Today in History, 12 August: What Happened on this Day

Historical Events

When Kings Wielded Wool: 1336

In the year 1336, an intriguing shift occurred in the realm of trade. King Edward III of England chose to halt the export of wool to Flanders, a decision that would have resounding effects on the economic landscape of the time.

 

Columbus Sets Sail for the New World: 1492

In 1492, a significant chapter in exploration commenced as Christopher Columbus embarked on his maiden voyage to the New World. His journey led him to the Canary Islands, marking the initial step towards a transformative era of discovery.

 

A Papal Edict and the Talmud’s Fate: 1553

The year 1553 bore witness to a momentous decree issued by Pope Julius III. The edict mandated the confiscation and incineration of the Jewish Talmud, a poignant event that echoed throughout history.

 

A Minister’s Demise: 12 August 1602

On the fateful day of August 12, 1602, the assassination of Emperor Akbar’s esteemed minister, Abul Fazl, cast a shadow over the Mughal empire, leaving an indelible mark on its legacy.

 

Empire in Transition: 12 August 1765

Amidst the tapestry of political evolution, August 12, 1765, stands as a pivotal juncture. The Mughal ruler relinquished the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa to the East India Company, a watershed moment in the annals of political and constitutional transformation.

 

A Bard Ascends: 1813

The year 1813 saw a luminous shift in the world of literature. Robert Southey was bestowed the prestigious title of British Poet Laureate by the hand of King George III, a distinction that elevated the realm of poetic expression.

 

Raiders’ Triumph: 1862

The year 1862 bore witness to a daring escapade led by Confederate General John Hunt Morgan. His raiders’ capture of Gallatin, Texas, reverberated as a testament to audacity in the midst of conflict.

 

A Defiance in the Halls of Power: 1867

In a decisive act of resistance, US President Andrew Johnson challenged the authority of Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in the year 1867, an act that resonated through the corridors of governance.

 

Echoes on Tin Foil: 1877

A symphony of innovation filled the air in 1877 as Thomas Edison, in a moment of astonishment, recorded himself reciting “Mary had a little lamb” onto a cylinder of tin foil using his newly completed phonograph, a revolutionary device that etched sound into history.

 

Grace’s Triumph on the Cricket Field: 1886

On the hallowed grounds of The Oval in 1886, W. G. Grace etched his name into the annals of cricket history by notching his highest Test Cricket score of 170 against Australia, a performance that enthralled enthusiasts.

 

Motor Journeys Begin: 1888

The year 1888 heralded a new era of transportation as Bertha, the wife of inventor Karl Benz, embarked on the first-ever motor tour, igniting a revolution that would reshape the way humanity traversed the world.

 

A Nation’s Transition: 1898

The curtain fell on the Spanish-American War in 1898 with the signing of a peace protocol, marking the end of a chapter and the dawn of a new geopolitical era.

 

A Regal Gateway: 1905

King Leopold II of Belgium inaugurated the magnificent Antwerp Central Station in 1905, a grand architectural marvel that stood as a testament to human ingenuity.

 

The Model That Revolutionized Travel: 1908

In 1908, Henry Ford’s company unveiled the inaugural Model T car, a groundbreaking invention that would forever change the landscape of personal transportation.

 

Pioneers of the Canvas: 1916

In the vibrant cultural milieu of Paris, 1916 saw the convergence of artistic brilliance as Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, Moïse Kisling, Ortiz, and Paquerette were immortalized in a photograph, capturing a moment of creative camaraderie.

 

A Statesman’s Home Honored: 1922

The legacy of Frederick Douglass was enshrined in history in 1922 as his home in Washington, D.C. was dedicated as a national shrine, a tribute to his enduring impact on the nation.

 

Frozen Delights: 1930

In a stroke of culinary innovation, Clarence Birdseye secured a patent in 1930 for a revolutionary method of quick freezing food, forever altering the way we preserved and consumed edibles.

 

A Marshal’s Oath: 1941

In a critical juncture of history, French Marshal Philippe Pétain offered unwavering support to Nazi Germany in 1941, a decision that reverberated across nations.

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Diplomatic Parleys in the Heart of Moscow: 1942

The year 1942 witnessed a momentous gathering as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, and US representative W. Averell Harriman convened in Moscow for a high-stakes conference, shaping the course of world events.

 

Montgomery’s Arrival in Cairo: 1942

In 1942, the arrival of Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery in Cairo heralded a turning point in the theatre of war, a moment laden with strategic significance.

 

A Meeting of Minds: 1944

The nexus of two indomitable spirits occurred in 1944 as Winston Churchill and Tito, the leader of Yugoslavia, convened in Naples, forging a connection that resonated beyond diplomatic realms.

 

A Monarch’s Surrender: 1945

In a moment of historic gravity, Emperor Hirohito of Japan conveyed his decision to surrender in 1945, altering the course of a nation’s destiny.

 

Doctrine for Reflection: 1950

Pope Pius XII published the encyclical “Humani generis” in 1950, a profound theological treatise that prompted contemplation and discourse.

