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1093 Aug 12
In England the foundation stone for Durham Cathedral was laid down. The main chapel was completed in 1175. It served as the seat of the Bishop and the church of the Benedictine monastery of Durham.
Links: Britain, Architect, Religion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1099 Aug 12
At the Battle of Ascalon 1,000 Crusaders, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, routed an Egyptian relief column heading for Jerusalem, which had already fallen to the Crusaders.
Links: Egypt     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1484 Aug 12
Pope Sixtus IV died. His rule was marked by nepotism and he was involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the Medici in Florence.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1508 Aug 12
Ponce de Leon arrived and conquered the island of Boriquen (Puerto Rico). Spain had appointed him to colonize Puerto Rico. He explored Puerto Rico and Spanish ships under his command began to capture Bahamanian Tainos to work as slaves on Hispaniola. His settlement at Caparra, 2 miles south of San Juan Bay, was plagued by Taino Indians and cannibalistic Carib Indians.
Links: Spain, Puerto Rico, Explorer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1553 Aug 12
Pope Julius III ordered the confiscation and burning of the Talmud.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1753 Aug 12
Thomas Bewick (d.1828), artist (British Birds, Aesop's Fables) was born in England.
Links: Artist, Britain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1762 Aug 12
The British captured Cuba from Spain after a two month siege.
Links: Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1820 Aug 12
Oliver Mowat, a founder of the Canadian Confederation, was born.
Links: Canada     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1827 Aug 12
William Blake (b.1757), English visionary engraver and poet, died. “He who kisses the joy as it flies / Lives in eternity’s sunrise.” In 2001 G.E. Bentley Jr. authored "The Stranger From Paradise: A Biography of William Blake."
Links: Artist, Britain, Poet     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1851 Aug 12
Isaac Merritt Singer was granted a patent on his lockstitch sewing machine. He formed I.M. Singer & Co. in New York and soon began selling machines for $100 each. In 4 years he expanded to Scotland becoming the first American int’l. company.
Links: USA, NYC, Technology, Inventor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1854 Aug 12
French adventurer Count Gaston Raousset-Boulbon (b.1817) was shot and killed by a Mexican firing squad. He had led some 112 gold miners from California’s Tuolumne County on an invasion of Mexico.
Links: France, California, Mexico     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1861 Aug 12
Texas rebels were attacked by Apaches.
Links: AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1863 Aug 12
1st cargo of lumber left Burrard Inlet in the Vancouver, BC area.
Links: Canada     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1867 Aug 12
US House member Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868) led the Radical Republicans in a move to impeach President Andrew Johnson. The move was sparked when Johnson defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
Links: USA, JohnsonA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1869 Aug 12
In Piribebuy, Paraguay, 1,600 poorly armed men, many of them mere children, spent 5 hours resisting the assault of 20,000 allied Brazilian, Argentine and Uruguayan forces intent on conquest, before finally being overwhelmed. At the end of the battle, in which the Hospital de Sangre was burnt down, along with all the wounded inside, many prisoners were decapitated.
Links: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Massacre     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1887 Aug 12
Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, was born in Austria.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1896 Aug 12
Gold was discovered near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. [see Aug 16,17] After word reached the United States in June of 1897, thousands of Americans headed to the Klondike to seek their fortunes.
Links: Canada     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1898 Aug 12
The peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War was signed after three months and 22 days of hostilities. 460 US soldiers died in battle. The US paid Spain $20 million to vacate Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Over the next 3 years US casualties in the Philippines war totaled over 4,000. [see Dec 10]
Links: Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1900 Aug 12
Wilhelm Steinitz, Chess champion (1866-1894), died in Prague.
Links: Czechoslovakia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1913 Aug 12
Kurt Kaszner, actor (Cmdr Fitzhugh-Land of the Giants), was born in Vienna, Austria.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1928 Aug 12
Leos Janacek (b.1854), Czech composer, conductor (Sly Little Fox), died. His work included "The Diary of One Who Vanished" based on 22 poems by Josef Kalda of a young farm boy seduced by a Gypsy girl.
