Today in History: April 12 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: April 12

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

April 12

1204   The Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople.
1606   England adopts the Union Jack as its flag.
1770   Parliament repeals the Townsend Acts.
1782   The British navy wins its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American Revolution at the Battle of Saints, off Dominica.
1811   The first colonists arrive at Cape Disappointment, Washington.
The Civil war erupts as Confederate forces fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina.
1864   Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captures Fort Pillow, in Tennessee.
1877   The first catcher’s mask is used in a baseball game.
1911   Pierre Prier completes the first non-stop London-Paris flight in three hours and 56 minutes.
1916   American cavalrymen and Mexican bandit troops clash at Parral, Mexico.
1927   The British Cabinet comes out in favor of voting rights for women.
1944   The U.S. Twentieth Air Force is activated to begin the strategic bombing of Japan.
1945   President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies at Warm Spring, Georgia. Harry S. Truman becomes president.
1954   Bill Haley records “Rock Around the Clock.”
1955   Dr. Jonas Salk’s discovery of a polio vaccine is announced.
1961   Soviet Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin becomes the first man to orbit the Earth.
1963   Police use dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama.
1966   Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American major league umpire.
1983   Harold Washington is elected the first black mayor of Chicago.
Born on April 12
1777   Henry Clay, the “Great Compromiser”; American politician and statesman who ran unsuccessfully for president three times.
1791   Francis Preston Blair, Washington Globe newspaper editor.
1838   John Shaw Billings, American librarian, army physician.
1949   Scott Turow, writer and attorney.