Written by Michael

Modified & Updated: 24 Aug 2023

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

August 12th

August 12th has been witness to a myriad of momentous events and milestones throughout history. The date encompasses significant occurrences from various domains, such as politics, science, culture, and sports. In this article, we will explore some of the most noteworthy events and facts that transpired on August 12th over the years.

Table of Contents

Historical Discoveries

1492: Explorer Christopher Columbus arrived in the Canary Islands on his first voyage to the New World. Columbus set sail from Spain to find a new route to Asia. He ended up discovering the New World instead. Columbus’s voyages marked the beginning of European exploration and colonization of the Americas.

Political Milestones

1658: The first American police force was formed in New Amsterdam, which is now known as New York City. The force was comprised of eight men who were tasked with patrolling the streets of the city at night to ensure order and safety. The formation of this police force marked an important moment in the history of American law enforcement. It set the stage for the development of modern police forces throughout the United States.

1898: The Hawaiian Islands were formally annexed by the United States, following the passage of the Newlands Resolution by the U.S. Congress. The annexation marks the end of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii and the beginning of the territory’s incorporation into the United States.

NYPD car

Technological Advancements

1851: Isaac Singer received a patent for his sewing machine design, leading to the establishment of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. This innovation greatly impacts the textile industry. In particular, it enables the mass production of clothing and increased accessibility to affordable garments for the general population.

1877: Asaph Hall discovered Phobos and Deimos, the two moons of Mars. The moons are named after the mythological characters Phobos and Deimos, who were the sons of Ares, the Greek god of war. Hall first discovered Deimos on August 12th, 1877, before discovering Phobos on August 17th a few days later.

1960: Echo 1A, the world’s first successful communications satellite, was launched by NASA. Commonly referred to as Echo 1, the satellite’s passive design reflects signals from the ground. It enables long-distance communication across vast distances. This pioneering technology paves the way for modern global communication networks.

1981: IBM introduced the IBM Personal Computer (PC). It featured the Intel 8088 microprocessor, a 16KB memory, and the PC-DOS operating system developed by Microsoft. The IBM PC revolutionizes the computer industry. It spurred the development of compatible hardware and software by other companies. On a mainstream level, this event also marked a turning point as personal computers became more accessible to individuals and businesses.

NASA communications satellite

Cultural Events

1927: “Wings” opened starring Clara Bow. Wings is one of only two silent films to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. Directed by William A. Wellman, the film tells the story of two World War I fighter pilots who fall in love with the same woman. The film was notable for its groundbreaking use of aerial photography and special effects, as well as for its realistic portrayal of the horrors of war

1928: The IX Olympic Games, also known as the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Olympics, came to a close. These games are notable for being the first Olympics to feature the lighting of the Olympic flame, a tradition that continues to this day. Additionally, women’s athletics and gymnastics make their debut at these games, marking a significant step toward gender equality in sports.

2012: The 2012 London Summer Olympics came to a close. These games are celebrated for their spirit of unity, sportsmanship, and the remarkable performance of various athletes, such as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who becomes the first person to win the 100m and 200m events in consecutive Olympics.

2012 London Summer Olympics Usain Bolt
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Notable Birthdays

  1. Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961) – An Austrian-born physicist. Schrödinger is a key figure in the development of quantum mechanics. He is remembered for his wave equation, which describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes over time. Schrödinger is also famous for his thought experiment, known as Schrödinger’s cat, which illustrates the concept of superposition in quantum mechanics.
  2. Margaret Burbidge (1919–2020) – A British-born astrophysicist. Burbidge is a pioneer in the field of observational cosmology. Along with her husband and two other scientists, she co-authored the groundbreaking B^2FH paper, which describes the synthesis of elements in stars. Burbidge’s work significantly advanced our understanding of the chemical composition and evolution of the universe.
  3. Buck Owens (1929–2006) – An American musician and pioneer of the Bakersfield sound. Owens’ distinctive style of country music, which incorporates elements of rock and roll, had a profound influence on the genre. He inspired numerous artists, including Merle Haggard and Dwight Yoakam.
  4. Peter Krause (1965) – An American actor. He is known for his roles in popular television series such as “Six Feet Under” and “Parenthood”. Krause’s performances have received critical acclaim and earned him multiple award nominations, including Emmy and Golden Globe nods.
  5. Rebecca Gayheart (1971) – An American actress who has appeared in both film and television productions. She gained attention for her roles in films like “Scream 2”, a horror film where she played one of the main characters, and “Jawbreaker”, a dark comedy. Gayheart has also made appearances in TV shows such as “Dead Like Me” and “Vanished”. Apart from her acting career, she has been involved in philanthropic work and advocacy for various causes.
  6. Casey Affleck (1975) – An American actor and film director who comes from a talented family of actors. He gained critical acclaim for his performance in the film “Manchester by the Sea”, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Affleck has appeared in various other notable films, including “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” and “Interstellar”. In addition to his acting career, he has also directed films such as “I’m Still Here” and “Light of My Life”.
  7. Maggie Lawson (1980) – An American actress who has made a name for herself through her roles in television series. She is best known for her portrayal of Detective Juliet O’Hara in the long-running comedy-drama series “Psych”. Lawson’s charismatic and witty performance endeared her to audiences. She has also appeared in other TV shows such as “Back in the Game” and “Lethal Weapon”, showcasing her versatility as an actress.

Final Word

August 12th is a date rich with historical significance, encompassing a wide range of events and achievements across various domains. Exploring the occurrences that transpired on this day helps deepen our understanding of the world we live in and the individuals who have played a role in shaping it. From pivotal political events and revolutionary technological advancements to cultural milestones and notable birthdays, August 12th offers an intriguing and informative look into our past.

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