September 12

490 BC – The Athenians and their Plataean allies defeat the first Persian invasion force of Greece at Marathon. Afterwards, the Greek messenger Pheidippides runs with the news of the victory to Athens. Announcing νενικήκαμεν – nenikēkamen (We’ve won!) – he then dies of exhaustion after the 25+ mile run.

1229 – During the Spanish Reconquista, the Aragon army under the command of James I of Aragon, lands at Santa Ponça, Majorca, held by the Almohad caliphate.

1309 – During the Spanish Reconquista, the Castile army under the command of Juan Núñez II de Lara, lays siege to Gibraltar, held by the Emirate of Granada.

1609 – Henry Hudson begins his exploration up the Hudson River from Manhattan.

1683 – The combined European armies complete the defeat of the army of Ottoman Empire that had besieged Vienna

1814 – A detachment of the Maryland Militia under General John Stricker, engages the British under General Robert Ross, at North Point outside Baltimore. Having suffered significant casualties inflicted by the U.S. troops,  before they retreated in good order, the deputy commanding British officer, Colonel Arthur Brooke delays the advance to Baltimore allowing the city to reinforce the defenses to the point the British plan to take Baltimore fails.

1847 – The Battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican/American War begins

1857 – Carrying over 13 tons of gold from the California Gold Rush, the SS Central America sinks about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, contributing to the financial Panic of 1857. Located in 1988, the wreck has had large quantities of the cargo recovered.

1942 – On Guadalcanal, Imperial Japanese Army troops begin an attack along “Edson’s Ridge” against U.S. Marines defending the Henderson airfield.

1943 – German commando forces led by Otto Skorzeny, rescue Benito Mussolini from house arrest.

1990 – The two German states and the Four Powers sign the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany in Moscow, paving the way for German reunification.

2001 – Out of thousands of people unable to escape from the World Trade Center towers before they collapsed, only twenty survivors were rescued and pulled out of the rubble.

2011 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City opens to the public.

Births*
1818 – Richard Jordan Gatling
1857 – Manuel Espinosa Batista
1880 – H. L. Mencken
1888 – Maurice Chevalier
1892 – Alfred A. Knopf, Sr.
1913 – Jesse Owens
1916 – Tony Bettenhausen
1931 – Ian Holm
1939 – Henry Waxman
1943 – Maria Muldaur
1956 – Sam Brownback
1964 – Greg Gutfeld
1967 – Louis C.K. Székely

Deaths†
1814 – General Robert Ross, British Army
1942 – Valentine Baker
1945 – Field Marshal Hajime Sugiyama IJN
1953 – Hugo Schmeisser
1972 – William ‘Hopalong Cassidy’ Boyd
1992 – Anthony Perkins
1993 – Raymond Burr
1994 – Tom Ewell
2003 – Johnny Cash