On this day: Srebrenica | Man in space | Bill Clinton

Events, anniversaries and birthdays for 12 April


1545: France’s King Francis I ordered massacre of Vaudois Protestants.

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1606: The Union Flag was adopted as the flag of England, Wales and Scotland.

1621: French forces under King Louis XIII set out to crush Huguenot rebellion.

1709: The Tatler magazine was first published.

1850: French troops restored Pope Pius IX and occupied Rome.

1861: American Civil War began.

1903: World’s first motor omnibus service was inaugurated between Eastbourne Station and Meads, Sussex.

1914: George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion opened in London.

1945: Harry S Truman was sworn in as United States president.

1954: Bill Haley recorded Rock Around The Clock, the first record to sell a million in Britain.

1961: Soviet Union put first man in space – Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

1966: US bombers carried out first strikes on North Vietnam.

1981: The United States launched space shuttle Columbia.

1987: Soviet media reported that two cosmonauts walking in space successfully linked space module to their orbital space station Mir.

1989: Lord Lloyd-Webber’s Cats was performed for the 3,358th time, making it Britain’s longest-running musical.

1990: The Soviet Union admitted the massacre of up to 15,000 Polish officers at Katyn in the Soviet Union in 1940.

1991: German chancellor Helmut Kohl formed a pact with the opposition to rescue eastern Germany from collapse.

1993: Serbian shelling killed 56 people in Srebrenica.

1995: Home secretary, Michael Howard, announced tougher laws on “video nasties”.

1996: West Indies captain Brian Lara scored a Test record 400 not out against England, in Antigua.

1999: US president Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court for giving “intentionally false statements” in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.

2007: A suicide bomber penetrated the Green Zone killing Iraqi MP Mohammed Awad.

2009: Zimbabwe officially abandoned the Zimbabwe Dollar as their official currency.

2010: A train derailed near Merano, Italy, after running into a landslide, causing nine deaths and injuring 28 people.


Births: 1692 Giuseppe Tartini, violinist and composer; 1925 Oliver Postgate, creator of Bagpuss and other characters; 1929 Elspet Gray (Lady Rix), Inverness-born actress; 1941 Bobby Moore, footballer.

Deaths: 1817 Charles Messier, astronomer; 1975 Josephine Baker, singer; 1981 Joe Louis, the “Brown Bomber”, heavyweight boxing champion; 1983 Desmond Bagley, novelist; 1988 Alan Paton, politician and author;


Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, MP 1978-99, secretary-general of Nato 1999-2003; Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE, British playwright, 74; Bill Bryden CBE, Greenock-born theatre director and writer, 71; David Cassidy, American actor, singer, songwriter and guitarist, 63; Claire Danes, American actress, 34; Shannen Doherty, American actress, 42; Andy Garcia, actor, 57; Herbie Hancock, American jazz pianist, 73; Professor Lisa Jardine CBE, British historian, 69; Hardy Kruger, German actor, 85; Dan Lauria, American actor, 66; David Letterman, American chat-show host, 66; Bryan McFadden, pop singer (Westlife), 33; Bryan Magee, British writer, 83;