On This Day … 12 January


  • 1528 – Gustav I of Sweden is crowned King of Sweden, having already reigned since his election in June 1523.
  • 1554 – Bayinnaung, who would go on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia, is crowned King of Burma.
  • 1616 – The city of Belém, Brazil is founded on the Amazon River delta, by Portuguese captain Francisco Caldeira Castelo Branco.
  • 1848 – The Palermo rising takes place in Sicily against the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • 1916 – Both Oswald Boelcke and Max Immelmann, for achieving eight aerial victories each over Allied aircraft, receive the German Empire’s highest military award, the Pour le Mérite as the first German aviators to earn it.
  • 1942 – World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the National War Labour Board.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Red Army begins the Vistula–Oder Offensive.
  • 1962 – Vietnam War: Operation Chopper, the first American combat mission in the war, takes place.
  • 1964 – Rebels in Zanzibar begin a revolt known as the Zanzibar Revolution and proclaim a republic.
  • 1966 – Lyndon B. Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.
  • 1970 – Biafra capitulates, ending the Nigerian Civil War.
  • 1976 – The United Nations Security Council votes 11–1 to allow the Palestine Liberation Organisation to participate in a Security Council debate (without voting rights).
  • 1990 – A seven-day pogrom breaks out against the Armenian civilian population of Baku, Azerbaijan, during which Armenians were beaten, tortured, murdered, and expelled from the city.
  • 1991 – Persian Gulf War: An act of the US Congress authorises the use of American military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.
  • 2015 – Government raids kill 143 Boko Haram fighters in Kolofata, Cameroon.

People (Births)

  • 1716 – Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish general and politician, 1st Spanish Governor of Louisiana (d. 1795).
  • 1721 – Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Prussian field marshal (d. 1792).
  • 1876 – Fevzi Çakmak, Turkish field marshal and politician, Prime Minister of the Turkish Provisional Government (d. 1950).
  • 1893 – Hermann Göring, German commander, pilot, and politician, Minister President of Prussia (d. 1946).
  • 1901 – Karl Künstler, German SS officer (d. 1945).
  • 1907 – Sergei Korolev, Russian colonel and engineer (d. 1966).
  • 1923 – Ira Hayes, American marine who raised the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima (d. 1955).

People (Deaths)

  • 1777 – Hugh Mercer, Scottish-American general and physician (b. 1726).
  • 1940 – Edward Smith, English lieutenant, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1898).
  • 1944 – Lance C. Wade, American commander and pilot (b. 1915).
  • 1971 – John Tovey, 1st Baron Tovey, English admiral (b. 1885).
  • 2003 – Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentine general and politician, 44th President of Argentina (b. 1926).
  • 2007 – James Killen, Australian soldier, lawyer, and politician, 38th Australian Minister for Defence (b. 1925).
  • 2014 – George Dement, American soldier, businessman, and politician (b. 1922).

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