 

Elevating the Working Class: 1955

Championing the cause of the labor force, US President Eisenhower elevated the minimum wage from 75 cents to $1 an hour in 1955, fostering economic equality.

 

Severing Ties: 1971

In a diplomatic maneuver, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad severed diplomatic relations with Jordan in 1971, a decision that reverberated through the corridors of international diplomacy.

 

A General’s Ascendance: 1983

The year 1983 witnessed the rise of General Manuel Noriega, who assumed command of the Panamanian army, an appointment that set in motion a cascade of political consequences.

 

Mandela’s Battle: 1988

A symbol of resilience, Nelson Mandela’s battle against tuberculosis led him to a hospital in 1988, a chapter in his storied journey of perseverance.

 

A Quest for Resolution: 1990

The year 1990 found Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offering a proposal for resolution in the Gulf crisis, contingent upon Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories, a proposition that underscored the complexities of regional dynamics.

 

A Crime Lord’s Verdict: 2013

Justice prevailed in 2013 as American organized crime kingpin Whitey Bulger was found guilty on a litany of counts, including racketeering and firearms charges, and was implicated in a chilling array of 11 murders.

 

An Author’s Harrowing Encounter: 2022

In a shocking incident that sent ripples through the literary world, British author Salman Rushdie was subjected to a vicious attack and multiple stabbings while poised to deliver a lecture at Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, in the year 2022.

Entertainment

Soaring into Cinematic Glory: 1927

The year 1927 witnessed the dazzling ascent of “Wings,” a silent masterpiece that secured its place in history as one of the two silent films ever to clinch the coveted Oscar for Best Picture. With Clara Bow gracing the silver screen, this cinematic triumph illuminated the era with its brilliance, earning the title of Outstanding Picture in 1929.

 

A Beatles Apology and a Press Conference: 1966

In a moment that reverberated through the music world, The Beatles convened a press conference at Chicago’s Astor Tower Hotel in 1966. John Lennon took the center stage, humbly apologizing for his controversial “more popular than Jesus” statement, a gesture that marked a unique chapter in the band’s illustrious journey.

 

The Racy Curtain Falls on “Oh! Calcutta!”: 1972

With a final bow, “Oh! Calcutta!” gracefully concluded its theatrical run at the Belasco Theater in NYC in 1972, after a mesmerizing 1316 performances. This audacious production, a tapestry of art and daring, left an indelible mark on the theater landscape.

 

Curtains Close on Sondheim’s Musical Revival: 1972

The Lunt-Fontanne Theater in NYC bore witness to the final act of the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical-comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in 1972. Starring the incomparable Phil Silvers, this vivacious production illuminated the stage for 156 unforgettable performances before bidding adieu.

 

Paul Simon’s One-Trick Pony Takes the Stage: 1980

A symphony of sound and storytelling resonated in 1980 as Warner Bros. Records unveiled “One-Trick Pony,” Paul Simon’s fifth solo studio album. This musical masterpiece introduced the world to the enchanting “Late in the Evening” and unfolded alongside a dramatic film of the same name, a creation written by and starring the maestro himself.

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Metallica’s Thunderous Triumph: 1991

In a thunderous proclamation of their musical prowess, heavy metal icons Metallica unleashed their fifth album, aptly titled “Metallica,” upon the world in 1991. The echoes of its power resonated as it soared to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, securing its place as a cornerstone of the band’s legacy.

 

Elvis Presley’s Timeless Stamp: 2015

The legacy of rock and roll’s king, Elvis Presley, was commemorated once again in 2015 by the US Postal Service. A second postage stamp in his honor, a captivating black and white photograph captured by William Speer in 1955, was unveiled as part of the esteemed Music Icon series, forever immortalizing the iconic crooner’s influence.

Birthdays

Soaring into Cinematic Glory: 1927

The year 1927 witnessed the dazzling ascent of “Wings,” a silent masterpiece that secured its place in history as one of the two silent films ever to clinch the coveted Oscar for Best Picture. With Clara Bow gracing the silver screen, this cinematic triumph illuminated the era with its brilliance, earning the title of Outstanding Picture in 1929.

 

A Beatles Apology and a Press Conference: 1966

In a moment that reverberated through the music world, The Beatles convened a press conference at Chicago’s Astor Tower Hotel in 1966. John Lennon took the center stage, humbly apologizing for his controversial “more popular than Jesus” statement, a gesture that marked a unique chapter in the band’s illustrious journey.

 

The Racy Curtain Falls on “Oh! Calcutta!”: 1972

With a final bow, “Oh! Calcutta!” gracefully concluded its theatrical run at the Belasco Theater in NYC in 1972, after a mesmerizing 1316 performances. This audacious production, a tapestry of art and daring, left an indelible mark on the theater landscape.

 

Curtains Close on Sondheim’s Musical Revival: 1972

The Lunt-Fontanne Theater in NYC bore witness to the final act of the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical-comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in 1972. Starring the incomparable Phil Silvers, this vivacious production illuminated the stage for 156 unforgettable performances before bidding adieu.

