On This Day .. 12 November


  • 1330 – Battle of Posada ends: Wallachian Voievode Basarab I defeats the Hungarian army by ambush.
  • 1439 – Plymouth becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.
  • 1893 – Abdur Rahman Khan accepts the Durand Line as the border between Afghanistan and the British Raj.
  • 1905 – Norway holds a referendum resulting in popular approval of the Storting’s decision to authorise the government to make the offer of the throne of the newly independent country.
  • 1912 – King George I of Greece makes a triumphal entry into Thessaloniki after its liberation from 482 years of Ottoman rule.
  • 1918 – Austria becomes a republic.
    • After the proclamation, a coup attempt by the communist Red Guard is defeated by the social-democratic Volkswehr.
  • 1920 – Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes sign the Treaty of Rapallo.
  • 1927 – Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.
  • 1933 – Nazi Germany uses a referendum to ratify its withdrawal from the League of Nations.
  • 1940 – World War II: The Battle of Gabon ends as Free French Forces take Libreville, Gabon, and all of French Equatorial Africa from Vichy French forces.
  • 1940 – World War II: Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov arrives in Berlin to discuss the possibility of the Soviet Union joining the Axis Powers.
  • 1941 – World War II: Temperatures around Moscow drop to -12 °C as the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina is destroyed during the Battle of Sevastopol.
  • 1942 – World War II: Naval Battle of Guadalcanal between Japanese and American forces begins near Guadalcanal. The battle lasts for three days and ends with an American victory.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Royal Air Force launches 29 Avro Lancaster bombers, which sink the German battleship Tirpitz, with 12,000 lb Tallboy bombs off Tromsø, Norway.
  • 1948 – In Tokyo, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East sentences seven Japanese military and government officials, including General Hideki Tojo, to death for their roles in World War II.
  • 1954 – Ellis Island ceased operations.
  • 1956 – In the midst of the Suez Crisis, Palestinian refugees are shot dead in Rafah by Israeli soldiers following the invasion of the Gaza Strip.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the story of the My Lai Massacre.
  • 1971 – Vietnam War: As part of Vietnamisation, US President Richard Nixon sets 01 February 1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam.
  • 1977 – France conducts the Oreste nuclear test as 14th in the group of 29, 1975-1978 French nuclear tests series.
  • 1979 – Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all petroleum imports into the United States from Iran.
  • 1990 – Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.
  • 1991 – Santa Cruz massacre: Indonesian forces open fire on a crowd of student protesters in Dili, East Timor.
  • 1995 – Erdut Agreement regarding the peaceful resolution to the Croatian War of Independence is reached.
  • 2001 – War in Afghanistan: Taliban forces abandon Kabul, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops.
  • 2003 – Iraq War: In Nasiriyah, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.
  • 2011 – A blast in Iran’s Shahid Modarres missile base leads to the death of 17 of the Revolutionary Guards members, including Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, a key figure in Iran’s missile programme.

People (Births)

  • 1492 – Johan Rantzau, German general (d. 1565).
  • 1528 – Qi Jiguang, Chinese general (d. 1588).
  • 1655 – Francis Nicholson, British Army general and colonial administrator (d. 1727).
  • 1684 – Edward Vernon, English admiral and politician (d. 1757).
  • 1729 – Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French admiral and explorer (d. 1811).
  • 1755 – Gerhard von Scharnhorst, Prussian general and politician, Prussian Minister of War (d. 1813).
  • 1881 – Maximilian von Weichs, German field marshal (d. 1954).
  • 1898 – Leon Štukelj, Slovenian gymnast (d. 1999).
  • 1906 – George Dillon, American soldier and poet (d. 1968).
  • 1949 – Jack Reed, American soldier and politician.
  • 1961 – Nadia Comăneci, Romanian gymnast and coach.

People (Deaths)

  • 1209 – Phillipe de Plessis, Grand Master of the Knights Templar (b. 1165).
  • 1555 – Zhang Jing, Ming Chinese general.
  • 1567 – Anne de Montmorency, French general and diplomat (b. 1493).
  • 1595 – John Hawkins, English admiral and shipbuilder (b. 1532).
  • 1671 – Thomas Fairfax, English general and politician (b. 1612).
  • 1836 – Juan Ramón Balcarce, Argentinian general and politician, 6th Governor of Buenos Aires Province (b. 1773).
  • 1946 – Albert Bond Lambert, American golfer and pilot (b. 1875).
  • 1950 – Lesley Ashburner, American hurdler (b. 1883).
  • 1958 – Gustaf Söderström, Swedish shot putter, discus thrower, and tug of war competitor (b. 1865).
  • 1962 – Roque González Garza, Mexican general and acting president (1915) (b. 1885).
  • 1976 – Mikhail Gurevich, Russian engineer, co-founded Mikoyan (b. 1893).

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