Kip Somerville

Written by Kip Somerville

Modified & Updated: 17 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome to our journey through history! In this article, we will explore the significant events and fascinating facts that took place on January 12th throughout history. Each day is filled with moments that have shaped the world we live in today, and January 12th is no exception. From groundbreaking discoveries and notable achievements to memorable births and unfortunate tragedies, this date has witnessed a myriad of noteworthy happenings across various fields and continents. Join us as we delve into the past to uncover the remarkable events and influential figures associated with January 12th. Let’s embark on this historical exploration and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of this date in the annals of time.

Key Takeaways:

  • January 12th marks a day filled with impactful events, from the first woman elected to the US Senate to scientific breakthroughs like the electric battery and the first perfusion of a cadaver kidney.
  • On this day, historical events, political milestones, and cultural happenings have left a lasting impact on the world, reminding us of the diverse range of moments that have shaped our society.
Table of Contents



  • 1899 – The French newspaper Le Figaro publishes its first crossword puzzle.
  • 1932 – Hattie W. Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.
  • 1948 – Mahatma Gandhi begins his final fast in Delhi, India, to protest against the violence in the country.
  • 1966 – Lyndon B. Johnson states in his State of the Union address that the United States will stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression stops.
  • 2005 – Deep Impact, a NASA space probe, successfully impacts the comet Tempel 1.


  • 1800 – Alessandro Volta announces his discovery of the electric battery.
  • 1879 – The British inventor, Thomas Edison, demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time.
  • 1908 – A wireless message is sent over a long distance for the first time as the SS Florida transmits signals from the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.
  • 1926 – The first perfusion of a cadaver kidney is performed by medical surgeon John J. Abel at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 2005 – The Huygens probe lands on Saturn’s moon, Titan, making it the furthest landing from Earth ever accomplished by a spacecraft.


  • 1616 – The Roman Inquisition delivers its verdict against Galileo Galilei, declaring his views in support of heliocentrism to be heretical.
  • 1926 – The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is founded, becoming the first major American broadcasting company.
  • 1976 – The United Nations Security Council votes 11-1 to allow the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to participate in a Security Council debate, despite objections from the United States.
  • 1987 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signs the Single European Act, the first major revision of the Treaty of Rome, which establishes the framework for the creation of the European Union.
  • 1991 – The United Nations deadline for Iraq to withdraw its forces from Kuwait expires, leading to the start of Operation Desert Storm.


  • 1729 – The British author and satirist, Jonathan Swift, publishes “A Modest Proposal,” a satirical essay suggesting that the Irish should sell their children as food to the wealthy.
  • 1969 – Led Zeppelin releases their self-titled debut album in the United States, introducing their unique blend of hard rock and heavy blues.
  • 1986 – The musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, opens on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre, captivating audiences with its powerful storytelling and iconic music.
  • 1987 – The film “Platoon,” directed by Oliver Stone, is released in the United States, portraying the brutality and moral ambiguity of the Vietnam War.
  • 2000 – The play “Copenhagen” by Michael Frayn premieres in London, exploring the events of a mysterious meeting between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg during World War II.


  • 1729 – Edmund Burke, Irish philosopher, statesman, and author, known for his influential writings on politics and aesthetics.
  • 1876Jack London, American author and journalist, best known for his adventure novels such as “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang.
  • 1893 – Alfred Rosenberg, German ideologist and leading member of the Nazi Party, instrumental in shaping Nazi racial policies during World War II.
  • 1951 – Kirstie Alley, American actress known for her roles in the TV series “Cheers” and the “Look Who’s Talking” film series.
  • 1993Zayn Malik, English singer-songwriter and former member of the boy band One Direction.


  • 1777 – Hugh Mercer, Scottish-American physician and Revolutionary War general, dies from wounds sustained during the Battle of Princeton.
  • 1943Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor and electrical engineer, known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electrical supply system.
  • 1976 – Agatha Christie, English author, widely regarded as one of the greatest mystery writers of all time, passes away at the age of 85.
  • 1991 – Steve Clark, English guitarist and founding member of the rock band Def Leppard, dies at the age of 30 due to a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs.
  • 2003 – Maurice Gibb, British musician and member of the Bee Gees, known for their hit songs such as “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love,” dies at the age of 53.


January 12th has witnessed significant historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, and notable births and deaths throughout history. This date serves as a reminder of the diverse range of impactful events that have shaped our world. From the publication of crossword puzzles to the landing of spacecraft on distant moons, January 12th is a day filled with moments that have left a lasting impact on science, politics, culture, and society as a whole.


Q: What is the significance of January 12th in history?

A: January 12th marks the occurrence of various historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, and the birth and death of notable individuals.

Q: Why is it important to remember historical events on January 12th?

A: Remembering historical events on January 12th helps us understand the progression of human civilization, scientific advancements, political changes, and cultural developments throughout history.

Q: Are there any famous people born on January 12th?

A: Yes, notable individuals born on January 12th include Edmund Burke, Jack London, Alfred Rosenberg, Kirstie Alley, and Zayn Malik.

Q: What scientific breakthroughs occurred on January 12th?

A: January 12th witnessed important scientific breakthroughs such as the announcement of Alessandro Volta’s discovery of the electric battery and the first perfusion of a cadaver kidney performed by John J. Abel.

Q: What cultural events are associated with January 12th?

A: Cultural events on January 12th include the publishing of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” the release of Led Zeppelin’s debut album, the opening of the musical “Les Misérables” on Broadway, and the premiere of the play “Copenhagen.”

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