October 12<<October 2008>>Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 123456789101112 13141516171819202122232425262728293031MMVIII
- 539 BC - The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon.
- 1216 - King John of England loses his crown jewels in The Wash, probably near Fosdyke, perhaps near Sutton Bridge
- 1279 - Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk founder of Nichiren Buddhism, inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon
- 1492 - Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached East Asia
- 1582 - Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
- 1654 - The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100.
- 1692 - The Salem Witch Trials were ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips.
- 1773 - America's first insane asylum opens for 'Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds' in Virginia
- 1792 - First celebration of Columbus Day in the USA held in New York
- 1793 - The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina
- 1810 - First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
- 1822 - Peter I of Brazil is proclaimed the emperor of the Brazilian Empire.
- 1823 - Charles Macintosh, of Scotland, sells the first raincoat.
- 1892 - The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited in unison by students in US public schools.
- 1898 - Establishment of the first town council in Mateur.
- 1899 - Boer republic of South Africa declares war with England.
- 1901 - President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the "Executive Mansion" to the White House.
- 1915 - World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
- 1917 - The First Battle of Passchendaele, now Passendale
- 1918 - A massive forest fire kills 453 people in Minnesota.
- 1928 - An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children's Hospital, Boston
- 1933 - The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, is acquired by the United States Department of Justice
- 1941 - This and the next day, German Nazis kill 11,000 Jews in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. Einsatzkommando 6 massacres most of the remaining Jews of the city, marching them to a ravine where they were killed.
- 1942 - World War II: Japanese ships retreat after their defeat in the Battle of Cape Esperance with the Japanese commander, Aritomo Gotō dying from wounds suffered in the battle and two Japanese destroyers sunk by Allied air attack.
- 1953 - "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" opens at Plymouth Theatre, New York
- 1959 - At the national congress of APRA in Peru a group of leftist radicals are expelled from the party. They will later form APRA Rebelde.
- 1960 - Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonialist policy being conducted in Eastern Europe
- 1960 - Inejiro Asanuma is assassinated in Japan by Otoya Yamaguchi, a 17-year-old. The camera was rolling at that time.
- 1962 - Infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with record wind velocities; 46 dead and at least U.S. $230 million in damages
- 1964 - The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
- 1967 - Vietnam War: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives were futile because of North Vietnam's opposition
- 1968 - Equatorial Guinea becomes independent from Spain
- 1970 - Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas
- 1972 - En route to the Gulf of Tonkin, a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors breaks out aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk
- 1976 - The People's Republic of China announces that Hua Guofeng is the successor to the late Mao Zedong as chairman of Communist Party of China.
- 1979 - The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip.
- 1983 - Japan's former Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei is found guilty of taking a $2 million bribe from Lockheed and is sentenced to 4 years in jail.
- 1984 - Brighton hotel bombing: Margaret Thatcher survives an IRA bomb, which shredded her bathroom barely two minutes after she had left it.
- 1986 - Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the People's Republic of China
- 1988 - Two officers of the Victoria Police are gunned down executional style in the Walsh Street police shootings, Australia.
- 1991 - Askar Akayev, previously chosen President of Kyrgyzstan by republic's Supreme Soviet, is confirmed president in an uncontested poll.
- 1994 - NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere either October 13 or October 14).
- 1997 - Sidi Daoud massacre in Algeria; 43 killed at a fake roadblock.
- 1999 - Pervez Musharraf takes power in Pakistan from Nawaz Sharif through a bloodless coup.
- 1999 - The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world is born.
- 2000 - The USS Cole is badly damaged in Aden, Yemen, by two suicide bombers, killing 17 crew members and wounding at least 39
- 2002 - Terrorists detonate bombs in Paddy's Pub and the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and wounding over 300.
- 2005 - The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched carrying Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in orbit.
- 2007 - In Santa Clarita, California, the colision of two semi-trucks in a truck bypass tunnel in the Newhall Pass section of Interstate 5 sets off a chain reaction crash involving over 30 vehicles. The crash causes a major fire within the tunnel. Three people die and ten are injured.
