June 12, 1772 – French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne was killed and eaten by the Maori at the age of 48 at Tacoury's Cove, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. He made important discoveries in the south Indian Ocean, in Tasmania and in New Zealand.
June 12, 1775 – During the American Revolution, British general Thomas Gage declared martial law in Massachusetts. The British offered a pardon to all colonists who laid down their arms. There would be only two exceptions to the amnesty: Samuel Adams and John Hancock, if captured, were to be hanged.
June 12, 1776 - In Williamsburg, the Virginia Convention adopted George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights.
June 12, 1791 - U.S. President George Washington concluded his second tour of the United States by visiting Philadelphia, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
June 12, 1827 – Johanna Spyri, who wrote “Heidi,” was born in the village of Hirzel, Switzerland.
June 12, 1832 - Alabama's first railroad, the Tuscumbia Railway, opened, running the two miles from Tuscumbia Landing at the Tennessee River to Tuscumbia. The railway was the first phase of a planned railroad to Decatur, 43 miles to the east. That railroad was needed in order for river traffic to avoid the dangerous and often unnavigable Muscle Shoals of the Tennessee River.
June 12, 1838 - The Iowa Territory was organized.
June 12, 1839 - Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball, according to the legend. However, evidence has surfaced that indicates that the game of baseball was played before 1800.
June 12, 1858 – English botanist and explorer Harry Johnston was born at Kennington Park, south London. He was one of the key players in the "Scramble for Africa" that occurred at the end of the 19th century.
June 12, 1862 - Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart began his ride around the Army of the Potomac. Robert E. Lee had sent him on a reconnaissance of Union positions. Stuart circled the entire Union force and arrived back in Richmond on June 15.
June 12, 1864 – During the Civil War’s Overland Campaign, at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Ulysses S. Grant gave the Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee a victory when he pulled his Union troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Va. and moved south toward Petersburg, Va. Lee also dispatched Jubal Early to Lynchburg, Va. to hold off a Union attack.
June 12, 1864 - Near Trevilian Station, General Phillip Sheridan's Union cavalry withdrew while tearing up about five miles of rail line. The previous day Sheridan had come to the rescue of General George Custer. Custer had attacked General Wade Hampton's supply train.
June 12, 1892 - Naturalist and author Blanche Evans Dean was born on a farm near Brownsville, Ala.
June 12, 1892 – Djuna Barnes was born near Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.
June 12, 1912 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Castleberry, Ala. was “now a full fledged municipality” and that during a recent election E. Downing had been elected mayor. Newly elected members of the town council included R.A. Baird, L.W. Kirkland, J.P. Matthews Jr., Allen Page and P.M. Skinner. The town’s population was 275.
June 12, 1915 – A.K. Williams, an employee of the L.K. King Lumber Co., disappeared “mysteriously” on this Saturday night. He boarded the southbound on this night and where he went was unknown as of the June 16, 1915 edition of The Evergreen Courant.
June 12, 1917 – Dr. H.B. Williamson died around 9 a.m. on this Tuesday morning of Bright’s Disease. He was a long time dentist in and around Conecuh County, Ala.
June 12, 1921 - U.S. President Warren Harding urged every young man to attend military training camp.
June 12, 1923 - Harry Houdini, while suspended upside down 40 feet above a crowd in New York City, escaped from a strait jacket.
June 12, 1924 - George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, was born in Milton, Mass.
June 12, 1929 - Anne Frank (Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank), who is best known for her diary which documented her experiences during World War II, was born in Frankfurt, Germany.
June 12, 1932 – Leonard Stanton Biggs, the solicitor for the 21st Judicial Circuit (Baldwin, Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties) passed away at the age of 44 on this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the home of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Julia D. Ivey, in Evergreen. Biggs was a native of the Peterman area, was a member of the Monroeville Methodist Church, a Freemason and a World War I veteran.
