Today In History

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Associated Press

Posted on May 4, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Today is Saturday, May 12, the 133rd day of 2012. There are 233 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1536 - Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton and other alleged paramours of England's Queen Anne Boleyn go on trial for treason.

1888 - Britain establishes protectorate over North Borneo and Brunei.

1915 - Forces of South Africa's Louis Botha occupy Windhoek, capital of German Southwest Africa.

1926 - Josef Pilsudski stages coup in Poland; Roald Amundsen reaches the North Pole.

1932- The body of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh is found in a wooded area of Hopewell, New Jersey.

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

1938 - Japanese warships capture Chinese island of Amoy.

1943 - Battle of North Africa ends in World War II with German surrender of Cap Bon in Tunisia.

1949 - Soviets lift the blockade of West Berlin after eleven months.

1962 - South African General Law Amendment Bill imposes death penalty for sabotage.

1965 - West Germany establishes diplomatic relations with Israel, and Arab states break off relations with Bonn government.

1978 - The U.S. Commerce Department announces hurricanes will no longer be named exclusively after women.

1980 - The first nonstop crossing of North America in a hot air balloon is made.

1982 - In Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpower a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet as he tries to reach Pope John Paul II.

1985 - Amy Eilberg becomes the first female rabbi in the conservative Jewish movement.

1992 - The last European Community observers flee Bosnia; four suspects are arrested in the beating of trucker Reginald Denny at the start of the Los Angeles riots.

1993 - Police arrest Franco Nobili, chairman of IRI, Italy's huge state industrial conglomerate and its largest employer, on corruption charges. He is later acquitted.

1994 - Palestinian police arrive in the West Bank and prepare to take over Jericho, the seat of Palestinian self-rule.

1995 - The U.N. instructs its peacekeepers in Bosnia to shoot to kill to protect themselves a day after a sniper shoots a French soldier in the head in Sarajevo,

1996 - A rusty freighter teeming with thousands of sick and hungry Liberian refugees is finally allowed to limp into a Ghanaian port after a harrowing week at sea.

1997 - The leaders of India and Pakistan meet for the first time in four years in Male, The Maldives, and agree on measures to ease the tension between their long-feuding countries.

1998 - War crimes investigators discover mass graves near Srebrenica, thought to contain the remains of some of the 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men massacred by Serbs in 1995.

1999 - With 327 sorties, NATO carries out its busiest day of attacks yet against Yugoslavia, and President Slobodan Milosevic for the first time acknowledges military casualties.

2000 - Ignoring international pleas to end their two-year border conflict, Ethiopia and Eritrea return to open war with fighting reported on three fronts.

2001 - Estonia emerges as the surprise winner — for the first time — of Eurovision, Europe's popular annual song contest.

2002 - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter travels to Cuba for talks with President Fidel Castro and the nation's leading dissidents. He is the first former or sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

2003 - Two suicide bomb attacks kill at least 75 people and injure hundreds of others in the rebellious southern republic of Chechnya.

2004 - The International Obesity Task Force, in the first global assessment of child obesity says, one of every 10 school children in the world is overweight, and about 45 million have an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses before the age of 20.

2005 - Russia's security chief accuses U.S. and other foreign intelligence services of using non-governmental organizations that promote democracy to spy on Russia and bring about political upheaval in former Soviet republics.

2006 - Up to 200 people are killed in Nigeria when gasoline gushing from a ruptured pipeline explodes as villagers scavenge for fuel, setting off an inferno.

2007 - Riots and gunbattles break out in Karachi, Pakistan, after opposition protests against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend the country's chief justice. At least 41 people are killed in the weekend clashes.

2008 - A 7.9-magnitude earthquake hits Sichuan province in central China, killing more than 28,000 people and burying more than 10,600 people.

2009 - Retired auto worker John Demjanjuk listens silently as a German judge reads a 21-page warrant accusing him of acting as an accessory to the murder of 29,000 people at a Nazi death camp.

2010 - Britain ushers in its first coalition government since World War II as a pair of rivals-turned-partners pledge to set aside their deep policy differences and tackle the country's disastrous budget deficit.

2011 — A German court convicts retired U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk of taking part in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews as a Nazi death camp guard, breaking legal ground that could pave the way for the prosecution of many low-level cogs in Hitler's machinery of destruction.

Today's Birthdays:

Gustav I Vasa, king and founder of Swedish Vasa dynasty (1496?-1560); Florence Nightingale, English nursing pioneer (1820-1910); Jules Massenet, French composer (1842-1912): Gabriel Faure, French composer (1845-1924); Katharine Hepburn, U.S. actress (1907-2003); Joseph Beuys, German artist (1921-1986); Burt Bacharach, U.S. singer/songwriter (1928--); Gabriel Byrne, U.S. actor (1950--).

Thought For Today:

A mother never realizes that her children are no longer children — Holbrook Jackson, British critic and historian (1874-1948).

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