On This Day … 12 January

Events

  • 49 BC – Julius Caesar crosses the Rubikon at the head of the 13th Legion. Civil war between the former allies, Caesar and Pompey, is now inevitable.
  • 475 – Byzantine Emperor Zeno is forced to flee his capital at Constantinople, and his general, Basiliscus gains control of the empire.
  • 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 – World War I: 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 (refer to Flying Ace).
  • 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.
  • Memorial Day (Turkmenistan).
  • Zanzibar Revolution Day (Tanzania).

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).
  • 1822 – Étienne Lenoir, Belgian engineer, designed the internal combustion engine (d. 1900).
  • 1873 – Spyridon Louis, Greek runner (d. 1940).
  • 1876 – Fevzi Çakmak, Turkish field marshal and politician, Prime Minister of the Turkish Provisional Government (d. 1950).
  • 1892 – Mikhail Gurevich, Russian engineer and businessman, co-founded the Russian Aircraft Corporation (d. 1976).
  • 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 US flag on Iwo Jima (d. 1945).
  • 1941 – Chet Jastremski, American swimmer and physician (d. 2014).
  • 1948 – Brendan Foster, English runner and sportscaster.
  • 1952 – John Walker, New Zealand runner and politician.
  • 1979 – David Zabriskie, American cyclist.
  • 1982 – Hans Van Alphen, Belgian decathlete.
  • 1995 – Sarah Mehain, Canadian Paralympic swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1777 – Hugh Mercer, Scottish-American general and physician (b. 1726).
  • 1926 – Austin Chapman, Australian businessman and politician, 4th Australian Minister for Defence (b. 1864).
  • 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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