This Day in History — January 12
Johnny Clarke, Jamaican reggae singer, was born on this day in history.

Today is the 12th day of 2023. There are 353 days left in the year.


2010: A strong earthquake devastates Haiti, killing 230,000 people, injuring 300,000, and leaving more than one million homeless.


1543: England's King Henry VIII marries his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, who outlives him.

1598: Pope Clement VIII seizes Duchy of Ferrara in Italy.

1690: Protestant forces led by William of Orange defeat the Roman Catholic army of James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

1773: The first US museum dedicated to the preservation of knowledge is established in Charleston, South Carolina.

1862: US Congress authorises the Medal of Honour.

1912: Textile workers at the Everett Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, (most of them immigrant women) walk off the job to protest wage cuts. The "Bread and Roses Strike", as it came to be known, spread to other mills in Lawrence and lasted until the following March.

1932: Hattie Caraway becomes the first elected female US senator.

1945: German forces retreat in disorder in Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during World War II.

1948: The Supreme Court rules that state law schools could not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race.

1953: Yugoslav National Assembly adopts new Constitution.

1964: Rebellion in Zanzibar, which is declared a republic, and Sultan is banished.

1967: China's army pledges support to Mao Tse-Tung during disorder triggered by Chinese cultural revolution.

1968: United States and Cambodia agree on policy to keep Cambodia from becoming embroiled in Vietnam War.

1970: Breakaway Biafra surrenders, ending 32-month-old Nigerian Civil War. Biafra leader General Odumegwu Ojukwu flees with family.

1977: US President Jimmy Carter defends Supreme Court decisions limiting government payments for poor women's abortions, saying, "There are many things in life that are not fair".

1987: Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite arrives in Lebanon on his latest mission to win the release of Western hostages; however, Waite ended up being taken captive himself, and wasn't released until 1991.

1988: Soldiers and Palestinian crowds disrupt United Nations official's attempts to inspect Gaza Strip's crowded refugee camps.

1990: Romania's interim president, Ion Iliescu, announces that the Communist Party is outlawed; Russian republic president Boris Yeltsin shocks the 28th congress of the Soviet Communist Party by announcing he is resigning his party membership.

1991: US Congress grants President George H W Bush authority to use force to drive Iraq from Kuwait.

1992: Algerian Government cancels second round of voting in parliamentary elections that an Islamic party looks set to win. The Islamists take to arms and tens of thousands of Algerians die in the next few years.

1993: The leader of Bosnia's Serbs accepts peace proposals for the war-shattered country, hailed as a breakthrough toward a settlement after nine months of brutal fighting; a 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes northern Japan, killing 196 people.

1996: The first Russian military contingent arrives to work alongside Americans in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

1998: Nineteen European nations sign an agreement to prohibit cloning of humans beings; in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, three young brothers who had been asleep in their beds are burned to death in a sectarian attack.

2002: President Pervez Musharraf announces new measures to curb extremism in Pakistan and groups that exported terrorism, including bans on five militant groups, and to check militancy in the disputed Kashmir region.

2005: A woman who spent seven years on Iran's death row is reprieved after the family of the man she killed drops its demand for her to pay with her life. The death sentence imposed on the woman, who said the man tried to rape her, had provoked an outcry among Iranian women.

2006: Thousands of Muslims surging to complete a stoning ritual before sunset, outside the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, stampede after some pilgrims trip over dropped luggage, causing a pile-up that kills at least 360 people.

2008: Taiwan's Opposition Nationalist Party wins a landslide victory in legislative elections, boosting its policy of closer engagement with China.

2009: Construction workers in northern Poland unearth a World War II-era mass grave containing what are believed to be the bodies of 1,800 German men, women and children who disappeared during the Soviet Army's march to Berlin.

2011: Torrential summer rains tear through Rio de Janeiro state's mountains, killing at least 140 people in 24 hours.

2012: Pentagon leaders scramble to contain damage from an Internet video purporting to show four Marines urinating on Taliban corpses — an act that appears to violate international laws of warfare and further strains US-Afghan relations.

2013: A raid to free a French intelligence agent held captive in Somalia for three years goes horribly wrong, leaving at least 17 Islamists and one French commando dead.


Andrea Alicati, Italian author (1492-1550); Edmund Burke, Irish-born statesman (1729-1797); Hermann Goering, German Nazi leader (1893-1946); Paul Hermann Muller, Swiss chemist and Nobel laureate, discovered potency of DDT as insecticide (1899-1965); Rush Limbaugh, US radio commentator (1951-2021); Kirstie Alley, US actress (1951-2022); Howard Stern, US radio/TV personality (1954- ); Johnny Clarke, Jamaican reggae singer (1955- ); Christiane Amanpour, Broadcast journalist (1958- )

— AP/Jamaica Observer

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy