July 12th in History

“Mick Jagger,” by Silvia Klippert (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Today in History

  • The Medal of Honor is authorized by the US Congress (1862)
  • The “Bisbee Deportation,” an illegal kidnapping and deportation of 1,300 striking mine workers in Arizona, takes place. No one is prosecuted. (1917)
  • World War II: The Battle of Prokhorovka between Soviet forces and SS panzers, one of the largest tank battles in military history, takes place as part of the wider Battle of Kursk. It is a German tactical victory but a Soviet operational victory (1943)
  • The Rolling Stones perform their first concert (1962)


  • Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the Wedgwood Company (1730)
  • Henry David Thoreau, philosopher (1817)
  • George Eastman, founded Eastman Kodak J(1854)
  • Tod Browning, filmmaker (1880)
  • Louis B. Mayer, filmmaker (1884)
  • Jean Hersholt, filmmaker (1886)
  • Buckminster Fuller, architect and engineer (1895)
  • Oscar Hammerstein II, filmmaker and songwriter (1895)
  • Pablo Neruda, poet and diplomat (1904)
  • Milton Berle, comedian (1908)
  • Joe DeRita, member of the Three Stooges (1909)
  • Andrew Wyeth, painter (1917)
  • Donald E. Westlake, author (1933)
  • Van Cliburn, pianist (1934)
  • Bill Cosby, comedian and actor (1937)
  • Christine McVie, singer-songwriter, member of Fleetwood Mac (1943)
  • Richard Simmons, fitness trainer (1948)
  • Cheryl Ladd, actress (1951)
  • Kristi Yamaguchi, figure skater (1971)
  • Topher Grace, actor (1978)


  • Erasmus, philosopher (1536)
  • Alexander Hamilton, US Secretary of the Treasury (1804)
  • Alexander Cartwright, firefighter, considered by some the creator of baseball (1892)
  • Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce (1910)
  • Gertrude Bell, British archeologist and spy, one of the founders of modern Iraq (1926)
  • Ole Evinrude, invented the outboard motor (1934)
  • Alfred Dreyfus, French-Jewish colonel whose imprisonment on false charges became a major scandal known as the Dreyfus Affair (1935)
  • Jimmie Lunceford, bandleader (1947)
  • Lon Chaney, Jr., actor (1973)
  • Minnie Riperton, singer-songwriter (1979)
  • John Chancellor, television journalist and anchor (1996)
  • Benny Carter, jazz musician (2003)
  • Bobby Murcer, baseball player and sportscaster (2008)
  • Harvey Pekar, creator of American Splendor (2010)
  • Sherwood Schwartz, television producer (2011)
  • Amar Bose, founded the Bose Corporation (2013)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Birthday of the Heir to the Crown of Tonga (Tonga)
  • Independence Day (Kiribati, São Tomé and Príncipe)
  • Second day of Naadam (Mongolia)
  • Glorious Twelfth, also known as Orangemen’s Day (Northern Ireland, Scotland, Newfoundland and Labrador)

July 12 is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years). There are 172 days remaining until the end of the year.