Links: Czechoslovakia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1933 Aug 12
In Cuba Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the son of Cuba's legendary leader, replaced Pres. Machado as part of a military in a coup.
Links: Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1934 Aug 12
Augustus E. Thomas (b.1857), American Playwright, died. He is often called the first playwright to deal in thoroughly American themes.
Links: USA, Theater, Playwright     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1934 Aug 12
Hendrik Petrus Berlage (b.1856), the father of modern Dutch architecture, died at The Hague.
Links: Netherlands, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1937 Aug 12
Kenichie Horie (23), a Japanese auto parts salesman, sailed into the San Francisco Bay aboard a 19-foot sloop, “The Mermaid,” after a 90 voyage from Japan. He hailed a Coast Guard patrol boat and was towed to the St. Francis Yacht Harbor.
Links: USA, Japan, SF     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1944 Aug 12
British Prime Minister Churchill and Yugoslav partisan leader Tito met in Naples.
Links: Yugoslavia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Aug 12
William Grami (28), AFL Teamsters Union official, was kidnapped, bound and beaten near Sebastopol, Ca. He was leading a drive to organize apple plant workers in the area.
Links: USA, California, Labor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1964 Aug 12
Ian L. Fleming (56), British spy, journalist, writer (James Bond), died. He had recently sold a 51% share of the copyright of his books to Sir Jock Campbell, who chaired the Booker Brothers. In 2000 Fleming’s heirs bought back the copyright to the books.
Links: Britain, Writer, Journalism, Espionage     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1966 Aug 12
Harry Roberts (v.1936) and two accomplices were sitting in a van in west London preparing for an armed robbery when they were approached by three unarmed policemen, who they shot dead. In 2014 Roberts (78) was released from prison.
Links: Britain, Murder, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Aug 12
American installations at Quan-Loi, Vietnam, came under Viet Cong attack.
Links: USA, Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1969 Aug 12
In Northern Ireland the Apprentice Boys, a Protestant fraternal group, led a parade that ignited rioting in the Bogside section of Londonderry, that led to the bloody period known as The Troubles. Loyalist attacks on Catholic areas set off rioting in Belfast. Eight people died and British troops were sent in. The Provisional Irish Republican Army began a 25-year sniping and bombing campaign.
Links: Britain, Northern Ireland     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 Aug 12
Curt Flood lost his $41 million antitrust suit against baseball. On June 18, 1972, the US Supreme Court upheld the lower court's rulings on Flood's case. Baseball continued to be exempt from antitrust laws and its reserve clause was upheld.
Links: USA, Baseball, Lawsuit     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971 Aug 12
Syrian Pres Assad dropped diplomatic relations with Jordan.
Links: Syria, Jordan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Aug 12
"Oh! Calcutta!" closed at Belasco Theater in NYC.
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Aug 12
As the last US ground troops left Vietnam, B-52's made their largest strike of the war.
Links: USA, Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1976 Aug 12
Syrian backed Christian militias completed their siege of the Tell al-Za'tar Palestinian camp leaving some 2000 people killed.
Links: Palestine, Syria, Lebanon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Aug 12
The space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test by taking off atop a Boeing 747, separating and then touching down in California's Mojave Desert.
Links: USA, California, NASA, Space     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Aug 12
NASA launched the High Energy Astronomy Observatory 1 into Earth orbit. It continued operating until January 9, 1979.
Links: USA, NASA, Astronomy, Space     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Aug 12
China’s Deng Xiaoping and Japan normalized relations. Japan signed a Peace and Friendship Treaty with China in Beijing.
Links: China, Japan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Aug 12
Pope Paul VI, who had died six days earlier at age 80, was buried in St. Peter's Basilica.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1980 Aug 12
SF hotel workers voted 1823 to 523 to accept a 3-year contract and end a 26-day strike and lockout at 36 major hotels.
Links: Labor, SF     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Aug 12
The Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) was created by the 1980 Montevideo Treaty, replacing the Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA / ALALC). Cuba joined the 11 founding members in 1999 and Panama joined in 2011.
