This Day In History : November 12

1966 United States

First Images of a Solar Eclipse Taken from Space

On November 12, 1966, during NASA's Gemini 12 mission, astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin captured the first images of a solar eclipse from space. Using a specially modified camera, they provided pioneering space-based observations of celestial events, contributing valuable scientific data.

Also on This Day in History November 12

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

Births on This Day, November 12
  • 1896 Salim Ali

    Indian ornithologist, the “birdman of India,” who championed conservation of India's biological diversity.

  • 1891 Seth Barnes Nicholson

    Seth Barnes Nicholson was an American astronomer best known for discovering four satellites of Jupiter.

  • 1926 Jack Ryan

    American inventor who invented Barbie Doll, Hot Wheels, Chatty Cathy

  • 1746 Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles

    French inventor, scientist, mathematician, and balloonist

  • 1841 John William Strutt

    English physicist and discoverer of argon, Nobel Prize 1904

Deaths on This Day, November 12
  • 1944 George David Birkhoff

    American mathematician, foremost of the early 20th century, who formulated the ergodic theorem.

  • 1932 Dugald Clerk

    Scottish inventor of the two-stroke Clerk cycle motorcycle engine, widely used on light motorcycles and other small machines.

  • 1908 William Keith Brooks

    American zoologist known for his research on the anatomy and embryology of marine animals, especially the tunicates, crustaceans (e.g., crayfish), and mollusks (notably the oyster).

  • 1916 Percival Lowell

    American astronomer who predicted the existence of the planet Pluto and initiated the search that ended in its discovery.

  • 1793 Jean-Sylvain Bailly

    French astronomer who computed an orbit for Halley's Comet (1759) and studied the four satellites of Jupiter then known.


Saturn space probe

In 1980, the space probe Voyager I travelled under the rings and within 77,000 miles of Saturn.

Oakland Bay Bridge opening

In 1936, the Oakland Bay Bridge, California, U.S., opened for traffic, six months before the Golden Gate Bridge opened for traffic on 28 May 1937.

Record iceberg

In 1956, the largest iceberg on record was sighted by the USS Glacier, a U. S. Navy icebreaker, about 150 miles west of Scott Island in the Southern Hemisphere.

STS-2 Space Shuttle Mission Launched

On November 12, 1981, NASA launched the Space Shuttle mission STS-2, also known as Columbia (OV-102), marking the second orbital flight of the Space Shuttle program. This mission was piloted by astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly and focused on testing the Shuttle's capabilities for extended operations in space.
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