This Day in History – May 12
Today is the 132nd day of 2023. There are 233 days left in the year.
2002: Former US President Jimmy Carter travels to Cuba for talks with President Fidel Castro and the nation’s leading dissidents. He is the first former or sitting US president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.
1536: Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton and other alleged paramours of England’s Queen Anne Boleyn go on trial for treason.
1780: During the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, South Carolina, surrenders to British forces.
1870: An act creating the Canadian province of Manitoba is given royal assent, to take effect in July.
1888: Britain establishes protectorate over North Borneo and Brunei.
1915: Forces of South Africa’s Louis Botha occupy Windhoek, capital of German south-west Africa.
1926: Josef Pilsudski stages coup in Poland; Roald Amundsen reaches the North Pole.
1932: The body of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh is found in a wooded area of Hopewell, New Jersey.
1937: Britain’s King George VI is crowned at Westminster Abbey.
1938: Japanese warships capture Chinese island of Amoy.
1943: Battle of North Africa ends in World War II with German surrender of Cap Bon in Tunisia.
1949: Soviets lift the blockade of West Berlin after 11 months.
1962: South African General Law Amendment Bill imposes death penalty for sabotage.
1965: West Germany establishes diplomatic relations with Israel, and Arab states break off relations with Bonn Government.
1978: The US Commerce Department announces hurricanes will no longer be named exclusively after women.
1980: The first non-stop crossing of North America in a hot air balloon is made.
1982: In Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpower a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet as he tries to reach Pope John Paul II.
1985: Amy Eilberg becomes the first female rabbi in the conservative Jewish movement.
1992: The last European Community observers flee Bosnia; four suspects are arrested in the beating of trucker Reginald Denny at the start of the Los Angeles riots.
1993: Police arrest Franco Nobili, chairman of IRI, Italy’s huge state industrial conglomerate and its largest employer, on corruption charges. He is later acquitted.
1995: The UN instructs its peacekeepers in Bosnia to shoot to kill to protect themselves a day after a sniper shoots a French soldier in the head in Sarajevo.
1996: A rusty freighter teeming with thousands of sick and hungry Liberian refugees is finally allowed to limp into a Ghanaian port after a harrowing week at sea.
1997: The leaders of India and Pakistan meet for the first time in four years in Male, The Maldives, and agree on measures to ease the tension between their long-feuding countries.
1998: War crimes investigators discover mass graves near Srebrenica, thought to contain the remains of some of the 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men massacred by Serbs in 1995.
1999: With 327 sorties, NATO carries out its busiest day of attacks yet against Yugoslavia, and President Slobodan Milosevic for the first time acknowledges military casualties.
2003: Two suicide bomb attacks kill at least 75 people and wound hundreds of others in the rebellious southern Russian province of Chechnya.
2004: The International Obesity Task Force, in the first global assessment of child obesity, says that one of every 10 schoolchildren in the world is overweight, and about 45 million have an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses before the age of 20.
2005: Russia’s security chief accuses US and other foreign intelligence services of using non-governmental organisations that promote democracy to spy on Russia and bring about political upheaval in former Soviet republics.
2006: Up to 200 people are killed in Nigeria when gasoline gushing from a ruptured pipeline explodes as villagers scavenge for fuel, setting off an inferno.
2007: Riots and gun battles break out in Karachi, Pakistan, after opposition protests against President General Pervez Musharraf’s decision to suspend the country’s chief justice. At least 41 people are killed in the weekend clashes.
2008: A 7.9-magnitude earthquake hits Sichuan province in central China, killing more than 28,000 people and burying more than 10,600 people.
2010: Britain ushers in its first coalition government since World War II as a pair of rivals-turned-partners pledge to set aside their deep policy differences and tackle the country’s disastrous budget deficit.
2011: Renowned drummer and original member of The Skatalites, Lloyd Knibb, dies. A German court convicts retired US autoworker John Demjanjuk of taking part in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews as a Nazi death camp guard, breaking legal ground that could pave the way for the prosecution of many low-level cogs in Hitler’s machinery of destruction.
2012: At least 100,000 Spaniards angered by grim economic prospects and the political handling of the international financial crisis turn out for street demonstrations in the country’s cities.
2013: Turkey’s prime minister vows his country will not be drawn into Syria’s civil war despite two car bombings the government believes were carried out by a group of Turks with close ties to pro-government groups in Syria.
2015: An earthquake kills dozens of people in Nepal, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating quake nearly three weeks earlier that had killed more than 8,000; an Amtrak train travelling from Washington, DC to New York derails and crashes in Philadelphia, killing eight people.
Gustav I Vasa, king and founder of Swedish Vasa dynasty (1496-1560); Florence Nightingale, English nursing pioneer (1820-1910); Jules Massenet, French composer (1842-1912): Gabriel Faure, French composer (1845-1924); Katharine Hepburn, US actress (1907-2003); Joseph Beuys, German artist (1921-1986); Burt Bacharach, US singer/songwriter (1928-2023); Gabriel Byrne, US actor (1950- );
â€” AP/Jamaica Observer