 

Paul Simon’s One-Trick Pony Takes the Stage: 1980

A symphony of sound and storytelling resonated in 1980 as Warner Bros. Records unveiled “One-Trick Pony,” Paul Simon’s fifth solo studio album. This musical masterpiece introduced the world to the enchanting “Late in the Evening” and unfolded alongside a dramatic film of the same name, a creation written by and starring the maestro himself.

 

Metallica’s Thunderous Triumph: 1991

In a thunderous proclamation of their musical prowess, heavy metal icons Metallica unleashed their fifth album, aptly titled “Metallica,” upon the world in 1991. The echoes of its power resonated as it soared to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, securing its place as a cornerstone of the band’s legacy.

 

Elvis Presley’s Timeless Stamp: 2015

The legacy of rock and roll’s king, Elvis Presley, was commemorated once again in 2015 by the US Postal Service. A second postage stamp in his honor, a captivating black and white photograph captured by William Speer in 1955, was unveiled as part of the esteemed Music Icon series, forever immortalizing the iconic crooner’s influence.

Deaths

The demise of Cleopatra: (69-30 BC)

In the annals of history, Cleopatra, the final ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, met a mysterious end. The pages of antiquity recount her alleged suicide, reportedly orchestrated by the venomous bite of an asp, an Egyptian cobra that sealed her departure from the world’s stage.

 

A poet farewell: William Blake (1757-1827)

In the year 1827, the life of William Blake, a versatile polymath whose poetic verses and artistic creations left an enduring imprint on the tapestry of human expression, drew to a close. His work “Songs of Innocence & Experience” resonated far and wide as he bid adieu at the age of 69.

 

The locomotive luminary: George Stephenson (1781-1848)

In 1848, the engineering world marked the passing of George Stephenson, a revered English figure known as the “Father of Railways.” His pioneering endeavors, which included the iconic Locomotion No. 1 and the establishment of the Standard Gauge, ushered in a transformative era. Pleurisy claimed him at the age of 67.

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The submarine’s silent pioneer: John Philip Holland (1840-1914)

In 1914, the realm of underwater exploration mourned the loss of John Philip Holland, an Irish visionary who spearheaded the development of the modern submarine. His legacy, woven with innovation and ingenuity, came to a close at the age of 74.

 

A statesman’s parting: Arthur Griffith (1871-1922)

The corridors of Irish politics were draped in sorrow as Arthur Griffith, the visionary founder of Sinn Féin and the President of Ireland in 1922, bid his final farewell. A cerebral hemorrhage silenced his voice at the age of 51.

 

Harmonies to eternity: Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)

The world of music grew somber in 1928 as Leoš Janáček, the Czech composer whose melodic creations stirred emotions and illuminated stages, took his final bow at the age of 74.

 

Wordsmith of worlds: Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

In 1955, the realm of literature dimmed its lights as the German novelist Thomas Mann concluded his earthly journey. The author of “Magic Mountain,” whose narratives intricately captured the spectrum of human experience, passed away at the age of 80.

 

Chemistry’s maestro: Karl Ziegler (1898-1973)

In 1973, the field of chemistry bid farewell to Karl Ziegler, the German chemist and Nobel Laureate celebrated for his pioneering work in polymers. His legacy, marked by innovation, reached its zenith at the age of 74.

 

A thespian’s curtain call: Henry Fonda (1905-1982)

In 1982, the world of stage and screen fell silent as Henry Fonda, the American actor whose performances resonated in works like “Mr. Roberts,” “12 Angry Men,” and “On Golden Pond,” took his final bow. He succumbed to heart disease at the age of 77.

 

Transistors and complex legacies: William Shockley (1910-1989)

In a symphony of scientific achievement and controversial viewpoints, American physicist William Shockley, instrumental in the invention of the transistor and a proponent of divisive eugenics ideologies, bid his farewell in 1989. Prostate cancer claimed him at the age of 79.

 

A silver screen icon’s final act: Loretta Young (1913-2000)

The world of cinema bid adieu to Loretta Young in 2000, an American actress whose luminous presence graced films such as “Farmer’s Daughter” and “Stranger.” Ovarian cancer marked the final chapter of her cinematic journey at the age of 87.

 

A baseball legend’s last inning: Enos Slaughter (1916-2002)

In 2002, the echoes of baseball’s glory faded as Enos Slaughter, the American Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder and a World Series champion, departed. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma claimed him at the age of 86.

 

Silver screen femme fatale: Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)

In 2014, the world of classic Hollywood cinema bid adieu to Lauren Bacall, the American actress whose alluring presence graced films such as “Dark Passage” and “Key Largo.” A stroke marked the final scene of her life’s cinematic drama at the age of 89.

 

A fiery farewell: Anne Heche (1969-2022)

In a tragic turn of events, the life of American actress Anne Heche was abruptly cut short in 2022. A mere week after a fiery single-vehicle car crash, the world mourned the loss of a versatile talent whose roles in films like “Donnie Brasco,” “Juror,” and “Volcano” had left a lasting impact. She was 53.

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Source: vcmp.edu.vn

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