May 12, 1780 – During the Revolutionary War, in the largest defeat of the Continental Army, Charleston, South Carolina is taken by British forces. The battle ended when Major General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered to British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton.
May 12, 1812 – Poet and artist Edward Lear was born in London, England.
May 12, 1820 – Nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy to a wealthy English family.
May 12, 1825 – French lawyer and explorer Orélie-Antoine de Tounens was born in Chourgnac, France.
May 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, U.S. federal troops occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
May 12, 1863 – During the Civil War at the Battle of Raymond, two divisions of James B. McPherson's XVII Corps turned the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton's defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.
May 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers died in "the Bloody Angle." Troops under Union General Winfield Scott Hancock overran Rebel trenches at Spotsylvania.
May 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, Confederate Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart died after having been wounded the previous day at the Battle of Yellow Tavern.
May 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Jackson's Ferry, Ala.
May 12, 1865 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of Palmito Ranch, the first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War occurred, resulting in a Confederate victory.
May 12, 1880 – American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth was born in Chicago, Ill. He was a polar explorer from the United States and a major benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History.
May 12, 1888 – The U.S. Army moved Apache prisoners, including Geronimo, from Fort Pickens near Pensacola, Fla. to Mount Vernon Barracks near Mobile, Ala.
May 12, 1894 – Wanted outlaw Wyatt Tate, who’d already killed constable William Ikner on March 24 and Monroe County Sheriff J.D. Foster on April 3, was tracked to the “Marshall place” near Finchburg, Ala. and was killed by Murdoch M. Fountain. (See April 3 entry for more details.)
May 12, 1903 - President Theodore Roosevelt’s trip to San Francisco was captured on moving-picture film, making him the first president to have an official activity recorded in that medium.
May 12, 1909 – Around 1:30 p.m., fire was discovered at the residence of J.M. Cook in Evergreen, Ala. Cook’s wife was sick and in bed, so the fire was almost beyond control before any alarm was sounded. The Methodist parsonage across the street also caught fire during the incident, but was quickly extinguished.
May 12, 1915 - Author Joe David Brown was born in Birmingham, Ala.
May 12, 1916 - Author Albert Murray was born in Nokomis, Ala.
May 12, 1922 – Dr. Ernest Stanley Crawford, a heart surgeon pioneer, was born in Evergreen.
May 12, 1922 - A large meteor struck Earth near Blackstone, Virginia.
May 12, 1925 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, manager and coach Yogi Berra was born in St. Louis, Mo. He went on to play for and manage the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
May 12, 1926 – The Italian-built airship Norge became the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.
May 12, 1935 - American jazz double-bassist Gary Peacock was born in Burley, Idaho.
May 12, 1938 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen Greenies baseball team beat the Union Springs Red Birds by the “overwhelming score” of 13-5. Will Walls and Skipper Rice hit a home run each for Evergreen, and Evergreen’s Lefty Goetz struck out eight.
May 12, 1942 – During World War II, the U.S. tanker SS Virginia was torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German submarine U-507.
May 12, 1944 - Author Michael Bradley was born in Talladega, Ala.
May 12, 1944 – PFC Raymond N. Bradley of Castleberry, Ala. was wounded in Italy. A member of the 17th Field Artillery, he’d already fought in North Africa and Sicily before getting wounded. After his release from the hospital, he would go on to fight in Austria, Germany and France. He would arrive home safely in October 1945.
May 12, 1945 - Less than a week after the war in Europe was declared over, Alabama native Robert Posey arrived in Alt Aussee, Austria, in search of art work stolen by the Nazis. On May 13, he found hidden in a salt mine more than 6,500 paintings and many more drawings, prints, sculptures, and other objets d'art, including Michelangelo's Bruges Madonna, Vermeer's The Astronomer, and Van Eyck's The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. Posey was part of a military unit known as "Monuments Men," who during World War II were charged with protecting historic buildings, landmarks, and monuments in Europe. He grew up in Jefferson and earned degrees in engineering and architecture at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (present-day Auburn University).
May 12, 1952 – The first ever Monroeville Little League season opened in Monroeville, Ala. The season began with 48 uniforms for four teams – the Yankees, Indians, White Sox and Dodgers. The boys were divided into the majors and minors. The boys in minors were given caps but no uniforms.
May 12, 1953 - Alabama author Carolyn Haines was born in Hattiesburg, Miss.
May 12, 1953 – In their season finale, Evergreen High School improved to 8-1 on the season as pitcher Hugh Ellington pitched a no-hitter against Monroe County County High School on this Tuesday afternoon in Monroeville, Ala. Evergreen won, 11-0. This game was Ellington’s second shutout of the season, and he gave up only one hit in the previous game.
May 12, 1956 - The movie “Good-bye, My Lady,” story by Alabama author James H. Street, was released.
May 12, 1962 – The Lyeffion Quarterback Club was scheduled to give away a 1954 Chevrolet car during a fish supper fundraiser with proceeds to go toward the construction of a new football stadium at the school in Lyeffion, Ala.
May 12, 1963 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent federal troops into Birmingham, Ala., following riots.
May 12, 1966 - The St. Louis Cardinals played their first game at Busch Memorial Stadium. They won the game, 4-3, over the Atlanta Braves.
May 12, 1967 - Pink Floyd debuted its custom-made quadraphonic speaker system, amazing concert-goers with surround sound.
May 12, 1969 – Army Sgt. William Michael Fields of Evergreen, Ala. and Army SPC5 James Rayford Gohagin of Atmore, Ala. were killed in action in Vietnam.
May 12, 1970 - Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs hit his 500th home run.
May 12, 1971 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Heinie Manush, who was born in Tuscumbia, Ala., passed away from cancer at the age of 69 in Sarasota, Fla. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators, the Boston Red Sox, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.
May 12, 1972 - The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-3, in 22 innings. The game was actually completed on May 13.
May 12, 1976 – The Old Abrams Place in Greenville, Ala. and the Bartram Trail near Greenville, Ala. were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
May 12, 1982 - The final episode of "The Incredible Hulk" aired.
May 12, 1982 - The United States Football League (USFL) was formed.
May 12, 1983 - Jack Booker Weaver, a student at Jefferson Davis State Junior College in Brewton, Ala., was formally honored as a participant in the ‘Most Outstanding Student Competition,” which was sponsored by the Deans of Students Association and was held during the annual Alabama Junior/Community College Association Convention.
May 12, 1985 - An honorary Doctor of Music degree was given to Lionel Richie from his alma mater Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
May 12, 1986 – NBC debuted the current well-known peacock as seen in the NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration.
May 12, 1987 - The final episode of "Hill Street Blues" aired.
May 12, 1998 - The Atlanta Braves tied a National League record when they hit a home run in their 24th consecutive game.
May 12, 1998 - Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit a 527-foot home run at Busch Stadium. It was the longest home run in the history of the stadium.
May 12, 1998 - St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony LaRussa recorded his 1,500th victory.
May 12, 2000 - Alabama author Julia Truitt Yenni died in Cambridge, Mass.
May 12, 2002 - The 200th episode of the "X-Files" aired on FOX.
May 12, 2003 – The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by al-Qaeda, killed 26 people.
May 12, 2006 – The Kansas City Royals selected right-handed pitcher Christopher Scottie Booker of Monroeville, Ala. off waivers.
May 12, 2007 – In connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway of Mountain Brook, Ala., the Kalpoe family home was subject to an "inspection." The two brothers were detained for about an hour upon objecting to the entry by police and Dutch investigators, but were released when the authorities left.