On This Day, May 12: Sichuan earthquake kills tens of thousands

1 week ago

On this date in history:

In 1909, two giraffes, one leopard and one buffalo killed, and two leopard cubs captured were the latest additions to the former President Teddy Roosevelt’s hunting trophies, according to reports out of Nairobi.

In 1926, the British general strike, which had held the nation in its grip for more than 8 1/2 days, was called off.

In 1937, George VI was crowned king of England, succeeding his brother Edward, who abdicated to marry U.S. divorcee Wallis Simpson.

In 1949, Soviet authorities announced the end of a land blockade of Berlin. The blockade lasted 328 days but was neutralized by the Allies’ Berlin airlift.

In 1975, a Cambodian gunboat fired on the U.S. cargo ship Mayaguez and forced it into a Cambodian port, setting off an international incident. Although authorities were to release the ship’s crew members unharmed, a mission to rescue them led to many deaths among U.S. troops and others.

In 2000, Adam Petty, the fourth-generation driver of NASCAR’s first family of racing, died after crashing into a wall during a practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway. He was 19.

File Photo by Patrick Ward/UPI

In 2002, former President Jimmy Carter began a visit to Cuba. He was the first president, in or out of office, to visit the island since communists took over in 1959.

In 2008, a magnitude-8 earthquake, China’s deadliest in three decades, killed more than 69,000 people, with nearly 18,000 missing and hundreds of thousands homeless. It is often called the Great Sichuan Earthquake.

In 2010, a man armed with a meat cleaver entered a central China kindergarten classroom and slaughtered seven children, a teacher and her mother before taking his own life. Seventeen people died and about 100 were injured in five attacks in Chinese schools in a two-month period.

Extra security watches over students leaving school in Beijing on May 14, 2010, two days after an armed man attacked a kindergarten classroom. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

In 2013, 19 people were injured in what police said were gang-related shootings at a Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans.

In 2016, Vice President Michel Temer became Brazil’s interim president after the Senate voted to proceed with an impeachment trial for Dilma Rousseff.

In 2018, Israeli singer Netta won the Eurovision song contest held in Lisbon, Portugal.

File Pool Photo by Amir Cohen/UPI

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