August 12th in History

This day in historyAugust 12 is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 141 days remaining until the end of the year.

It is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. It is also known as the “Glorious Twelfth” in the United Kingdom, as it marks the traditional start of the grouse shooting season.



Kleopatra-VII.-Altes-Museum-Berlin1.jpgIn 30 BC,  Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, commits suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite.

In 1099,  First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeat Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah. This is considered the last engagement of the First Crusade.

In 1121,  Battle of Didgori: The Georgian army under King David IV wins a decisive victory over the famous Seljuk commander Ilghazi.

In 1164,  Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din Zangi defeats the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.

In 1323,  Signature of the Treaty of Nöteborg between Sweden and Novgorod (Russia), that regulates the border between the two countries for the first time.

In 1480,  Battle of Otranto: Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam; they are later honored in the Church.

In 1499,  First engagement of the Battle of Zonchio between Venetian and Ottoman fleets.

In 1624, The president of Louis XIII of France‘s royal council is arrested, leaving Cardinal Richelieu in the role of the King’s principal minister.

In 1676,  Praying Indian John Alderman shoots and kills Metacomet, the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip’s War.

In 1687,  Battle of Mohács: Charles of Lorraine defeats the Ottoman Empire.

In 1793,  The Rhône and Loire départments are created when the former département of Rhône-et-Loire is split into two.

In 1806,  Santiago de Liniers, 1st Count of Buenos Aires re-takes the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina after the first British invasion.

William Blake by Thomas Phillips.jpgIn 1827,  William Blake, English poet and painter (b. 1757)  dies. He was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Although he lived in London his entire life (except for three years spent in Felpham), he produced a diverse and symbolically rich oeuvre, which embraced the imagination as “the body of God” or “human existence itself”. Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and “Pre-Romantic”,  for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England (indeed, to all forms of organised religion), Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine; he was also influenced by thinkers such as Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake’s work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Rossetti characterised him as a “glorious luminary”, and “a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors”.

In 1831,  French intervention forces William I of the Netherlands to abandon his attempt to suppress the Belgian Revolution.

In 1851,  Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine.

EliphaletRemington.pngIn 1861,  Eliphalet Remington, American inventor and businessman, founded Remington Arms (b. 1793) dies. He designed the Remington rifle and founded what is now known as the Remington Arms Co., L.L.C. Originally the company was known as E. Remington followed by E. Remington & Son and then finally E. Remington and Sons.

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

In 1877,  Asaph Hall discovers the Mars moon Deimos.

In 1883,  The last quagga dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

In 1898,  An Armistice ends the Spanish–American War.

In 1898,  The Hawaiian flag is lowered from ʻIolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the flag of the United States to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawaii to the United States.

In 1914,  World War I: The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary; the countries of the British Empire follow suit.

In 1914,  World War I: The Battle of Haelen a.k.a. (Battle of the Silver Helmets) a clash between large Belgian and German cavalry formations at Halen, Belgium.

In 1944,  Waffen-SS troops massacre 560 people in Sant’Anna di Stazzema.

In 1944,  Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions.

In 1944,  Alençon is liberated by General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, the first city in France to be liberated from the Nazis by French forces.

Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Navy.JPGIn 1944,  Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., American pilot (b. 1915) died in a experimental plane accident. He was a junior officer in the United States Navy, a Naval Aviator, and a land-based patrol bomber pilot during World War II. He was the eldest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (1888–1969) and Rose Fitzgerald (1890–1995). He was the elder brother of future U.S. President, John F. Kennedy (“Jack”). As boys, their father wanted the best for Joe, making Jack envious. Joe had been expected to become president,  especially after his father’s political exile for supporting the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain in the advent of World War II. However, Joe was killed in action during the war in a top-secret mission, and the high expectations then fell upon Jack.

In 1948,  USS Nevada (BB-36) is struck from the naval record.

In 1950,  Korean War: Bloody Gulch massacre—American POWs are massacred by North Korean Army.

In 1952,  The Night of the Murdered Poets: Thirteen prominent Jewish intellectuals are murdered in Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union.

In 1953,  Nuclear weapons testing: The Soviet atomic bomb project continues with the detonation of Joe 4, the first Soviet thermonuclear weapon.

In 1953,  The islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia in Greece are severely damaged by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale.

In 1958,  Art Kane photographs 57 notable jazz musicians in the black and white group portrait “A Great Day in Harlem” in front of a Brownstone in New York City.

In 1960,  Echo 1A, NASA’s first successful communications satellite, is launched.

In 1964,  South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games due to the country’s racist policies.

In 1964 – Charlie Wilson, one of the Great Train Robbers, escapes from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom.

In 1969,  Violence erupts after the Apprentice Boys of Derry march in Derry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom resulting in a three-day communal riot known as the Battle of the Bogside.

