This Day in History – September 12

Today is the 255th day of 2019. There are 110 days left in the year.


1988: Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica with torrential rains and winds of 233 kph (145 mph), killing 45 people and causing damage estimated at $1 billion.


1609: English explorer Henry Hudson sails into the New York river that now bears his name.

1801: Alexander I of Russia announces annexation of Georgia.

1848: Switzerland adopts new constitution as a federal union with strong central government.

1938: In a speech in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demands self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.

1943: German paratroopers take Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he is being held by the Italian Government.

1953: Nikita Khrushchev becomes first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

1958: The US Supreme Court, in Cooper v Aaron, unanimously rules that Arkansas officials who were resisting public school desegregation orders could not disregard the high court’s rulings.

1959: Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first spacecraft to reach the moon.

1964: Dissident army officers try unsuccessfully to overthrow Government of South Vietnam.

1970: Palestinian guerrillas blow up three hijacked airliners in Jordan.

1974: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed by a military junta.

1977: South African black student leader Steven Biko dies while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.

1980: Turkish military seizes power and keeps it until 1983.

1987: Communist rebels battle troops in fierce fighting near Manila.

1990: President Alberto Fujimori’s Government turns down a US offer of $35.9 million for anti-drug counterinsurgency operations in Peru.

1991: Scores of Iraqi soldiers along the Iraq-Saudi Arabian border are buried alive by US tanks that pushed tons of sand and earth into their trenches during the Persian Gulf war.

1992: Abimael Guzman, the shadowy founder of bloody Maoist guerrilla movement the Shining Path, is captured in a safe house in Lima, Peru.

1993: Rebel Serbs in Croatia launch rocket attacks against targets near the capital.

1994: In Poland, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) soldiers and former Eastern Bloc nations hold first joint manoeuvres.

1995: The Belarusian military shoots down a helium balloon during an international race, killing its two American pilots.

1996: Taliban rebels consolidate their hold on the strategic eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

1997: Six Lebanese soldiers and one civilian are killed when Israel launches rockets at Lebanese army positions in south Lebanon.

1998: Azem Hajdari, a leading Albanian Opposition lawmaker, is assassinated by an unidentified gunmen.

1999: Indonesia says it will accept a peacekeeping force in East Timor, which was ravaged by Indonesian-controlled militias after residents voted for independence.

2000: A suspected car bomb rips through an underground garage in the Jakarta Stock Exchange building, killing 15 people and injuring dozens more.

2001: After the collapse of the Twin Towers, US President George W Bush addresses a national audience to declare America is under attack and the United States will use all its resources to defeat terrorism.

2003: The UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya that had been in place for 11 years as a response to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

2003: The UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya that had been in place for 11 years as a response to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

2004: Hurricane Ivan heads toward western Cuba and the south-eastern United States after battering the Cayman Islands with ferocious 150-mph (240-kph) winds, killing at least 60 across the Caribbean.

2005: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe quietly adopts constitutional changes that make it easier for the State to seize private property and prevent opponents from travelling abroad to criticise his 25-year rule.

2006: Syrian guards foil an attempt by suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants to blow up the US Embassy in Damascus, exchanging fire outside the compound’s walls.

2007: Authorities confirm a new foot-and-mouth outbreak on the outskirts of London, just days after the Government lifted livestock restrictions following the appearance of the devastating disease last month.

2009: About 50 civilians, security forces and militants die in a wave of violence around Afghanistan, including a bomb that leaves 14 Afghan travellers dead in one of the country’s most dangerous regions.

2010: Chile’s mining minister acknowledges that a problem has stalled the most advanced of three tunnels being drilled to 33 miners trapped underground and says officials might have to restart the bore hole in another location.

2011: A leaking gasoline pipeline explodes, sending flames racing through a slum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi slum and kills at least 75 people.

2012: A mob armed with guns and grenades launches a fiery attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the US ambassador and three other Americans.

2017: Crews work to repair the lone highway connecting the Florida Keys, where 25 per cent of the homes were feared to have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma; more than nine million Floridians, or nearly half the state’s population, were still without power in the late-summer heat. Gay rights pioneer Edith Windsor, whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law, dies in New York at the age of 88.