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1320 Oct 12
Michael IX Paleologi, emperor of Byzantine (1295-1320), died.
Links: Byzantium, Romans     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1492 Oct 12
Pierro della Francesca (b.1415), Tuscany-born artist, died in Florence. He was later called the Father of the Renaissance. His work included “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels.”
Links: Artist, Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1576 Oct 12
Rudolf II, the king of Hungary and Bohemia, succeeded his father, Maximillian II, as Holy Roman Emperor.
Links: Bohemia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1654 Oct 12
Carel Fabritius (b.1622), Dutch painter, died in a gunpowder explosion in Delft. He was one of Rembrandt’s most gifted pupils.
Links: Artist, Netherlands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1722 Oct 12
Shah Sultan Husayn surrendered the Persian capital of Isfahan to Afghan rebels after a seven month siege. Mir Wais' son, Mir Mahmud of Afghanistan, had invaded Persia and occupied Isfahan. At the same time, the Durranis revolted, and terminated the Persian occupation of Herat.
Links: Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1810 Oct 12
Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. In honor of the wedding a horse race took place at the Theresienwiese (the Theresien meadow). The decision to repeat the horse races in subsequent years gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.
Links: Bavaria, Germany, Beer, Horse     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1820 Oct 12
John James Audubon boarded the steamboat Western Engineer in Cincinnati, Ohio, and embarked on a 5-year journey along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers collecting and painting birds.
Links: Artist, USA, Ohio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1845 Oct 12
Elizabeth Fry (b.1780), English Quaker prisoner reform advocate, died. In 1827 she published a book called “Observations, on the visiting superintendence and government of female prisoners.” Since 2002 she has been depicted on the Bank of England £5 note.
Links: Britain, Money, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1850 Oct 12
The 1st women's medical school, the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, opened to students.
Links: Pennsylvania, Women, Medical     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1860 Oct 12
British and French troops captured Beijing.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1864 Oct 12
Roger B. Taney (b.1777), US Supreme Court Chief Justice (1836-1864), died after serving over 28 years. He favored state’s rights and voided laws limiting the rights of slaveholders. In the 1857 Dred Scott case Taney ruled that blacks as slaves could not become citizens of the US.
Links: USA, Supreme Court     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1870 Oct 12
Gen. Robert E. Lee (63) died in Lexington, Va. In 1998 David J. Eicher published "Robert E. Lee: A Life Portrait." In 2001 Michael Fellman authored "The Making of Robert E. Lee." In 2007 Elizabeth Brown Pryor authored “Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters.“
Links: USA, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1871 Oct 12
President Grant ordered the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan to disperse and disarm in five days.
Links: USA, South Carolina, KKK, GrantU     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1872 Oct 12
Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise (d.1874) signed a peace treaty with Special Indian Commissioner, General Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), in the Arizona Territory.
Links: USA, Arizona, AmerIndian     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1879 Oct 12
British troops occupied Kabul, Afghanistan.
Links: Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1915 Oct 12
British nurse Edith Cavell (47), despite international protests, was shot as a spy by a German firing squad in Brussels, Belgium. Cavell, the matron of a Brussels training school for nurses, was known for her compassion and sense of duty. As WWI broke out in Europe, Cavell helped 60 British student nurses return home but she remained in Belgium. Even though she knew that helping soldiers escape from German-occupied territory meant the death penalty, Cavell agreed when asked to participate in an escape ring that helped more than 200 fugitive Allied soldiers return home after the British Expeditionary Force's retreat from Mons. Such a large conspiracy could not long remain a secret and in August 1915, Cavell and 35 other members of her organization were arrested. At her hasty trial, she was condemned to death for "conducting soldiers to the enemy." Although their action may have been justified under the rules of war, the Germans seriously blundered when they shot Edith Cavell. Within days of her death, the selfless nurse was elevated to martyr status and the Germans were internationally condemned as "murdering monsters." A statue in St. Martin's Place, just off London's Trafalgar Square, is dedicated to Cavell. In 2010 Diana Souhami authored “Edith Cavell.”
Links: Belgium, Britain, Germany, WWI     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1918 Oct 12
The Cloquet Fire erupted in Minnesota. 453 lives were lost and 52,000 people were injured or displaced, 38 communities were destroyed, 250,000 acres (1,000 km2) were burned. In 1990 Francis M. Carroll authored “Fires of Autumn: The Cloquet-Moose Lake Disaster of 1918.”
