We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.
August 12 - 50 years ago
Unsurprisingly, Northern Ireland dominated the headlines on August 12, 1969.
It was the first day of the ‘Battle of the Bogside’ — three days of rioting between the nationalist residents of the Bogside in Derry and the RUC over an Apprentice Boys march.
A landmark moment in history, it led to British troops being deployed on the streets of the North for the first time and, for many, marked the beginning of what was to become “The Troubles”.
The Cork Examiner front page led with violence and reported that tension in Derry had reached “breaking point” as “militants, Protestant and Catholic crowds, faced each other across a 20-foot-wide road between the Catholic Bogside area and the Protestant Fountain district”.
Another event which continues to echo down the decades was also on the front page — the Apollo moon landings.
The newspaper reported that the three astronauts who had landed on the lunar surface the previous month were finally relaxing with their families after being released from quarantine.
20 years ago
Fast-forward 30 years and events of a little less historical significance were gracing the front page of The Examiner. On August 12, 1999, the world was witnessing “the last great astronomical phenomenon of the 20th century” — a total solar eclipse.
As many as 2bn people witnessed the event around the world. The sightings in Ireland, of course, ranged from “the greatest show on earth” to “astrally weak”.
It was also the day we learned of the arrest of runaway broker Tony Taylor after a three-year manhunt, and that former bishop Eamon Casey had been dropped from the prestigious Vatican Yearbook.
On 12 August 2009, the collapse of the economy was in the headlines, with warnings that the Supreme Court’s refusal to allow six of property developer Liam Carroll’s companies to be placed in examinership could lead to a firesale of his companies, which in turn could threaten the future of Nama.
Elsewhere, it emerged that a Leaving Cert blunder — which resulted in candidates having to sit an English paper on a Saturday after a superintendant handed out the wrong paper on the wrong day — did not impact on the grades received by students.
Five years ago
On August 12, 2014, another one of Ireland’s golfing heroes was on the front page of the Irish Examiner. Rory McIlroy had the world at his feet after winning the US PGA Championship just a month on from winning The Open Championship. He hasn’t won a major since.
We also learned that then- taoiseach Enda Kenny was coming under intense pressure from German politicians, businesses, and campaigners to scrap plans for plain packaging on tobacco products, with some warning that it could hinder Ireland’s financial recovery.
August 12 last year fell on a Sunday, but that weekend was dominated by Fianna Fáil saying that a snap election would not solve the housing crisis.
The party made the decision not to withdraw support for the Fine Gael-led Government, amid warnings that “an avalanche of homelessness” was coming.
Across the world on this day ...
Cleopatra kills herself following the death of Mark Antony and Isaac Singer granted patent on his sewing machine.
Cleopatra, seventh and most famous queen of Egypt, committed suicide allegedly by allowing an asp to bite her breast. She killed herself following the death of her lover Mark Antony, ruler of the eastern Roman Empire.
William Blake, English poet, mystic, and artist, died. He is famous for his ‘Songs of Experience’. Among his best- known works of art are ‘The Canterbury Pilgrims’ and his 21 ‘Illustrations to the Book of Job’ (1826).
Railway engineer George Stephenson died. As well as building railways throughout England, he also developed the first practical steam locomotive, “The Rocket”.
Isaac Singer was granted a patent on his sewing machine.
Cecil B De Mille, US film director and producer, was born. He is best known for the huge scale of his productions, especially in historical and religious epics such as The Ten Commandments, Samson and Delilah, and Cleopatra.
The first Model T Ford, the first ever mass-production car, rolled off the production line in Detroit.
Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary.
Irish statesman Arthur Griffith, the founder and first leader of Sinn Féin, died. He was head of the Irish delegation at the negotiations that produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, and served briefly as president of the Irish Republic from January 1922 following the resignation of Éamon de Valera.
NASA launched the first passive communication satellite, Echo I. It reflected radio and microwave signals over the horizon from ground stations on Earth.
English author Ian Fleming, creator of the fictional spy character James Bond, died.
The Soviet Union and West Germany signed a non-aggression pact in Moscow.
The space shuttle made its first test flight, landing safely after gliding off the back of a jumbo jet.
US actor Henry Fonda died, aged 77. In films from 1935, he appeared in Young Mr Lincoln, Mister Roberts, 12 Angry Men, and On Golden Pond, for which he received his only Oscar just months before his death.
Argentina released British assets seized during the Falklands war of 1982.
‘Sue’, one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons ever found, was discovered in South Dakota. Sue, 4m tall and 12.3m long, was aged 28 when she died, making her the oldest-known T Rex.
The US, Canada and Mexico agreed to form a free-trade zone that would create the world’s largest single trading bloc. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), came into effect in 1994.
Two Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion in compensation to Holocaust survivors and heirs of the victims, for money deposited by Jews or assets stolen by the Nazis.
Two explosions in the torpedo compartment aboard the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk during naval exercises in the Barents Sea sent the vessel plummeting to the sea bed, killing all 118 crew aboard. Russian authorities did not admit the disaster for two days.
The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended for 24 hours, triggering an automatic six-week extension of peace negotiations. The latest crisis was brought about by the resignation of first minister David Trimble over the failure of the IRA to begin weapons decommissioning.
Mark David Chapman was denied parole for a fifth time for the murder of ex-Beatle John Lennon in 1980. He remains incarcerated at Attica State Prison in New York.
Russia’s President Medvedev ordered an end to fighting in South Ossetia. The five-day conflict killed 2,500 people and displaced 100,000 more in Georgia and South Ossetia.
US film and stage actress Lauren Bacall died at age 89. One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, she was best known for her husky voice and smouldering looks, first seen in her memorable debut at age 19 opposite her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not.
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