It happened today – this day in history – November 12

1035: Death of King Canute.

1439: Plymouth becomes the first town incorporated by Parliament.

1555: Parliament re-establishes Catholicism.

1661: Scientist Robert Hooke is appointed curator of experiments to the Royal Society.

1673: Dutch troops under Willem III occupy Bonn.

1723: Ambrose Godfrey patents a gunpowder-fuelled fire extinguisher system

1767: The Royal Society appoints Captain James Cook as head of an expedition to the Pacific Ocean to observe the transit of Venus on Tahiti

1775: General Washington forbids recruiting officers from enlisting black troops

1793: The first Mayor of Paris, Jean Sylvain Bailly, is guillotined during the Reign of Terror.

1840: Birth of sculptor Auguste Rodin in Paris.

1847: Sir James Young Simpson is the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.

1859: Jules Leotard performs the first flying trapeze circus act in Paris.

1865: Death of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell aged 54.

1880: The novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ” by soldier Lew Wallace is published.

1905: Norway holds a referendum in favour of the monarchy over a republic.

1912: Robert Falcon Scott’s diary and body are found in Antarctica.

1921: Aston Villa’s Billy Walker is the first player to score a hat-trick of penalties in the Football League during the club’s 7-1 win over Bradford City.

1923: Adolf Hitler is arrested for attempting to seize power during the “Beer Hall Putsch”.

1927: Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, paving the way for Stalin to consolidate complete power.

1933: First known photo of the Loch Ness monster is taken by Hugh Gray.

1942: The naval battle of Guadalcanal begins between Allied and Japanese forces.

1944: The RAF bombs and sinks the German battleship “Tirpitz” at Tromso Fjord, Norway.

1948: Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo is sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal.

1953: David Ben-Gurion resigns as Prime Minister of Israel.


1954: New York’s main immigration point for 62 years, Ellis Island, shuts its doors.

Singles chart:

  1. My Son My Son – Vera Lynn
  2. Hold My Hand – Don Cornell
  3. This Ole House – Rosemary Clooney
  4. If I Give My Heart To You – Doris Day with the Mellomen
  5. This Ole House – Billie Anthony
  6. If I Give My Heart To You – Joan Regan
  7. Smile – Nat King Cole
  8. My Frind – Frankie Laine
  9. Rain Rain Rain – Frankie Laine and the Four Lads
  10. Three Coins In The Fountain – Frank Sinatra
1961: Cliff Richard – 21 Today

1961: Album chart:

  1. Another Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Singers
  2. 21 Today – Cliff Richard
  3. Something For Everybody – Elvis Presley
  4. The Black And White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Singers
  5. The Shadows – The Shadows
  6. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  7. Oliver – Original London Cast
  8. Sinatra Swings – Frank Sinatra
  9. That’ll Be The Day – Buddy Holly
  10. Sound Of Music – Original London Cast

1965: Ferdinand Marcos is elected President of Philippines.

1966: Buzz Aldrin takes the first ‘space selfie’, a photo of himself performing extravehicular activity in space during the Gemini 12 mission.

1969: The US army announces it is investigating Lt William Calley for an alleged massacre of civilians at the Vietnamese village of My Lai on March, 19. On the same day, actress Julie Andrews marries director Blake Edwards in Beverly Hills.

1974: South Africa is suspended from the UN General Assembly over apartheid. On the same day, a salmon is discovered in the River Thames for the first time since 1833.

1979: President Jimmy Carter announces a halt to Iranian oil imports and freezes Iranian assets.

1981: Film star William Holden slips on a rug and bleeds to death aged 63.

1982: The Polish government frees the leader of the outlawed Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa, after 11 months of internment. On the same day, Yuri Andropov becomes leader of the Soviet Union.

1990: Crown Prince Akihito is formally installed as Emperor of Japan. On the same day, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood breaks both his legs when he is run over after his car crashed on the M4 motorway near Marlborough, Wilts.

1992: “Absolutely Fabulous” written by and starring Jennifer Saunders, debuts on BBC1.

1996: Saudi Arabian Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 collide in mid air over Charkhi Dadri in India, killing 349 people, the third-deadliest aviation disaster in history.

1997: ‘Great Train Robber’, Ronnie Biggs, celebrates after Brazil rejects a British request to extradite him.

2001: The three living former Beatles meet for the last time at a New York hotel for lunch. George Harrison would die from cancer two weeks later at a house owned by Paul McCartney. On the same day, Taliban forces abandon Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops. Also, In New York City, American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 on its way to the Dominican Republic, crashes minutes after take off from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board and five on the ground.

2003: Session drummer Tony Thompson dies aged 48 of cancer.

2007: Author Ira Levin dies aged 78.

2008: Mitch Mitchell, drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience is found dead in his hotel room in the US aged 61.

2011: Silvio Berlusconi resigns as Prime Minister of Italy due, in large part, to the European sovereign debt crisis.

2018: Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics characters, The Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Thor, The Avengers, Iron Man, Doctor Strange and The Fantastic Four, dies aged 95.

2019: Launch of the streaming service Disney+

2021: A judge in LA rules to end the conservatorship which has controlled all parts of Britney Spears’ life for 14 years. On the same day, Wolves football legend Ron Flowers dies aged 87.

2022: Democrats retain control of the Senate in the US mid terms.

Anne Hathaway

BIRTHDAYS: Booker T. Jones, organist (Booker T & The MGs), 79; Neil Young, singer-songwriter, 78; Buck Dharma (Donald Roeser) guitarist (Blue Oyster Cult), 76; Ike Willis, musician (Frank Zappa band) 68; Megan Mulally, actress, 64; Nadia Comăneci , gymnast, 62; Mariella Frostrup, TV presenter, 61; Vic Chesnutt, singer-songwriter, 59; Kathleen Hanna, singer-songwriter (Bikini Kill), 54; Cote de Pablo ( María José de Pablo Fernández), actress, 44; Ryan Gosling, actor, 43; Anne Hathaway, actress, 41; Carlton Cole, footballer, 40.