August 12th

2013
Notorious Boston gangster James (Whitey) Bulger was found guilty of 31 of the 32 charges he faced, including murder, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and possession of weapons.
Whitey Bulger
2008
Russia halted its devastating five-day assault on Georgia that left homes in smoldering ruins and uprooted 100,000 people.
Information war during the Russo-Georgian War
2004
The California Supreme Court voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned in San Francisco earlier in the year.
History of same-sex marriage in the United States
2000
The Russian nuclear submarine Kursk and its 118-man crew were lost during naval exercises in the Barents Sea.
List of maritime disasters in the 20th century
1998
Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle lawsuits brought by Holocaust survivors and their heirs. The banks had kept millions of dollars deposited by Holocaust victims before and during World War II.
Aftermath of the Holocaust
1990
The largest dinosaur fossil is found. American palaeontologist Sue Hendrickson found the fossilised remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex in the state of South Dakota. Sue, as the dinosaur are now informally called after its discoverer, is thought to have been 14 feet tall when alive.
Sue (dinosaur)
1985
In the world's worst single-aircraft disaster, a Japan Air Lines 747 crashed into Mount Osutaka, killing 520 of the 524 aboard.
Japan Airlines Flight 123
1981
The IBM Personal Computer is stocked in stores for the first time. Known as the IBM PC or the IBM 5150, the computer had no disk drives and sold for about $1500.
IBM Personal Computer
1977
The space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test by taking off atop a Boeing 747, separating and then touching down in California's Mojave Desert.
Space Shuttle Enterprise
1976
About 3000 refugees are killed during a massacre at a Palestinian refugee camp. The UN-run Tel al-Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp in the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon had been sieged by members of a right-wing extremist group called the Phalange during the Lebanese civil war.
Sabra and Shatila massacre
1972
The last American combat troops left Vietnam.
1972 in the Vietnam War
1966
John Lennon apologized at a news conference in Chicago for saying "the Beatles are more popular than Jesus.
More popular than Jesus
1960
The first balloon satellite, Echo 1, was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Project Echo
1953
The Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
Soviet atomic bomb project
1944
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed when an explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England during World War II.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
1908
Henry Ford's company builds the first Model T car.
Ford Model T
1898
The peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War was signed.
Treaty of Paris (1898)
1883
The last quagga dies in captivity at the Natura Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam. A native of South Africa, quaggas were a kind of zebra that had stripes only in the front part of their bodies. They were driven into extinction through human activity and excessive hunting for their skin and meat.
Quagga
1880
Baseball Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson was born in Factoryville, Pa.
Christy Mathewson
1877
Mars' moon Deimos is discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall. The discovery took place at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Deimos is one of two natural satellites of Mars. The other moon, Phobos was also discovered by Hall and is the bigger satellite of the two. Phobos is also closer to Mars than Deimos is.
Asaph Hall
1865
British surgeon Joseph Lister became the first doctor to use an antiseptic during surgery.
Joseph Lister
1851
American inventor Isaac Singer patents the sewing machine.
Isaac Singer
1624
Cardinal Richelieu was named chief minister of France by king Louis XIII.
Cardinal Richelieu
1480
Battle of Otranto - Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.
Martyrs of Otranto
1121
Battle of Didgori: the Georgian army under King David the Builder wins a decisive victory over the famous Seljuk commander Ilghazi.