April 12


1833 – Charles Gaylor patented the fireproof safe.

1861 – The Civil War begins as Confederate soldiers fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina’s harbor.

1877 – A catcher’s mask was used in a baseball game for the first time by James Alexander Tyng.

1892 – Voters in Lockport, NY, became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines.

1934 – The strongest surface wind gust in the world at 231 mph, was measured on the summit of Mount Washington, NH.

1938 – The first U.S. law requiring a medical test for a marriage license was enacted in New York.

1945 – In New York, NY, the organization of the first eye bank, the Eye Bank for Sight Restoration, was announced.

1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Spring, GA. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Harry S. Truman was sworn in as the 33rd President.

1955 – The University of Michigan Polio Vaccine Evaluation Center announced that the polio vaccine of Dr. Jonas Salk was “safe, effective and potent”.

1961 – Soviet Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became first man to orbit the Earth.

1966 – Jan Berry (Jan & Dean) crashed his car near “Dead Man’s Curve” in Beverly Hills, CA. He suffered severe head injuries and was in a coma for nearly two months.

1981 – The Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on its first test flight.

1983 – Harold Washington was elected the first black mayor of Chicago, IL.

1984 – Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger made the first satellite repair in orbit by returning the Solar Max satellite to space.

1985 – U.S. Senator Jake Garn of Utah became the first (but not the last) Senator to fly in space as the Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral, FL.

1985 – Federal inspectors declared that four animals of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus were not unicorns. They were goats with horns that had been surgically implanted.

1985 – USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” album is released.

1987 – Texaco filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it failed to settle a legal dispute with Pennzoil Co.

1988 – Sonny Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, CA.

1988 – Harvard University won a patent for a genetically altered mouse. It was the first patent for a life form.

1990 – James Brown was released from a South Carolina jail on work furlough after serving 15 months of a six-year sentence for aggravated assault.

1992 – The Euro Disney Resort officially opened with its theme park Euro Disneyland in Marne-La-Vallee, France. The resort and its park’s name are subsequently changed to Disneyland Paris.

1994 – The West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team played their first game at Old Kent Park in Comstock Park, MI.

1999 – District Judge Susan Webber Wright finds President Bill Clinton in contempt of court for giving “intentionally false statements” about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in connection with a lawsuit filed by Paula Jones.

2000 – The dangerous stunt-filled television show “Jackass” debuted on MTV.

2002 – Ozzy Osbourne received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2007 – After charges against three former Duke lacrosse players are officially dropped, Durham, NC district attorney Mike Nifong issues an apology to the players for their wrongful prosecution.

2009 – Navy Seal snipers kill three Somali pirates to end a five day standoff on an American shipping vessel in the Indian Ocean. The incident is later dramatized in the movie “Captain Phillips”, starring Tom Hanks.

2012 – The game “Candy Crush Saga” was released on Facebook.



Jane Withers 1926 – Actress (“Bright Eyes”)

Herbie Hancock 1940 – Jazz/fusion musician, composer

John Kay 1944 – Musician (Steppenwolf)

Ed O’Neill 1946 – Actor (TV’s “Modern Family”, “Married….with Children”, movies “Wayne’s World”)

Alex Briley 1947 – Singer (The Village People)

Dan Lauria 1947 – Actor (TV’s “The Wonder Years”, “Stakeout”)

David Letterman 1947 – TV host, comedian (TV’s “Late Night With David Letterman”)

Scott Turow 1949 – Author (“Presumed Innocent”, “The Burden of Proof”)

David Cassidy 1950 – Singer, actor (“The Partridge Family”)

Pat Travers 1954 – Singer

Andy Garcia 1956 – Actor (“When a Man Loves a Woman”, “The Untouchables”, “The Godfather: Part 3”, “Internal Affairs”, “Oceans 11”, “Oceans 12”)

Suzzanne Douglas 1957 – Actress (TV’s “The Parent ‘Hood”, movies “Tap”, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”, “Jason’s Lyric”, “The Inkwell”)

Vince Gill 1957 – Musician, singer

Art Alexakis 1962 – Musician (Everclear)

Amy Ray 1964 – Singer, musician (Indigo Girls)

Nicholas Brendon 1971 – Actress (TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Criminal Minds”)

Shannen Doherty 1971 – Actress (TV’s “Beverly Hills 90210”, “Little House on the Prairie”, “Charmed”, “Our House”, “Dancing With the Stars: Season 10”)

Guy Berryman 1978 – Musician (Coldplay)

Claire Danes 1979 – Actress (TV’s “Little Women”, “Law & Order”, “My So-Called Life”, “Homeland”, movies “Shopgirl”, “Brokedown Palace”, “Mod Squad”, “Romeo and Juliet”)

Jennifer Morrison 1979 – Actress (TV’s “House”, “Once Upon a Time”)

Brooklyn Decker 1987 – Model, actress (“Just Go with It”, “Battleship”, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”)

Saoirse Ronan 1994 – Actress (“Atonement,” “The 16 Lovely Bones”, “Brooklyn”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “The Host”, “Hanna”)



Bookmobile Day

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

Licorice Day

Walk on Your Wild Side Day


For additional information check out websites like: www.on-this-day.comwww.born-today.com, www.famousbirthdays.com, and www.daysoftheyear.com.

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