Links: Panama, Cuba, Uruguay     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Aug 12
IBM introduced the IBM 5150, better known as the PC, along with PC-DOS version 1.0. The beige box with 16 kilobytes of memory was priced at $1,565.
Links: USA, Technology, Computer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Aug 12
President Reagan, citing alleged Libyan involvement in terrorism, ordered U.S. jets to attack targets in Libya.
Links: USA, Libya, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Aug 12
The US stock market bottomed and rose 35% by the end of the year. Theorist Robert S. Prechter predicted that the market would take off from its 800 levels.
Links: USA, DJIA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1982 Aug 12
Henry Fonda (77), film star (On Golden Pond), died from heart disease. Fonda was married 5 times and his wives included actress Margaret Sullavan (1931-1933), Frances Brokaw (1936-1950), Susan Blanchard (1950-1956), Afdera Franchetti (1957-1961) and Shirlee Adams (1965-1982).
Links: USA, Filmstar     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Aug 12
Israel staged heavy bombardment of Beirut. The UN Security council expressed its most serious concern about continued military activities in Lebanon, particularly in and around Beirut.
Links: UN, Israel, Lebanon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983 Aug 12
General Manuel A. Noriega (b.1938) assumed command of Panama’s National Guard.
Links: Panama     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1984 Aug 12
In San Francisco a driver on an apparent suicide mission smashed head-on into a packed cable car climbing the Hyde Street hill. The driver, an Iranian alien, was killed and at least 23 people were injured.
Links: USA, Iran, Suicide, SF     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1985 Aug 12
The world's worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into Mount Otsuka, 70 miles northwest of Tokyo, killing 520 of 524 people onboard. A flawed splice made by Boeing 7 years earlier was the probable cause. In 2006 Japan opened a museum to remember the crash. Boeing and JAL paid undisclosed settlements to each victim’s family. Singer Kyu Sakamoto, whose song "Sukiyaki" topped US hit charts in 1963, was among the dead.
Links: USA, Japan, Air Crash, Museums     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1987 Aug 12
President Reagan addressed the nation on the Iran-Contra affair, saying his former national security adviser, John Poindexter, was wrong not to have told him about the diversion of Iran arms-sale money.
Links: USA, Govm’t Scandal, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Aug 12
Sein Lwin resigned from the presidency of Burma. He was succeeded by a civilian, Maung Maung, who in turn was ousted by the military after just a month in office.
Links: Burma, Myanmar     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Aug 12
The controversial movie "The Last Temptation of Christ," directed by Martin Scorsese, opened in nine cities despite objections by some Christians who felt the film was sacrilegious.
Links: USA, Film     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Aug 12
Richard Thornburgh became US Attorney General.
Links: USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Aug 12
Michel Basquiat (b.1960), NY artist of Haitian descent, died of a drug overdose at age 27. His work included "Academic Study of Male Figure" (1983) and "Boy and Dog in a Johhnypump." In 1996 Julian Schnabel made a film documentary titled "Basquiat." In 1998 Phoebe Hoban published "Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art."
Links: Haiti, Artist, USA, NYC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1989 Aug 12
The Pentagon said it was stepping up efforts to find missing Texas Rep. Mickey Leland and 15 companions in Ethiopia. The wreckage of the group's airplane, with no survivors, was found the next day.
Links: USA, Ethiopia, Air Crash, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 Aug 12
Air Force Staff Sergeant John Campisi of West Covina, California, died after being hit by a military truck in Saudi Arabia, becoming the first US casualty of the Persian Gulf crisis.
Links: Iraq, USA, California, Kuwait     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 Aug 12
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein sought to tie any withdrawal of his troops from Kuwait to an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Links: Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Kuwait     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 Aug 12
The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, began hosting a two-day reunion of former Negro League players.
Links: New York, Baseball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 Aug 12
A letter from Lebanese kidnappers was made public; it offered to trade the release of Western hostages for the freedom of "all detainees" worldwide.
Links: Lebanon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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