ON THIS DAY
Today is August 12, the 224th day of 2014. There are 141 days left in the year.
1099 - In the First Crusade, the Crusaders defeat the Egyptians at Ascalon on the Palestine coast.
1450 - In the Hundred Years War, the English surrender Cherbourg, completing Charles VII’s conquest of Normandy.
1512 - The English fleet destroys 25 French vessels in harbour of Brest.
1530 - Florence is restored to Medici family in Italy by Holy Roman Empire troops.
1759 - Russian and Austrian forces defeat Prussians at Kunersdorf, Germany, and Dresden falls into Austrian hands.
1806 - Captain Philip Gidley King, third Governor of New South Wales, is succeeded by Captain William Bligh.
1829 - The City of Perth is officially proclaimed.
1851 - Isaac Singer is granted a patent on his sewing machine; The schooner America wins a race that helps launch the America’s Cup races.
1867 - US president Andrew Johnson sparks a move to impeach him as he defies Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
1877 - British explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley reaches the mouth of the Congo River in Africa.
1898 - Hawaiian Islands in Pacific are transferred to the US.
1938 - Germany begins mobilisation of its armed forces.
1941 - French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain calls on his countrymen to give full support to Nazi Germany in World War II.
1944 - The first PLUTO (Pipe Line Under the Ocean) supplying petrol across the English Channel to the Allied forces in France, goes into operation from the Isle of Wight.
1953 - The Soviet Union detonates its first hydrogen bomb.
1960 - The first communications satellite Echo I is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and placed in orbit.
1966 - The Beatles begin their final tour in Chicago.
1971 - Syria severs diplomatic relations with Jordan as border fighting breaks out.
1978 - China and Japan sign a historic treaty of peace and friendship.
1983 - Argentina releases British assets seized during the Falklands War of 1982.
1985 - The world’s worst single aircraft disaster to date kills 520 people when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashes into a mountain.
1987 - Britain and France order minesweepers to the Gulf region.
1988 - The controversial movie The Last Temptation of Christ, directed by Martin Scorsese, opens in nine US cities despite objections by some Christians.
1992 - The US, Canada and Mexico reach a free-trade agreement.
1997 - Leaders of Ulster Unionists and Sinn Fein, political arm of the IRA, hold their first debate on Northern Ireland television.
2000 - A Russian nuclear submarine malfunctions while on operations in the Bering Sea and sinks after two explosions in its forward weapons bay, killing all 118 crewmen aboard.
2001 - More than 11,000 residents on the Japanese island of Okinawa are evacuated as experts safely defuse a US-made 36kg bomb apparently dropped by a US aircraft during World War II.
2010 - WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange says his organisation is preparing to release the rest of the secret Afghan war documents it has on file. The Pentagon warns that would be more damaging to security and risk more lives than the organisation’s initial release of some 76,000 war documents.
2013 - Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott suffers an unfortunate linguistic mix-up at a federal election campaign event in Melbourne, declaring: “No one, however smart, however well educated, however experienced, is the suppository of all wisdom.”