Big Wind Day (On April 12, 1934, the staff of the Mount Washington Observatory recorded the highest surface wind ever measured, anywhere on earth. This big wind was officially recorded at 231 miles per hour.)
Global Day of Action on Military Spending (The day was originally proposed by the International Peace Bureau and the Institute for Policy Studies with the aim of promoting a common awareness of the amounts of money spent on military)
1999 – United States President Bill Clinton is cited for contempt of court for giving "intentionally false statements" in a civil lawsuit; he is later fined and disbarred.
1981 – The first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) takes place: The STS-1 mission.
1961 – The Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, Vostok 1.
1937 – Sir Frank Whittle ground-tests the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby, England.
1928 – The Bremen, a German Junkers W 33 type aircraft, takes off for the first successful transatlantic aeroplane flight from east to west.
1927 – Shanghai massacre of 1927: Chiang Kai-shek orders the Communist Party of China members executed in Shanghai, ending the First United Front.
1865 – American Civil War: Mobile, Alabama, falls to the Union Army.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Fort Pillow: Confederate forces kill most of the African American soldiers that surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.
1862 – American Civil War: The Andrews Raid (the Great Locomotive Chase) occurs, starting from Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw).
1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Sumter. The war begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.
1776 – American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorizes its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain.
1994 – Saoirse Ronan, American-born Irish actress. Primarily noted for her roles in period dramas since adolescence, Ronan has received several awards including a Golden Globe Award and nominations for four Academy Awards and five British Academy Film Awards.
1993 – Dorial Green-Beckham, American football player. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft and played college football at Missouri until he was dismissed from the team in 2014.
1991 – Torey Krug, American ice hockey player. Torey Krug (born April 12, 1991) is an American professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1989 – Kaitlyn Weaver, Canadian-American ice dancer. With partner Andrew Poje, she is a three-time World medalist (2014 silver, 2015 and 2018 bronze), a two-time Four Continents champion (2010, 2015), a two-time Grand Prix Final champion (2014–15, 2015–16), and a three-time Canadian national champion (2015, 2016, 2019).
1989 – Miguel Ángel Ponce, American-Mexican footballer. He won the Olympic gold medal with the Mexico national under-23 football team in 2012.
1988 – Jessie James Decker, American singer-songwriter. Jessica Rose James Decker (born April 12, 1988) is an American country pop singer-songwriter, reality television personality, fashion designer, and entrepreneur.
1987 – Brendon Urie, American singer, songwriter, musician and multi-instrumentalist. Brendon Boyd Urie (born April 12, 1987) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead vocalist of Panic! at the Disco, of which he is the only member remaining.
1987 – Brooklyn Decker, American model and actress. Brooklyn Danielle Decker Roddick (born April 12, 1987) is an American model and actress best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including the cover of the 2010 issue.
1986 – Brad Brach, American baseball pitcher. Brach was an All-Star in 2016.
1985 – Brennan Boesch, American baseball player. He has also played in MLB for the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Cincinnati Reds.
1979 – Claire Danes, American actress. In 2012, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.
1979 – Jennifer Morrison, American actress. Allison Cameron in the medical-drama series House (2004–2012) and Emma Swan in the ABC adventure-fantasy series Once Upon a Time (2011–2017, 2018).
1978 – Scott Crary, American director, producer, and screenwriter. Scott Crary (also known as S.A.
1974 – Marley Shelton, American actress. Shelton has found larger recognition for her appearances in Sin City (2005), Grindhouse (2007) and Scream 4 (2011), and has also starred in numerous independent films throughout her career, including Just a Kiss (2002), Grand Theft Parsons (2003), Women in Trouble (2009), (Untitled) (2009), Elektra Luxx (2010), The Mighty Macs (2011), and Decoding Annie Parker (2014).
1973 – Antonio Osuna, Mexican-American baseball player. Antonio Pedro Osuna (born April 12, 1973) is a Mexican former professional baseball pitcher, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Washington Nationals during his 11-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career.
1973 – J. Scott Campbell, American author and illustrator. Scott Campbell.
1973 – Ryan Kisor, American trumpet player and composer. Ryan Kisor (born April 12, 1973) is an American jazz trumpeter.
1972 – Paul Lo Duca, American baseball player and sportscaster. Paul Anthony Lo Duca (born April 12, 1972) is an American retired professional baseball player and television personality.
1971 – Nicholas Brendon, American actor. In 2014, he was writing for the Buffy Season 10 comic book.
1971 – Shannen Doherty, American actress, director, and producer. She is known for her roles as Jenny Wilder in Little House on the Prairie (1982-1983), Maggie Malene in Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985), Kris Witherspoon in Our House (1986-1988), Heather Duke in Heathers (1988), Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–1994), Prue Halliwell in Charmed (1998–2001), and BH90210 (2019)
1968 – Alicia Coppola, American actress. Afterwards, she made guest star appearances in various television series and appeared in films, notably National Treasure: Book of Secrets.
1966 – Lorenzo White, American football player, was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1st round (22nd overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft. He attended Dillard High School in Ft.
