October 12
1492 Christopher Columbus and his crew land in the Bahamas.
1576 Rudolf II, the king of Hungary and Bohemia, succeeds his father, Maximillian II, as Holy Roman Emperor.
1609 The song "Three Blind Mice" is published in London, believed to be the earliest printed secular song.
1702 Admiral Sir George Rooke defeats the French fleet off Vigo.
1722 Shah Sultan Husayn surrenders the Persian capital of Isfahan to Afgan rebels after a seven month siege.
1809 Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, dies under mysterious circumstances in Tennessee.
1899 The Anglo-Boer War begins.
1872 Apache leader Cochise signs a peace treaty with General Howard in Arizona Territory.
1933 Alcatraz Island is made a federal maximum security prison.
1943 The U.S. Fifth Army begins an assault crossing of the Volturno River in Italy.
1949 Eugenie Anderson becomes the first woman U.S. ambassador.
1970 President Richard Nixon announces the pullout of 40,000 more American troops in Vietnam by Christmas.
1971 The House of Representatives passes the Equal Rights Amendment 354-23.

Born on October 12
1537 Edward VI, the only son of Henry VIII by his third wife Jane Seymour.
1868 Charles Sumner Greene, architect.
1929 Richard Coles, child psychologist and author.
1932 Dick Gregory, comedian and social activist.
1935 Luciano Pavarotti, Italian opera tenor.