October 12 events in history

633 Battle of Hatfield Chase: King Edwin of Northumbria is defeated and killed by the British under Penda of Mercia and Cadwallon of Gwynedd
1113 The city of Oradea is first mentioned under the Latin name Varadinum ("vár" means fortress in Hungarian)
1216 John, King of England loses his crown jewels in The Wash, probably near Fosdyke, perhaps near Sutton Bridge
1279 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk founder of Nichiren Buddhism, inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon
1398 The Treaty of Salynas is signed between Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the Great and the Teutonic Knights, who received Samogitia
1492 Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached the Indies
1582 Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain
1654 The Delft Explosion devastates the city in the Netherlands, killing more than 100 people
1692 The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor William Phips
1748 British and Spanish naval forces engage at the Battle of Havana during the War of Jenkins' Ear
1773 America's first insane asylum opens for 'Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds' in Virginia
1792 First celebration of Columbus Day in the USA held in New York City
1793 The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina
1799 Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse was the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 900 meters
1810 First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen
1822 Pedro I of Brazil is proclaimed the emperor of the Empire of Brazil
1823 Charles Macintosh of Scotland sells the first raincoat
1871 Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) enacted by British rule in India, which named over 160 local communities 'Criminal Tribes', i.e. hereditary criminals. Repealed in 1949, after Independence of India
1892 The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage
1901 President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the "Executive Mansion" to the White House
1915 World War I: British nurse Edith Cavell is executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium
1917 World War I: The First Battle of Passchendaele takes place resulting in the largest single day loss of life in New Zealand history
1918 A massive forest fire kills 453 people in Minnesota
1928 An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children's Hospital, Boston
1933 The United States Army Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz Island, is acquired by the United States Department of Justice
1942 World War II: Japanese ships retreat after their defeat in the Battle of Cape Esperance with the Japanese commander, Aritomo Gotō dying from wounds suffered in the battle and two Japanese destroyers sunk by Allied air attack
1944 World War II: The Liberation of Athens from the German invaders
1945 World War II: Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor
1953 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial opens at Plymouth Theatre, New York City
1959 At the national congress of APRA in Peru a group of leftist radicals are expelled from the party. They will later form APRA Rebelde
1960 Cold War: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe
1960 Television viewers in Japan unexpectedly witness the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, leader of the Japan Socialist Party, when he is stabbed and killed during a live broadcast
1962 Infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U.S. Pacific Northwest with record wind velocities; 46 dead and at least U.S. $230 million in damages
1963 After nearly 23 years of imprisonment, Reverend Walter Ciszek, a Jesuit missionary, was released from the Soviet Union
1964 The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits
1967 Vietnam War: US Secretary of State Dean Rusk states during a news conference that proposals by the U.S. Congress for peace initiatives are futile because of North Vietnam's opposition
1968 Equatorial Guinea becomes independent from Spain
1970 Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon announces that the United States will withdraw 40,000 more troops before Christmas
1979 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published
1979 The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip
1983 Japan's former Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei is found guilty of taking a $2 million bribe from Lockheed and is sentenced to 4 years in jail
1984 Brighton hotel bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet. Thatcher escapes but the bomb kills five people and wounds 31
1986 Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the People's Republic of China
1988 Jaffna University Helidrop: Commandos of Indian Peace Keeping Force raided the Jaffna University campus to capture the LTTE chief and walked into a trap
1988 Two officers of the Victoria Police are gunned down execution-style in the Walsh Street police shootings, Australia
1988 Birchandra Manu massacre in Tripura, India
1991 Askar Akayev, previously chosen President of Kyrgyzstan by republic's Supreme Soviet, is confirmed president in an uncontested poll
1992 5.8 earthquake occurred in Cairo, Egypt. At least 510 died
1994 NASA loses radio contact with the Magellan spacecraft as the probe descends into the thick atmosphere of Venus (the spacecraft presumably burned up in the atmosphere)
1997 Sidi Daoud massacre in Algeria; 43 killed at a fake roadblock