1964 – Amy Ray, American folk-rock singer-songwriter, musician, and music producer. Amy Elizabeth Ray (born April 12, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter and member of the contemporary folk duo Indigo Girls.
1962 – Art Alexakis, American singer-songwriter and musician (Everclear). Alexakis founded several record labels throughout his career, and worked as an A&R representative for major record labels between and during his own musical projects.
1962 – Nobuhiko Takada, Japanese mixed martial artist and wrestler, founded Hustle. He competed in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) and Union of Wrestling Forces International (UWFI) in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming one of the highest figures of the "shoot-style" movement.
1957 – Tama Janowitz, American novelist and short story writer. She is often referenced as one of the main "brat pack" authors, along with Bret Easton Ellis, and Jay McInerney.
1957 – Vince Gill, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He has achieved commercial success and fame both as frontman to the country rock band Pure Prairie League in the 1970s and as a solo artist beginning in 1983, where his talents as a vocalist and musician have placed him in high demand as a guest vocalist and a duet partner.
1956 – Andy Garcia, Cuban-American actor, director, and producer. In the 2000s, he starred in Ocean's Eleven and its sequels:, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, and in The Lost City.
1952 – Gary Soto, American poet, novelist, and memoirist. Gary Anthony Soto (born April 12, 1952) is an American poet, novelist, and memoirist.
1952 – Ralph Wiley, American journalist (d. 2004), was an American sports journalist who wrote for Sports Illustrated and ESPN's Page 2. He was well known for his distinctive literary tone and his writings on race in America.
1952 – Reuben Gant, American football player. Reuben Charles Gant (born April 12, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills.
1951 – Tom Noonan, American actor. Tom Noonan (born April 12, 1951) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his role as Francis Dollarhyde in Manhunter (1986), Frankenstein's Monster in The Monster Squad (1987), Cain in RoboCop 2 (1990), The Ripper in Last Action Hero (1993), Bill Lacey in Tales from the Darkside (1984), Sammy Barnathan in Synecdoche, New York (2008) and as the voice of everyone else in Anomalisa (2015).
1950 – David Cassidy, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was an American actor, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was best known for his role as Keith Partridge, the son of Shirley Partridge (played by his stepmother, Shirley Jones), in the 1970s musical-sitcom The Partridge Family.
1949 – Scott Turow, American lawyer and author. Films have been based on several of his books.
1947 – Alex Briley, American disco singer (Village People), was the original "G.I." in the disco recording act Village People. Briley was born and raised in Harlem, New York, and later Mount Vernon, New York.
1947 – Dan Lauria, American actor. Daniel Joseph Lauria (born April 12, 1947) is an American actor, best known for his role as Jack Arnold in The Wonder Years.
1947 – David Letterman, American comedian and talk show host. In total, Letterman hosted 6,080 episodes of Late Night and Late Show, surpassing his friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late night talk show host in American television history.
1947 – Tom Clancy, American historian and author (d. 2013), was an American novelist best known for his technically detailed espionage and military-science storylines set during and after the Cold War (1945-1991). Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books were sold.
1947 – Woody Johnson, American businessman and philanthropist. Robert Wood "Woody" Johnson IV (born April 12, 1947) is an American businessman who is currently United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
1946 – Ed O'Neill, American actor and comedian. He has also appeared in the Wayne's World film series, Little Giants, Prefontaine, The Bone Collector and Sun Dogs, and has done voice-work for the Wreck It Ralph franchise and Finding Dory.
1940 – Herbie Hancock, American pianist, composer, and bandleader. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet, where he helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound.
1940 – Woodie Fryman, American baseball player (d. 2011), was an American professional baseball pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for six teams, across 18 seasons (1966–1983). A two-time National League (NL) All-Star, he helped the Detroit Tigers reach the 1972 American League Championship Series and the Montreal Expos reach the 1981 National League Championship Series.
1937 – Dennis Banks, American author and activist, was a Native American activist, teacher, and author. He was a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, which he co-founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968 to represent urban Indians.
1930 – Manuel Neri, American sculptor and painter. Manuel Neri (born April 12, 1930) is an American sculptor who is recognized for his life-size figurative sculptures in plaster, bronze, and marble.
1926 – Jane Withers, American actress. Also a singer, she debuted the Jule Styne-Sammy Cahn torch song "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" in 1944 in Glad to See You, a musical intended for Broadway which closed out of town in Philadelphia.
1925 – Evelyn Berezin, American computer scientist and engineer, was an American computer designer of the first computer-driven word processor. She also worked on computer-controlled systems for airline reservations.
1925 – Ned Miller, American country music singer and songwriter (d. 2016). Active as a recording artist from 1956 to 1970, he is known primarily for his hit single "From a Jack to a King", a crossover hit in 1962 which reached Top 10 on the country music, adult contemporary, and Billboard Hot 100 charts, as well as reaching No.2 in the UK charts.
