What Happened On This Day – May 12
2008 A massive earthquake rocks China
The magnitude 7.9 quake left some 69,000 people dead, 18,000 missing, and 4.8 million homeless. It was the deadliest earthquake in China since 1976 when the Tangshan earthquake killed over 240,000 people.
1998 Violent clashes follow the killing of four protesters in Jakarta, Indonesia
The riots eventually led to the resignation of President Suharto.
1994 The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ends
With the signing of the Bishkek Protocol a week earlier, Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats had formalized the ceasefire that went into effect on May 12. The conflict itself remains unsolved.
1982 A Spanish priest attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II
Juan María Fernández y Krohn opposed the reforms initiated by the Second Vatican Council and believed that the Pope was a Communist agent. John Paul II escaped with minor injuries.
1941 The world's first programmable, fully automatic computer is presented
The Z3 was designed by German inventor, Konrad Zuse. The original machine was destroyed in an air raid. A replica can be seen at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
Births On This Day – May 12
1946 Daniel Libeskind
American architect, designed the Imperial War Museum North, Jewish Museum
1928 Burt Bacharach
American pianist, composer, producer
1921 Joseph Beuys
German sculptor, illustrator
1907 Katharine Hepburn
American actress, singer
1820 Florence Nightingale
Deaths On This Day – May 12
2008 Robert Rauschenberg
American painter, illustrator
2001 Perry Como
American singer, actor
1884 Bedřich Smetana
1860 Charles Barry
English architect, designed the Upper Brook Street Chapel, Halifax Town Hall
1003 Pope Sylvester II