Links: USA, Minnesota, Tragedy, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1921 Oct 12
The Medal of Honor, emblem of highest ideals and virtues, is bestowed in the name of Congress of the United States of America upon the unknown, unidentified Italian soldier to be buried in the National Monument to Victor Emanuel II, in Rome.
Links: Italy, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1931 Oct 12
The Rio de Janeiro 98-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer was unveiled atop Corcovado Mountain as a belated monument to 100 years of independence from Portugal (1822). It was designed by Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald and French sculptor Paul Landowski.
Links: Brazil     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1934 Oct 12
In San Francisco the new Coit Tower in Pioneer Park on Telegraph Hill opened to the public. At least 8 frescoes, painted by 27 artists employed by the WPA, were washed out and eliminated because they were “architecturally inharmonious.” The July 7 opening date had been cancelled due to controversy over the new frescoes. Victor Arnautoff (1896-1979), Russian-born social realist, was in charge.
Links: Artist, USA, SF, Architect     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1941 Oct 12
Thousands of Jews were killed in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine, by men of the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei; SiPo), assisted by members of the German Order Police (Ordnungspolizei) and the railroad police.
Links: Ukraine, Germany, Jews, Holocaust     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1943 Oct 12
The Radio Corporation of America announced the divestment of the NBC Blue radio network to businessman Edward J. Noble for $8 million. Noble first called it just "The Blue Network." By Feb 1945 it was renamed the American Broadcasting Company.
Links: USA, TV, Radio, M&A     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Oct 12
Bernarr Macfadden (b.1868), weight-lifter and publisher born as Bernard MacFadden, died in New Jersey. His magazines included “True Story,” which first appeared in 1919. In 2009 Mark Adams authored Mr. America: How Muscular Millionaire Bernarr Macfadden Transformed the Nation Through Sex, Salad, and the Ultimate Starvation Diet.”
Links: USA, New Jersey     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957 Oct 12
Canadian Prime Minister Lester Bowles Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Links: Canada     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962 Oct 12
Columbus Day storms washed out the 1962 World Series game at Candlestick Park in SF. A storm from the Gulf of Alaska took on moisture from Typhoon Freda and caused 4 days of rainouts during the World series.
Links: USA, SF, Baseball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1964 Oct 12
The Soviet Union launched a Voskhod space capsule with a three-man crew on the first manned mission involving more than one crew member. Spaceship designer Konstantin Feoktistov (1926-2009), the only non-Communist space traveler in the history of the Soviet space program, traveled aboard the Voskhod as part of the first group space flight in history.
Links: Russia, USSR, Space     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Oct 12
Eq. Guinea gained Independence was from Spain. Eq. Guinea consists of two geographic entities: the mainland of Rio Muni and the island of Bioko, formerly Fernando Poo. Francisco Macias became the 1st president and proclaimed himself God’s "unique miracle." He drove the economy into the ground and over a third of the population went into exile.
Links: Spain, Equatorial Guinea     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Oct 12
The summer Games of the 19th Olympiad were officially opened in Mexico City by Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.
Links: Olympics, Mexico     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Oct 12
Nancy Ann Kerrigan, figure skater, was born in Woburn, Mass. In 1994 she won an Olympics silver medal.
Links: USA, Massachusetts, Skating     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Oct 12
Sonja Henie (b.1912), Norwegian ice skater (Olympic-gold-1928,32,36) and film star, died of leukemia on a flight from Paris to Oslo. Henie's career included a record 10 consecutive world championships.
Links: Norway, Skating     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1969 Oct 12
Serge Poliakoff (b.1900), Russian-born French modernist painter, died.
Links: Artist, Russia, France     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 Oct 12
President Richard Nixon announced the pullout of 40,000 more American troops in Vietnam by Christmas.
Links: USA, Vietnam, NixonR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 Oct 12
In Quebec, Canada, the "October Crises" continued. PM Pierre Trudeau imposed martial law in Quebec and sent troops into Montreal because of bombings and killings by the Quebec Liberation Front.
Links: Canada     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971 Oct 12
The rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway. It closed July 1, 1973 after 711 performances.
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971 Oct 12
The US House of Representatives passed the Equal Rights Amendment with a vote of 354 yeas, 24 nays and 51 not voting. It failed to gain ratification before the end of the deadline
Links: USA, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1971 Oct 12
Dean G. Acheson (b.1893), US secretary of state (1949-53), died in Maryland. In 2006 Robert L. Beisner authored “Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War.”
