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.
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
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
1870 Robert E. Lee