June 12


1099 - Crusade leaders visited the Mount of Olives where they met a hermit who urged them to assault Jerusalem.

1442 - Alfonso V of Aragon was crowned King of Naples.

1665 - England installed a municipal government in New York. It was the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam.

1812 - Napoleon's invasion of Russia began.

1838 - The Iowa Territory was organized.

1839 - Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball, according to the legend.

1849 - Lewis Haslett patented a gas mask. (Patent US6529 A)

1897 - Carl Elsener patented his penknife. The object later became known as the Swiss army knife.

1898 - Philippine nationalists declared their independence from Spain.

1900 - The Reichstag approved a second law that would allow the expansion of the German navy.

1901 - Cuba agreed to become an American protectorate by accepting the Platt Amendment.

1912 - Lillian Russel retired from the stage and was married for the fourth time.

1918 - The first airplane bombing raid by an American unit occurred on World War I's Western Front in France.

1921 - U.S. President Warren Harding urged every young man to attend military training camp.

1923 - Harry Houdini, while suspended upside down 40 feet above the ground, escaped from a strait jacket.

1926 - Brazil quit the League of Nations in protest over plans to admit Germany.

1935 - U.S. Senator Huey Long of Louisiana made the longest speech on Senate record. The speech took 15 1/2 hours and was filled by 150,000 words.

1935 - The Chaco War was ended with a truce. Bolivia and Paraguay had been fighting since 1932.

1937 - The Soviet Union executed eight army leaders under Joseph Stalin.

1939 - The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.

1941 - In London, the Inter-Allied Declaration was signed. It was the first step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

1944 - Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung announced that he would support Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek in the war against Japan.

1948 - Ben Hogan won his first U.S. Open golf classic.

1963 - "Cleopatra" starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and Richard Burton premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City.

1963 - Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, MS.

1967 - State laws which prohibited interracial marriages were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

1971 - Tricia Nixon and Edward F. Cox were married in the White House Rose Garden.

1975 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was found guilty of corrupt election practices in 1971.

1979 - Bryan Allen flew the Gossamer Albatross, man powered, across the English Channel.

1981 - Major league baseball players began a 49 day strike. The issue was free-agent compensation.

1981 - "Raiders of the Lost Ark" opened in the U.S.

1982 - 75,000 people rallied against nuclear weapons in New York City's Central Park. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, and Linda Ronstadt were in attendance.

1985 - Wayne "The Great One" Gretsky was named winner of the NHL's Hart Trophy. The award is given to the the league Most Valuable Player.

1985 - The U.S. House of Representatives approved $27 million in aid to the Nicaraguan contras.

1986 - South Africa declared a national state of emergency. Virtually unlimited power was given to security forces and restrictions were put on news coverage of the unrest.

1987 - U.S. President Reagan publicly challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

1990 - The parliament of the Russian Federation formally declared its sovereignty.

1991 - Russians went to the election polls and elected Boris N. Yeltsin as the president of their republic.

1991 - The Chicago Bulls won their first NBA championship. The Bulls beat the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one.

1992 - In a letter to the U.S. Senate, Russian Boris Yeltsin stated that in the early 1950's the Soviet Union had shot down nine U.S. planes and held 12 American survivors.

1996 - In Philadelphia a panel of federal judges blocked a law against indecency on the internet. The panel said that the 1996 Communications Decency Act would infringe upon the free speech rights of adults.

1997 - Interleague play began in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series.

1997 - The U.S. Treasury Department unveiled a new $50 bill meant to be more counterfeit-resistant.

1998 - Compaq Computer paid $9 billion for Digital Equipment Corp. in largest high-tech acquisition.

1999 - NATO peacekeeping forces entered the province of Kosovo in Yugoslavia.

2003 - In Arkansas, Terry Wallis spoke for the first time in nearly 19 years. Wallis had been in a coma since July 13, 1984, after being injured in a car accident.

2009 - In the U.S., The switch from analog TV trasmission to digital was completed.