EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on May 12.
1679: Reverend James Kirkwood, the father of public libraries in Scotland, became minister of Minto.
1725: The Black Watch was commissioned under General Wade as the Independent Companies to police the Highlands.
1780: Charlestown fell to the British during the American Revolutionary War.
1915: Forces of South Africa’s Louis Botha occupied Windhoek, capital of German Southwest Africa.
1926: The General Strike in Britain ended after nine days.
1932: The kidnapped baby son of aviator Charles Lindbergh was found dead.
1935: Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by William Wilson in Ohio.
1937: The Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth took place in Westminster Abbey.
1938: Germany recognised Emperor of Manchukuo.
1940: First Victoria Crosses awarded to airmen in Second World War went posthumously to Flying Officer Donald Garland (pilot) and Sergeant Thomas Gray (observer) for a successful bombing attack, by 12 Squadron Fairey Battles, on the bridge at Maastricht.
1942: Russians opened Kharkov offensive.
1949: The USSR lifted its blockade of Berlin after 11 months. It had cost the Allies £200m to fly in food and essential supplies.
1951: The first H-bomb test on Eniwetok Atoll in the mid-Pacific proved it was possible to destroy a city more than 100 times the size of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1965: West Germany established diplomatic relations with Israel, and Arab states broke off relations with Bonn government.
1969: The voting age in Britain was lowered to 18.
1982: The QE2 sailed to join the Falklands Task Force.
1988: World Health Organisation said more than 34,000 Aids cases had been reported worldwide.
1990: A 1,000-tonne oil slick leaked from the Liberian tanker Rose Bay, which was in collision with a trawler in the Channel.
2003: Clare Short, international development secretary, quit the Cabinet and accused the prime minister, Tony Blair, of endangering Labour’s achievements through his “obsessive” pursuit of a place in history.
2009: The number of people out of work in the UK rose 244,000 to 2.22 million in the first three months of the year – the biggest quarterly rise since 1981.
2009: A rare blue diamond sold for a record 10.5million Swiss francs (£6.2m) at auction in Geneva.
Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC and broadcaster, 65; Burt Bacharach, pianist and composer, 87; Stephen Baldwin, actor, 49; Gabriel Byrne, actor, 65; Susan Hampshire OBE, actress, 78; Jonah Lomu, rugby player, 40; Dame Jenni Murray DBE, broadcaster, 65; Chris Patten (Baron Patten of Barnes), MP 1979-1992, chancellor of Oxford University, 71; Dr Miriam Stoppard OBE, author and broadcaster, 78; Catherine Tate, actress, 47; Steve Winwood, rock and composer, 67.
Births: 1763 John Bell, anatomist and surgeon; 1812 Edward Lear, artist and author; 1907 Leslie Charteris, crime fiction writer; 1912 Katharine Hepburn, actress; 1924 Tony Hancock, comedian; 1942 Ian Dury, pop singer.
Deaths: 1641 Earl of Strafford (beheaded for treason); 1925 Amy Lowell, poet; 1957 Erich von Stroheim, silent films director; 1967 John Masefield, poet laureate 1930-1967; John Smith, Labour Party leader 1992-4.