August 12

1867 President Andrew Johnson defied Congress by suspending Secretary Of War Edwin M. Stanton. This sparked Congress to move to impeach Johnson.

1877 Inventor Thomas Edison made the first sound recording by etching a foil-wrapped cylinder with a thin metal needle. He recorded “Mary Had A Little Lamb” on his Edisonphone.

1898 Hawaii was formally annexed by the U.S. after Congress passed a joint resolution. Hawaii was granted territorial status in 1900 and statehood in 1959.

1898 The peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War was signed.

1935 Actor John Cazale (The Godfather movies’ Fredo, Dog Day AfternoonThe Deer Hunter) is born. He dies in 1978.

1960 Drummer Pete Best passes an audition and becomes a member of the Beatles.

1964 Author Ian Fleming (created James Bond) dies at age 56.

1966 The Beatles‘ final North American tour kicks off at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago.

1967 “Carrie Anne” by the Hollies peaks at Number Nine on the pop chart.

1967 “A Girl Like You” by the Young Rascals peaks at Number 10 on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.

1967 “Baby You’re A Rich Man” by the Beatles peaks at Number 34 on the pop chart.

1967 Flowers by the Rolling Stones peaks at Number Three on the album chart, where it spends a total of six weeks.

1967 Fleetwood Mac makes their major debut at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in England, having already played a few pub gigs.

1970 Janis Joplin gave her final concert before her death, at Harvard University.

1972 The last American combat ground troops left Vietnam.

1981 IBM introduces its personal computer and Bill Gates‘ operating system, MS-DOS 1.0.

1982 Actor Henry Fonda (The Grapes Of WrathMister Roberts12 Angry MenYours, Mine And OursMidwayOn Golden Pond; father of Jane Fonda and Peter Fonda; grandfather of Bridget Fonda) dies at age 77.

1985 The world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 of 524 people on board.

1989 “Once Bitten Twice Shy” by Great White, a cover of the Ian Hunter song, peaks at Number Five on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.

1989 The Rolling Stones play a warm-up show at the club Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut, before opening their Steel Wheels tour. About 700 people pay the $3 cover charge to hear an 11-song, 56-minute set.

1994 As many as 250,000 people attended the first day of a three-day Woodstock ’94 concert in Saugerties, New York, marking the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock in 1969.

1994 Pro baseball players went on strike. It would turn out to be their longest work stoppage in history, at 234 days, causing the cancellation of the World Series for the first time ever.

1994 Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone and starring Woody HarrelsonJuliette LewisTommy Lee Jones, and Tom Sizemore, opens in theatres.

1997 The Fleetwood Mac reunion concert special The Dance premieres on MTV.

1998 Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion as restitution to Holocaust survivors to settle claims for their assets.

2000 The Russian nuclear submarine Kursk and its 118-man crew were lost during naval exercises in the Barents Sea.

2004 New Jersey’s Democratic Governor James McGreevey resigned, revealing in a stunning announcement with his wife at his side that he’s gay and had had an extramarital affair with a man. The twice-married father of two said he’d struggled with his sexual identity most of his life, and had finally come to terms with the truth that he’s, quote, “a gay American.”

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