September 12th

A commuter train engineer ran a red light while text messaging on his cell phone and struck a freight train head-on in Los Angeles, killing himself and 24 other people.
2008 Chatsworth train collision
In a speech in his native Germany, Pope Benedict XVI quoted from an obscure medieval text that characterized some teachings of Islam's founder as 'evil and inhuman,' unleashing a torrent of rage across the Islamic world.
Pope Leo X
Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown resigned, three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
Scott Walker (politician)
Country musician Johnny Cash died at age 71.
Johnny Cash
President George W. Bush told the United Nations to confront the 'grave and gathering danger' of Saddam Hussein's Iraq or stand aside as the United States acted.
2002 in Iraq
Dutch lawmakers gave same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.
Civil union
Indonesia announced it would allow an international peacekeeping force to restore order to East Timor.
International Force for East Timor
First African American Woman goes into Space. Mae C. Jemison, a physician, was a Mission Specialist on STS-47 which was the 50th space flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. It was the space shuttle Endeavour’s second flight. During over 190 hours she spent in space, she conducted experiments on weightlessness and motion sickness.
Mae Jemison
South African black student leader Steven Biko died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.
Soweto uprising
A Coup in Ethiopia ousts Emperor Haile Selassie. The coup was led by a group of the Ethiopian armed forces and other law enforcement agencies of the country called the Derg. After the coup, Selassie was imprisoned. He died two years later, on August 28, 2015. Selassie is also often considered to be a Messiah by those who follow Rastafarianism, a religious belief that originated in Jamaica.
Ethiopian Civil War
The Soviet Union launches the Luna 16. It was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return to Earth with rock samples. Luna 16 landed on Earth on September 24.
Luna 16
Luna 2 launched by USSR. 1st spacecraft to impact on the Moon
Luna 2
US Supreme Court orders Little Rock Ark high school to integrate.
Little Rock Nine
'Lassie' made its TV debut on CBS.
Lassie (1954 TV series)
Jacqueline Bouvier Marries John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The much talked about wedding of the season took place in Newport, Rhode Island. At the time of the wedding, John F. Kennedy was a Senator in the US Congress from the state of Massachusetts. In 1960, Kennedy won the presidency after beating Republican candidate Richard Nixon.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
U.S. Army troops entered Germany for the first time during World War II, near Trier.
George S. Patton
The Gran Sasso Raid is conducted by the German paratroopers at the behest of Hitler. The purpose of the airborne operation, also known as Operation Eiche, was to free Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from a ski resort where he was being held on the orders of the Italian king, Victor Emmanuel III. Using gliders, German troops entered the ski resort and successfully rescued Mussolini.
Gran Sasso raid
4 teens, following their dog down a hole near Lascaux France discover 17,000-year-old drawings now known as Lascaux Cave Paintings.
In a speech in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.
Godesberg Memorandum
Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, conceives idea of a nuclear chain reaction.
United States' 1st known female cop appointed, Alice Stebbins Wells by LAPD.
Alice Stebbins Wells
Journalist and critic H.L. Mencken was born in Baltimore.
H. L. Mencken
French astronomer Charles Messier mistakenly identifies the Crab Nebula so begins his Messier Catalogue.
SN 1054
English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name.
Henry Hudson