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This Day in History: June 12


1665 – England installs a municipal government in New York City (the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam).

1758 – French and Indian War: Siege of Louisbourg: James Wolfe's attack at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia commences.

1775 – American Revolution: British general Thomas Gage declares martial law in Massachusetts. The British offer a pardon to all colonists who lay down their arms. There would be only two exceptions to the amnesty: Samuel Adams and John Hancock, if captured, were to be hanged.

1776 – The Virginia Declaration of Rights is adopted.

1864 – American Civil War, Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor: Ulysses S. Grant gives the Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee a victory when he pulls his Union troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Virginia and moves south.

1899 – New Richmond tornado: The eighth deadliest tornado in U.S. history kills 117 people and injures around 200.

1939 – Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures' Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.

1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.

1940 – World War II: Thirteen thousand British and French troops surrender to Major General Erwin Rommel at Saint-Valery-en-Caux.

1942 – Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday.

1943 – Holocaust: Germany liquidates the Jewish Ghetto in Brze┼╝any, Poland (now Berezhany, Ukraine). Around 1,180 Jews are led to the city's old Jewish graveyard and shot.

1944 – American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division secure the town of Carentan.

1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith.

1967 – The United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declares all U.S. state laws which prohibit interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.

1972 – The fast food restaurant chain Popeyes is founded in Arabi, Louisiana.

1978 – David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" killer in New York City, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings.

1987 – Cold War: At the Brandenburg Gate U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

1994 – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are murdered outside her home in Los Angeles, California. O.J. Simpson is later acquitted of the killings, but is held liable in wrongful death civil suit.

1994 – The Boeing 777, the world's largest twinjet, makes its first flight.

1996 – In Philadelphia, a panel of federal judges blocks a law against indecency on the internet.


1806 – John A. Roebling, German-American engineer, designed the Brooklyn Bridge (d. 1869)

1915 – David Rockefeller, American banker and businessman

1916 – Irwin Allen, American director and producer (d. 1991)

1924 – George H. W. Bush, American lieutenant and politician, 41st President of the United States

1930 – Donald Byrne, American chess player (d. 1976)

1930 – Jim Nabors, American actor and singer

1941 – Marv Albert, American sportscaster

1941 – Chick Corea, American pianist and composer

1941 – Lucille Roybal-Allard, American politician

1960 – Mark Calcavecchia, American golfer

1965 – Gwen Torrence, American sprinter

1971 – Mark Henry, American weightlifter and wrestler

1985 – Blake Ross, American computer programmer, co-created Mozilla Firefox


1778 – Philip Livingston, American merchant and politician (b. 1716)

1957 – Jimmy Dorsey, American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (The Dorsey Brothers and The California Ramblers) (b. 1904)

1963 – Medgar Evers, American soldier and activist (b. 1925)

1980 – Milburn Stone, American actor (b. 1904)

1982 – Peter Maivia, Samoan-American wrestler and promoter (b. 1935)

1994 – Nicole Brown Simpson, German-American murder victim (b. 1959)

1994 – Ronald Goldman, American waiter (b. 1968)

1998 – Leo Buscaglia, American author and educator (b. 1924)

2002 – Bill Blass, American fashion designer, founded Bill Blass Limited (b. 1922)

2003 – Gregory Peck, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1916)

2006 – Anna Lee Aldred, American jockey (b. 1921)

2012 – Elinor Ostrom, American political scientist and economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1933)

2015 – Frederick Pei Li, Chinese-American physician and academic (b. 1940)

2015 – Patrick Lennox Tierney, American historian and academic (b. 1914)

2017 - Charles P. Thacker, American computer designer (b. 1943)