1924 – Curtis Turner, American race car driver (d. 1970). Inaugural winner at Rockingham Speedway (1965) Led Grand National Series in wins one time (1950) Holds record for most career NASCAR Convertible Division wins (38) Holds record for most career NASCAR Convertible Division poles (23) Holds record for most NASCAR Convertible Division wins in a season (22, 1956)
1923 – Ann Miller, American actress, singer, and dancer (d. 2004), was an American dancer, singer, and actress. She is best remembered for her work in the Classical Hollywood cinema musicals of the 1940s and 1950s.
1919 – Billy Vaughn, American musician and bandleader (d. 1991), was an American singer, multi-instrumentalist, orchestra leader, and A&R man for Dot Records.
1917 – Helen Forrest, American singer and actress (d. 1999), was an American singer of traditional pop and swing music. She served as the "girl singer" for three of the most popular big bands of the Swing Era (Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, and Harry James), thereby earning a reputation as "the voice of the name bands."
1916 – Benjamin Libet, American neuropsychologist and academic (d. 2007), was a pioneering scientist in the field of human consciousness. Libet was a researcher in the physiology department of the University of California, San Francisco.
1916 – Beverly Cleary, American author. Beverly Atlee Cleary (née Bunn; born April 12, 1916) is an American writer of children's and young adult fiction.
1914 – Armen Alchian, American economist and academic (d. 2013). He spent almost his entire career at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
1913 – Keiko Fukuda, Japanese-American martial artist (d. 2013). She was the highest-ranked female judoka in history, holding the rank of 9th dan from the Kodokan (2006), and 10th dan from USA Judo (July 2011) and from the United States Judo Federation (USJF) (September 2011), and was the last surviving student of Kanō Jigorō, founder of judo.
1912 – Hound Dog Taylor, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1975), was an American Chicago blues guitarist and singer.
1908 – Robert Lee Scott, Jr., American pilot and general (d. 2006), was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force and a flying ace of World War II, credited with shooting down 13 Japanese aircraft.
1907 – Felix de Weldon, Austrian-American sculptor, designed the Marine Corps War Memorial (d. 2003), was an Austrian-born American sculptor. His most famous pieces include the United States Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial, 1954) in Arlington County, Virginia and the Malaysian National Monument (1966) in Kuala Lumpur.
1901 – Lowell Stockman, American farmer and politician (d. 1962), was a representative from Oregon to the United States House of Representatives from 1943 to 1953.
1898 – Lily Pons, French-American soprano and actress (d. 1976), was a French-American operatic soprano and actress who had an active career from the late 1920s through the early 1970s. As an opera singer she specialized in the coloratura soprano repertoire and was particularly associated with the title roles in Lakmé and Lucia di Lammermoor.
1894 – Dorothy Cumming, Australian-American actress (d. 1983), was an actress of the silent film era. She appeared in 39 American, English, and Australian films between 1915 and 1929, notably appearing as the Virgin Mary in Cecil B.
1892 – Henry Darger, American writer and artist (d. 1973). Henry Joseph Darger Jr. (/ˈdɑːrɡər/; c.
1888 – Dan Ahearn, Irish-American long jumper and police officer (d. 1942), was an Irish and later American track and field athlete and a member of the Irish American Athletic Club. He competed for the U.S.
1887 – Harold Lockwood, American actor and director (d. 1918). He was one of the most popular matinee idols of the early film period during the 1910s.
1883 – Imogen Cunningham, American photographer and educator (d. 1976), was an American photographer known for her botanical photography, nudes, and industrial landscapes. Cunningham was a member of the California-based Group f/64, known for its dedication to the sharp-focus rendition of simple subjects.
1880 – Addie Joss, American baseball player and journalist (d. 1911), was an American pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched for the Cleveland Bronchos, later known as the Naps, between 1902 and 1910.
1874 – William B. Bankhead, American lawyer and politician, 47th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (d. 1940), was an American politician who served as the 42nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1936 to 1940, representing Alabama's 10th and later 7th congressional districts as a Democrat from 1917 to 1940. Bankhead was a prominent supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal of pro-labor union legislation, thus clashing with most other Southern Democrats in Congress at the time.
1796 – George N. Briggs, American lawyer and politician, 19th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1861), was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts. A Whig, Briggs served for twelve years in the United States House of Representatives, and served seven one-year terms as the 19th Governor of Massachusetts, from 1844 to 1851.
1777 – Henry Clay, American lawyer and politician, 9th United States Secretary of State (d. 1852), was an American attorney and statesman who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, served as seventh speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and served as the ninth U.S. secretary of state.
1724 – Lyman Hall, American physician, clergyman, and politician, 16th Governor of Georgia (d. 1790), was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Georgia. Hall County is named after him.
1484 – Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, Italian architect, designed the Apostolic Palace and St. Peter's Basilica (d. 1546), was an Italian architect active during the Renaissance, mainly in Rome and the Papal States.
2017 – Charlie Murphy, American actor and comedian (b. 1959)
2016 – Anne Jackson, American actress (b. 1925)
2014 – Billy Standridge, American race car driver (b. 1953)
2014 – Hal Smith, American baseball player and coach (b. 1931)
2013 – Brennan Manning, American priest and author (b. 1934)
2013 – Michael France, American screenwriter (b. 1962)
2012 – Rodgers Grant, American pianist and composer (b. 1935)