This Day in History - September 12
1988: Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica with torrential rains and winds of 233 kph (145 mph), killing 45 people and causing damage estimated at $1 billion.
1801: Alexander I of Russia announces annexation of Georgia.
1848: Switzerland adopts new constitution as a federal union with strong central government.
1953: Nikita Khrushchev becomes First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.
1959: Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first spacecraft to reach the moon.
1964: Dissident army officers try unsuccessfully to overthrow government of South Vietnam.
1974: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed by a military junta.
1977: South African black student leader Steven Biko dies while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.
1980: Turkish military seizes power and keeps it until 1983.
1987: Communist rebels battle troops in fierce fighting near Manila.
1990: President Alberto Fujimori's government turns down a US offer of $35.9 million for anti-drug counter insurgency operations in Peru.
1991: Scores of Iraqi soldiers along the Iraq-Saudi Arabian border are buried alive by US tanks that pushed tons of sand and earth into their trenches during the Persian Gulf war.
1993: Rebel Serbs in Croatia launch rocket attacks against targets near the capital.
1994: In Poland, NATO soldiers and former East Bloc nations hold first joint manoeuvres.
1995: The Belarusian military shoots down a helium balloon during an international race, killing its two American pilots.
1996: Taliban rebels consolidate their hold on the strategic eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.
1997: Six Lebanese soldiers and one civilian are killed when Israel launches rockets at Lebanese army positions in south Lebanon.
1998: Azem Hajdari, a leading Albanian opposition lawmaker, is assassinated by an unidentified gunmen.
1999: Indonesia says it will accept a peacekeeping force in East Timor, which was ravaged by Indonesian-controlled militias after residents voted for independence.
2000: A suspected car bomb rips through an underground garage in the Jakarta Stock Exchange building, killing 15 people and injuring dozens more.
2001: After the collapse of the Twin Towers, US President George W Bush addresses a national audience to declare America is under attack and the US will use all its resources to defeat terrorism.
2003: The UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya that had been in place for 11 years as a response to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
2004: Hurricane Ivan heads toward western Cuba and the southeastern United States after battering the Cayman Islands and Jamaica with ferocious 150-mph (240-kph) winds, killing at least 60 across the Caribbean.
2005: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe quietly adopts constitutional changes that make it easier for the state to seize private property and prevent opponents from travelling abroad to criticise his 25-year rule.
2007: Authorities confirm a new foot-and-mouth outbreak on the outskirts of London, just days after the government lifted livestock restrictions following the appearance of the devastating disease last month.
France's King Francis I (1494-1547); Herbert Henry Asquith, British prime minister (1852-1928); Maurice Chevalier, French actor-entertainer (1888- 1971); Alfred Knopf, US publisher (1892-1984); Jesse Owens, US athlete (1913-1980); Ian Holm, English actor (1931-); Linda Gray, US actress (1940-).