This Day in History - June 12

June 12

1442 – Alfonso V of Aragon is crowned King of Naples

1776 – The Virginia Convention unanimously adopts George Mason’s declaration of rights

1806 – Civil engineer, John Roebling, is born

1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte and his army invade Russia

1829 – Swiss author, Johanna Spyri, is born

1849 – The gas mask is patented by Lewis P. Haslett

1862 – Confederate General JEB Stuart begins his ride around the Union Army outside of Richmond, Virginia

1864 – Union General Ulysses Grant pulls his troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and moves south

1876 – Marcus Kellogg, a journalist traveling with Custer’s 7th Cavalry, files one of his last dispatches before dying at the Battle of the Little Big Horn

1897 – British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, is born

1897 – A powerful earthquake in Assam, India triggers landslides and waves, killing more than 1,500

1898 – During the Spanish-American War, Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo proclaim independence of the Philippines after 300 years of Spanish rule

1901 – Cuba agrees to become an American protectorate by accepting the Platt Amendment

1915 – International banker, David Rockefeller, is born

1917 – King Constantine I of Greece, a proponent of Greek neutrality during the war, abdicates his throne in the face of pressure from Britain and France and internal opponents, who favored Greece’s entrance into WWI on the side of the allies

1918 – The first airplane bombing raid by an American unit occurs in France

1920 – Republicans nominate Warren Harding for president and Calvin Coolidge for vice president

1920 – Man O’ War wins the 52nd Belmont Stakes and sets the record for the fastest mile ever run by a horse to that time

1921 – President Warren Harding urges every young man to attend military training camp

1924 – 41st President of the US, George HW Bush, is born

1926 – Brazil quits the League of Nations in protest over plans to admit Germany

1929 – German diarist, Holocaust victim Anne Frank, is born

1931 – Gangster Al Capone and 68 of his henchmen are indicted for violating Prohibition laws

1937 – Eight of Stalin’s generals are sentenced to death during purges in the Soviet Union

1940 – Edsel Ford confirms Ford Motor Company’s acceptance of William Knudsen’s proposal to manufacture 9,000 Rolls-Royce-designed engines to be used in British and US airplanes

1940 – 54,000 British and French troops surrender to German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at St. Valery-en-Caux, on the northern Channel border, as Germans continue to advance in France

1941 – English singer, songwriter, poet, actor, and guitarist, Roy Harper, is born

1942 – American bombers strike the oil refineries of Ploesti, Romania for the first time

1942 – Anne Frank receives a diary for her 13th birthday, which she will later use to chronicle her and her families’ hiding from the Nazis

1944 – Lieutenant John F. Kennedy receives the Navy’s highest honor for gallantry for his heroic actions as a gunboat pilot during WWII

1963 – Black civil rights leader Medgar Evers is assassinated by a gunman outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi

1965 – Premier Phan Huy Quat, South Vietnamese premier, resigns

1967 – The Supreme Court rules that states cannot ban interracial marriages

1971 – American weightlifter and wrestler Mark Henry is born

1972 – At a hearing in front of a US House of Representatives committee, Air Force General John Lavalle defends his orders on engagement in Vietnam

1975 – The prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, is found guilty of electoral corruption in her successful 1971 campaign

1977 – David Berkowitz gets 25 years to life for the Son of Sam murders in New York

1980 – South African and English businessman, Billy Butlin, dies

1985 – The US House of Representatives approves $27 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras

1987 – In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Regan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall

1991 – Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines begins erupting for the first time in 600 years

1994 – Ex-wife of famous football player OJ Simpson, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman were brutally stabbed to death outside Nicole’s home in Brentwood, California.  With overwhelming evidence against him, OJ became the lead suspect.  Despite his blood and hair at the scene, one of his gloves at Brown’s home, and his bloody shoeprints, his “Dream Team,” of defense lawyers, including Johnnie Cochran and F. Lee Bailey, convinced the jury that Simpson had been framed by racist police officers like Detective Mark Fuhrman.  He was acquitted.  OJ was later ordered to pay $33.5 million in a civil trial brought about by the families of the victims, little of which he has paid.  In 2007, Simpson was arrested for breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room and taking sports memorabilia at gunpoint, which he claimed had been stolen from him.  He was sentenced to 33 years in prison

1994 – Russian and French Rabbi, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, dies

2003 – Actor, Gregory Peck, dies

2006 – Romanian and Austrian composer Gyorgy Ligeti dies

2010 – American illustrator, Al Williamson, 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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