In 1976,  Between 1,000 and 3,500 Palestinians are killed in the Tel al-Zaatar massacre, one of the bloodiest events of the Lebanese Civil War

In 1977,  The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

In 1977,  The 1977 riots in Sri Lanka, targeting the minority Sri Lankan Tamil people, begin, less than a month after the United National Party came to power. Over 300 Tamils are killed.

In 1978,  The Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China is signed.

In 1980,  The Montevideo Treaty, establishing the Latin American Integration Association, is signed.

Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F077948-0006, Jugend-Computerschule mit IBM-PC.jpgIn 1981,  The IBM Personal Computer is released. IBM introduced the PC personal computer and Bill Gates’s operating system MS-DOS version 1.0; it later released its own operating system PC-DOS 1.0. The cost of that unit was a little over $2300 and it offered no hard drive and operated on 2 – 5 1/4″ floppies. This was my first PC.

In 1982,  Mexico announces it is unable to pay its enormous external debt, marking the beginning of a debt crisis that spreads to all of Latin America and the Third World.

Fonda won an Academy Award for his work with Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond.

In 1982,  Henry Fonda, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1905) died at his Los Angeles home on August 12, 1982, from heart disease. Fonda’s wife, Shirlee, his daughter Jane, and his son Peter were at his side when he died. He suffered from prostate cancer, but this did not directly cause his death and was noted only as a concurrent ailment on his death certificate. He was an American film and stage actor with a career spanning more than five decades.

Fonda made his mark early as a Broadway actor. He also appeared in 1938 in plays performed in White Plains, New York, with Joan Tompkins. He made his Hollywood debut in 1935, and his career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated performance as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 adaptation of John Steinbeck‘s novel about an Oklahoma family who moved west during the Dust Bowl. Throughout six decades in Hollywood, Fonda cultivated a strong, appealing screen image in such classics as The Ox-Bow Incident, Mister Roberts and 12 Angry Men. Later, Fonda moved both toward darker epics such as Sergio Leone‘s Once Upon a Time in the West and lighter roles in family comedies such as Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 54th Academy Awards for the movie On Golden Pond, his final film role.

Fonda was the patriarch of a family of famous actors, including daughter Jane Fonda, son Peter Fonda, granddaughter Bridget Fonda, and grandson Troy Garity. His family and close friends called him “Hank”. In 1999, he was named the sixth-Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

In 1985,  Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes into Osutaka ridge in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, killing 520, to become the worst single-plane air disaster.

In 1990,  Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton found to date, was discovered by Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota.

In 1992,  Canada, Mexico and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In 1993,  Pope John Paul II starts his 8th annual World Youth Day in Denver‘s Mile High Stadium.

In 1994,  Major League Baseball players go on strike. This will force the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

In 2000,  The Oscar class submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy explodes and sinks in the Barents Sea during a military exercise.

In 2004,  Mr. Lee Hsien Loong was sworn in as Singapore’s third Prime Minister.

In 2005,  Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is fatally shot by an LTTE sniper at his home.

In 2006,  The New Chinese Take-Out – Lucia Cruz, a 74-year-old Panamanian grandmother, and at least 365 of her countrymen died last year from ingesting tainted medicine. Somehow a deadly chemical had found its way into cough syrup produced in a government laboratory. What Panamanians thought was a harmless over-the-counter drug turned out to be an elixir of death.

In 2007,  The bulk carrier M/V New Flame collides with the oil tanker Torm Gertrud at the southernmost tip of Gibraltar, ending up partially submerged.

In 2007,  Mary K. Barber, 41, a bookkeeper in Clarksville, Tenn., has pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud and income tax evasion charges after embezzling $224,946.88 from her clients — and then failing to report the ill-gotten gains on her own tax return, thus evading $64,342 in income taxes. Now that the federal investigation is over, she faces state charges for her crimes. Barber did her bookkeeping services under the trade name Nunya Business. (Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle).  I am trying to figure out if I should worry, laugh, or cry.

In 2007, I received this from an ardent fan. I have removed the name to protect the innocent. It reminded me of a quote: “Just remember that light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.”


I read in the Jackson Sun that you were the only “NO” vote for the money to the Humane Society on their new building. I will remember your name at voting time. I will see to it that you do not get elected come election time. Pushing you out of office starts now.

May you need help someday. I hope your life is miserable starting now because I will make your life miserable since you do not think of helping God’s creatures. You have made me an enemy.


Lauren Bacall 1945 (cropped).jpgIn 2014,  Lauren Bacall, American model, actress and singer (b. 1924) dies from a stroke. Born Betty Joan Perske, she was an American actress known for her distinctive voice and sultry looks. She was named the 20th greatest actress of the 20th century by the American Film Institute and received an Academy Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”

Bacall began her career as a model, before making her debut as a leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not (1944). She continued in the film noir genre with appearances in Bogart’s The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), and starred in the romantic comedies How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck. She co-starred with John Wayne in his final film, The Shootist (1976). Bacall worked on Broadway in musicals, earning Tony Awards for Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981). Her performance in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.

In 2015,  At least two massive explosions kill 145 people and injure nearly 800 in Tianjin, China.

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