- 1008 - Emperor Go-Ichijō of Japan (d. 1036)
- 1350 - Dmitry Donskoy, Grand Prince of Moscovy (d. 1389)
- 1490 - Bernardo Pisano, Italian composer (d. 1548)
- 1537 - King Edward VI of England (d. 1553)
- 1558 - Archduke Maximilian III of Austria (d. 1618)
- 1558 - Jacques Sirmond, French scholar and Jesuit (d. 1651)
- 1576 - Thomas Dudley, English-born American colonial magistrate (d. 1653)
- 1602 - William Chillingworth, English religious leader (d. 1644)
- 1710 - Jonathan Trumbull, American politician and statesman (d. 1785)
- 1712 - William Shippen, American physician and statesman (d. 1801)
- 1725 - Etienne Louis Geoffroy, French pharmacist and entomologist (d. 1810)
- 1792 - Christian Gmelin, German chemist (d. 1860)
- 1798 - Pedro I of Brazil (d. 1834)
- 1801 - Friedrich Frey-Herosé, Swiss statesman (d. 1873)
- 1840 - Helena Modjeska, Polish actress (d. 1909)
- 1855 - Arthur Nikisch, Hungarian conductor (d. 1922)
- 1860 - Elmer Sperry, American inventor (d. 1930)
- 1865 - Arthur Harden, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1940)
- 1866 - Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1937)
- 1872 - Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer (d. 1958)
- 1874 - Jimmy Burke, American baseball player (d. 1942)
- 1875 - Aleister Crowley, English occultist and author (d. 1947)
- 1880 - Louis Hémon, French novelist (d. 1913)
- 1887 - Paula von Preradović, Croatian-Austrian poet (d. 1951)
- 1890 - Michael Collins, Irish leader (d. 1922)
- 1891 - Edith Stein, Carmelite Catholic nun and martyr (d. 1942)
- 1892 - Gilda dalla Rizza, Italian soprano (d. 1975)
- 1894 - Elisabeth of Romania, queen of Greece (d. 1956)
- 1896 - Eugenio Montale, Italian poet, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
- 1904 - Ding Ling, Chinese writer (d. 1986)
- 1904 - Lester Dent, American writer (d. 1959)
- 1906 - Joe Cronin, American baseball player and executive (d. 1984)
- 1908 - Paul Engle, American writer (d. 1991)
- 1908 - Ann Petry, American novelist (d. 1997)
- 1910 - Robert Fitzgerald, American poet and translator (d. 1985)
- 1910 - Bob Sheppard, American baseball announcer
- 1916 - Alice Childress, American actress, playwright, and novelist (d. 1994)
- 1917 - Roque Máspoli, Uruguayan footballer (d. 2004)
- 1919 - Gilles Beaudoin, Quebec politician (d. 2007)
- 1920 - Christy Ring, Irish hurler (d. 1979)
- 1923 - Goody Petronelli, American boxing trainer and manager
- 1924 - Doris Grau, American actress (d. 1995)
- 1925 - Denis Lazure, Quebec politician
- 1929 - Robert Coles, American psychologist and author
- 1929 - Magnús Magnússon, Icelandic television presenter (d. 2007)
- 1932 - Dick Gregory, American comedian and activist
- 1932 - Ned Jarrett, American race car driver
- 1933 - Guido Molinari, Canadian painter (d. 2004)
- 1934 - Richard Meier, American architect
- 1934 - Albert Shiryaev, Russian mathematician
- 1935 - Luciano Pavarotti, Italian tenor (d. 2007)
- 1935 - Sam Moore, American R&B singer (Sam & Dave)
- 1935 - Don Howe, English football player and manager
- 1937 - Paul Hawkins, Australian racing driver (d. 1969)
- 1937 - Robert Mangold, American artist
- 1938 - Bob Miller, American NHL broadcaster
- 1941 - Michael Mansfield, English barrister
- 1942 - Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (d. 1995)
- 1944 - Angela Rippon, British television personality
- 1945 - Aurore Clément, French actress
- 1945 - Dusty Rhodes, American professional wrestler
- 1947 - Chris Wallace, American journalist
- 1947 - George Lam, Hong Kong singer
- 1948 - Rick Parfitt, British musician (Status Quo)
- 1949 - Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, Venezuelan international terrorist
- 1950 - Susan Anton, American actress
- 1950 - Robin Askwith, English actor
- 1950 - Caroline Ellis, English actress
- 1950 - Dave Freudenthal, American politician
- 1950 - Kaga Takeshi, Japanese actor
- 1951 - Sally Ride, American astronaut
- 1951 - Ed Royce, American politician
- 1952 - Danielle Proulx, Quebec actress
- 1953 - Les Dennis, British comedian/TV presenter
- 1953 - Serge Lepeltier, French politician
- 1955 - Ante Gotovina, Croatian general
- 1955 - Jane Siberry, Canadian musician
- 1956 - David Vanian, British singer, (The Damned)
- 1957 - Kristen Bjorn, British film director
