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What Happened on July 12?

  • English rock band - The Rolling Stones - gave their first concert. (1962) The concert was held in London at the Marquee Club. At the time, the band was called The Rollin' Stones — they got their current name in 1963. One of the most successful groups in history, the band has sold more than 200 million albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

  • 1,300 miners who were striking in Bisbee, Arizona, were illegally deported. (1917) In what is known as the "Bisbee Deportation," 2,000 vigilantes kidnapped the striking miners and their supporters and hauled them 200 miles (320 kilometers) into Hermanas, New Mexico, in cattle cars. The vigilantes had been deputized by the sheriff as a posse, one of the largest posses ever established. The miners were striking against Phelps Dodge, which dominated the town. After the deportation, many Phelps Dodge executives and several government officials and law enforcement officers were arrested.

  • The Moors began their murder spree. (1963) Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who became known as the "Moors Murderers," kidnapped and killed a sixteen-year-old girl named Pauline Reade outside Gorton, England. Over the next two years the pair would kill four more children — one 10-year-old, two 12-year-olds and one 17-year-old. They were arrested in 1965 and sentenced to life in prison in 1966.

  • A Midwest heatwave started, ultimately killing 1,000 people in the Illinois and Wisconsin regions. (1995) A heat advisory was reported in Chicago, warning of the impending heat. Temperatures reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) with a heat index — a combination of temperature and humidity — of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (almost 49 degrees Celsius). The temperatures were so hot that the train rails warped. The heatwave lasted a week, causing at least 1,000 heat-related deaths.

  • The first woman was chosen to run on a major political party ticket in the US. (1984) Walter F. Mondale, the democratic presidential candidate, chose Geraldine A. Ferraro, a New York Congresswoman, to be his running mate. Mondale, the 42nd Vice President of the United States, lost in one of the biggest landslides in US presidential election history to incumbent President Ronald Reagan. In the worst electoral college defeat in the Democratic Party's history, and second only to Alf Landon, who lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, in US election history, Mondale secured only 13 electoral votes against the 525 Reagan secured.

  • The United States Congress authorized the Medal of Honor and the first US Marine was awarded the medal. (1862 & 1965) President Abraham Lincoln signed a law allowing a US Army Medal of Honor to be awarded to distinguished Army officers and privates. President Lincoln had previously signed similar Medal of Honor laws for the other branches of the military, and in 1963 all were combined into one Medal of Honor for all branches. In 1965, the first US Marine was awarded the medal. Lt. Frank Reasoner was awarded the medal for his leadership in the Vietnam War during an ambush by the Viet Cong.

  • The first US carrier was named after a living US President was commissioned. (2003) The USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered supercarrier, was first deployed in 2006 and continues to carry troops today.

  • US President Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first president to use a helicopter for transportation. (1957) President Eisenhower suggested using the new technology to travel short distances. The US Secret Service approved the idea, considering it safer than traditional motorcade transport. The first helicopter put into presidential service was the HMX-1 "Nighthawks."

  • Wild Bill Hickok had his first gun battle. (1861) In an effort to establish his reputation, Hickok shot three men in Nebraska in a shootout. The media greatly exaggerated the shootout story, claiming he had killed nine gunman single-handedly. He was quoted as saying, "I was wild and I struck savage blows," which led to his Wild Bill nickname. Hickok, born James Butler Hickok in 1837, was ultimately murdered in 1876 by Jack McCall while playing poker.

  • Alexander Hamilton, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, died from wounds he'd gotten the previous day in a duel with the United States Vice President Aaron Burr. (1804) Vice President Burr had tired of criticism from Hamilton and challenged him to a duel. Burr shot Hamilton during the duel on July 11th.

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