January 12 is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 353 days remaining (354 in leap years).
- 1528 - Gustav I of Sweden crowned king of Sweden.
- 1592 - Titus Andronicus first staged at the Rose Theatre.
- 1709 - Little Ice Age: Two-month freezing period begins in France - The coast of the Atlantic and Seine River freeze, crops fail and at least 24,000 Parisians die.
- 1773 - The first Colonial American museum open to the public is opened in Charleston, South Carolina.
- 1777 - Mission Santa Clara de Asís is founded in what is now Santa Clara, California.
- 1838 - In order to avoid anti-Mormon.persecution, Joseph Smith, Jr. and his followers leave Ohio for Missouri.
- 1866 - Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London.
- 1872 - Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years.
- 1875 - Kwang-su becomes emperor of China.
- 1896 - H. L. Smith takes the first x-ray photograph.
- 1898 - Ito Hirobumi begins his third term as Prime Minister of Japan.
- 1908 - A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.
- 1915 - The Rocky Mountain National Park is formed by an act of U.S. Congress.
- 1915 - United States House of Representatives rejects proposal to give women the right to vote.
- 1926 - Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll premiere their radio program Sam 'n' Henry, a precursor to Amos 'n' Andy; possibly the first situation comedy.
- 1932 - Hattie W. Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.
- 1940 - World War II: Russia bombs cities in Finland.
- 1942 - President Franklin Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board .
- 1945 - World War II: The Soviets begin a large offensive in Eastern Europe against the Nazis.
- 1964 - Rebels in Zanzibar begin a revolt and later proclaim a republic.
- 1966 - Lyndon B. Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.
- 1966 - Batman the TV series debuts on ABC.
- 1969 - Super Bowl III: New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts, 16-7.
- 1969 - Hard rock band Led Zeppelin release their eponymous first album.
- 1970 - Biafra capitulates, ending the Nigerian civil war.
- 1971 - All in the Family debuts on CBS.
- 1971 - Harrisburg Six : The Reverend Philip Berrigan and five others are indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up the heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington, DC.
- 1976 - UN Security Council votes 11-1 to allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization to participate in a Security Council debate (without voting rights).
- 1986 - Space shuttle Columbia takes-off with the first Hispanic-American astronaut, Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz.
- 1991 - Persian Gulf War: An act of the U.S. Congress authorizes the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.
- 1992 - A new constitution, providing for freedom to form political parties, is approved by referendum in Mali.
- 1995 - Malcolm X's daughter, Qubilah Shabazz, is arrested for conspiring to kill Louis Farrakhan.
- 1998 - Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.
- 1628 - Charles Perrault, folklorist (d. 1703)
- 1729 - Edmund Burke, statesman, philosopher (d. 1797)
- 1737 - John Hancock, statesman (d. 1793)
- 1746 - Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Swiss pedagogue (d. 1827)
- 1786 - Sir Robert Inglis, Bt, English politician († 1855)
- 1849 - Jean Béraud, French impressionist painter (d. 1935)
- 1856 - John Singer Sargent, artist (d. 1925)
- 1863 - Swami Vivekananda, guru (d. 1902)
- 1873 - Spiridon Louis, Greek marathon runner (d. 1940)
- 1876 - Jack London, author (d. 1916)
- 1876 - Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, composer (d. 1948)
- 1877 - Frank J. Corr, mayor of Chicago (d. 1934)
- 1878 - Ferenc Molnár , writer (d. 1952)
- 1879 - Ray Harroun, first winner of the Indianapolis 500 (d. 1968)
- 1884 - Texas Guinan, vaudeville performer (d. 1933)
- 1892 - Mikhail Gurevich, Soviet aircraft designer (d. 1976)
- 1893 - Hermann Göring, Nazi official (d. 1946)
- 1893 - Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi official (d. 1946)
- 1896 - Rex Ingram, director and actor (d. 1950)
- 1899 - Paul Hermann Müller, chemist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 (d. 1965)
- 1905 - Tex Ritter, actor, singer (d. 1974)
- 1907 - Sergei Korolev, Soviet rocket scientist (d. 1966)
- 1907 - Patsy Kelly , American actress (d. 1981]])
- 1908 - Jean Delannoy, film director
- 1910 - Luise Rainer, actress
- 1915 - Paul Jarrico , writer (d. 1997)
- 1915 - Martin Agronsky , journalist (d. 1999)
- 1916 - Pieter Willem Botha, President of South Africa
- 1916 - Jay McShann, blues musician
- 1920 - James L. Farmer, Jr., civil rights activist (d. 1999)
- 1923 - Ira Hayes, a Native American hero of World War II's Battle of Iwo Jima.