- 1959 - Anna Escobedo Cabral, 42nd Treasurer of the United States
- 1962 - Carlos Bernard, American actor
- 1962 - Chris Botti, American jazz musician
- 1962 - Branko Crvenkovski, Macedonian President
- 1962 - Deborah Foreman, American actress
- 1963 - Lane Frost, American professional bull rider, (d. 1989)
- 1963 - Satoshi Kon, Japanese anime director
- 1963 - Alan McDonald, Northern Irish footballer
- 1963 - Luis Polonia, Dominican baseball player
- 1965 - Jean-Jacques Daigneault, Canadian hockey player
- 1965 - Scott O'Grady, American military officer
- 1966 - Jonathan Crombie, Canadian actor
- 1966 - Wim Jonk, Dutch football player
- 1966 - Brian Kennedy, Northern Irish musician and author
- 1968 - Bill Auberlen, American race car driver
- 1968 - Hugh Jackman, Australian actor and singer
- 1968 - Adam Rich, American actor
- 1969 - Martie Maguire, American musician (Dixie Chicks)
- 1969 - Dwayne Roloson, Canadian hockey player
- 1969 - José Valentín, American baseball player
- 1970 - Kirk Cameron, American actor
- 1970 - Tanyon Sturtze, American baseball player
- 1970 - Charlie Ward, American pro basketball player
- 1970 - Julian, American pornographic actor
- 1971 - Ahn Jae Wook, South Korean actor, composer and singer
- 1971 - Tony Fiore, American baseball player
- 1972 - Irina Pantaeva, Russian supermodel and actress
- 1972 - Juan Manuel Silva, Argentine racing driver
- 1972 - Tom Van Mol, Belgian football player
- 1973 - Lesli Brea, Dominican baseball player
- 1973 - Rodney Mack, professional wrestler
- 1974 - Stephen Lee, English snooker player
- 1974 - Marie Wilson, Canadian actress
- 1975 - Marion Jones, American track and field athlete
- 1976 - Sarah Lane, American television personality
- 1977 - Jessica Barker, Canadian actress
- 1977 - Bode Miller, American alpine ski-racer
- 1977 - Javier Toyo, Venezuelan footballer
- 1978 - Baden Cooke, Australian cyclist
- 1979 - Jordan Pundik, American singer (New Found Glory)
- 1981 - Shola Ameobi, English footballer
- 1981 - Tom Guiry, American actor
- 1981 - Brian Kerr, Scottish international footballer
- 1981 - Sneha, Indian actress
- 1982 - Molly Bennett, Irish singer
- 1983 - Alex Brosque, Australian footballer
- 1985 - Mike Green, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1986 - Marcus T. Paulk, American actor
- 1986 - Sergio Peter, German footballer
- 1990 - Henri Lansbury, English footballer
- 1992 - Taylor Horn, American singer and actress
- 1992 - Josh Hutcherson, American actor
- 1997 - Prince Boris of Bulgaria
- 632 - Edwin of Deira, King of Northumbria and Bretwalda
- 638 - Pope Honorius I
- 642 - Pope John IV
- 1095 - Margrave Leopold II of Austria (b. 1050)
- 1176 - William d'Aubigny, 1st Earl of Arundel, English politician
- 1320 - Michael IX Palaeologus, co-ruling Eastern Roman Emperor
- 1491 - Fritz Herlen, German artist
- 1492 - Piero della Francesca, Italian painter
- 1565 - Jean Ribault, French explorer and colonizer (b. 1520)
- 1576 - Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1527)
- 1590 - Kano Eitoku, Japanese painter (b. 1543)
- 1600 - Luis Molina, Spanish Jesuit (b. 1535)
- 1632 - Kutsuki Mototsuna, Japanese samurai commander (b. 1549)
- 1646 - François de Bassompierre, Marshal of France (b. 1579)
- 1678 - Edmund Berry Godfrey, English magistrate (b. 1621)
- 1679 - William Gurnall, English writer (b. 1617)
- 1685 - Christoph Ignaz Abele, Austrian jurist (b. 1628)
- 1730 - King Frederick IV of Denmark (b. 1671)
- 1758 - Richard Molesworth, 3rd Viscount Molesworth, British field marshal (b. 1680)
- 1845 - Elizabeth Fry, British social reformer and philanthropist (b. 1780)
- 1870 - Robert E. Lee, American Confederate general (b. 1807)
- 1875 - Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, French sculptor and painter (b. 1827)
- 1896 - Christian Emil Krag-Juel-Vind-Frijs, Danish nobleman and politician (b. 1817)
- 1898 - Calvin Fairbank, American abolitionist minister (b. 1816)
- 1915 - Edith Cavell, English nurse (b. 1865)
- 1924 - Anatole France, French author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1844)
- 1940 - Tom Mix, American actor (b. 1880)
- 1946 - Joseph Stilwell, U.S. general (b. 1883)
- 1948 - Susan Sutherland Isaacs, educational psychologist and psychoanalyst (b. 1885).