June 12, 1933 - Actor and singer Jim Nabors was born in Sylacauga, Ala. Nabors began acting while a student at the University of Alabama, and is best known for his Gomer Pyle character, who appeared on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1960 to 1964, and later on his own series, "Gomer Pyle, USMC." Nabors has also appeared in several feature films, but has concentrated his later career in music.
June 12, 1936 – The Douglas DST airliner, registered NC16002, was originally built. It would disappear over the Bermuda Triangle on Dec. 28, 1948 during a flight from San Juan to Miami.
June 12, 1939 - The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.
June 12, 1942 – Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday.
June 12, 1944 – Lt. Col. Kenneth D. McMillan, brother of Prof. W.P. McMillan and Lizabeth McMillan of Evergreen, Ala., was killed in an accident in England while serving with the Dept. of Aerial Photography.
June 12, 1947 – The Evergreen Greenies were scheduled to travel to Frisco City, Ala. for a game on this Thursday. James Carpenter was slated to pitch for the Greenies.
June 12, 1947 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the first remains of World War II dead to be returned to the U.S. were scheduled to arrive in October. They were originally scheduled to arrive in August, but were delayed due to “industrial difficulties in the production of caskets.”
June 12, 1957 - Monsanto opened its House of the Future at Disneyland. The striking structure had four wings elevated on a central pedestal, and a giant (non-working) wall mounted TV set.
June 12, 1961 – In American League youth baseball action in Evergreen, Ala., the Pelicans beat the Chicks, 8-7. Later that night, the Dodgers beat the Giants, 5-3. Jimmy Hart pitched for the Dodgers, and Jimmy Brown pitched for the Giants.
June 12, 1961 – The Braves opened the 1961 Senior League baseball season in Evergreen, Ala. on this Monday night with a 6-3 win over the Indians. Braves pitcher Ronnie Jackson struck out seven and got the pitching win while Ernest Sheffield hit a three-run homer for the Braves. Also that night, the defending champion Tigers beat the Pirates, 3-2.
June 12, 1961 - The first cotton bloom of the 1961 season was brought in to The Courant office on this Monday morning by Leslie Crosby, a farmer who lived on Rt. E, Evergreen, Ala.
June 12, 1963 - The "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Alabama author Martin Luther King Jr. was published in The Christian Century.
June 12, 1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Miss. by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith.
June 12, 1967 - The Senators beat Chicago, 6-5, in 22 innings. The game lasted six hours, 38 minutes and ended at 2:43 a.m. and caused the league to adopt a curfew stating that no inning may start after 1:00 a.m.
June 12, 1976 – Horace Alto Deer, a 77-year-old native of the Old Town community, died suddenly in the Conecuh County Hospital in Evergreen, Ala. He was a charter member of the Evegreen Kiwanis Club and serve as secretary of Greening Lodge No. 53 for 19 years. He owned a local grocery store for many years but worked as a letter carrier from 1942 to 1976.
June 12, 1978 – David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" killer in New York City, was sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings.
June 12, 1981 – “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was first released in theaters.
June 12, 1981 - Major league baseball players began a 49 day strike. The issue was free-agent compensation.
June 12, 1995 – Two years after being drafted first overall and more than a month shy of his 20th birthday, Seattle Mariner Alex Rodriguez hit his first Major League home run. Rodriguez, batting ninth in the order, belted a 3-2, two-out curveball from Kansas City pitcher Tom Gordon deep into the left-center field seats at the Kingdome in Seattle.
June 12, 1997 - Interleague play began in baseball, ending a 126-year tradition of separating the major leagues until the World Series.
June 12, 1997 – Queen Elizabeth II reopened the Globe Theatre in London.
June 12, 2000 - Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers retired from the NFL.
June 12, 2003 – Gregory Peck, who portrayed Atticus Finch in 1962’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” died at his home in Los Angeles, Calif. at the age of 87.
June 12, 2011 – Kathryn Tucker Windham, who once lived in Thomasville and worked in Camden, died in Selma, Ala.
June 12, 2014 – The Rawls Warehouse and Cotton Gill in Enterprise, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.