Today's History Trivia for July 12
1984 Seatbelts New York becomes the first state to require seatbelt usage for the driver, front-seat passengers, and children under the age of 10.
1984 Geraldine Ferraro is chosen as Walter Mondale's running mate in his unsuccessful bid for the presidency. She became the first woman nominated for U.S. Vice-President by a major political party (Democratic).
1982 Royal Intruder A 32-year-old man sneaks into Queen Elizabeth's bedroom at Buckingham Palace, where he and the queen just sat and talked for about 10 minutes.
1967 Race Riots The riots in Newark, New Jersey begin. Six days of rioting left 26 dead and 1500 injured.
1962 The Rolling Stones The legendary group makes their first public performance. It was at the Marquee Club in Soho, London.
1960 Etch A Sketch The popular drawing toy is first produced.
1957 Smoking Surgeon General Leroy Burney becomes the first U.S. federal official to acknowledge the connection between smoking and cancer. The American Medical Association, which for years had investments in tobacco, countered in 1959 that there was insufficient evidence to warrant the assumption that smoking was the principal factor for the increase in lung cancer. He himself was a smoker.
1920 Panama Canal Formal dedication of the canal takes place. The total cost was $336,650,000.
1912 First feature-length film shown in the U.S. Queen Elizabeth, made in France and starring Sarah Bernhardt, is given a special showing in New York City. It was released to the public the following month in Chicago.
1862 The Medal of Honor is authorized by Congress for noncommissioned Army officers and privates. It had been authorized for Navy personnel since 1861.
1843 Mormons Founder Joseph Smith receives a revelation allowing polygamy. He then took several additional wives. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
Today's Birthdays for July 12
1990 Bebé (Tiago Manuel Dias Correia), Portuguese footballer. Raised in an orphanage and living parts of childhood on the street, he was signed to Manchester United in 2010 for £7.4 million ($11.6 million USD).
1951 Jamey Sheridan American actor. TV: Shannon's Deal (Jack Shannon).
1951 Cheryl Ladd (Cheryl Stoppelmoor), American actress. TV: Charlie's Angels (Kris Munroe).
1948 Richard Simmons (Milton Teagle Simmons), American fitness guru. Creator of Deal a Meal and Sweatin' to the Oldies.
1948 Jay Thomas d. 2017 (Jon Thomas Terrell), American actor, radio talk show host. TV: Cheers (1987-89, Eddie LeBec) and Love & War (1992-95, Jack Stein).
1937 Bill Cosby American Emmy-winning comic actor. TV: I Spy (1965-68) and The Cosby Show (1984-92).
1928 Barbara Cowsill d. 1985 American singer, member and mother of the singing family The Cowsills (They were the basis for TV's The Partridge Family). Music: The Rain The Park And Other Things (1967, #2) and the title song for the musical Hair (1969, #2).
1909 "Curly" Joe DeRita d. 1993 American comic, one of the Three Stooges. Replacing Joe Besser, he appeared in Have Rocket Will Travel (1959), Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961), and The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962).
1908 Milton Berle d. 2002 (Milton Berlinger), American comedian, known as "Uncle Miltie" and "Mr. Television." He got his start in advertising as the Buster Brown kid. TV: Batman (Louie the Lilac).
1895 Richard Buckminster Fuller d. 1983 American architect, invented the geodesic dome.
1895 Oscar Hammerstein II d. 1960 American lyricist, of Rogers and Hammerstein. Music: Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949, 1950 Pulitzer Prize for drama).
1854 George Eastman d. 1932 American inventor, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company (1880). He patented the first practical roll film camera (Kodak, 1888).
1817 Henry David Thoreau d. 1862 American poet, philosopher.
Deaths for July 12
Edward Lee Howard
American CIA agent. He was the first CIA officer to defect to the Soviet Union (1985). After failing a routine polygraph, he was fired by the CIA. He was later accused by a KGB agent who defected to the U.S. of working for the KGB. However, the KGB agent re-defected back to the USSR and it is believed he may have been acting as a re-doubled agent in order to provide false information to the U.S. One night, as Howard and his wife were driving, he jumped out of the car as they slowed to round a corner. A dummy was placed in his seat to fool pursuing agents. Once at home, his wife called a pre-recorded message left on an answering machine in order to fool the wiretap listeners and buy her husband more time. From New York, Howard flew to Helsinki, where he went to the Soviet embassy. He maintained his innocence until his death.
Lon Chaney Jr
(Creighton Chaney), American horror actor. Known for his monster characters, such as the Wolfman, Frankenstein, and the Mummy.
1929 Robert Henri b. 1865 (Robert Henry Cozad), American painter, teacher. He was and organizer of "The Eight," a group of artists who protested the restrictive exhibition practices National Academy of Design. He was one of the leaders of the Ashcan School, that are known for works portraying daily life in New York, often in the city's poorer neighborhoods. Works: The Laughing Boy (1907) and Portrait of Mrs. Robert Henri (1911).
1910 Charles Stewart Rolls b. 1877 English auto maker, aviator, co-founded the Rolls-Royce automobile company (1904). He was the first person to fly across the English Channel (1910). He was killed a month later at an air show making him the first British airplane fatality.
1804 Alexander Hamilton b. 1757 American statesman, the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury (1789-1795). He founded the U.S. Coast Guard (1790) and the first U.S. political party (1789, Federalist Party). He died of a gunshot wound from a duel with Aaron Burr.
1996 John Chancellor b. 1927 American TV anchorman, commentator for NBC.
1990 Bill Burrud b. 1925 American TV personality. TV: Animal Safari (host) and Safari to Adventure (host).
1989 Sidney Hook b. 1902 American author, political philosopher.
1976 Ted Mack b. 1904 American emcee, The Original Amateur Hour (1948-70).
1935 Alfred Dreyfus b. 1859 French army officer of Jewish descent. In 1894, he was of convicted of treason by an anti-Semitic military court. A national scandal erupted in 1897 when evidence surfaced indicating his innocence. He was again convicted, but was pardoned by the French president.
1934 Ole Evinrude b. 1877 Norwegian inventor. After rowing a boat to a picnic, he decided there had to be a better way and invented the outboard marine engine (1909).
1892 Cyrus West Field b. 1819 American financier, laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable (1858). It failed after only a month of operation. He failed again in a second attempt in 1865 before succeeding in 1866.
1880 Tom Taylor b. 1817 English playwright. Writings: Our American Cousin (1858) which was being presented at Ford's Theater during Lincoln's assassination.
1834 David Douglas b. 1798 Scottish botanist, for whom the Douglas fir tree is named.
1682 Jean Picard b. 1620 French astronomer, regarded as the founder of modern astronomy in France. He was the first to measure the diameter of the Earth to a reasonable degree of accuracy. He calculated the diameter to be 3,959 miles (6372 km) as opposed to the current value of 3,950 miles (6357 km).