- 1954 - George Welch, American pilot (b. 1918)
- 1956 - Don Lorenzo Perosi, Italian composer (b. 1872)
- 1958 - Gordon Griffith, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1907)
- 1960 - Inejiro Asanuma, Japanese politician (b. 1898)
- 1965 - Paul Hermann Müller, Swiss chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1899)
- 1967 - Ram Manohar Lohia, Indian Socialist politician leader
- 1969 - Sonja Henie, Norwegian figure skater (b. 1912)
- 1970 - Mustafa Zaidi, Pakistani poet (b. 1930)
- 1971 - Dean Acheson, U.S. Secretary of State (b. 1893)
- 1971 - Gene Vincent, pioneering American rock'n'roll musician (b. 1935)
- 1978 - Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious (b. 1958)
- 1983 - The Grand Wizard of Wrestling, Wrestling manager
- 1984 - Sir Anthony Berry, British politician (bombing victim) (b. 1925)
- 1985 - Johnny Olson, American game show announcer (b. 1910)
- 1985 - Ricky Wilson, American musician; member of The B-52's (b. 1953)
- 1987 - Alf Landon, Governor of Kansas (b. 1887)
- 1988 - Ruth Manning-Sanders, author of children's books (b. 1895)
- 1989 - Jay Ward, American animator (Rocky and Bullwinkle, etc.) (b. 1920)
- 1991 - Arkady Strugatsky, Russian novelist (b. 1925)
- 1993 - Leon Ames, American actor (b. 1902)
- 1993 - Tofik Bakhramov, Russian footballer (b. 1926)
- 1994 - Gérald Godin, Québécois poet and politician (b. 1938)
- 1996 - Roger Lapébie, French cyclist (b. 1911)
- 1996 - René Lacoste, French tennis player (b. 1904)
- 1997 - John Denver, American singer (b. 1943)
- 1998 - Matthew Shepard, American murder victim (b. 1976)
- 1998 - Mario Beaulieu, French Canadian politician (b. 1930)
- 1999 - Wilt Chamberlain, American basketball player (b. 1936)
- 1999 - Robert Marsden Hope, Australian Justice and Royal Commissioner (b. 1919)
- 2001 - Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, British politician (b. 1907)
- 2002 - Ray Conniff, American bandleader and musician (b. 1916)
- 2002 - Audrey Mestre, French diver (b. 1974)
- 2003 - Jim Cairns, Australian politician (b. 1914)
- 2003 - Joan Kroc, American philanthropist (b. 1928)
- 2003 - Willie Shoemaker, American jockey (b. 1931)
- 2005 - C. Delores Tucker, American politician and civil rights activist (b. 1927)
- 2006 - Gillo Pontecorvo, Italian film director (b. 1919)
- 2007 - Kisho Kurokawa, Japanese architect (b. 1934)
Holidays and observances
October 12 is also a holiday in the following countries:
- Equatorial Guinea - Independence Day (from Spain, 1968)
- Malawi - Mother's Day
- Spain - National Day
- Columbus Day (traditionally) - United States.
- El Dia de la Raza - Latin America.
- French Republican Calendar - Chanvre (Hemp) Day, twenty-first day in the Month of Vendémiaire
- Brazil - Children's Day and the day of Our Lady of Aparecida (National Religious holiday).
- United States - Freethought Day
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