Today in History – 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.

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