Links: USA, Maryland, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Oct 12
US House Resolution 16444, establishing the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), was passed by Congress and was signed by President Richard Nixon 15 days later. The island of Alcatraz was incorporated into this park. California Congressman Phillip Burton pushed through legislation preserving thousands of acres of forested hills, valleys and rugged shoreline. Burton got Congress to agree to transfer the Presidio in San Francisco to the park service if the army ever pulled out.
Links: USA, SF, SF Bay Area, NixonR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Oct 12
On the US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk a series of incidents broke out wherein a group of blacks, armed with chains, wrenches, bars, broomsticks and other dangerous weapons, went marauding through sections of the ship disobeying orders to cease, terrorizing the crew, and seeking out white personnel for senseless beating with fists and with weapons which resulted in extremely serious injury to three men and the medical treatment of many more, including some blacks.
Links: USA, Black History, Ship     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Oct 12
The ballet “Remembrances” by Robert Joffrey (1930-1988) premiered in NYC.
Links: USA, NYC, Ballet     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Oct 12
President Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed Spiro T. Agnew as vice president.
Links: USA, Michigan, NixonR, FordG     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1973 Oct 12
Juan Peron was inaugurated as president of Argentina.
Links: Argentina     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Oct 12
Archbishop Oliver Plunkett (1625-1681) became the 1st Irish-born saint in 700 years. He was beheaded by Cromwell's troops.
Links: Vatican, Ireland     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Oct 12
It was announced in China that Hua Guo-feng (1921-2008) had been named to succeed the late Mao Tse-tung as chairman of the Communist Party. He was effectively stripped of his powers in 1978 and formally lost the chairmanship in 1981.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Oct 12
The US government passed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which required banks to serve their entire community. The intent was to ensure that adequate loans were made to low and moderate income neighborhoods and that those areas had access to bank branches and other banking services.
Links: USA, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Oct 12
The US Supreme Court ruled that communities have a right to prevent commuters from parking in residential neighborhoods.
Links: USA, Cars, Supreme Court     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1977 Oct 12
US Supreme Court heard arguments in the "reverse discrimination" case of Allan Bakke (35), a white student denied admission to U of California Med School.
Links: Supreme Court     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Oct 12
Representatives of Israel and Egypt opened talks in Washington.
Links: USA, Egypt, Israel     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Oct 12
Nancy Spungen (b.1958), girlfriend of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, was found dead on the bathroom floor of their NYC hotel room. She had bled to death from a single stab wound to the abdomen.
Links: USA, NYC, Murder, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Oct 12
In Uganda Idi Amin escaped an 11th assassination attempt.
Links: Uganda, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1984 Oct 12
The IRA bombed the hotel where PM Margaret Thatcher was staying in Brighton. Thatcher escaped but five people were killed. Patrick McGee was sentenced to 8 life sentences for his role in the bombing. McGee was freed in 1999 as part of the Northern Ireland peace accord.
Links: Britain, Northern Ireland     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1984 Oct 12
The US Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was signed into law. It established the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund to receive the proceeds of forfeiture and to pay the costs associated with such forfeitures.
Links: USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Oct 12
The superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States. Reagan's plans for Star Wars caused his summit meeting with Gorbachev in Iceland to fail.
Links: Russia, USA, USSR, Iceland, Space, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Oct 12
In Houston, Vice President George Bush formally launched his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.
Links: USA, Texas, BushHW     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Oct 12
Former Kansas Gov. Alfred "Alf" M. Landon, who ran for president against Franklin Roosevelt, died at his Topeka home at age 100.
Links: USA, Kansas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Oct 12
Israel and China signed a trade deal and planned diplomatic relations.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1988 Oct 12
US federal prosecutors announced that Sundstrand Corp. had agreed to plead guilty to fraud charges and pay a $115 million settlement for overbilling the Pentagon for airplane parts over five years.
Links: USA, Corp. Scandal, Fraud     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Oct 12
The US House approved a statutory federal ban on desecration of the American flag. The Senate defeated the measure a week later.
Links: USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Oct 12
Jay Ward (b.1920), cartoonist, died. He and Bill Scott produced the 1959 TV show "Rocky and His Friends," which featured Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose.
Links: USA, TV, Cartoons     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Oct 12
Greek PM Tzannis Tzannetakis resigned when the Synaspismos withdrew its support. Yiannis Grivas then formed a caretaker government until fresh elections could be held.
Links: Greece     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 Oct 12
The Cincinnati Reds won the National League pennant, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-to-1.
Links: USA, Ohio, Baseball     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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