It happened today – this day in history – December 12

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1694: The Royal Society censures Edmond Halley for suggesting in a paper titled ‘Some considerations about the cause of the universal deluge’ that the story of Noah’s flood could be an account of a comet’s impact.

1787: Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the US constitution.

1792: In Vienna, 22 year-old Ludwig van Beethoven receives his first lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn.

1800: Washington DC is established as the capital of the USA.

1863: Birth of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.

1874: King David Kalakaua of Hawaii is the first king to visit the US as a guest of President Ulysses S Grant at the first state dinner at The White House.

1889: Poet Robert Browning dies aged 77.

1901: Guglilemo Marconi sends the first transatlantic radio signal from Poldhu in Cornwall to Newfoundland, Canada.

1911: Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.

1915: Birth of Frank Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey.

1926: Dmitri Shostakovich’s first Piano concerto premieres in Leningrad.

1936: Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek declares war on Japan.

1939: Death of actor Douglas Fairbanks aged 56.

1946: Tide detergent is sold for the first time. On the same day, the United Nations accepts six Manhattan blocks as a gift from John D Rockefeller Jr.

1953: Test pilot Chuck Yeager reaches Mach 2.43 in Bell X-1A rocket plane.

1955: The first prototype of the hovercraft is patented by Christopher Cockerell.

1957: Still married to his first wife Jane Mitcham, Jerry Lee Lewis secretly married his 13-year old second cousin Myra Gale Brown.

1959: Jack Brabham becomes the first Australian Formula 1 World Drivers Championship winner.

1961: Adolph Eichmann is found guilty of nazi war crimes at a trial in Israel. On the same day, Martin Luther King Jr and 700 civil rights demonstrators are arrested in Albany, Georgia.

1963: Frank Sinatra Jr is released by his kidnappers.

1964: Shooting begins for the pilot episode of Star Trek.

1970: The Doors played their last ever live show with Jim Morrison at The Warehouse in New Orleans.

1975: Sara Jane Moore pleads guilty to trying to kill US President Gerald Ford.

1977: The film Saturday Night Fever premieres in New York.

1985: Rolling Stones road manager, co-founder and erstwhile piano player Ian Stewart died of a heart attack in his doctor ‘s Harley Street waiting room.

1988: PLO leader Yasi Arafat accepts Israel’s right to exist. On the same day, a crowded passenger train crashed into the rear of another train that had stopped at a signal just south of Clapham Junction railway station. It sideswipes an empty train travelling in the opposite direction. 35 die.

1997: Revolutionary Carlos the Jackal goes on trial in Paris.

1998: A seven inch single by The Quarry Men featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison was named as the rarest record of all time. Only 50 copies were made with each copy valued at £10,000.

2001: Actress Winona Ryder is arrested on shoplifting charges in Beverly Hills.

2003: Mick Jagger was knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

2007: Ike Turner dies of a cocaine overdose aged 76.

BIRTHDAYS: Dionne Warwick, singer, 79; Denny Dias, guitarist (Steely Dan) 73; Clive Bunker, drummer (Jethro Tull) 73; Emerson Fitipaldi, former Formula 1 champion, 73; Bill Nighy, actor, 70; Sheila E (Escovedo), drummer, 60; Daniel O’Donnell, singer, 59; Tracy Austin, former tennis pro, 57; Claudia Brucken, singer (Propaganda) 56; Kate Humble, TV presenter, 51; Jennifer Connelly, actress, 49; Mayim Bialik, actress, 44; Dan Hawkins, guitarist (The Darkness) 43; Victor Moses, footballer, 29.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]

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