It happened today – this day in history – May 12

1191: Richard I (the Lionheart) marries Berengaria of Navarre in Cyprus.

1215: English barons serve an ultimatum on King John which eventually leads to the creation and signing of the Magna Carta.

1789: William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in the House of Commons, reasoning the slave trade is morally reprehensible.

1797: Napoleon conquers Venice. On the same day, Royal Navy sailors mutiny on the Thames and blockade London.

1870: Manitoba becomes a province of Canada.

1820: Birth of Florence Nightingale.

1890: The first-ever official cricket County Championship match begins. Yorkshire beats Gloucestershire by eight wickets at Bristol. George Ulyett scores the first century in the competition.

1908: George Bernard Shaw’s “Getting Married” premieres in London.

1915: Croatians plunder Armenia.

1916: James Connolly and Sean McDermott are executed following their involvement in the Easter Rising in Dublin.

1925: Uzbekistan & Kirgizistan become autonomous Soviet republics.

1926: Dmitri Shostakovich’s first Symphony premieres in Leningrad. On the same day, General Jozef Pilsudski returns to power in Poland after a coup against the Witos regime and the general strike in Britain ends after nine days, although coal mine workers stay on strike.

1928: Benito Mussolini ends women’s rights in Italy.

1932: The body of the kidnapped son of aviator Charles Lindbergh is discovered in Hopewell, New Jersey.

1937: The coronation of George VI at Westminster Abbey.

1940: Nazi blitzkrieg and the conquest of France begins with the crossing of the Muese River.

1941: Martin Bormann replaces Rudolf Hess as Hitler’s deputy. On the same day, British forces march into Alexandria.

1942: 1,500 Jews are gassed in Auschwitz concentration camp.

1943: Axis forces in North Africa surrender. On the same day, British prime minister Winston Churchill arrives in the US.

1944: Crimea is purged of Nazi troops.

1948: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicates.

1949: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India becomes the first female ambassador to the US.

1959: Elizabeth Taylor marries Eddie Fisher.

1963: Bob Dylan walks out of rehearsals for the US TV Ed Sullivan show after being told he can’t perform his song Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues due to it mocking the US military and segregation.

1965: The Rolling Stones record (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction at RCA Hollywood studios. On the same day, Wilson Pickett records In The Midnight Hour with Stax house band members Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Al Jackson and the Memphis Horns. On the same day, Israel and West Germany begin diplomatic relations.

1967: The Government gives the go-ahead to convert Stansted into an international airport. On the same day, Pink Floyd perform at the Games for May concert in London, featuring the first quadrophonic sound system, which is stolen after the gig. Also, “Blowup” directed by Michelangelo Antonioni wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the Cannes Film Festival and Poet Laureate John Masefield dies aged 88.


1968: Brian Jones makes his final live appearance with The Rolling Stones at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley.

1968: Scott Walker – Scott 2

Album chart:

  1. Scott 2 – Scott Walker
  2. John Wesley Harding – Bob Dylan
  3. Greatest Hit – The Four Tops
  4. Greatest Hits – The Supremes
  5. History Of – Otis Redding
  6. The Sound Of Music – Original Soundtrack
  7. Smash Hits – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  8. Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac
  9. Live At The Talk Of The Town – The Supremes
  10. The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter – The Incredible String Band

1970: Race riots break out in Augusta, Georgia.

1971: Mick Jagger marries Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias in St Tropez.

1976: Bayern Munich beats Saint-Etienne 1-0 at Hampden Park, Glasgow to win the European Cup.

1977: Virgin records announce they have signed The Sex Pistols, the band’s third record company in six months.

1980: West Ham United win the FA Cup, beating Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley Stadium. Trevor Brooking scores with a rare header.

1981: Francis Hughes starves to death in the Maze Prison in a republican campaign for political status to be granted to IRA prisoners. On the same day, singer Meat Loaf files for bankruptcy.

1982: Barcelona win the European Cup Winner’s Cup against Standard Liège 2-1 in Barcelona. On the same day, in Fatima Portugal, a Spanish Traditionalist priest who opposed Vatican II reforms, is stopped prior to his attempt to attack the Pope with a bayonet.

1989: Retired British pilot Jackie Mann is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in Lebanon.

1993: Palma defeat Royal Antwerp 3-1 to win the European Cup Winner’s Cup at Wembley Stadium.

1994: Labour leader John Smith dies aged 55.

1996: 17-year-old Bernadette O’Brien dies a day after being injured ‘body surfing’ at a Smashing Pumpkins gig at The Point, Dublin.

1997: Russia and Chechnya sign a peace deal after 400 years of conflict.

1999: Sir David Steel becomes the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.

2000: Ford announces that car production in Dagenham is to stop with the loss of 3,000 jobs.

2001: Singer Perry Como dies aged 88. On the same day, Liverpool beat Arsenal, 2-1 to win the FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

2004: Model and actress Ali Landry divorces actor Mario Lopez due to infidelity less than two weeks after getting married.

2005: Actress Anne Parillaud and musician Jean-Michel Jarre marry in Paris.

2008: An earthquake, measuring 7.8 in magnitude occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 87,000 people.

2011: Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followil marries model Lily Aldridge in California.

2013: Thieves steal more than one million rand (£70,000) in takings after a Justin Bieber concert at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium.

Singles chart:

  1. Get Lucky – Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams
  2. So Good To Me – Chris Malinchak
  3. Let Her Go – Passenger
  4. Waiting All Night – Rudimental ft Ella Eyre
  5. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore/Ryan Lewis/Dalton
  6. This Is What It Feels Like – Armand van Buren ft T Guthrie
  7. Play Hard – David Guetta ft Ne-Yo/Akon
  8. I Need Your Love – Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding
  9. Thatpower – Bieber
  10. Just Give Me A Reason – Pink ft Nate Ruess

2019: Manchester City beat Brighton, 4-1 to claim back-to-back English Premier League titles. On the same day, Jodie Comer wins a BAFTA award for her role as Villanelle in the show Killing Eve.

2020: Militants storm a hospital and a funeral in Kabul, Afghanistan, shooting an estimated 40 people dead including new mothers and their babies.

BIRTHDAYS: Burt Bacharach, composer, 94; Susan Hampshire (Lady Kulukundis, CBE), actress, 85; Pam St Clement (Clements), actress, 80; Chris Patten, former politician, 78; Steve Winwood, singer-songwriter/musician, 74; Gabriel Byrne, actor, 72; Greg Phillinganes. Keyboardist, 66; Ving (Irving) Rhames, actor, 63; Billy Duffy, guitarist (The Cult) 63; Emilio Estevez, actor/director, 60; Vanessa Williams, actress/singer, 59; Stephen Baldwin, actor, 56; Tony Hawk, skateboarder, 54; Catherine Tate (Ford) comedian/actress/writer, 53; Jim Furyk, golfer, 52; Samantha Mathis, actress, 52; Mark Morrison, singer, 50; Bruno Lage, Wolves manager, 46; Malin Akerman, actress, 44; Jason Biggs, actor, 44; Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 42; Remi Malek, actor, 41; Domhnall Gleeson, actor, 39.