- 1925 - Scottie MacGregor, American actress
- 1926 - Ray Price, country music singer
- 1928 - Ruth Brown, American singer
- 1930 - Glenn Yarborough , singer, songwriter
- 1930 - Tim Horton, Canadian ice hockey player, entrepreneur (d. 1974)
- 1935 - Kreskin, mentalist
- 1937 - Shirley Eaton, British actress
- 1944 - Joe Frazier, boxing champion
- 1946 - George Duke, musician
- 1948 - Khalid Abdul Muhammed, Nation of Islam spokesman (d. 2001)
- 1949 - Wayne Wang, director
- 1950 - Sheila Jackson Lee, American politician
- 1951 - Kirstie Alley, actress
- 1951 - Rush Limbaugh, radio personality
- 1952 - Ricky Van Shelton , country musician
- 1952 - Walter Mosley, American author
- 1954 - Howard Stern, "shock-jock" radio host
- 1955 - Rockne O'Bannon, writer, producer
- 1957 - John Lasseter, director, writer, animator
- 1959 - Blixa Bargeld, lead singer for Einstürzende Neubauten
- 1960 - Oliver Platt, actor
- 1960 - Dominique Wilkins, professional basketball player
- 1960 - Charlie Gillingham , musician (Counting Crows)
- 1964 - Jeff Bezos, president of amazon.com
- 1966 - Rob Zombie, musician, artist, writer
- 1970 - Zack de la Rocha, singer
- 1971 - Richard deCosta, composer
- 1974 - Melanie Chisholm, British singer
- 1980 - Bobby Crosby, baseball player
- 1981 - Quentin Griffin, American football player
- 1982 - Dontrelle Willis, baseball pitcher
- 1987 - Melanie Chisholm, American actor
- 1997 - HAL 9000, Fictional Supercomputer
- 1519 - Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1459)
- 1665 - Pierre de Fermat, mathematician and lawyer (b. 1601)
- 1674 - Giacomo Carissimi, Baroque era composer
- 1817 - Juan Andres, Spanish Jesuit (b. 1740)
- 1943 - Jan Campert, Dutch journalist and writer (b. 1902)
- 1960 - Nevil Shute, writer (b. 1899)
- 1965 - Lorraine Hansberry, writer
- 1976 - Agatha Christie, writer (b. 1890)
- 1983 - Nikolai Podgorny, President of the USSR
- 1986 - Bob Kaufman , poet
- 1991 - Keye Luke, actor
- 1999 - Betty Lou Gerson, voice actress
- 2000 - Bobby Phills , basketball player
- 2000 - Marc Davis, Disney Studios designer
- 2001 - William Hewlett, cofounder of Hewlett-Packard (b. 1913)
- 2001 - Affirmed, racehorse
- 2002 - Stanley Unwin, comedian
- 2002 - Cyrus Vance, former United States Secretary of State (1977-1980) (b. 1917)
- 2003 - Leopoldo Galtieri, dictator of Argentina (b. 1926)
- 2003 - Kinji Fukasaku, Japanese director (b. 1930)
- 2003 - Maurice Gibb, singer and bassist in the Bee Gees (b. 1949)
- 2003 - Brandon "ripper" Vedas (overdosed on drugs while chatting on IRC)
- 2005 - Amrish Puri, actor (b. 1932)
- 2005 - Edmund S. Valtman, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist (b. 1914)
Holidays and observances
January 11 - January 13 - December 12 - February 12 -- listing of all days
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