Today's History Trivia for October 12
1984 Actor Kills Himself Playing Russian Roulette with a Blank Gun Jon-Erik Hexum shoots himself on the set of TV series Cover Up. He was unaware that the explosion from blanks is deadly at close range. He died six days later from his injuries.
Paul McCartney Dead?
A Detroit disc jockey and his radio audience determine from "clues" found in Beatles' songs and album covers that Paul had died in an car accident in 1967. Clues to McCartney's death include messages heard when listening to their songs played backwards and symbolic interpretations of both lyrics and album cover imagery. One "clue" is that the words "I buried Paul" are spoken by John Lennon in the final section of the song "Strawberry Fields Forever." Lennon claimed that the words were actually "cranberry sauce." Another is the Abbey Road album cover symbolizes a funeral procession, where Lennon, dressed in white, symbolizes the heavenly figure; Ringo Starr, dressed in black, symbolizes the undertaker; George Harrison, in denim, symbolizes the gravedigger; and McCartney, barefoot and out of step with the others, symbolizes the corpse.
1933 John Dillinger Breaks Out of Prison The notorious criminal is broken out of prison by the Pierpont Bunch, which Dillinger had just helped escape from prison. They impersonated Indiana State Police officers, claiming they had come to extradite Dillinger to Indiana. When the sheriff asked for their credentials, Pierpont shot him dead, then released Dillinger from his cell. They then formed the famous Dillinger Gang.
1992 Is anyone out there? NASA, using two giant radio-telescopes in California and Puerto Rico, begins scanning the skies for signs of alien life.
1992 First pig-to-human liver transplant Cedars-Sinai Medical Center performs the operation on a 26-year-old woman. She died shortly thereafter.
1984 Blank Gun Death Actor Jon-Erik Hexum critically injures himself playing Russian Roulette with a blank gun on the set of TV series Cover Up. He wasn't aware that the wadding fired from blanks is deadly at point blank range. He died six days later.
1973 First U.S. Vice President Appointed Under the 25th Amendment Gerald Ford is appointed the position of U.S. Vice President after the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.
1960 Khrushchev Shoe Incident At a United Nations conference, Premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev takes off his shoe and pounds a conference table. (Note: Although commonly believed and reported, there is much debate as to whether he actually pounded the table with his shoe or just waved it in the air)
1949 First woman U.S. ambassador Eugenie Moore Anderson is nominated by Pres. Truman as ambassador to Denmark. She was sworn in on the 28th.
1901 First non-religious record Three Blind Mice is recorded.
1861 First ironclad steamer of the U.S. Navy The St. Louis is launched.
1788 John Fitch's steamboat makes the trip from Philadelphia to Burlington in 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Today's Birthdays for October 12
1970 Kirk Cameron American actor. TV: Growing Pains (Mike Seaver).
1950 Susan Anton American actress, Miss California. (1969). Film: Goldengirl (1979). TV: Baywatch.
1935 Luciano Pavarotti d. 2007 Italian tenor, one of "The Three Tenors." He was caught lip-syncing during a live BBC radio performance (1992).
1932 Jake Garn American politician, U.S. Senator (R-Utah). He was the first U.S. public official launched into space (1985, aboard the space shuttle Discovery).
1932 Dick Gregory d. 2017 (Richard Claxton Gregory), American comedian, civil rights activist, anti-Vietnam War activist, diet-mix salesman.
1860 Elmer Ambrose Sperry d. 1930 American engineer, inventor of the gyro-compass (1910) and founder of Sperry Electric Co. (1888).
1798 Pedro I d. 1834 founder and first Emperor of the Empire of Brazil (1822-31).
1537 Edward VI d. 1553 King of England (1547-53). He was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
Deaths for October 12
1999 Wilt Chamberlain b. 1936 American basketball Hall of Famer. Considered the greatest defensive player in history, and holder of numerous pro basketball records, including most points in a game (100 in 1962) - See Event. He also played with the Harlem Globetrotters (1958-59).
2003 Willie Shoemaker b. 1931 American horse jockey. All-time leader in wins (8,833) and four time winner of the Kentucky Derby (also the oldest winner, age 54 in 1986). A 1991 he rolled his Ford Bronco II, leaving him a quadriplegic. He sued Ford and won a $1,000,000 settlement.
1997 John Denver b. 1943 (Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.), American Grammy-winning singer. Music: Rocky Mountain High (1972), Thank God I'm A Country Boy (1975, #1), and wrote Leaving On A Jet Plane (1969). He died when the small aircraft he was piloting crashed off the coast of California.
1993 Leon Ames b. 1902 (Leon Waycoff), American actor. TV: Mr. Ed. (neighbor Gordon Kirkwood). He was one of the 19 founders of the Screen Actors Guild (1933) and served as its president (1957-58).
1989 Jay Ward b. 1920 American animation producer, cartoon producer of such characters as Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose.
1969 Sonja Henie b. 1912 Norwegian figure skater, actress. A 10-time world champion (1927-36), she won the Norwegian championship at age 11, the world title at age 13, and Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932, and 1936.
1954 George Schwartz Welch b. 1918 American WWII flying ace. He was one of the few U.S. pilots to engage the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor, claiming two kills, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. It had been alleged he broke the sound barrier in a dive two weeks before Chuck Yeager (note: Yeager's feat was during level flight). However, current information disproves this claim. Welch was portrayed in the film Tora! Tora! Tora (1970) by Rick Cooper.
1940 Tom Mix b. 1880 American silent film western actor. His action-packed films set the pattern for future westerns.
1924 Anatole France b. 1844 (Jacques Anatole Thibault), French Nobel-winning author. Writings: Penguin Island (1908), The Gods Are Athirst (1912), and Revolt of the Angels (1913).
1576 Maximilian II b. 1527 Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1564-76).
642 John IV b. ???? religious leader, 72nd Pope (640-642).
638 Honorius I b. ???? religious leader, 70th Pope (625-638).