969 – Quarterback Joe Namath leads the New York Jets to a 16-7 victory over the favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, in the most crucial performance of his career

1969 – Led Zeppelin releases their debut album, “Led Zeppelin.”

1971 – The “Harrisburg Six,” five men along with Reverend Philip Berrigan who was serving a prison term on charges of destroying draft records, are indicted by a grand jury on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington

1971 – English Admiral John Tovey, 1st Baron Tovey, dies

1973  - Yassar Arafat is re-elected as head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization

1976 – English author Agatha Christie dies

1981 – ABC’s Dynasty premieres

1982 – Peking protests US planes being sold to Taiwan

1991 – The US Congress approves military action against Iraq during the Persian Gulf Crisis

1995 – Qubilah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, is arrested for conspiring to kill Louis Farrakhan, whom she believed was responsible for the assassination of her father in 1965

1998 – Nineteen European nations agree to prohibit human cloning

2003 – English songwriter, singer, bass player, and producer Maurice Gibb dies

2005 – Indian actor Amrish Puri dies

2010 – Over 200,000 are killed, and possibly 316,000, by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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