On This Day October 12
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1912 – Playwright, novelist and actress Alice Childress (d. 1994)
1932 – Comedian-activist Dick Gregory (d. 2017)
1935 – R&B singer Sam “Soul Man” Moore of the duo Sam & Dave
1935 – Internationally renowned operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti (d. 2007)
1947 – Journalist-TV anchor Chris Wallace
1962 – Trumpeter-composer Chris Botti
1968 – Actor Hugh Jackman, best known for playing Wolverine in the “X-Men” movie series
1992 – Actor Josh Hutcherson (“Zathura,” “Little Manhattan,” “RV,” “Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Hunger Games”)
1492 – Explorer Christopher Columbus discovers the New World as his fleet comes ashore in what is now known as The Bahamas.
1810 – Bavarian Crown Prince Regent Ludwig, later King Ludwig I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invite residents of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. This becomes an annual tradition that gives rise to Oktoberfest, which is now celebrated around the world.
1940 – Beloved cowboy actor Tom Mix is killed when he loses control of his 1937 Cord 812 phaeton and crashes near Florence, Arizona.
1960 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev creates a spectacle by pounding his shoe on a desk at a United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest the comments of a Philippines delegate.
1964 – Three Soviet cosmonauts blast off aboard the Voshkod-1 spacecraft and orbit Earth, becoming the first multi-person crew in space and the first to fly without spacesuits.
2000 – Two suicide bombers associated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network ram their motorboat full of explosives into the side of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole off Yemen. The attack kills 17 crew members, injures 39 others and leaves a gaping hole in the ship’s hull.
2007 – Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to increase public knowledge about man-made climate change.
1955 – Chrysler introduces the first car phonograph — the Highway Hi-Fi — which sits below the dashboard and plays 16 rpm records for up to 45 minutes. Despite claims that records would never skip while driving, they did and Chrysler dropped the $200 option two years later.
1963 – “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs is the No. 1 single and remains there for five weeks.
1971 – Rockabilly pioneer Gene Vincent — the talent behind the 1956 smash “Be-Bop-a-Lula” and who appeared in the movie “The Girl Can’t Help It” with Jayne Mansfield — dies at age 36 of complications from an ulcer.
1974 – Olivia Newton-John wraps up two weeks on top of the pop chart with “I Honestly Love You.”
1979 – Fleetwood Mac release their 12th studio album, “Tusk,” which spawns two Top 10 singles: the title track and “Sara.”
1985 – Ready For The World claims the top spot on the singles chart with “Oh Sheila.”
1991 – “Emotions,” by Mariah Carey, begins three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1997 – Country and pop music singer-songwriter and actor John Denver is killed when his experimental plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean. He was 53.
2002 – “A Moment Like This,” by Kelly Clarkson, begins its second and final week as a No. 1 single.