May 12


1588 - King Henry III fled Paris after Henry of Guise triumphantly entered the city.

1780 - Charleston, South Carolina fell to British forces.

1847 - William Clayton invented the odometer.

1870 - Manitoba entered the Confederation as a Canadian province.

1881 - Tunisia, in North Africa became a French protectorate.

1885 - In the Battle of Batoche, French Canadians rebelled against the Canadian government.

1888 - Charles Sherrill of the Yale track team became the first runner to use the crouching start for a fast break in a foot race.

1926 - The airship Norge became the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.

1926 - In Britain, a general strike by trade unions ended. The strike began on May 3, 1926.

1937 - Britain's King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1940 - The Nazi conquest of France began with the German army crossing Muese River.

1942 - The Soviet Army launched its first major offensive of World War II and took Kharkov in the eastern Ukraine from the German army.

1943 - The Axis forces in North Africa surrendered during World War II.

1949 - The Soviet Union announced an end to the Berlin Blockade.

1950 - The American Bowling Congress abolished its white males-only membership restriction after 34 years.

1957 - A.J. Foyt won his first auto racing victory in Kansas City, MO.

1965 - West Germany and Israel exchanged letters establishing diplomatic relations.

1970 - Ernie Banks, of the Chicago Cubs, hit his 500th home run.

1975 - U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez was seized by Cambodian forces in international waters.

1978 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that they would no longer exclusively name hurricanes after women.

1982 - South Africa unveiled a plan that would give voting rights to citizens of Asian and mixed-race descent, but not to blacks.

1984 - South African prisoner Nelson Mandela saw his wife for the first time in 22 years.

1999 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismissed Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and named Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin as his successor.

2002 - Former U.S. President Carter arrived in Cuba for a visit with Fidel Castro. It was the first time a U.S. head of state, in or out of office, had gone to the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.

2003 - In Texas, fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers went into hiding over a dispute with Republican's over a congressional redistricting plan.

2008 - In the U.S., the price for a one-ounce First-Class stamp increased from 41 to 42 cents.

2015 - It was announced that Verizon would be acquiring AOL.