It happened today – this day in history – January 12

1528: Gustav I is crowned King of Sweden.

1723: George Frideric Handel’s opera “Ottone” premieres at the King’s Theatre, London.

1816: France decrees that the Bonaparte family is excluded from the country forever.

1875: Kwang-su becomes Emperor of China.

1876: Birth of writer Jack London in San Francisco.

1895: The National Trust is founded in Britain.

1904: The Herero people of South West Africa, now Namibia, rebel against German colonial rule.

1913: After using other pseudonyms over the years, Josef Dzhugashvili signs himself as Stalin (“man of steel”) in a letter to the newspaper Social Democrat.

1915: The US House of Representatives rejects a proposal to grant women the right to vote.

1945: German forces in Belgium retreat in the Battle of The Bulge. On the same day, the Soviets begin a large offensive against the Nazis in Eastern Europe.

1948: The first supermarket in the UK, a Co-op store in Manor Park, London, opens. On the same day, Mahatma Gandhi begins his final fast.

1950: The USSR re-introduces the death penalty for treason, espionage and sabotage.

1951: Ezzard Charles TKOs Lee Oma in Round 10 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1957: The Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) is founded in Atlanta with Martin Luther King Jr as leader.

1959: Record company Motown is founded by Berry Gordy Jr.

1961: Singles chart:

  1. Poetry In Motion – Johnny Tillotson
  2. I Love You – Cliff Richard
  3. Save The Last Dance For Me – The Drifters
  4. It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley
  5. Portrait Of My Love – Matt Monro
  6. Goodness Gravious Me – Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren
  7. Man Of Mystery – The Shadows
  8. Rocking Goose – Johnny and the Hurricanes
  9. Strawberry Fair – Anthony Newley
  10. Perfidia – The Ventures

1962: Operation Ranch Hand begins, a US Air Force operation to spray South Vietnamese forests with defoliants such as Agent Orange. On the same day, America’s first combat mission in the Vietnam War begins.

1964: A revolution overthrows the Sultan of Zanzibar, one month after the country’s independence.

1966: Three visiting British Labour MPs, Christopher Rowland, Jeremy Bray and David Ennals, are attacked by 400 supporters of Prime Minister Ian Smith at a rowdy meeting in Salisbury, Rhodesia.

1967: The Louisville, Kentucky, draft board refuses exemption for Muhammad Ali. On the same day, Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation and remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona.


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1969: Tom Jones – Help Yourself

1969: Album chart:

  1. The Beatles (White Album) – The Beatles
  2. Best Of The Seekers – The Seekers
  3. Beggars Banquet – The Rolling Stones
  4. The Graduate – Original Soundtrack
  5. The Sound Of Music – Original Soundtrack
  6. Val – Val Doonican
  7. Live At The Talk Of The Town – The Seekers
  8. Help Yourself – Tom Jones
  9. Greatest Hits – The Hollies
  10. The Good The Bad And The Ugly – Original Soundtrack

1971: Two bombs from a group calling itself “The Angry Brigade” explode at the Hertfordshire home of Employment Secretary Robert Carr. On the same day, the US Federal grand jury indicts Rev Philip Berrigan and five others, including a nun and two priests, on charges of plotting to kidnap Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

1972: Abu Sayeed Chudhury becomes President of Bangladesh and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Prime Minister.

1976: Dame Agatha Christie, the most popular crime novelist in the world, dies aged 85.

1977: The Police hold their first rehearsal at drummer Stewart Copeland’s London flat, with Henri Padovani on guitar. On the same day, anti-French demonstrations take place in Israel after the release in Paris of Abu Daoud, one of those responsible for the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games.

1987: Prince Edward resigns from his training for the Royal Marines.

1989: Former dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin, is expelled from Zaire.

1990: Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton is stabbed in Brooklyn, New York.

1991: The US Congress votes to authorise the use of military force against Iraq to end its occupation of Kuwait.

1992: Algeria’s general election is cancelled after strong gains by the Islamic Salvation Front in the first round.

1995: The murder trial of O J Simpson begins in LA.

2001: Sven Goran Eriksson becomes the first foreigner to coach the England football team. On the same day, Marie Therese Kouao, and her boyfriend Carl Manning, the carers of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, who died after being tortured and fed scraps of food like a dog in Haringey are found guilty of her murder.

2003: Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees dies aged 53 after suffering a heart attack during a stomach operation.

2004: Singer-songwriter Randy Vanwarmer dies from leukaemia aged 48.

2006: A stampede during the Stoning the Devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills at least 362 Muslim pilgrims. On the same day, Turkey releases Mehmet Ali Agca from jail after 25 years for the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.

2010: An Earthquake devastates Haiti, killing approximately 160,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince. On the same day, singer Shakin’ Stevens is found guilty of hitting a press photographer with a microphone stand during a concert at a hotel in Ballymena.

2017: US President Barack Obama surprises his vice president, Joe Biden, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

2020: Argentine striker Sergio Agüero becomes the top-scoring overseas player in English Premier League history with a hat-trick in Manchester City’s 6-1 rout of Aston Villa.

BIRTHDAYS: Michael Aspel, broadcaster, 89; Maggie Bell, singer, 77; John Etheridge, guitarist (Soft Machine) 74; Kirstie Alley, actress, 71; Howard Stern, broadcaster, 68; Blixa Bargeld, musician (The Bad Seeds/Einstürzende Neubauten), 63; Oliver Platt, actor, 62; Guy Chambers, songwriter, 59; Jeff Bezos, entrepreneur, 58; Zack de la Rocha, vocalist (Rage Against The Machine) 52; Mel C (Chisholm) singer (Spice Girls) 48; João Moutinho, footballer, 34; Pixie (Victoria) Lott, singer-songwriter, 31; Zayn Malik, singer, 29; Ella Henderson, singer-songwriter, 26.

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