It happened today – this day in history – August 12

30BC: Cleopatra commits suicide.

1323: The Treaty of Nöteborg between Sweden and Novgorod (Russia) regulates the border for the first time.

1336: Edward III ends wool exports to Flanders.

1480: Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.

1492: Christopher Columbus arrives in the Canary Islands on his first voyage to the New World.

1549: French troops conquer Ambleteuse, in the Pas-de-Calais, and kill all the English prisoners.

1762: Birth of George IV in St James’s Palace, London.

1812: The Duke of Wellington’s troops enter Madrid.

1813: Robert Southey is appointed Poet Laureate by George III.

1827: Death of poet and artist William Blake aged 69.

1833: The town of Chicago is incorporated with a population of just 350.

1851: Inventor Isaac Singer patents the sewing machine.

1856: Anthony Fass patents the accordion.

1865: Joseph Lister performs the first antiseptic surgery.

1877: Thomas Edison completes his first model for the phonograph, a device that records sound onto tinfoil cylinders.

1883: The last quagga dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.

1898: Hawaii is formally annexed to US. On the same day, a Peace protocol ends Spanish-American War.

1904: Alexei Nicolaevich, last Tsarevich of Russia, is born in St. Petersburg.

1908: Henry Ford’s company builds the first Model T car.

1914: France and Britain declare war on Austria-Hungary.

1915: “Of Human Bondage” by William Somerset Maugham, published.

1918: The Allies defeat the Germans at the Battle of Amiens – the last great battle on the Western Front.

1928: The Olympic Games close in Amsterdam.

1930: Clarence Birdseye is granted a patent for method for quick freezing food.

1933: Cuban dictator Machado y Morales flees after a military coup.

1941: French Marshal Philippe Petain gives full support to Nazi Germany.

1942: Winston Churchill arrives in Moscow for a meeting with Joseph Stalin and US representative W. Averrell Harriman.

1945: Emperor Hirohito of Japan informs the imperial family that he has decided to surrender to the Allies.

1948: The court of justice sentences General Friedrich Christiansen, commander of the German Wehrmacht in the Netherlands, to 12 years imprisonment.

1953: Ann Davison arrives in Miami in her boat Felicity Ann, becoming the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic.

1955: Death of writer Thomas Mann aged 80.

1960: Pete Best auditions to become the drummer with The Silver Beatles and is asked to travel to Hamburg in Germany for the band’s next set of dates. Before leaving they change their name to The Beatles. On the same day, Echo 1, the first communications satellite, is launched by NASA.

1964: A gang breaks in to Winson Green Prison in Birmingham and frees Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson. On the same day, James Bond author Ian Fleming dies aged 56.

1965: Dame Elizabeth Lane becomes first female English High Court judge. On the same day, a race riot breaks out on the West Side of Chicago.

1968: Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham played together for the first time when they rehearsed in Gerrard Street in London’s West End. They would soon adopt Keith Moon’s suggestion and change the name of the band from The New Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin.

1969: The RUC uses tear gas for the first time after nine hours of rioting in the Bogside area of Londonderry.

1971: John Lennon and Yoko Ono donated £1,000 to the Clyde Shipbuilders Scottish Union fighting fund who were refusing to stop work at the Glasgow site after being made redundant. On the same day, Syrian President Hafez al Assad drops diplomatic relations with Jordan.

1972: The last American combat ground troops leave Vietnam.

1977: Space shuttle Enterprise makes its first atmospheric test flight.

1981: IBM introduces its first Personal Computer.

1982: Actor Henry Fonda dies aged 77.

1985: A Japan Airlines jumbo jet crashes on a remote mountainside 70 miles from Tokyo, killing 520 of the 524 people on board.

1986: Singer Shelby Lynne’s father, Vernon Franklin Moorer, murdered his wife in front of 17-year-old Lynne and her younger sister, Allison before taking his own life.

1988: Nelson Mandela is treated for tuberculosis.

1990: British contractor Douglas Croskery is shot attempting to escape in a convoy from Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

Singles chart:

  1. Turtle Power – Partners in Kryme
  2. Tom’s Diner – DNA ft Suzanne Vega
  3. Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Bombalurina
  4. Naked In The Rain – Blue Pearl
  5. U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
  6. Tonight – New Kids On The Block
  7. I’m Free – The Soup Dragons ft Junior Reid
  8. Hanky Panky – Madonna
  9. Listen To Your Heart – Roxette
  10. Thieves In The Temple – Prince
Phil Collins – …Bur Seriously

Album chart:

  1. Sleeping With The Past – Elton John
  2. The Essential Pavarotti – Luciano Pavarotti
  3. Step By Step – New Kids On The Block
  4. I’m Breathless – Madonna
  5. …But Seriously – Phil Collins
  6. Summer Dreams – The Beach Boys
  7. Love God – The Soup Dragons
  8. Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em – MC Hammer
  9. Hot Rocks 64-71 – The Rolling Stones
  10. Craig McLachlan and Check 1-2 – Craig McLachlan

1992: Composer John Cage dies from a stroke aged 79.

1993: Pope John Paul II begins a visit to the US.

1997: Blues guitarist Luther Allison died of cancer age 57.

2000: The submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy explodes and sinks in the Barents Sea during a military exercise with the loss of all on board. On the same day, actress Loretta Young dies aged 87.

2003: BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan answers questions from the Hutton Inquiry over his report that the government “sexed up” a weapons dossier on Iraq. On the same day, Lee Ryan from Blue was arrested whilst driving a Porsche around central London at 4am and was charged with drink driving.

2005: Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is shot by a Tamil Tigers sniper at his home.

2010: Richie Hayward, the drummer with Little Feat, died at the age of 64 after contracting pneumonia as he battled liver cancer.

2012: The London 2012 Olympics ended with a spectacular musical closing ceremony which included The Spice Girls, The Who, Take That and Ray Davies.

2014: Actress Lauren Bacall dies aged 89.

2015: In London archaeologists discover a mass grave of 30 bodies from the 1665 plague.

2016: Cannes becomes first French resort to ban the burkini.

2017: Usain Bolt injures himself in his very last race – the men’s 4x100m relay as Jamaica misses out on gold at the world championships.

2019: Hong Kong International Airport cancels all departures as thousands of anti-government protesters occupy the terminals.

BIRTHDAYS: Craig Douglas, singer, 79; Mark Knopfler, singer-songwriter/guitarist (Dire Straits) 71; Ron Mael, keyboards/songwriter (Sparks) 70; August Darnell, singer (Kid Creole and The Coconuts) 70; Pat Metheny, guitarist 66; Roy Hay, guitarist/songwriter (Culture Club) 59; Bragi Olafson, bassist (The Sugarcubes) 58; Les Ferdinand, former footballer, 54; Tanita Tikaram, singer-songwriter, 51; Pete Sampras, tennis champion, 49; Casey Afleck, actor, 45; Djibril Cissé, footbeller, 39; Tyson Fury, boxer, 32; Mario Balotelli, footballer, 30; Cara Delavingne, model/actress, 28.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]