On this Day July 12
Click each item below to learn more!
1817 – Author-poet Henry David Thoreau (d. 1862)
1895 – Songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II (d. 1960)
1908 – Comedian-actor Milton Berle, known to millions as “Uncle Miltie” and “Mr. Television” during TV’s Golden Age (d. 2002)
1934 – Internationally acclaimed pianist Van Cliburn (d. 2013)
1937 – Comedian-actor Bill Cosby (“I Spy,” “Fat Albert,” “The Cosby Show”), who is serving prison time following his 2018 conviction on sexual assault charges
1943 – Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie, born Christine Anne Perfect
1948 – Fitness guru and motivational speaker Richard Simmons
1951 – Actress Cheryl Ladd, born Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor, best known for playing Kris Munroe in TV’s “Charlie’s Angels”
1978 – Actor Topher Grace (“That ‘70s Show,” “In Good Company,” “Spider-Man 3,” “Interstellar”)
1978 – Actress Michelle Rodriguez (“Girlfight,” “Blue Crush,” “Lost,” “Avatar,” “The Fast and the Furious” movie series, “Battle: Los Angeles”)
1933 – Architect, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller produces the first of three prototypes of the three-wheeled, multi-directional, rear-engine Dymaxion. The aerodynamic concept car could transport up to 11 passengers, got 30 miles to the gallon and reached a top speed of 90 miles per hour. However, a rollover accident during Dymaxion’s debut at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago kills the driver, injures three passengers and scares off investors, ensuring that the vehicle never goes to market.
1960 – Way before the advent of the iPad, Xbox and PlayStation, Etch A Sketch is introduced to consumers by the Ohio Art Company. The distinctive red plastic drawing toy with two white knobs has since sold over 175 million units worldwide and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York in 1998.
1976 – The TV game show “Family Feud” premieres with host Richard Dawson. It is currently hosted by Steve Harvey.
1982 – After 60 years of production, the last Checker taxi cab rolls off a Kalamazoo, Michigan assembly line.
1984 – Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale becomes the first major-party candidate to choose a woman as a running mate when he announces his choice of Geraldine Ferraro.
1990 – The quirky series “Northern Exposure,” starring Rob Morrow as a New York doctor transplanted to a tiny town in Alaska, premieres on CBS.
1991 – John Singleton makes his directorial debut with the release of “Boyz N the Hood,” a drama about life in South Central Los Angeles. The movie stars two future Oscar winners — Cuba Gooding Jr. and Regina King — and two Oscar nominees who are Hollywood legends: Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.
1969 – “In the Year 2525,” by one-hit-wonder Zager & Evans, is No. 1 on the singles chart and holds there for six weeks.
1970 – “Evening at Pops” premieres on PBS with conductor Arthur Fiedler leading the Boston Pops Orchestra. Composer-conductor John Williams takes the baton following Fiedler’s death in 1979.
1979 – Singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton, best known for her 1975 No. 1 hit “Loving You,” dies of cancer at the age of 31. Riperton’s daughter is comedian-actress and “SNL” alum Miya Rudolph.
1980 – “Coming Up,” by Paul McCartney, begins its third and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. McCartney plays all the instruments on the track and shares vocal harmonies with wife Linda McCartney.
1986 – “Holding Back the Years,” by British band Simply Red, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a week.
1997 – “I’ll Be Missing You,” by Puff Daddy (a.k.a. Sean Combs) featuring Faith Evans and 112, is in the midst of an 11-week domination of the pop chart.
2003 – “Crazy in Love,” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, begins eight weeks as a No. 1 single. The track, off the “Dangerously in Love” album, goes on to capture a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.