On This Day … 12 February


  • 1429 – English forces under Sir John Fastolf defend a supply convoy carrying rations to the army besieging Orléans in the Battle of the Herrings.
  • 1502 – Vasco da Gama with 15 ships and 800 men sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal on his second voyage to India.
  • 1541 – Santiago, Chile is founded by Pedro de Valdivia.
  • 1593 – Japanese invasion of Korea: Approximately 3,000 Joseon defenders led by general Kwon Yul successfully repel more than 30,000 Japanese forces in the Siege of Haengju.
  • 1733 – Georgia Day: Englishman James Oglethorpe founds Georgia, the 13th colony of the Thirteen Colonies, by settling at Savannah.
  • 1817 – An Argentine/Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeats Spanish troops at the Battle of Chacabuco.
  • 1818 – Bernardo O’Higgins formally approves the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile.
  • 1825 – The Creek cede the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government by the Treaty of Indian Springs, and migrate west.
  • 1832 – Ecuador annexes the Galápagos Islands.
  • 1921 – Bolsheviks launch a revolt in Georgia as a preliminary to the Red Army invasion of Georgia.
  • 1935 – USS Macon, one of the two largest helium-filled airships ever created, crashes into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California and sinks.
  • 1946 – World War II: Operation Deadlight ends after scuttling 121 of 154 captured U-boats.
  • 1946 – African American United States Army veteran Isaac Woodard is severely beaten by a South Carolina police officer to the point where he loses his vision in both eyes.
    • The incident later galvanises the civil rights movement and partially inspires Orson Welles’ film Touch of Evil.
  • 1968 – Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre by 2nd Marine Brigade of the Republic of Korea Marines of unarmed civilians.
  • 1983 – One hundred women protest in Lahore, Pakistan against military dictator Zia-ul-Haq’s proposed Law of Evidence.
    • The women were tear-gassed, baton-charged and thrown into lock-up.
    • The women were successful in repealing the law.
  • 1988 – Cold War: The 1988 Black Sea bumping incident: The US missile cruiser USS Yorktown (CG-48) is intentionally rammed by the Soviet frigate Bezzavetnyy in the Soviet territorial waters, while Yorktown claims innocent passage.
  • 2002 – The trial of Slobodan Milošević, the former President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, begins at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.
    • He dies four years later before its conclusion.
  • 2019 – The country known as the Republic of Macedonia renames itself the Republic of North Macedonia in accordance with the Prespa agreement, settling a long-standing naming dispute with Greece.

People (Births)

  • 1218 – Kujo Yoritsune, Japanese shōgun (d. 1256).
  • 1540 – Won Gyun, Korean general and admiral (d. 1597).
  • 1753 – François-Paul Brueys d’Aigalliers, French admiral (d. 1798).
  • 1794 – Valentín Canalizo, Mexican general and politician. 14th President (1843-1844) (d. 1850).
  • 1884 – Johan Laidoner, Estonian-Russian general (d. 1953).
  • 1893 – Omar Bradley, American general (d. 1981).
  • 1897 – Charles Groves Wright Anderson, South African-Australian colonel and politician (d. 1988).
  • 1942 – Ehud Barak, Israeli general and politician, 10th Prime Minister of Israel.
  • 1948 – Nicholas Soames, English politician, Minister of State for the Armed Forces.
  • 1984 – Peter Vanderkaay, American swimmer.
  • 1994 – Arman Hall, American sprinter.
  • 1999 – Maggie Coles-Lyster, Canadian cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1600 – Edward Denny, Knight Banneret of Bishop’s Stortford, English soldier, privateer and adventurer (b. 1547).
  • 1789 – Ethan Allen, American farmer, general, and politician (b. 1738).
  • 1931 – Samad bey Mehmandarov, Azerbaijani-Russian general and politician, 3rd Azerbaijani Minister of Defence (b. 1855).
  • 1942 – Eugene Esmonde, Irish-English lieutenant and pilot, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1909).
  • 1942 – Avraham Stern, Polish-Israeli militant leader (b. 1907).
  • 1975 – Carl Lutz, Swiss vice-consul to Hungary during WWII, credited with saving over 62,000 Jews (b. 1895).
  • 2016 – Yan Su, Chinese general and composer (b. 1930).

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