Today in History – May 12

1215 – English barons served ultimatum on King John which eventually led to the creation and signing of the Magna Carta.

1777 – First ice cream advertisement; published by Philip Lenzi in the New York Gazette.

1780 – American Revolutionary War: In the largest defeat of the Continental Army, Charleston, South Carolina was taken by British forces.

1789 – Britain abolished the slave trade.

1846 – The Donner Party of pioneers departed Independence, Missouri for California, on what became a year-long journey of hardship and cannibalism.

1862 – American Civil War: U.S. federal troops occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

1871 – Segregated street cars integrated in Louisville, Kentucky.

1926 – The Italian-built airship Norge became the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.

1932 – Ten weeks after his abduction, Charles Jr., the infant son of Charles Lindbergh, was found dead near Hopewell, New Jersey, just a few miles from the home of the Lindberghs.  

1934 “Cocktails For Two” by Duke Ellington became a #1 hit.

1937 Coronation of King George VI at Westminster Abbey, London.

1938 Sandoz Labs began manufacturing LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).

1941 – Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.

1942 – World War II: The U.S. tanker SS Virginia was torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German submarine U-507.

1949 – First foreign woman ambassador received in USA (Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India).

1960 Elvis Presley appeared on a Frank Sinatra special.

1963 – Bob Dylan walked out of “The Ed Sullivan Show” over a dispute about his song choice.

1965 – The unmanned Soviet spacecraft Luna 5 crashed on the Moon.

1967 “Are You Experienced” album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was first released.

1980 – First nonstop trans-North American balloon flight landed at Sainte-Félicité, Quebec. Maxie Anderson and son Kristian piloted the Kitty Hawk for five days.

1982 – During a procession outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, security guards overpowered Juan María Fernández y Krohn before he was able to attack Pope John Paul II with a bayonet.

1989 – The San Bernardino train disaster killed four people, only to be followed a week later by an underground gasoline pipeline explosion, which killed two more people.

1994 – “Pulp Fiction”, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

1997 – “It’s Your Love” single was released by Time McGraw and Faith Hill.

2002 – Former US President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro.  He was the first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.

2008 – An earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occured in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people.

2008 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the largest-ever raid of a workplace in Postville, Iowa, and arrested nearly 400 immigrants for identity theft and document fraud.

2010 – Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on final approach to Tripoli International Airport in Tripoli, Libya, and killed 103 out of the 104 people on board.

2012 – The discovery of a missing Mayan calendar piece disproves 2012 Armageddon.

2015 – A train derailment in Philadelphia killed eight people and injured more than 200.

2015 – Massive Nepal earthquake killed 218 people and injured more than 3500.

2017 – The WannaCry ransomware attack impacted over 400 thousand computers worldwide, which targeted computers of the United Kingdom’s National Health Services and Telefónica computers.

2017 – Former One Direction singer Harry Styles released his self-titled debut solo album.

2018 – Paris knife attack: A man was fatally shot by police in Paris after killing one and injuring several others.

2020 – Russia’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 232,000, second highest in the world, a day after President Vladimir Putin eased the country’s lockdown.