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On this day in history - October 12

What Happened On This Day – October 12

  • 1979 Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Hits the Bookstores

    The first in a “trilogy of five”, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, or H2G2, is a popular comedy science fiction novel that was first created as a radio show in 1978 for BBC Radio 4. The show and the book follow the intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent, who escapes the Earth’s destruction. He is accompanied by several other characters including an alien called Ford Prefect, Marvin the depressed robot, and the Vogons who are responsible for destroying the Earth.

  • 1968 Equatorial Guinea Gains Independence

    The African republic was part of the Spanish Empire since the late 1700s. Known as Spanish Guinea, the country became independent and changed its name to Equatorial Guinea under the leadership of President Francisco Macías Nguema. In 1972, Nguema proclaimed himself president for life.

  • 1964 First Multi Person Space Flight

    Soviet spacecraft Voskhod 1 carried 3 cosmonauts for the first time to space. It was also the first time the crew did not wear any space suits for the duration of the flight.

  • 1960 Nikita Khrushchev's Famous Shoe Pounding Incident

    The First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union removed his shoe and pounded it on the table during a UN General Assembly meeting in New York. The incident was thought to be a response to comments about freedoms in Eastern Europe made by the Filipino delegate, Lorenzo Sumulong.

  • 1492 Christopher Columbus Steps Foot on the New World

    Two months after he had set sail from Spain with crews on 3 ships – the Santa María, the Pinta, and the Santa Clara, Columbus spotted land that he believed was Japan. He had, in fact, stepped foot on what is now the Bahamas. Claiming that he was the first one to set sight on the lands, he declared the lands as being owned by the Spanish empire.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
October 12

  • 1968 Hugh Jackman

    Australian actor, producer

  • 1875 Aleister Crowley

    English magician, author

  • 1866 Ramsay MacDonald

    Scottish politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

  • 1798 Pedro I of Brazil

  • 1537 Edward VI of England

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
October 12

  • 1999 Wilt Chamberlain

    American basketball player

  • 1997 John Denver

    American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor

  • 1971 Dean Acheson

    American lawyer, politician, 51st United States Secretary of State

  • 1946 Joseph Stilwell

    American general

  • 1870 Robert E. Lee

    American general