On This Day … 12 August


  • 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.
  • 1121 – Battle of Didgori: The Georgian army under King David IV wins a decisive victory over the famous Seljuk commander Ilghazi.
  • 1164 – Battle of Harim: Nur ad-Din Zangi defeats the Crusader armies of the County of Tripoli and the Principality of Antioch.
  • 1323 – The Treaty of Nöteborg between Sweden and Novgorod Republic is signed, regulating the border between the two countries for the first time.[3]
  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus arrives in the Canary Islands on his first voyage to the New World.
  • 1499 – First engagement of the Battle of Zonchio between Venetian and Ottoman fleets.
  • 1624 – Charles de La Vieuville is arrested and replaced by Cardinal Richelieu as the French king’s chief advisor.
  • 1676 – Praying Indian John Alderman shoots and kills Metacomet, the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip’s War.
  • 1687 – Battle of Mohács: Charles of Lorraine defeats the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1765 – Treaty of Allahabad is signed. The Treaty marks the political and constitutional involvement and the beginning of Company rule in India.
  • 1793 – The Rhône and Loire départments are created when the former département of Rhône-et-Loire is split into two.
  • 1806 – Santiago de Liniers, 1st Count of Buenos Aires re-takes the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina after the first British invasion.
  • 1831 – French intervention forces William I of the Netherlands to abandon his attempt to suppress the Belgian Revolution.
  • 1851 – Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine.
  • 1865 – Joseph Lister, British surgeon and scientist, performs 1st antiseptic surgery.
  • 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.
  • 1914 – World War I: The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary; the countries of the British Empire follow suit.
  • 1914 – World War I: The Battle of Halen a.k.a. Battle of the Silver Helmets a clash between large Belgian and German cavalry formations at Halen, Belgium.
  • 1944 – Waffen-SS troops massacre 560 people in Sant’Anna di Stazzema.
  • 1944 – Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people are killed indiscriminately or in mass executions.
  • 1944 – Alençon is liberated by General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, the first city in France to be liberated from the Nazis by French forces.
  • 1948 – Babrra massacre: About 600 unarmed members of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement are shot dead on the orders of the Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province, Abdul Qayyum Khan Kashmiri, on Babrra ground in the Hashtnagar region of Charsadda District, North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Pakistan.
  • 1950 – Korean War: Bloody Gulch massacre: 75 American POWs are massacred by North Korean Army.
  • 1953 – A “layered” version of a thermonuclear weapon is tested by the Soviet Union.
    • It is labelled Joe 4 by the Western powers.
  • 1969 – Violence erupts after the Apprentice Boys of Derry march in Derry, Northern Ireland, resulting in a three-day communal riot known as the Battle of the Bogside.
  • 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.
  • 1981 – The IBM Personal Computer is released.
  • 2000 – The Russian Navy submarine Kursk explodes and sinks in the Barents Sea during a military exercise, killing her entire 118-man crew.
  • 2018 – Thirty-nine civilians, including a dozen children, are killed in an explosion at a weapons depot in a rebel-held town in northwest Syria.
  • Russian Air Force Day (Russia).
  • Russian Railway Troops Day (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1604 – Tokugawa Iemitsu, Japanese shōgun (d. 1651).
  • 1762 – George IV of the United Kingdom (d. 1830).
  • 1860 – Klara Hitler, Austrian mother of Adolf Hitler (d. 1907).
  • 1877 – Albert Bartha, Hungarian general and politician, Hungarian Minister of Defence (d. 1960).
  • 1904 – Idel Jakobson, Latvian-Estonian NKVD officer (d. 1997).
  • 1909 – Bruce Matthews, Canadian general and businessman (d. 1991).
  • 1916 – Ioan Dicezare, Romanian general and pilot (d. 2012).
  • 1918 – Guy Gibson, Anglo-Indian commander and pilot, Victoria Cross recipient (d. 1944).
  • 1924 – Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistani general and politician, 6th President of Pakistan (d. 1988).
  • 1925 – Dale Bumpers, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 38th Governor of Arkansas (d. 2016).
  • 1949 – Panagiotis Chinofotis, Greek admiral and politician.
  • 1966 – Tobias Ellwood, American-English captain and politician.
  • 1970 – Anthony Swofford, American soldier and author.

People (Deaths)

  • 1335 – Prince Moriyoshi, Japanese shōgun (b. 1308).
  • 1399 – Demetrius I Starshy, Prince of Trubczewsk (in battle) (b. 1327).
  • 1778 – Peregrine Bertie, 3rd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire (b. 1714).
  • 1809 – Mikhail Kamensky, Russian field marshal (b. 1738).
  • 1829 – Charles Sapinaud de La Rairie, French general (b. 1760).
  • 1861 – Eliphalet Remington, American inventor and businessman, founded Remington Arms (b. 1793).
  • 1896 – Thomas Chamberlain, American colonel (b. 1841).
  • 1914 – John Philip Holland, Irish engineer, designed HMS Holland 1 (b. 1840).
  • 1941 – Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon, English soldier and politician, 56th Governor General of Canada (b. 1866).
  • 1944 – Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., American lieutenant and pilot (b. 1915).
  • 1983 – Theodor Burchardi, German admiral (b. 1892).
  • 2000 – Gennady Lyachin, Russian captain (b. 1955).
  • 2013 – Hans-Ekkehard Bob, German soldier and pilot (b. 1917).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.