What Happened on June 12?

  • U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to bring down the Berlin Wall. (1987) Reagan said to Gorbachev, "...if you seek peace — if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe — if you seek liberalization come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Two years later, the wall came down on November 9, 1989.

  • Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. (1994) Nicole's ex-husband, famous football player O.J. Simpson, was charged and tried for the crime. Despite extensive evidence against him, Simpson was acquitted. He was later found guilty in a civil trial and ordered to pay $33.5 million U.S. Dollars.

  • Anne Frank got a diary for her 13th birthday. (1942) Born in 1929, Holocaust victim Anne Frank started the diary recording her experiences from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944. The diary later would be published as The Diary of a Young Girl in 1947.

  • The National Baseball Hall of Famed opened. (1939) The museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York in an effort to bring tourists to town. The first five inductees were Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Babe Ruth.

  • The Son of Sam was sentenced. (1978) David Berkowitz, famed Son of Sam serial killer, was sentenced to life in prison for each of the six murders he committed.

  • The first in-color horror film began shooting. (1939) Dr. Cyclops was the first horror movie to be shot in Technicolor.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled interracial marriages were legal. (1967) In Loving v. Virginia, the Court, in a 9-0 vote, struck down all state laws prohibiting the unions.

  • The first perfect game in baseball's major league history was pitched. (1880) Lee Richmond pitched a perfect game for the Worcester Ruby Legs, bringing the team a victory over the Cleveland Blues.

  • Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison in South Africa. (1964) Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, was convicted of sabotage. He served 27 years of his sentence and was released February 11, 1990. He led his political party to a democratic victory and became President of South Africa, serving from 1994 to 1999. Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

  • President George Herbert Walker Bush was born. (1924) Bush was the 41st President of the United States, serving from January 20, 1989 to January 20, 1993. He also served as Vice President for President Ronald Reagan from January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989.

  • American musician Jimmy Dorsey died. (1957) Dorsey was a prominent jazz musician and big band leader. He and his orchestra had 11 number one hits in the 1930s and 40s — the orchestra's recording of Brazil (Aquarela Do Brasil) was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

  • Virginia was the first US state to adopt a Bill of Rights. (1776) The Virginia Declaration of Rights influenced both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Bill of Rights.

  • The Queen reopened the Globe Theatre. (1997) The original Globe Theatre of Shakespeare's day burned on June 29, 1613. A second theater was built on the same site in 1614 and closed in 1642. Queen Elizabeth opened another Globe Theatre, built just 750 feet (230 meters) from the original site.

  • The eighth deadliest tornado in U.S. history struck. (1899) The tornado touched down in New Richmond, killing 117 people and injuring 200.

  • American actor Gregory Peck died. (2003) Peck was perhaps best know for his Academy Award Winning role as lawyer Atticus Finch in the movie To Kill A Mockingbird. He also was the founding chairman of the American Film Institute and a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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