April 12 events in history

238 Gordian II loses the Battle of Carthage against the Numidian forces loyal to Maximinus Thrax and is killed. Gordian I, his father, commits suicide
240 Shapur I is crowned as king of the Sasanian Empire
467 Anthemius is elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire
627 King Edwin of Northumbria is converted to Christianity by Paulinus, bishop of York
1204 The Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade breach the walls of Constantinople and enter the city, which they completely occupy the following day
1606 The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships
1776 American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorizes its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain
1820 Alexander Ypsilantis is declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organization to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece
1831 Soldiers marching on the Broughton Suspension Bridge in Manchester, England cause it to collapse
1861 American Civil War: The war begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina
1862 American Civil War: The Andrews Raid (the Great Locomotive Chase) occurs, starting from Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw)
1864 American Civil War: The Fort Pillow massacre: Confederate forces kill most of the African American soldiers that surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee
1865 American Civil War: Mobile, Alabama, falls to the Union Army
1877 The United Kingdom annexes the Transvaal
1910 SMS Zrínyi, one of the last pre-dreadnought battleships built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy, is launched
1917 World War I: Canadian forces successfully complete the taking of Vimy Ridge from the Germans
1927 April 12 Incident: Chiang Kai-shek orders the Communist Party of China members executed in Shanghai, ending the First United Front
1928 The Bremen, a German Junkers W33 type aircraft, takes off for the first successful transatlantic aeroplane flight from east to west
1934 The strongest surface wind gust in the world at 231 mph, is measured on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire
1934 The U.S. Auto-Lite Strike begins, culminating in a five-day melee between Ohio National Guard troops and 6,000 strikers and picketers
1935 First flight of the Bristol Blenheim
1937 Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby, England
1945 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies while in office; vice-president Harry Truman is sworn in as the 33rd President
1955 The polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, is declared safe and effective
1961 The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1)
1963 The Soviet nuclear-powered submarine K-33 collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S Finnclipper in the Danish straits
1970 Soviet submarine K-8, carrying four nuclear torpedoes, sinks in the Bay of Biscay four days after a fire on board
1980 Samuel Doe takes control of Liberia in a coup d'état, ending over 130 years of minority Americo-Liberian rule over the country
1980 Terry Fox begins his "Marathon of Hope" at St. John's, Newfoundland
1981 The first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) takes place - the STS-1 mission
1990 Jim Gary's "Twentieth Century Dinosaurs" exhibition opens at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.. He is the only sculptor ever invited to present a solo exhibition there
1992 The Euro Disney Resort officially opens with its theme park Euro Disneyland. The resort and its park's name are subsequently changed to Disneyland Paris
1994 Canter & Siegel post the first commercial mass Usenet spam
1998 An earthquake in Slovenia, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale occurs near the town of Bovec
1999 US President Bill Clinton is cited for contempt of court for giving "intentionally false statements" in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit
2002 A female suicide bomber blows herself up at the entrance to Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open-air market, killing 7 and wounding 104
2007 A suicide bomber penetrates the Green Zone and detonates in a cafeteria within a parliament building, killing Iraqi MP Mohammed Awad and wounding more than twenty other people
2009 Zimbabwe officially abandons the Zimbabwe Dollar as its official currency
2010 A train derails near Merano, Italy, after running into a landslide, causing nine deaths and injuring 28 people
2014 A wildfire ravages the Chilean city of Valparaíso, killing 16, displacing nearly 10,000, and destroying over 2,000 homes