This Day In History : January 12

2005 United States

Deep Impact Space Mission Launches from Cape Canaveral

On January 12, 2005, the Deep Impact space mission launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a Delta 2 rocket. This NASA mission aimed to study the composition of the comet Tempel 1 by impacting it with a projectile, providing insights into the early solar system.

Also on This Day in History January 12

Discover what happened on January 12 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, January 12
  • 1899 Paul H. Muller

    Swiss chemist who invented DDT and won the Nobel Prize in 1948

  • 1903 Igor V. Kurtshatov

    Russian nuclear physicist who built the first Russian nuclear bomb

  • 1853 Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro

    Italian mathematician (tensor analysis)

  • 1896 David Wechsler

    American psychologist

  • 1792 Johan August Arfwedson

    Swedish chemist who discovered lithium in a compound obtained from petalite

Deaths on This Day, January 12
  • 2001 Bill Hewlett

    American engineer and businessman (co-founder Hewlett-Packard)

  • 1909 Hermann Minkowski

    German mathematician who developed the geometrical theory of numbers

  • 1665 Pierre de Fermat

    French mathematician (Fermat's Last Theorem), founder of the modern theory of numbers

  • 1997 Charles Huggins

    American-Canadian physician and cancer researcher, 1966 Nobel Prize

  • 2010 Hasib Sabbagh

    Palestinian businessman, philanthropist and co-founder of Consolidated Contractors Company


Comet McNaught Reaches Perihelion, Becomes Brightest Comet in 40 Years

On January 12, 2007, Comet McNaught reached perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun, becoming the brightest comet seen in over 40 years. Visible to the naked eye, it dazzled observers worldwide with its impressive tail and brightness during its close encounter with the Sun.

RMS Queen Mary 2 Makes Maiden Voyage

The RMS Queen Mary 2, the world's largest ocean liner at the time of its launch, embarked on its maiden voyage on January 12, 2004. Built by Cunard Line, this luxury liner set sail from Southampton, England, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, marking a significant event in maritime history.

Nineteen European Nations Agree to Ban Human Cloning

On January 12, 1998, nineteen European nations reached an agreement to prohibit human cloning. This landmark decision aimed to address ethical concerns and establish unified regulations across Europe regarding the practice of human cloning.

Dr. James Bedford Cryonically Preserved for Future Resuscitation

On January 12, 1967, Dr. James Bedford became the first person to be cryonically preserved with the intention of future resuscitation. His body remains preserved at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, marking a milestone in the development of cryonics technology.
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