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.

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 recorded ‘Rock Around the Clock’ at Pythian Temple studios in New York.

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

1961: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit Earth in Vostok 1.

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

1967: Mick Jagger was 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: Six Catholic civilians are killed in a Ulster Volunteer Force gun and grenade attack on Strand Bar in Belfast.

1980: 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.

1987: Texaco files for bankruptcy.

1988: Sonny Bono 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.

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

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

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 Aykbourne, playwright, 81; Herbie Hancock, keyboardist/composer, 80; Ed O’Neill, actor, 74; David Letterman, chat show host, 73; Tom Clancy, author, 67; Andy Garcia, actor, 64; Vince Gill, country singer, 63; Will Sergeant, guitarist (Echo & The Bunnymen) 62; Sarah Cracknell, singer (St Etienne) 53; Shannen Doherty, actress, 49; Guy Berryman, bassist (Coldplay) 42; Claire Danes, actress, 41; Jennifer Morrison, actress, 41; Bryan McFadden, singer, 40; Alessandro Venturella, bassist (Slipknot) 36; Brendon Urie, singer (Panic At The Disco) 33; Saoirse Ronan, actress, 26.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]