It happened today – this day in history – April 12

1204: The 4th Crusade occupies and plunders Constantinople.

1654: Ordinance of Union between England and Scotland passed by the Council of State.

1782: British fleet under Admiral George Rodney defeats the French fleet under Comte de Grasse off Dominica in the West Indies. Prevents a planned French and Spanish invasion of Jamaica.

1857: Gustave Flaubert’s novel “Madame Bovary” is published.

1861: Fort Sumter in South Carolina is attacked by the Confederacy, beginning the American Civil War.

1877: British annex Transvaal, South Africa.

1896: Stamasia Portrisi becomes the first woman to win a marathon at the inaugural modern Olympiad in Athens.

1911: The first non-stop flight from London to Paris takes 3hrs 56min.

1919: Parliament passes a 48-hour work week with minimum wage.

1924: In the first ever international match at Wembley England draw 1-1 with Scotland in front of a disappointingly low crowd of 37,250.

1927: Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek begins a counter revolution in Shanghai.

1931: Spanish voters reject the monarchy.

1937: Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft at Rugby.

1940: Italy annexes Albania.

1945: Franklin D Roosevelt dies in office and Vice President Harry Truman is sworn in as 33rd US President.

1946: Syria gains independence from France.

1953: Ben Hogan shatters the US Masters scoring record by five strokes with a 274 (−14).

1954: Bill Haley records Rock Around the Clock at Pythian Temple studios in New York.

1955: Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine is declared safe and effective.

1961: Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space aboard Vostok 1.

1964: Arnold Palmer becomes the first four-times winner of the US Masters.

1966: Jan Berry of surf pop duo is almost killed when he crashed his car into a parked truck a short distance from Dead Man’s Curve in Los Angeles. Berry is partially paralysed and suffers brain damage.

1967: Mick Jagger is punched in the face by an airport official during a row at Le Bourget Airport in France.

1969: Wales beats England, 30-9 at the National Stadium, Cardiff to clinch their 16th Five Nations Rugby Championship and 11th Triple Crown.


1973: France recognizes North Vietnam.

1975: The US admits defeat in Cambodia and removes its remaining embassy personnel from the capital, Phnom Penh. On the same day, Six Catholic civilians are killed in a Ulster Volunteer Force gun and grenade attack on Strand Bar in Belfast.

1980: The US Olympic Committee endorses a boycott of the Moscow Olympic games. On the same day, Samuel Doe takes control of Liberia in a coup d’etat, ending over 130 years of national democratic presidential succession.

1981: Tom Watson wins his second US Masters title. On the same day, boxing legend Joe Louis dies aged 66.

1984: Arthur Scargill, leader of the NUM, vetoes a national ballot on whether to stop the miners’ strike.

1987: Texaco files for bankruptcy.

1988: Singer-songwriter Sonny Bono is elected mayor of Palm Springs, California.

1989: Boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson does of Alzheimer’s disease aged 67.

1990: The first meeting of a democratically elected East German parliament, acknowledges responsibility for the Holocaust and asks for forgiveness.

1992: Euro Disney opens in Marne-la-Vallee, France.

Singles chart:

  1. Deeply Dippy – Right Said Fred
  2. Stay – Shakespeare’s Sister
  3. Save The Best For Last – Vanessa Williams
  4. To Be With You – Mr Big
  5. Joy – Soul II Soul Why – Annie Lennox
  6. Evapor 8 – Altern 8
  7. On A Ragga tip – SL2
  8. Finally – Ce Ce Peniston
  9. You’re All That Matters To Me – Curtis Stigers
  10. Viva Las Vegas – Z Z Top
1992: Diva – Annie Lennox

Album chart:

  1. Diva – Annie Lennox
  2. Up – Right Said Fred
  3. Divine Madness – Madness
  4. Adrenalize – Def Leppard
  5. Tears Rol Down (Greatest Hits 82-92) – Tears For Fears
  6. Stars – Simply Red
  7. Hear My Song: The Best Of – Josef Locke
  8. 0898 – The Beautiful South
  9. Human Touch – Bruce Springsteen
  10. Real Love – Lisa Stansfield

1997: Police in Sarajevo discover mines under a bridge just hours before the arrival of the Pope.

1999: US President Bill Clinton is cited for contempt of court for giving “intentionally false statements” in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.

2000: The Queen presents the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) with the George Cross, the highest civilian award for bravery.

2002: Pedro Carmona becomes interim President of Venezuela during the military coup against Hugo Chavez.

2009: The US Navy rescues captain Richard Phillips, killing three Somali pirates and capturing a fourth.

2012: Saxophone player Andrew Love of the Memphis Horns dies aged 70. On the same day, civilian rule in Mali is returned after Dioncounda Traore is sworn in as interim president.

2013: A man-made 32-foot and 60 tonne monument dated around 2000 BC is discovered in the Sea of Galilee.

2014: Once Upon A Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin marries co-star Josh Dallas in Los Angeles.

2015: Hilary Clinton announces she will run for the Democratic nominee for US President for the second time.

2016: Death of television producer and personality David Gest.

BIRTHDAYS: Alan Aykbourn, playwright, 82; Herbie Hancock, keyboards/composer, 81; Jacob Zuma, South African politician, 79; Ed O’Neill, actor, 75; David Letterman, TV host, 74; Andy Garcia (Andrés Arturo García Menéndez) actor/director, 65; Vince Gill, country artist, 64; Will Sergeant, guitarist (Echo and the Bunnymen) 63; Sarah Cracknell, singer-songwriter (St Etienne) 54; Shannen Doherty, actress, 50; Guy Berryman, bassist (Coldplay) 43; Jennifer Morrison, actress, 42; Claire Danes, actress, 42; Bryan McFadden, singer, 41; Alessandro Venturella, bassist (Slipknot) 37; Brendon Urie, singer (Panic At The Disco), 34; Mark Hoyle (LadBaby) social media star, 34; Saoirse Ronan, actress, 27; Eric Bailly, footballer, 27.